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Old 01-28-2009, 22:18   #31
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QUOTE=Soft Target;245756]Who jumps the generator?[/QUOTE]

It's probably not a coincidence that the G-76 went out of the inventory not that long after the transition from a 1LT XO to a WO Asst Det Cmdr . . .

Backwoods, I don't think we're that far apart on what a good WO looks like. WOs need to be physically able to and mentally eager to lead from the front, and they need to be the guy on the team who really gets the concept of UW.

My concern is that we're not setting the bar high enough for the WO1/CW2 fresh out of WOBC to go to a team and be that guy. I agree that seniority shouldn't be the only, or even the primary discriminator (I once had a boss who told me that some people have seven years of experience, and some people have one year of experience seven times - it all depends on whether you keep learning and growing with the job.)

I do think that it requires some seasoning on a team to get to that point, and it takes understanding how operational planning is done, and it takes knowing how intel gets fused with ops to realize the commanders intent. There's a dual feedback loop involved that not everyone on a team gets: intel drives ops, the results of ops drive intel, but also commander's intent drives intel and ops, and the results of both allow the commander to refine his intent. The WO needs to be able to step onto a team able to manage that process for the commander, and also step onto a team able to lead it if necessary.

So the challenge is: how do you make sure that someone selected for WO is that smart, dynamic guy who gets UW, who has enough experience to know how things work, who isn't broken or burned out, and who has the training necessary to do the job?

If it were my call, I'd do the following:

1) set the accession requirement for 5 years of team time, maybe waiverable to 3 for exceptional performers.

2) re-instate the 18F requirement and add a requirement for ANCOC (like before, if a candidate were selected as a WOC, they could be routed through the schools - I don't think it needs to be a requirement for selection.)

3) push the appointment of a WO further forward into WOBC, and use the opportunity to use the first portion of WOBC as a vetting process (I don't know what the right answer for that is - a board of WOs, some sort of officer stakes, some sort of academic standard - but we should use WOBC to vet the selection process.)

I agree that WOCS was pretty much a waste of time and didn't select for the traits the SF community needs in an officer, and I suspect that SF fought to take it out of the pipeline to incent good SF NCOs to take a shot at being an officer, but getting to appoint our own officers is an opportunity we're not exploiting.

Anyway, my $0.02 . . .
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Old 04-19-2011, 11:53   #32
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Why Lieutenent to Warrant

I had some spare time so I thought I would look at the 180A thread. What is interesting to me is the way the Warrant is viewed by the different Groups one was in. While attached to 5th during OIF II, I was amazed that the senior enlisted were still having the “us against them” battle when it came to the Warrants. As a young NCO in 10th, I watch the first batch come to the teams; they were for the most part the most experienced SF Soldiers I had ever met when it came to UW. When my time came to make the decision on whether to stay enlisted or go Warrant there were only a few factors to consider. The first was my name was on the E-8 list with 12 years in the Army, as posted here previously, that meant only two more years on an ODA and by the way I was one year into a three year SWC tour. Secondly, would I be recommended by my Team Sergeant and SGM? This is not a mandatory or by any regulation need, but it’s the most important recommendation you can receive. As the years went by and I was moved to the ODB and eventually the Senior BN Warrant position, I still use this recommendation as the rule as did the Group Senior Warrant because if you are the guy they would want on their team as an Assistant Detachment Commander, you were the guy that I wanted to replace me. The Warrant program is continuing to change with the times as it should. The old LT vs WO has been dead a long time, anyone who thinks differently either hasn’t been in SF for a very long time or spent a very short time on an ODA. The SF Warrant is a very different animal from a shave tail LT. May be this should be post on the 18A thread also; just to give a heads up to anyone thinking of becoming one. By the by, of the 8 more years on an ODA becoming a 180A gave me, 4 were as the Detachment Commander, three of those while in a CIF, one as the SOCCE CDR in the Balkans. As the COW I assume the Company Command for the first two weeks on the ground during OIF II, the commander stayed behind to assist in his second daughter’s birth and wanted the 18As to concentrate on their ODAs. Trust is a wonderful thing and while I always preferred to have a CPT on the team so I could mentor the next Company, Bn and eventually Group CDR, I never knew an 180A to turn down a command. Lastly my mentors all the way up to my retirement were E-8s and 9s, towards the end of my career they were my peers and we had grown up together but I always sought out their knowledge and advice, still do.
Don Bennett
Special Forces Association
Region 10 Representative
De Oppresso Liber
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