Aaron Bank

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Sorry to hear that, Cric. I've set out to earn a shot at following in your footsteps, and I have to say the the Col. Bank's book From OSS to Green Beret was one of the key influences on me.
 

tigerstr

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Oh for the good COL to see his Regiment in such disarray today. It truly is sad how far we have fallen.

This seems like a very strong- and bitter if I may say so- statement. Are you referring to standards, methods of employment, bureaucracy, leadership, attitude towards SF?

I am just an outsider looking in, but it seems that currently other SOF are trying to emulate the SF ways, and that the "by through with" aspect has gained unprecedented visibility in the whole of DOD and the wider public.

If you are referring to lowered standards I think this would not be the first time for SF or “special” outfits in general. It happens every time there is need for more numbers, not just in the US, but around the globe. And after some time, thing get back to where they were.

Reason for asking is that I have been a member of this forum for years and understand that SF was your calling, the path you chose. So coming from you, the impact of this statement is very substantial.
 

surgicalcric

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tigerstr said:
This seems like a very strong- and bitter if I may say so- statement.
tigerstr said:
Yes and no.

Are you referring to standards, methods of employment, bureaucracy, leadership, attitude towards SF?

Yes.

I am just an outsider looking in, but it seems that currently other SOF are trying to emulate the SF ways, and that the "by through with" aspect has gained unprecedented visibility in the whole of DOD and the wider public.

They are simply following the money, nothing more or less. If the money was in armor guys would move in that direction.

If you are referring to lowered standards I think this would not be the first time for SF or “special” outfits in general. It happens every time there is need for more numbers, not just in the US, but around the globe. And after some time, thing get back to where they were.

Lowering standards is a symptom of the problem, not its root cause. The root lies in leadership that just says, "yes sir... whatever gets me my next leaf, eagle, star..."

Reason for asking is that I have been a member of this forum for years and understand that SF was your calling, the path you chose. So coming from you, the impact of this statement is very substantial.

You would have to be in SF right now and have read about SF's past to understand the frustration many guys in the Regiment feel.
 

tigerstr

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You would have to be in SF right now and have read about SF's past to understand the frustration many guys in the Regiment feel.

Thanks for your answer. I obviously miss on your first point but I have done the second so I think I get where you are coming from.

IMHO from the outside looking in, it is called getting “institutionalized”, conforming, plus functioning in an era of too much “political correctness” and risk aversion.

I feel that most men that wrote SF history in years past would be considered “wild men” (brake box in case of total war) in today’s western armies. Especially in the O side.

It probably shows more in the Regiment because by design it has to be unconventional-and not just in the doctrinal sense.
 

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Cric, this is what I've already read of SF history. I'm not listing the Masters of Chaos type books as they don't seem as trustworthy.

OSS to Green Beret, by Col. Bank
Inside the Green Berets: The First 30 Years, by Col. Simpson
Born a Soldier: The Times and Life of Larry Thorne, by Cleverly
The Quiet Professional: Major Richard Meadows, by Maj. Hoe

I also just discovered the CMH's publication library with alot more to read.

Do you have any other recommendations?
 

surgicalcric

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... it is called getting “institutionalized”, conforming, plus functioning in an era of too much “political correctness” and risk aversion.

I call it being more concerned with ones career than doing the job you are there to do. I don't look at SF as a career; its a calling to a job that needs to be done. And while my next statement will appear to be a dig on all Os it isnt, and should only hit home for those it applies to: I really wish coming to SF was still a career "killer" for Officers. We need guys who make decisions based on what is good for the defense of our nation, the men, and themselves last. The unfortunate part, and this has trickled down to the senior NCO ranks as well, is guys are on a career track to get somewhere and will do whatever they have to to get to that rank or position so they can set up post-mil jobs. This sucking-up, ass-kissing needs to come to an end.


Furthermore commanders (generally company and above) are micro-managers who lack trust in their teams to get the job done without having to oversee and approve everything they do. Team Leaders who stand up for their teams or who push back to "gotta haves" or "thought this was a great idea's" are marginalized and not promoted - because they don't fit into what the MAJ or LTC consider the mold of a career officer to be.

I feel that most men that wrote SF history in years past would be considered “wild men” (brake box in case of total war) in today’s western armies. Especially in the O side.

It probably shows more in the Regiment because by design it has to be unconventional-and not just in the doctrinal sense.


They were considered "wild men" or "mavericks" in the past because of the doctrine of unconventional warfare, the methods SF used to conduct the mission and the training conducted to be successful. It was not because guys wore whateverthefuck they wanted, let their hair get out of hand or told officers to fuck off.

However today this has become the norm. Guys in SF believe their SF tab gives them carte blanche to look however they want, do whatever they want, and dress however they want. I understand some of where the attitude comes from. We are different but we aren't special and we are still in the Army. I am of the opinion NO ONE in SF today is any more special than the founding fathers of SF (Aaron Bank, Dick Meadows, Bull Simons, etc...) or the soldiers under their charge. They were the epitome of a Quiet Professional and let their actions and knowledge speak for them.

Its the guys whose tendency is to do their own thing that don't understand their operational environment, and how to work within it or just don't care to that draw the attention of the CF commander or SGM (in garrison) they bitch about being a target of to begin with that will eventually get a team hemmed up by FIS/HOIS while working in a country where doing their own thing causes them to stand out.

If guys want to stand out do it by being a professional, being in uniform, and being the SME in their respective field not by drawing negative attention to the Regiment.
 

x SF med

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COL Bank still came to the 10th Group annual mess every year when I was there, he believed in SF and I do believe he would be dismayed at many of the 'conventionalities of the DA missions' that are becoming common taskings for SF.

I recommend finding a copy of the Aaron Bank speech - "Giant Oaks from Tiny Acorns Grow" to understand where Crip and I are coming from. ah, here it is:


Special Forces
An Allegoric History
Presented by Colonel Aaron Bank, USA (Ret)

There is a saying, that giant oaks from acorns grow.
The oak I am referring to, although not a giant in physical stature, is indeed a giant in potential and versatility.
On a momentous day, a tiny group of disciples of Unconventional Warfare planted a tiny acorn in the nation’s grove of military giant oaks.
As that event took place, the mighty, well established, patrician oaks noted these interlopers and their intent with an angry rustling of branches and stiffening of massive trunks.
But when that sprouting acorn thrust its tiny stem through the earth’s crust there was no rustling, rather a twisting and cracking of trunks and rattling of branches with leaves tumbling to the ground as if to smother it. Altogether, a sign of outrage and protest, as the leading elements directed icy blast in its direction. “No, it cannot remain; it does not belong. It is of unacceptable parentage – civilian,” was the message carried by the blasts. “It represents radical doctrine and concepts.”
Undaunted, that tiny, feisty oak sank its roots deeper into the rich soil of the legacy left by its parent.
And as its tiny stem widened and turned into a trunk, it started to reach for the sky.
And as it developed, it sprouted branches, aimed in a planned direction, prepared to assist and support its parent when required.
All of this did not escape the notice of the older, patrician oaks who were in fear that renegade oak would taint the grove.
Then one day the “Call to Arms” echoed throughout the grove.
The giants eyed that determined fledgling oak with doubt and disdain. “Prove yourself.”
The long persecuted, daring oak rose to the challenge. And as it valiantly conducted its specialized, unconventional functions, supported by its branches, grudgingly the aristocratic giants realized that the young oak did have a role that they were incapable of performing. A role that broadened and extended the dimensions and parameters of the military’s capabilities and options as never before. And they began to nod and sway in approval.


Now a member of the grove’s brotherhood and grown to maturity, that ragged, gnarled oak with a majestic green dome that has assumed the shape of beret, is gazed upon, not with awe but with admiration, respect, appreciation and faith, that it will always merit its cherished motto, “De Oppresso Liber.”
 

Red Flag 1

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Cric, this is what I've already read of SF history. I'm not listing the Masters of Chaos type books as they don't seem as trustworthy.

OSS to Green Beret, by Col. Bank
Inside the Green Berets: The First 30 Years, by Col. Simpson
Born a Soldier: The Times and Life of Larry Thorne, by Cleverly
The Quiet Professional: Major Richard Meadows, by Maj. Hoe

I also just discovered the CMH's publication library with alot more to read.

Do you have any other recommendations?

Some books I have found to be good reads, and very interesting include:

Commandos The Inside Story of America's Secret Soliders, by Douglas C. Waller
SOG, The Secret Wars of America's Commandos in Vietnam, John L. Plaster
Special Forces, The Changing Face of Warfare, Mark Lloyd

RF 1

 

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Thank you for the recommendations. I apologize for posting that question in a thread that should be about a great man and his legacy.
 

goon175

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A lot of really good men are leaving the service because of issues like this, and others. Everyone likes to say that it must be the stress of multiple deployments or the money that contracting offers, but in my opinion, for SOF that only applies to the minority of those we see ETSing right now.
 

TB1077

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Another book about SF that is very good, though now dated in content is "The Company They Keep" ... it's very hard to find now.

I just happen to one of the people on the cover of the paperback edition...

Thanks for the referral x SF med, I just ordered a used paperback copy of it from Amazon. Price for a new hardcover is $64+!

I did find it 0dd that after checking out the cover photo I did not see the pink hair on any of the guys, so it was hard to know which one was you...
 

CDG

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Another book about SF that is very good, though now dated in content is "The Company They Keep" ... it's very hard to find now.

I just happen to one of the people on the cover of the paperback edition...

Glad to hear this feedback. I have a copy of this and have read it several times. I wish now that I had gotten the paperback instead of the hardback!
 

Sendero

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Another book about SF that is very good, though now dated in content is "The Company They Keep" ... it's very hard to find now.

"The Company They Keep" is a great read, and I have the paperback copy too.

OSS to Green Beret, by Col. Bank is another of my favorites which was a recommendation from someone on this board.
 
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