Character and the Special Forces Soldier


Verified Military
Dec 17, 2007
A speech by BG Bennet Sacolick for SFQC graduates. Comes from a General Officer that spend much time in SMUs and its about the unique nature of SF with great emphasis on UW/FID missions.

"On a recent Friday I had the opportunity to address some of the finest Soldiers in the United States Army. These young men were graduating from the Special Forces Qualification Force – not an easy feat. Having spent 27 years in the special operations arena, I understood their excitement and how proud they felt during the ceremony; I had sat in a similar chair myself. However, it was important to me that their families understand exactly what their loved ones signed on for. And, in further thinking, it’s also important to me that the citizens of this country know the dedication and professionalism that is embodied in the men of Special Forces. It is to that end, that I share my graduation remarks with you.

Intuitively, I think we all know how hard our graduates work for the privilege of wearing a Green Beret. But did you know that some of these young men have been in training for more than two, maybe three years? This doesn’t count the months they spent just physically preparing themselves before the course began or the countless hours spent with rucksacks on their back in total solitude, usually very early in the morning or very late at night but almost always on their own time because they had other obligations that filled their day. Appreciate the fact that 75 percent of the Soldiers, mostly airborne Soldiers and many with combat experience who began the course, are no longer here today. This is the Army’s most physically demanding course. Scholastically, each Soldier must master more than 1,000 critical tasks, specific to his assigned specialty and hundreds of advanced war-fighting tasks, plus demonstrate a proficiency in a foreign language before they graduate. There is simply not a more demanding school in the entire U.S. Army.
There are also several more intangible qualities that the Special Warfare Center is tasked to evaluate before we can allow a Soldier to wear a Green Beret. Qualities such as maturity, commitment, judgment, courage, initiative, decisiveness, empathy, self-confidence and adaptability. These qualities can be summarized in one word: character. There are men who have mastered their occupational skills, hone their tactical skills, become absolutely fluent in a foreign language and be the most prolific warrior since Rambo but without character they will not be a member of this regiment. Character is what defines Special Forces.

Character is a fundamental demand that our operational environment places upon our force. The men who don the Green Beret will be sent to the ends of the earth and in most cases they alone will represent and make decisions on behalf of the United States of America. Our Special Forces Soldiers routinely work in small isolated detachments, alone and far removed from the support and protection or daily guidance of the U.S. Government. They will only have each other to depend upon so we must insure that every single one of them has the character and integrity to function, maneuver and operate in these very complex environments. More in PDF Form here
downloaded the link. Thanks for sharing. Definitely puts the end state into perspective.