Special Operations Forces for the Decisive Decade

I can't believe I'm going to defend the 18 series guys. @Box

By the time you add on additional duties over and above the SF MOS, those guys are pretty task saturated. If we look at what they must stay current on their available time is in the toilet.

ODB...unless the MTOE drastically changed the company "head shed" was a Major, a Captain, 1 admin, 1 CBRN, and 1 supply guy. SIGDETs chop 25 series to the ODB often enough it isn't unusual (I'm sure other MOS' are as well) and now we're back to some A&S program for enablers. Also...great, you have UAVs (this reminds me of the Group-level aviation assets and how that fed into the 160th's founding...what a shitshow), counter UAV's, and whatever else as well-dressed SF battalion needs to succeed. Do you house them at the battalion level? Group Support Company? "High demand, low density" and all that.

Ultimately, adding additional requirements means other requirements will fall by the wayside.

Musing in general, an ODA's size and composition was selected for a reason. Start adding attachments at the team level and now you have an understrength platoon to manage. By "manage" I mean "Manage to watch the SFABs do your core job while you write a CONOP for a DA mission that will be rejected out of hand."

To the bolded/italicized, that was the jest I got from the couple echo's with whom I talked. They indicated they didn't have the bandwidth (bandwidth...echo...see what I did there?) to assume the depth and breadth of competency of those particular taskings and talked about the water cooler chitchat of a separate 18 series MOS.

I am the last person to decide what is or isn't best for SF or an ODA, whether a new MOS or an enabler is the bestest answer. I am just glad they are having the discussion that a) these are important skills and needs, and b) someone will have to do them.

Regarding an ODA size, I agree. It was set at 12 for a reason and I have read enough history and talked with enough people to know about the plus-up, super ODA, etc., but it always seems to 'right-size' at 12. Circling back to the whole 'people are more important than hardware' comments in the article and recruitment/retention issues, it seems they frequently deploy well below a full 12 now anyway.