" The Demise of SF?"

Trip_Wire

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This was taken from another website and written by SF soldier. I happen to agree with most if not all of what he's saying. I also think that MARSOC will help this demise along!

"The Demise of SF"

Gentlemen, with great despair I continue to read about the conceptual if not all to real demise of SF in the future. The recent article featured in Military.com clearly shows that the senior leadership of the U.S. Army as well as USSOCOM have already begun the surgical procedure. How did we get here you might ask?

Well to tell you the truth this is actually a self inflicted wound! We did this to ourselves, as usual. We “hired on” senior officers and NCO’s who truly weren’t SF, they truly didn’t believe in SF, and were essentially the “wolves in sheeps clothing” from the Ranger Bns, JSOC and the regular Army who were all to happy to sign on to the “good deal of the day” back in the early 80’s when the promise of rapid promotion and being in the “happening crowd” was opened up to them following the slaughterhouse of post Vietnam.

Who did we pull in to be our commanders and command sergeants majors? We all know, they were the shining stars from OUTSIDE SF! Since then we have continued to do it with the all too heralded fiasco which held out the shingle “the quiet professional”.

These same senior officers must have loved that mantra, not only was SF becoming more conventional all the time, but they were also duped into believing that keeping their mouths shut about what they were doing and how well they were doing it was a hallmark of professionalism.

The truth is that while we were all keeping our mouths shut, the regular army was trumpeting at the tops of their lungs, and hanging medals on all their soldiers, while we did what? I shall tell you what, we did absolutely nothing for our soldiers, we always said, “it’s no big deal, we are just doing our jobs”, and we already know “we are better than the average regular soldier” and more and more bullshit like that. After all of our deployments did we take care of our ODA’s, of course not, “we aren’t in this for the money or medals”, well guess what, the regular army is!

So we year after year came home to Green Ramp, and other places in the middle of the night, greeted by nothing more than chilly darkness and the U.S. Customs Service, and the monthly piss test, doing total baggage dumps to show what we did and didn’t have, because everyone knows SF cannot be trusted!

During Just Cause in Panama, I personally was proud to have contributed no less than 6 urine specimens in 8 months, and I was in the BN staff, now please! Did we hang anything on our soldiers breasts for doing great things? Of course not, because we always thought we were above that. Panama is a classic example of this, the 3/7th came home months later after all rest, after the parades, after the awards ceremonies, and “snuck back into Ft. Bragg in the middle of the night”.

Why did we do this to ourselves, why did we cut our own throats so we could expire into history? The answer is easy, because we were stupid and arrogant enough to allow it to happen. Our Cdr(s) thought it a mark of pride NOT to award anything to their men, the Bn that truly laid the groundwork for the removal of the Noriega regime came home virtually unheralded and unnoticed by anyone except our families!

This self inflicted wound is why our NCO’s and Officers went to promotion boards with ARCOMS while their peers from the Rangers and 82d Airborne went to those same boards displaying Bronze Stars with valor devices and OER’s that actually said great things, not the “ho-hum” bullshit we were used to writing about ourselves.

We practiced the lowest form of professionalism stupidity given the system we existed in, in our arrogance about believing we were so great, we wrote our OER/NCOER’s with the sense of “in our own special way, we are just doing special business as usual”. This is how it has all come to pass, we are victims of our own stupidity and arrogance. So please do not sit confused and wonder how this has all happened SF, look into the mirror you shave in and admit that all our OWN officers did this to us! We were so “above all that” and in the process we have kicked our proud legacy to the proverbial curb!
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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We saw this problem on the support side in the Guard. We just did our job and didn't care about medals. When it came time for promotions we were getting killed by other soldiers with the same MOS who were in units with lax standards when it came to awards. An ARCOM for a 2 week AT? Unheard of for us.

But eventually our commander saw the writing on the wall after a promotion board. We grudgingly took our medals and the promotion points that came with them. We also had to relearn how to write NCOERs and the unit figured out how to massage the requirements for the slots to keep those outside of the unit from coming in. We adapted to the system.

I can only imagine what it was like for those on AD.
 

x SF med

the Troll
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Excellent post Trip. I got caught in the crossfire - I was a CPL for 3 years - holding down at least an E6 slot and at one point my Co CO made me the acting XO for about 6 months -on top of all my other duties Co Medic, Team Medic and Tng NCO... you know what I got - a personal thank you as he got his O4 and moved on to SWC. My time garnered me the you will get medals - no Arcoms, no AAMs, no nothing that says anything. Honor Grad of 2 courses at the Duty station - normally gets you an AAM - well, at my unit it got you a certificate of appreciation... I was SF, I didn't need Medals, right - I had the school, leadership, yada yada points... but no TOE for my rank. I hit the E% board with 995 points before I went to the board - and I still needed a waiver to get to the board because there were no requisites for E4->E5 boards. After 3 years in Group, on a Team and working the B-Team (too many 11B2S/18B2 qual'd guys - notice - SQT for E-5 and generally had to take the E-6 SQT based on your slot) I was told that I was too relaxed in front of the Promo board by one of the Support BN 18 Qual E7s that didn't know me - but was used to promoting 'kids' into the next grade - cooks and clerks and truck drivers (all needed) - but having forgotten that I held 2 SF MOS's and had more time in grade than most of the kids he promoted to E5 had time in service.

Rant over - my bitch about the same era you original post covers may or may not be germane to others - but I think there are a few others that will understand my frustration (guys who went through basic with me who made E6 as I made E5 - without the qualifications I had)
 

varsity

What I sposed ta did?
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Great Post. It hurts to read something so true. We do walk around sometimes with are nose to the grindstone, blowing off everything but the job. We have done this to ourselves. The overall leadership is the proof. I won't go over to 1st group in uniform anymore. I feel like I have a target on my chest if I do. Some people worry about the wrong stuff.

The truth hurts, on either end of the spectrum.
 
D

dusty

Guest
This was taken from another website and written by SF soldier. I happen to agree with most if not all of what he's saying. I also think that MARSOC will help this demise along!

"The Demise of SF"

Gentlemen, with great despair I continue to read about the conceptual if not all to real demise of SF in the future. The recent article featured in Military.com clearly shows that the senior leadership of the U.S. Army as well as USSOCOM have already begun the surgical procedure. How did we get here you might ask?

Well to tell you the truth this is actually a self inflicted wound! We did this to ourselves, as usual. We “hired on” senior officers and NCO’s who truly weren’t SF, they truly didn’t believe in SF, and were essentially the “wolves in sheeps clothing” from the Ranger Bns, JSOC and the regular Army who were all to happy to sign on to the “good deal of the day” back in the early 80’s when the promise of rapid promotion and being in the “happening crowd” was opened up to them following the slaughterhouse of post Vietnam.

Who did we pull in to be our commanders and command sergeants majors? We all know, they were the shining stars from OUTSIDE SF! Since then we have continued to do it with the all too heralded fiasco which held out the shingle “the quiet professional”.

These same senior officers must have loved that mantra, not only was SF becoming more conventional all the time, but they were also duped into believing that keeping their mouths shut about what they were doing and how well they were doing it was a hallmark of professionalism.

The truth is that while we were all keeping our mouths shut, the regular army was trumpeting at the tops of their lungs, and hanging medals on all their soldiers, while we did what? I shall tell you what, we did absolutely nothing for our soldiers, we always said, “it’s no big deal, we are just doing our jobs”, and we already know “we are better than the average regular soldier” and more and more bullshit like that. After all of our deployments did we take care of our ODA’s, of course not, “we aren’t in this for the money or medals”, well guess what, the regular army is!

So we year after year came home to Green Ramp, and other places in the middle of the night, greeted by nothing more than chilly darkness and the U.S. Customs Service, and the monthly piss test, doing total baggage dumps to show what we did and didn’t have, because everyone knows SF cannot be trusted!

During Just Cause in Panama, I personally was proud to have contributed no less than 6 urine specimens in 8 months, and I was in the BN staff, now please! Did we hang anything on our soldiers breasts for doing great things? Of course not, because we always thought we were above that. Panama is a classic example of this, the 3/7th came home months later after all rest, after the parades, after the awards ceremonies, and “snuck back into Ft. Bragg in the middle of the night”.

Why did we do this to ourselves, why did we cut our own throats so we could expire into history? The answer is easy, because we were stupid and arrogant enough to allow it to happen. Our Cdr(s) thought it a mark of pride NOT to award anything to their men, the Bn that truly laid the groundwork for the removal of the Noriega regime came home virtually unheralded and unnoticed by anyone except our families!

This self inflicted wound is why our NCO’s and Officers went to promotion boards with ARCOMS while their peers from the Rangers and 82d Airborne went to those same boards displaying Bronze Stars with valor devices and OER’s that actually said great things, not the “ho-hum” bullshit we were used to writing about ourselves.

We practiced the lowest form of professionalism stupidity given the system we existed in, in our arrogance about believing we were so great, we wrote our OER/NCOER’s with the sense of “in our own special way, we are just doing special business as usual”. This is how it has all come to pass, we are victims of our own stupidity and arrogance. So please do not sit confused and wonder how this has all happened SF, look into the mirror you shave in and admit that all our OWN officers did this to us! We were so “above all that” and in the process we have kicked our proud legacy to the proverbial curb!

I was in C/3/7 when the writer of this article was, and not only did they piss test you every 8 minutes, you couldn't even drink (legally)! They actually had prohibition, whether your were on QRF at the time or standing down!

It all started when they went IMA to USAJFKSWC and came up with CMF 18. That's when all the renegades started getting drummed out and the West Point whippethounds started punching their tickets and screwing everything up.

Candystripers got full flashes, and you could ride down Gruber and see a big fat pregnant female cook with a full-flash beret on. Then they started handing out the tabs, and doing organized group runs with all the gay dog and pony crap.

Still pisses me off, and it's been 25 freaking years.
 

CDG

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I realize this a pretty old thread. I'm curious to hear from the SF members of this board what has happened in the last 2.5 years with this situation though. Has it improved. gotten worse, no change?
 

sfmike

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From RVN to OIF SF have been awarded over 20 MOHs and countless other awards for valour. I, myself received 5 Purple Hearts but no other volour awards from SF. The other units that I served with awarded me with a Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars, an Air Medal but all that I received from SF was an ARCOM when I left.

SF needs to "Blow It's Own Horn More! The SEALS do it.
 

surgicalcric

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From RVN to OIF SF have been awarded over 20 MOHs and countless other awards for valour. I, myself received 5 Purple Hearts but no other volour awards from SF. The other units that I served with awarded me with a Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars, an Air Medal but all that I received from SF was an ARCOM when I left.

SF needs to "Blow It's Own Horn More! The SEALS do it.

Sounds like you are blowing your own horn too much to have time to blow anyone else's Mr B T D T.

Everyone has stories about not being awarded something for them being somewhere, doing something... Isnt that what makes a B T D T?
 

Marauder06

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I've thought about this for a while, and I held off commenting because I didn't want to piss off my SF friends on the site. However, I think it's worth bringing up, and I hope that all of you who read this recognize that this is not a rant against SF.

I served as an enabler in an SF group and that group was very, very good to me. However, I subsequently served in two national-level SOF units, and it bothers me to think how good SF could be if they simply adopted some of the basics that almost all other SOF units practice. At any rate, here goes...

I've heard a lot about "the demise of SF" over the last few years, and I think it is at a minimum alarmist if not downright misleading. SF isn't going anywhere. Not only is it proving its worth in hundreds of missions all around the world, SF is firmly entrenched in the military bureaucracy and in minds of Congress. You'd have no more success in doing away with SF than you would trying to do away with the Marine Corps.

Now if you want to talk about a decline of SF, I think that's a valid argument. SF keeps getting bigger, at the same time that they feel that their core missions are being torn from them and shared with other units. The simple fact is, SF cannot physically keep up with the demands for their kinds of skills, which is why so many other units, including conventional forces, are adopting some of the same missions.

In my opinion, SF missed a great opportunity with regard to MARSOC. Instead of fighting its evolving mission and badmouthing it in public, SF should have jumped all over MARSOC asking to help them get stood up. Why? Two reasons. First, MARSOC is going to be "SF-like" no matter what SF does, and bitching about it makes SF look reactionary and jealous. Second, and more important, if you're training someone else how to do something, you cement your primacy. Simply put, if SF is training MARSOC in FID, DA, SR, whatever, then clearly SF are the experts. That translates into things like funding and credibility, and ensures WHEN not IF the ODAs have to work with MARSOC, that there is a high degree of interoperability right off the bat. The attitude should be, "Let's see how we can help MARSOC support our nation's mission better," not "MARSOC is taking our missions away."

If SF is in decline, it is NOT because awards weren't given out like candy and because someone had to do piss tests 20 years ago. It's because SF has failed to keep up with the kinds of innovations and take the kinds of risks that the rest of SOF has. Think about that for a minute. SF, which has a reputation as being the innovators and the people who exist to think "outside of the box" are too attached to outdated modes of thinking and are on the cusp of being left behind as the rest of SOF move forward. Why? Partly because SF have a tendency to see no value in anything that is not 18-series.

SF isn't willing to make the kind of investments required to ensure that all aspects of the groups function at the highest level possible. As far as I know, SF *still* does not have a screening or assessment process for its enablers. SF is willing to take whatever the Army sends them, because at the end of the day enablers don't really matter, right? What that translates into is the inability to conduct effective planning and logistic support at the higher levels of operation. It also ensures that high performing enablers that SF does manage to get often pop smoke and move on to other SOF organizations, and they don't come back to SF.

We can sit around and bitch all we want about national SOF taking away from SF, but the fact is national SOF has had more success at the operational and tactical levels. They are willing to innovate, take chances, and invest in the whole "find fix finish exploit analyze disseminate" model, not just the "finish" part. I've heard some of my SF friends say, "well if we had their funding..." if you had their funding, what? You'd funnel it back down to the lowest level possible, and you'd have exactly what you have now: extraordinary success at the tactical level, and pretty much nothing past that.

If we're going to make SF better, we need to focus on what the problems really are, and it's not putting in more DA 638s or having one fewer urinalysis a month :rolleyes:
 

Ex3

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Excellent post Trip. I got caught in the crossfire - I was a CPL for 3 years - holding down at least an E6 slot and at one point my Co CO made me the acting XO for about 6 months -on top of all my other duties Co Medic, Team Medic and Tng NCO... you know what I got - a personal thank you as he got his O4 and moved on to SWC. My time garnered me the you will get medals - no Arcoms, no AAMs, no nothing that says anything. Honor Grad of 2 courses at the Duty station - normally gets you an AAM - well, at my unit it got you a certificate of appreciation... I was SF, I didn't need Medals, right - I had the school, leadership, yada yada points... but no TOE for my rank. I hit the E% board with 995 points before I went to the board - and I still needed a waiver to get to the board because there were no requisites for E4->E5 boards. After 3 years in Group, on a Team and working the B-Team (too many 11B2S/18B2 qual'd guys - notice - SQT for E-5 and generally had to take the E-6 SQT based on your slot) I was told that I was too relaxed in front of the Promo board by one of the Support BN 18 Qual E7s that didn't know me - but was used to promoting 'kids' into the next grade - cooks and clerks and truck drivers (all needed) - but having forgotten that I held 2 SF MOS's and had more time in grade than most of the kids he promoted to E5 had time in service.

Rant over - my bitch about the same era you original post covers may or may not be germane to others - but I think there are a few others that will understand my frustration (guys who went through basic with me who made E6 as I made E5 - without the qualifications I had)
I know nothing of Army, much less Army SF, but don't you think that the fact that Naval Special Warfare created their own SO rate would make it easier for SEALs to advance and solve the problem you illustrated so well? They don't have to worry about what a corpsman in the fleet is doing, they can just do their thing and be compared to other SEALs. Would this work in Army SF?
 

CDG

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Marauder06,

Thank you for the detailed response. I enjoyed reading that. Another couple questions popped up while I was reading.... Has the relationship between MARSOC and SF changed at all? Are there still hard feelings there? Lastly, who exactly are the enablers? Does that refer to all the support staff within an SF command, or specifically to the intel side of things? Thanks again for taking the time out to answer.
 

Marauder06

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I haven't been in an SF group for something like 7 years, so I'll leave it to someone else to answer the question about SF and MARSOC.

Enabler = anyone not in an 18-series (i.e. SF) position; aka "support troops."
 

TLDR20

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I don't have any hard feelings towards MARSOC, and SF dis have a hand in how they were trained. Alot of SF guys feel Let down by their CoC's, not with regards to medals and all that gay shot but with missions funding, training and other stuff. I mean this is how I feel but I am just a guy on a team who routinely gets treated like a child by my CoC while a support(s1) kid can do whatever the fuck he wants. The demise of SF is bullshit, however the slow degradation of our force due to guys who haven't been on a team since 1995 is very real.
 

Teufel

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From RVN to OIF SF have been awarded over 20 MOHs and countless other awards for valour. I, myself received 5 Purple Hearts but no other volour awards from SF. The other units that I served with awarded me with a Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars, an Air Medal but all that I received from SF was an ARCOM when I left.

SF needs to "Blow It's Own Horn More! The SEALS do it.


cookieMonster.jpg
 

Medicine-Man

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Good posts by several guys. Marauder 06, you make very valid points. I've seen how pissed off guys get by all the bullshit. But really, it's not the guys on the Teams. I'm still in Team life, and so is Crip, who I got a chance to meet in SOCMSSC. For me, because SF is the only special operations unit I've served in, it's hard for me to look big picture at other units that I have no experience with. (National level guys, etc.) In answer to the starting thread, I see no real valid point in losing SF. Period. Look what we did in Afghanistan during the first six months. Name another unit that could have accomplished that, and I'll tip my hat to you. I'm in no way talking bad about anybody else, just making a statement. From personal experience in Afghanistan, no other unit contributes like we do, as far as intel and optempo goes, as far as "regular" SOF goes. SF does have phenomenal personnel with unique capablities that I have no intention of getting into on this board, but the personnel are top notch. Very experienced NCO's with knowledge across the spectrum of warfare. Ok, said all the good stuff, now to the pain in the ass part. A Navy SEAL, who could be 20 years old and has no experience, but probably in good shape, gets paid 90,000 dollars as a bonus. AF PJ/CCT gets, at least I've heard, about the same re-up bonuses. No offense to those guys, all SOF guys are well trained and stand up guys, but they don't do what we do. As a side note, I really do like CCT guys, awesome dudes. A SFC in SF gets a 20,000 dollar bonus for doing the same, if not more work, on the ground. Total bullshit, causes guys to want to work elsewhere. Hard to get equipment, and hard to get range time due to the fact that we still compete with everyone else for the same ranges. I'm on Bragg, so it might be different elsewhere. Schools. Dont' get me started. I'm all about paying dues, nobody owes a new guy shit because he got his tab, but it shouldn't take an act of God to get schools for guys. Problem is, our OPTEMPO is so damn high, speaking from 7th Group anyway, that by the time you get done doing the damn yearly "classes" that have no point, like SAEDA, then add R3 and leave, you've got just enough time to squeek a school in before the next deployment, if a slot is available for what you want/need to do. Not to mention requals, MICONs, etc etc. Causes us, on paper, to look a little different than a guy who just gets time to go to schools because that's part of their schedule. Incidents, Jesus Christ. When the hell did getting into a fist fight become a bad thing in SOF??!! What types of guys are we supposed to be? "Hey, you guys go do your thing, action it, shoot people, jump out of planes at 20,000 feet, but don't drink and don't fight. As a matter of fact, why don't you do this brief we have to try to make you more sensitive to other people's feelings." What the F**K!? I'm not saying that we need to go out and be assholes, but I am saying that this type of job attracts aggressive personalities, and the last thing I need is for a guy with about 0 combat time telling me how I should unwind after coming home from a combat deployment. To answer follow on questions, I don't have PTSD. ;) Anyway, sorry for the vent guys, I think I'm gonna cut this post now before I go more off track. :D
 

Medicine-Man

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To add to the above post, sorry just forgot before, Team guys have been wanting some kind of A&S for support guys for, well, awhile. But, alas, SSG or SFC whoever can't start one up. Sucks sucks sucks.
 
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