Discussion in 'Special Operations Discussion' started by Marauder06, Apr 9, 2012.
SFSIET = Special Forces? I meant the whole acronym.
SF SIGINT (or Shortbus, Spacecadet, or my favorite "Seriously?" ) Initial Entry Training
The intent is to standardize training and reduce the burden of OJT when the soldier arrives at the MI Detachment.
This wouldn't go for all guys. As a prior service guy trying to go SF in the NG, I don't go to SOPC, I do all my pre-SFAS stuff with the unit I am trying to get into. What would you recommend for that type of scenario? Or is the small percentage that would apply to make it not really worth it?
If you don't need SOPC, you don't need it. But for the guys who do (initial entry with no prior military experience), it will consolidate two prep courses into one. Whether you wear a green hat or tan hat, gettin' smoked is gettin' smoked! same goes for land nav and other basic tasks covered to increase chances of succes. If you aren't an IET soldier and are coming from a different branch or another unit in the army, then you probably don't need to do it. That being said, I think it should be available if the soldier feels he needs it. For example, that high speed Sergeant from the 18th Airborne Corps' LRS that is going to SFAS probably doesn't need it, but the E-4 cook from the 3rd ID could maybe use a little refresher and do the course for his own benefit.
Do you think ego would become an issue if left up to the individual to decide if they "need" it or not?
I don't think it will matter. It would be mandatory for IET soldiers (like it is right now for 18x'ers), and open to PS guys if they wanted it. Every guy trying out at SFAS or RASP knows where they stand, and if they let there "ego" get in the way, than I guess they can live with there ego back at whatever unit they came from.
Obviously I am not an SF assessor. That being said, what I have gleaned from reading books and posts by the SF guys here is that the kind of guy who lets ego get in the way of a decision like that may not be the kind of guy SF is looking for. There was a story related in "The Company They Keep" about an ODA that took some Marine MPs out on an overnight training mission. Several of the Marines forgot, or chose not to bring, snivel gear and it got pretty cold the night they spent out in the woods. One of the SF cadre also had forgotten his snivel gear. Same mistake, but the disparity in how it was handled by each group was telling. The Marines turned it into a dick-measuring contest by basically bragging about how cold they were. The SF soldier admitted it was a stupid mistake and that he hadn't been comfortable. The maturity needed to be able to admit a mistake and recognize that doing things the hard way unnecessarily is not something to brag about seems to be a trait many SF soldiers possess.
I foresee many difficult times ahead for USSOCOM. Relative to Civil Affairs many changes have occurred since the separation of Civil Affairs funding was taken by the Big Army. Most of Civil Affairs is reserve. In fact the most experienced mature and qualified personnel in civil affairs in my opinion are within the reserve ranks. The active duty personnel are military personnel with a focus on military endeavors. Generally younger people with a greater focus on the military culture and still in the indoctrination phase make up the active duty personnel. The 96th CA was initially intended for short duration high impact with short sustainability. Then the Army increased the size of Civil Affairs within the active component. They the active portion were designed to be relieved by the reserve component which focuses on long term, sustainable and in-depth infrastructural development. Judicial, rule of law, courts, jails, water supplies, schools and many other things. Hence here professionals are needed with real life experiences that the Army frankly is incapable of instructing and providing the expertise. Most if not all of my NCOs and officers were college educated spoke several languages and were professionals. Many possess Masters degrees and at a least Bachelors even enlisted. Engineers, Doctors, Law Enforcement and Lawyers host of others. You cannot take a high school kid put him through some selection and whalla to compare with the reserve component. Now due to the size of USCAPOC competition for missions is increasing and money is short. The active component is still small by comparison however they are seizing the missions and the reserve components are being cut from missions we routinely conducted just 5 years ago. As the mission in GWOT expanded the active duty component increased in the last 3 1/2 years which is assuming more of the missions and money. We were very busy even before the war and now it will be a very different story. Still large share goes to the reserve due to the size of the mission and taskers for professionals. As an example JCETs even for CA forces are being cut from the reserves and filled with the active duty folks. This is due in my opinion to the size of active CA now.
Comparatively when you look at the Rangers in the beginning of this they were under-tasked and had little to no work. Of course relative to what they were designed for and intended. They are now the go to guys for DA from my understanding from folks down range. Pretty much the same for NAVSPECWAR and the MARSOC units. That has all changed now these guys are very busy. But they are also doing some FID/UW, HA and other things besides DA. (My knowledge of recent devleopments is from friends with some of these units in theater.)
The SF guys when this began were the go to guys. They are more and more being tasked with more CA like missions. Which from what I'm told no one is happy about. I have even been told that the NAVSPECWAR guys are having to glad hand and build stuff now. Which is a whole other nut roll.
Point is; when this ends there is going to be some big changes in the mind-set and mission tasking. There will be fewer missions of any kind and many are now or feel qualified to do everything. The competition, money and taskers will be stretched. If the command fails to set responsibities. The result will be units under utilized and losing the pool of experts from all disciplines within SOCCOM. As a side note I believe that Commander McRavin has set the chess board for money, future operations and the security of his boys. He saw this coming and has prepared the battle space before the fight is waged. I think he has been brilliant in securing Naval Spec War for the future.
The real question is does the Army possess the forethought and will to prepare and transition smoothly back to a peacetime foot print, I don't think so! There is going to be allot "guns for hire" unemployed, under-used and de-motivated personnel opening gun schools and contracting very soon...
SOCCOM needs to get ahead of the curve and make a full effort to prepare.
The 403rd CA is one of the units I am responsible for up here, and I have been nothing but impressed every time I have dropped in. I have not had the highest opinion of other reserve units I have dealt with, but the 403rd is at or above the standard I see from regular army units. The CSM is the Syracuse PD's police chief, and that really speaks to the kind of experience you are talking about that can be found in the CA reserve units.
CA on the reserve side is a very refreshing and humbling group in general. There are some really amazing people in CA. Of course there are idiots everywhere representing everyone. However I loved my job in the Army and is was a fantastic experience. People really don't understand the inner workings of this MOS and make allot of assumptions. Even some of the people in CA are in it for the wrong reasons. I had young guys and others that wanted to be shoot em up action guys. At times there's a disconnect in the mind-set. That's what worries me about the Active CA having a greater role and taking so many missions. I know it sounds strange to the active duty guys but the real skills in CA my opinion are in the reserve not the active duty. The Army in general and SOCCOM recognizes that as well. Everyone I know is holding their breath to see what the future brings. The fact is they have over staffed active CA. Also Missions and skill-sets are being tossed around at will and up in the air. Where they land is anybodies guess. I have even heard rumor that the Marines will have a leading role in the future SPECOPs.
The thing I remember most about the CA guys at the SOTF was the hippy civilians who wanted to feed and clothe Afghanistan as a whole- I don't even think their CA counterparts liked them.
speaking of changing mission sets, I am obviously very curious to the future of the 75th. It seems as though everyone in SOCOM has hopped on the FID bandwagon because they recognize that that is more than likely going to be the mission of choice over the next decade. The 75th being the one exception to this. Now, I have heard that there are some platoons that have been taken off of the DA target sets to strictly train the afghans, but I don't see the 75th as a whole embracing this. I of course could be wrong on that assumption.
If I were king for a day I'd chop platoons from the 75th out to ODB's or maybe a company to a JSOTF as a QRF/ exploitation type element. The Rangers may hate it, but they'd probably rather be in country with the chance for something to do rather than back in garrison. Even with FID becoming the "new" COIN there's no reason to keep the 75th out of the picture, even if it isn't as active as they are used to.
There aren't enough Commandos to go around, as they are a SOTF level asset. One squad per ODA, or even a squad+ per ODB would be awesome.
I guarantee you ODAs would raise MUCH more hell if they had more than 12 competent dudes to count on. The uplift scraps (1 ID tankers, etc) don't really cut the mustard, especially when you only get a handful of them. I would rather take 5 ALP with me than 5 tankers.
An ODA can be a good mortar team, a couple good machine gun teams, a good infantry squad, a couple good sniper teams, or a couple good infantry fighting vehicles... But it can only be one of those things at a time, and sometimes, a lot of times, you need more than that.
Thank you for the perspective. I was thinking along the lines of the old Hatchet Teams or Mike Force. I think the concept is a viable one even if it needs some tweaking like you described. The bottom line is that the 75th shouldn't have to sit out anything as long as a two-way range is active even if the elements involved are small.
I like the concept, but isn't that what CIF is supposed to be/do?
As far as Rangers liking it or not liking it, as long as it kept them busy guys would grumble but ultimately prefer it over garrison. There will always be grumblings... I remember when doing call outs was the hot new thing in Iraq and you'd think every Ranger got a swift kick to the nuts the way most guys reacted (including me). Turned out it wasn't THAT bad.
I'm not there, not a Ranger nor do I have direct knowledge of current operations relative to the Rangers. Other than hearing from several pissed off friends with SF who have to meet and greet instead of hunting. However as of the next rotation my Nephew is deploying to train ANA and the National Guard still as is common knowledge (open source / no OPSEC concerns) training them. Now that is relative to the ANA not the ASF. Which is unchanged from 2005 to the best of my knowledge.
CIF works for the theater commands though I think currently they are still doing rotations. As for giving Rangers to ODAs, guys would probably have to be treated as part of the team. The moment you start treating them like bitches to be sent off to pull security on some sheep herders while you be superstars, you'll probably lose support from the higher ups in the 75th. Working with ODAs would be pretty cool if done right IMO.