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Air Force Lt. Gen. Scott A. Howell Nominated To Lead JSOC

Centermass

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#1
An Air Force general will take the helm of Joint Special Operations Command for the first time in the elite organization’s history.

Lt. Gen. Scott A. Howell has been nominated to lead JSOC, according to the Department of Defense. The position requires confirmation by the Senate.

Howell is vice commander of U.S. Special Operations Command and is based at the Pentagon, according to an Air Force biography.


He is a career helicopter pilot with numerous assignments in rescue and special operations units and experience in Iraq, Kuwait, Bosnia, Haiti, Kosovo, Mozambique, Djibouti and Afghanistan.

Howell, if confirmed, would be the 15th commander of JSOC. All but one previous commander has been an Army general.

Link

ScreenHunter_2025 May. 09 17.51.jpg
 

DA SWO

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#2
My knee jerk reaction is :thumbsdown:

But then I looked at his Bio, he did an exchange tour with the 1st Cav as a UH-1H Pilot, and also served as the Ranger Regiment Liason Officer (though I note a lack of Jump Wings).

Wonder who his sugar daddy is?
 
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Kraut783

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I've never seen a unit award with a Valor device....Not a knock on him, or the award, at all....but how would a unit award be awarded with a V device?

"As a reminder, the use of the "V" device on the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award and the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award is only authorized for the period of 11 January 1996 to 1 January 2014. (NOTE: The establishment of the Gallant Unit Citation and Meritorious Unit Award warranted the discontinuance of the "V" device being authorized for approved USAF unit awards). "
 

Marauder06

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#7
Don’t know him. He wasn’t in the unit when I was, AFAIK. I’m a little skeptical of an AF CG for this unit but I guess we will see.
 

DA SWO

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I've never seen a unit award with a Valor device....Not a knock on him, or the award, at all....but how would a unit award be awarded with a V device?

"As a reminder, the use of the "V" device on the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award and the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award is only authorized for the period of 11 January 1996 to 1 January 2014. (NOTE: The establishment of the Gallant Unit Citation and Meritorious Unit Award warranted the discontinuance of the "V" device being authorized for approved USAF unit awards). "
Combat Service. Denoted a unit receiving the award for combat ops vice a peacetime award. I have an AFOUA with V for Bosnia (or maybe Kosovo?). Operational units only had one AF award, the Army has what? 5 different unit awards, so the V was added during Vietnam as a combat designation.
 

AWP

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#12
A pilot in charge of JSOC? When's the AF putting an infantry officer in charge of a fighter wing? At least you know JSOC's risk management matrices will be on point.
 

Marauder06

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#14
I have faith in the system and unlike a lot of the J2s we had in the past, LtGen Howell actually has some legit SOF credentials. I'm willing to wait and see.

I will add, though, that in my time in the unit and all the years since, neither I nor anyone I ever worked with, including my Air Force peers, ever said "You know what we REALLY need in JSOC? An Air Force CG." My dad was in JSOC in the late 1980s and I don't remember him mentioning this as a missing piece either.
 

Ocoka

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#15
One would hope that by this time--in the sixteen years since Anaconda--some of the major kinks in anything "joint" have been identified and smoothed out. One would hope...

The paper (from 2009) that I posted in the Military History thread goes into detail about the problems with the command structure, coordination and comm between the assorted conventional, SOF, Afghan and air assets involved in the fight and offers recommendations.
 

Marauder06

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#16
One would hope that by this time--in the sixteen years since Anaconda--some of the major kinks in anything "joint" have been identified and smoothed out. One would hope...

The paper (from 2009) that I posted in the Military History thread goes into detail about the problems with the command structure, coordination and comm between the assorted conventional, SOF, Afghan and air assets involved in the fight and offers recommendations.
The problem is, in my experience "joint" is spelled "A-R-M-Y." Most of the other services don't seem too keen on supporting joint ops. In fact, the Air Force officers I worked with at JSOC said they were taking a potential career hit to jump over to the joint world--especially the joint SOF world--and the Navy didn't seem much more supportive.

JSOC is a very complicated organization that does a lot of complex things. Aviation is a huge part of it. But most of the decisive ops happen on the ground, and I think a ground commander would have a better feel for those kinds of operations. But I guess one could argue that that experience is organic to the subordinate command elements, and that the CG just needs to be someone who can manage politics, budgets, and complex organizations. So maybe Howell is the right guy.

I just find it hard to believe that will all of the Army, Navy, and Marine ground force commanders out there, that one of them wasn't equally suitable for this position.
 

Ocoka

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#17
The problem is, in my experience "joint" is spelled "A-R-M-Y." Most of the other services don't seem too keen on supporting joint ops. In fact, the Air Force officers I worked with at JSOC said they were taking a potential career hit to jump over to the joint world--especially the joint SOF world--and the Navy didn't seem much more supportive.

JSOC is a very complicated organization that does a lot of complex things. Aviation is a huge part of it. But most of the decisive ops happen on the ground, and I think a ground commander would have a better feel for those kinds of operations. But I guess one could argue that that experience is organic to the subordinate command elements, and that the CG just needs to be someone who can manage politics, budgets, and complex organizations. So maybe Howell is the right guy.

I just find it hard to believe that will all of the Army, Navy, and Marine ground force commanders out there, that one of them wasn't equally suitable for this position.

Wow. Shocked, like & agree, sir.
 

Marauder06

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#18
It took a literal act of Congress to get the services to start working together on a more meaningful level, and some of the services still don't seem to have gotten the memo. It's even worse in the SOF world, because some of the services down't want their best people getting siphoned off into the "dark side." Since there are so few senior leaders in the other services who don't have SOF experience, the records of those who do, look different than their peers in promotion boards. And more importantly, they look different than those who sit promotion boards. I imagine this is more pronounced on the support side than the ops side but I could be wrong.

Goldwater–Nichols Act - Wikipedia
 

DA SWO

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#19
The problem is, in my experience "joint" is spelled "A-R-M-Y." Most of the other services don't seem too keen on supporting joint ops. In fact, the Air Force officers I worked with at JSOC said they were taking a potential career hit to jump over to the joint world--especially the joint SOF world--and the Navy didn't seem much more supportive.
Merrill McPeek is largely responsible for this.

The AF use to have an overwhelming number of Officers in Joint Billets, derisively called the blue wave, McPeek cut those slots as part of the Clinton draw down insisting that the AF not provide more than 25% (IIRC) of the manning. The Army (and Navy to some extent) filled the void.

The AF also seems to have developed a career track where certain types of assignments are for the A-Team, and everyone else gets pushed into the remaining slots.

JSOC is a very complicated organization that does a lot of complex things. Aviation is a huge part of it. But most of the decisive ops happen on the ground, and I think a ground commander would have a better feel for those kinds of operations. But I guess one could argue that that experience is organic to the subordinate command elements, and that the CG just needs to be someone who can manage politics, budgets, and complex organizations. So maybe Howell is the right guy.
I agree that a ground force commander may be better. This could also be a way to shake up "group think" by bringing a semi-outsider in (or he needs the assignment so he can be a future AFSOC Commander, which ties into my Sugar Daddy comment). We also don't know what they see as emerging/future threats.

I just find it hard to believe that will all of the Army, Navy, and Marine ground force commanders out there, that one of them wasn't equally suitable for this position.
Has MARSOC matured to the point of providing a Senior Leader with a lot of SOF experience? LTC/COL billets maybe, but I would question a SOF GO appointment (you could argue that STO/CRO could fill a GO Billet at JSOC based on their ground/air experience).
 

Devildoc

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#20
One would hope that by this time--in the sixteen years since Anaconda--some of the major kinks in anything "joint" have been identified and smoothed out. One would hope...

The paper (from 2009) that I posted in the Military History thread goes into detail about the problems with the command structure, coordination and comm between the assorted conventional, SOF, Afghan and air assets involved in the fight and offers recommendations.
WWI, WWII, Korea, VN, Eagle Claw, Grenada, Panama, DS/DS, AStan, Iraq....hmmmmm.....nope, not smoothed out....