• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Thoughts on General Kurt Sonntags email

amlove21

Pararescue
Administrator
Joined
Dec 29, 2008
Messages
3,415
Location
The Duke City
#2
These issues are constantly on the forefront of every schoolhouse and training program in the military- not just SOF. For SOF, yes, the volume gets turned up on a lot of these because they're wrapped up in the Id and Ego of those that work there. Maintaining standards, personal accountability, adherence to a proud tradition of training and training the right way- these aren't just things we say in mission statements they're tenets and pillars of every SOF culture and something the individuals in that culture personally identify with. For a lot, those things are the very reasons why you signed up in the first place.

I want to point out that none of the claims made in the anonymous email have been substantiated. A lot of us on the board here have friends that work at the school, friends that just graduated, etc., and at least for me a couple of the reactions have been mixed. Like with everything else, "truth" lies on the midline of a lot of differing accounts.

In the end, decisions can get made at the command level that the Instructor staff feels are wrong. Instructors are typically very motivated and doing the instructor gig because they care deeply about the community and want to make it better. Sometimes, command can make a call that the instructors don't agree with and those deeply bought in Alpha type dudes see it as a personal affront, or an affront to the community or history or the standards or whatever. And neither side is technically wrong; and neither side is technically right, either.

ETA- Spelling, cause I haz the dum
 
Last edited:

TLDR20

SF Medical Sergeant
Verified SOF
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
5,817
Location
DMV
#3
I worked a contract yesterday with a few current SWCS instructors both green side and contractors. What I was told was that it was 95+% true. Particularly scorn was thrown on the nepotism amongst officers. The physical gates part was a relatively new addition, so the removal of gates seems like a red herring to me. Something added on 2012/3 and removed in 2017 doesn’t seem like a big deal to me.
 

Teufel

Force Recon
Verified SOF
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Messages
3,765
Location
Tun Tavern
#4
I know that everyone reads the SOF truths but sometimes commanders have a fuzzy recollection of them when they are trapped inside the gap that often exists between graduation rates and manpower requirements. Especially when they usually evaluated against tangible factors like throughput goals.
 
Last edited:

amlove21

Pararescue
Administrator
Joined
Dec 29, 2008
Messages
3,415
Location
The Duke City
#5
I know that everyone reads the SOF truths but sometimes commanders have a fuzzy recollection of them when they are trapped inside the gap that often exists between graduation rates and manpower requirements. Especially when they usually evaluated against tangible factors like throughput goals.
This.

Now, imagine if you will, that the commanders we are speaking of are not actually beret wearing special operators. Imagine, instead, that those commanders might not even know those SOF truths, and are only concerned with student throughput.

Not to derail the thread, but that's my life.
 

Raksasa Kotor

AFSOF
Verified SOF
Joined
Jun 3, 2013
Messages
338
#6
This.

Now, imagine if you will, that the commanders we are speaking of are not actually beret wearing special operators. Imagine, instead, that those commanders might not even know those SOF truths, and are only concerned with student throughput.

Not to derail the thread, but that's my life.
We're dealing with a similar issue. Our MQC was completely shut down a few years ago when a previous AFSOC CC tried to divest our capability. When he retired, we were directed to switch back to our primary mission set - but there was no operational pause. MQC was turned back on nearly overnight, but severely curtailed in the interest of throughput. Assessment and selection was non-existent at first, and primarily administrative later. We've since managed to shuffle most of the folks hired during that period off to other assignments, but we're still feeling ripple effects.

The unit owns A&S, and it has since been completely overhauled into something appropriate. MQC however, is owned by another organization (that also runs courses for other mission sets) - and continues to be a slow fight.
 

amlove21

Pararescue
Administrator
Joined
Dec 29, 2008
Messages
3,415
Location
The Duke City
#7
We're dealing with a similar issue. Our MQC was completely shut down a few years ago when a previous AFSOC CC tried to divest our capability. When he retired, we were directed to switch back to our primary mission set - but there was no operational pause. MQC was turned back on nearly overnight, but severely curtailed in the interest of throughput. Assessment and selection was non-existent at first, and primarily administrative later. We've since managed to shuffle most of the folks hired during that period off to other assignments, but we're still feeling ripple effects.

The unit owns A&S, and it has since been completely overhauled into something appropriate. MQC however, is owned by another organization (that also runs courses for other mission sets) - and continues to be a slow fight.
Frustrating, isn't it?

I feel the pain of the SWCS instructors "trying to do the right thing" and having a difference of opinion (not to disparage what @TLDR20 said about how endemic the problem is) with their command. If there is some goodness to be had, it's at least you all learn together and you can all make your culture better.

But it's even worse when you have instructors pounding a table saying "THIS ISN'T THE WAY WE DO THINGS!!!" and having those decisions flow from people that have literally zero experience.
 

DA SWO

SOWT
Verified SOF
Joined
Aug 18, 2007
Messages
8,468
Location
San Antonio Texas
#8
We're dealing with a similar issue. Our MQC was completely shut down a few years ago when a previous AFSOC CC tried to divest our capability. When he retired, we were directed to switch back to our primary mission set - but there was no operational pause. MQC was turned back on nearly overnight, but severely curtailed in the interest of throughput. Assessment and selection was non-existent at first, and primarily administrative later. We've since managed to shuffle most of the folks hired during that period off to other assignments, but we're still feeling ripple effects.

The unit owns A&S, and it has since been completely overhauled into something appropriate. MQC however, is owned by another organization (that also runs courses for other mission sets) - and continues to be a slow fight.
Frustrating, isn't it?

STTS?

I feel the pain of the SWCS instructors "trying to do the right thing" and having a difference of opinion (not to disparage what @TLDR20 said about how endemic the problem is) with their command. If there is some goodness to be had, it's at least you all learn together and you can all make your culture better.

But it's even worse when you have instructors pounding a table saying "THIS ISN'T THE WAY WE DO THINGS!!!" and having those decisions flow from people that have literally zero experience.
2 AF?
 

x SF med

the Troll
Moderator
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
10,405
Location
Not far from the south of Canada, 'Murica!
#11
With the current situation, I fully understand the reasoning behind the need for the "Quiet Professionalism" desired by SOF before the GWOT. The lack of general knowledge about the SOF and SMU units was a from of defense against the usurpation of training and standards by a politicized leadership. the lack of large scale media exposure (for the most part) was a from of camouflage from the public. From the 1950s to late 1990s very few non military people were even aware of the SOF units and their capabilities. Political leaders brought the media attention to these units in order to advance their careers, and since the media was involved, these units became a target for scrutiny by the uninitiated... a recipe for disaster. As the media circus grew rings, 'leaders' caved, instead of saying GTFO of my AO. Instead they said "Come and see the dogs and ponies, they're trained."

It spirals down from there...

Just my .02