U.S. SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND ISSUES ETHICS GUIDANCE

DozerB

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Though I understand and agree with the sentiment, one has to wonder if the "90-day focus period" and "addressing command culture" and scrutinizing "command climate surveys" and "conducting personal and direct engagement" and "pursuing additional research" will actually be anything beyond uber-briefable buzzwords.

Type A personalities need to be threatened; "if you do something stupid, I will immediately cut you orders to Administration Company, 2nd Maintenance Battalion or Bulk Fuel Platoon, 1st Field Chow Regiment. Seriously, want to try me?"
 

Devildoc

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Type A personalities need to be threatened; "if you do something stupid, I will immediately cut you orders to Administration Company, 2nd Maintenance Battalion or Bulk Fuel Platoon, 1st Field Chow Regiment. Seriously, want to try me?"
Bear with me, I have a point: I am reading a book, Special Forces Berlin: Clandestine Cold War. In it, in the early/mid-70s, culture was kinda 'meh' until this one SgtMaj showed up. He found out one of the troopers was schlepping a German chick in the barracks, he called him in, fired him, and cut orders to "a conventional unit." The soldier was enraged, he said everyone is doing it. The SgtMaj replied he didn't care; it was a double-standard, implied the rest would fall like dominos or get their house in order. You know the result? He was made an example, and they got their house in order.
 

DasBoot

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Sounds like the hammer is about to come down on all of us... gonna be hard to meet those manning requirements while we are about to be kicking out more guys then we can bring in.
 

Marauder06

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What's needed is a fundamental change to organizational ethos of several of the organizations within SOCOM. That takes a very long time to develop. We're talking generational.
 

DasBoot

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Honestly, I don't think Regiment's going to have an issue. If they do... that's an issue in and of itself.
Will we be the most affected? No. Will we still see it on our end? Yes. In terms of day to day, I feel like it will be more obvious- everything we do is so centralized and command team run that everything that is pushed down from SOCOM will be pushed on us. I’m thinking the number of article 15s is about to sky rocket, for shit that would have been a counseling or just an ass chewing a year ago. Despite the fact we probably have the fewest skeletons in our closet.
 

Ranger Psych

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Will we be the most affected? No. Will we still see it on our end? Yes. In terms of day to day, I feel like it will be more obvious- everything we do is so centralized and command team run that everything that is pushed down from SOCOM will be pushed on us. I’m thinking the number of article 15s is about to sky rocket, for shit that would have been a counseling or just an ass chewing a year ago. Despite the fact we probably have the fewest skeletons in our closet.
I disagree, as let's be honest: Any misbehavior within Regiment that would result in an article 15, is grounds for RFS. That's biggie #1, and a bigger threat than any UCMJ. I have only seen ART15's in combination with shitbags that were getting the boot already. There's no "probably" about fewer skeletons, as tbh when I was there and where we were when I was there was a prime capability for going rogue. Discipline, comraderie, honor, brotherhood... all these things combined to where we continued the righteous path with regards to hague/geneva/etc.
 

DasBoot

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I disagree, as let's be honest: Any misbehavior within Regiment that would result in an article 15, is grounds for RFS. That's biggie #1, and a bigger threat than any UCMJ. I have only seen ART15's in combination with shitbags that were getting the boot already. There's no "probably" about fewer skeletons, as tbh when I was there and where we were when I was there was a prime capability for going rogue. Discipline, comraderie, honor, brotherhood... all these things combined to where we continued the righteous path with regards to hague/geneva/etc.
I’ve seen guys get company level 15s for being dumb but not RFS worthy. Which I think is fair. As far as skeletons every unit has them though I would say we have the fewest. My main point is that we will be the ones really following any new regulations coming down and will fuck some good dudes, all because of other units behavior.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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A really close friend of mine was RFS'ed for missing car payment(s). This was pre-9/11 late 90's. According to him, getting the boot from Ranger Regiment didn't take much, during his time period.

I get what you are saying @DasBoot that they will come down harder, possibly burn a few non-issue deals to the ground to have something to send up the chain "hey we're cleaning our house too". I think @Ranger Psych is pointing out that Ranger Regiment has always maintained the standards of good order and discipline so well and at a high level, that it shouldn't even be a concern.

I am pretty sure SOCOM knows where their problem children are, and I am willing to bet this is a shot across the bow to those particular units, to get their shit together.

As @Marauder06, this is a generational issues. They didn't get there over night, and it ain't gonna be over night house cleaning. Although I would argue a strong purge would send a helluva message. Make big sacrifices for big gains... Touchy world, as you have to be able to trust your leadership not to hang you for making decisions in the moment. At the same time, how can your leadership trust your decisions, if guys are getting caught committing illegal activities.

I think the email is spot on about the trust issue, if it ain't there, all organizations become paralyzed, especially units who are tasked with sensitive operations such as SOF is...
 

Marauder06

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As a company commander (not in Regiment), I loved summarized Articles 15. Discipline is maintained, examples are made, and with a little "14 and 14," I get the rocks around the company area repainted (or whatever). Heck, you can give give the Art15 and suspend the punishment. But now with the Art15 in place there's a paper trail if the Soldier screws up again. Best of all, if there are no further issues, the summarized Art15 goes into the shredder when the Soldier leaves the unit, like it never even happened. IMO the summarized Article 15 is an underutilized tool in a commander's tool box.

Bringing my above statement back to this thread, there is a tendency in the SOF community, in which I've spent considerable time to kind of ignore any but the most grievous offenses (and sometimes even those). For one thing there is the tight-knit nature of the organizations. Then there's the "hassle" of paperwork, or looking at counselings or UCMJ as "weak leadership." But there's also the issue, often unspoken, that many of the people in these units have dirt on each other, and anyone trying to uphold the standards will get their own misconduct brought to light, or they will be ostracized as a "rat" by their brethren.

Or, if you're an SF NCO in Africa, you end up getting murdered by SEALs.

Some units hold to standards better than others. Although I was never in the Ranger Regiment, I worked with them closely on most of my tours downrange. They are the unit I most liked supporting, because they are disciplined, thorough, and standards-driven. I wrote about this a little bit in the book "Violence of Action."

At any rate, what SOF appears to need right now is not a change in "ethics," it's a change in "ethic," as in culture. That is extraordinarily hard to change. GEN McChrystal did it for JSOC (see also "Team of Team") but sometimes you have to take an organization apart and reconstruct it to rip out the bad culture and build up a new, better one.

It might be that time for certain SOF units.
 

BloodStripe

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The guidance being issued is not just being issued because of the military folks. It's a command wide initiative. One that 99% are welcoming of. To those 1%'ers who aren't, they won't be around very long.
 

LimaPanther

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Bear with me, I have a point: I am reading a book, Special Forces Berlin: Clandestine Cold War. In it, in the early/mid-70s, culture was kinda 'meh' until this one SgtMaj showed up. He found out one of the troopers was schlepping a German chick in the barracks, he called him in, fired him, and cut orders to "a conventional unit." The soldier was enraged, he said everyone is doing it. The SgtMaj replied he didn't care; it was a double-standard, implied the rest would fall like dominos or get their house in order. You know the result? He was made an example, and they got their house in order.
This sounded like my grandson. Back when he was an E4 full of piss and vinegar, he was at Bragg and had completed selection, Phase 1, and near completion of Phase 2 (Language), got caught with a female in the barracks. Let go, sent to Riley to a unit headed for Kuwait. Years later as an E6 and 2 more deployments tried to go back and told no. Guess when he got caught the word went out. Now the Army has put it to him, he just got orders for Recruiting duty.
 

Ocoka

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About fucking time.

Two decades of corrupting public adoration has created an exalted status and sense of privilege among certain elements. If things had been kept in the shadows where they belong, none of this would be necessary. And we wonder why some of these guys think they can do whatever they want.

I don't include Regiment among the "elements." Rangers have a more disciplined, traditional military structure, an accountability that seems to be lacking elsewhere in certain SOF units.

I'd also guess that a slower operational tempo may be a contributing factor to some of the problems we've been seeing in top tier units. I've seen what post-combat, post-war monotony can do to Marine rifle companies that are not kept active enough and it ain't pretty. Increase in alcohol, drug abuse, discipline problems, more mischief in general.
 
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BloodStripe

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I think the number of books about accomplishments and raising your dog/cat/child/bird/etc are just about equal across the services. Yes, the biggest whore of all is Brandon Webb, but there are many others from the Army up there as well.
 

Ocoka

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I admire his loyalty to a long-time friend...but he's falling on his sword over it.
 
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