Changes to Special Forces Training

| October 15, 2019

This doesn’t look quite like upgrades to me. It looks more like accommodation, although adapting to new target structures ahead of time is always a good idea. I’ll leave the judgment call up to those of you with more training in this area.

https://news.yahoo.com/big-changes-grueling-special-forces-125819070.html?soc_src=community&soc_trk=ma

From the article:  The changes that are beginning now have led to resentment among some Special Forces that the brass wants to make it easier to pass the qualification course as a way to boost lagging recruiting numbers and ensure that women will eventually qualify. The fear, such critics say, is that Green Berets will become weaker and “dangerously less capable than ever before.”

Army leaders insist the changes reflect the military’s need to adapt to evolving security threats from Russia, China, Iran and others foes. They say the nearly two-year course had to be shortened, so some training will be done when soldiers get to their units, where it can be tailored to the specific needs of the region. – article

The observation is that training for 2008 is inadequate for 2028. But the question is what will we be doing in 2028, and where will it take place? Did anyone expect us to be in the Middle East for as long as we’ve been there?

My thanks to Skippy for providing the link.

Category: "Your Tax Dollars At Work", Army News

Comments (69)

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  1. 5th/77th FA says:

    Anytime you lower the standards of training quality, you will lower the quality of the finished product, ie, a trained Warrior.

    Every.damn.time.

    • MI Ranger says:

      Completely agree 5th/77th FA. Changing the course to meet new requirements is one thing, but lowering the standards to increase recruitment? Why not just increase the support role? Make a “medium tab” for those who want to be Special Forces but can’t meet the Long Tab standard…spoken from the point of view of a Short Tabber who earned his when the Army decided to delete the Desert phase due to costs, saying “it is doubtful we will be fighting another war in the desert any time soon…”!
      Not that I missed out on the long walk through the desert, my unit decided we should do a few of those once I arrived!

  2. Agree with that. It seems the Mil. is lowering the standards to be PC correct. Same thing happened to the NYPD and FDNY a number of years ago, although with NYPD and FDNY, the PC culture was unknown at the time and it was done for another reason.

  3. Comm Center Rat says:

    “Women comprise 15 percent of our military forces, which in turn comprise one half of 1 percent of the American public. That creates a tendency to believe the military ought to fully reflect the individual opportunities and practices of our broader society, rather than society appreciating that the ‘sharp end of the stick’ that fights to protect us is organized along different lines.” ~ Dr. Kori Schake

    Deputy Director-General of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)

    Editor, with General Jim Mattis, of the book Warriors and Citizens: American Views of Our Military

  4. Cameron Kingsley says:

    Oh boy. Lowering standards, what could go wrong.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just ask Bowe Bergdahl, Bradley Manning…

      • Mason says:

        Speaking of the first traitor listed, Master Sergeant Mark Allen, who was shot in the head looking for that piece of trash Bergdahl, passed away this week. Ten years after taking a bullet trying to find the coward. Bergdahl deserved to be hung.

        https://taskandpurpose.com/mark-allen-dies

        • 5th/77th FA says:

          Thanks for the post Mason. This news has been making the rounds down here over the last 24 hours. HQs 48th BCT is right up the road from me, lots of Citizen Soldiers made several deployments and served very honorably, doing their duty in all things. BiL retired out of there, serving last post at 06. D was in country with MSG Allen, he and all the men serving spoke very highly of MSG Allen.

          Y’all go by the Memorial Wall on the link and leave a few words for him. Thanks for your Service MSG Mark Allen. We Salute your Service and pay Honors to your Sacrifice.

          “Bergdahl deserved to be drawn and quartered.” FIFY

          • Cameron Kingsley says:

            No. He should be flayed, then hanged, drawn, quartered and then hung out to dry. I would add scaphism but that is one execution method that makes me very uncomfortable and extremely queasy (I even found it to be worse than being hung, drawn, and quartered and that one is brutal enough).

  5. Slowest Joe says:

    I disagree.
    The Army leadership is making sure we have a diverse and multicultural force capable of living up to the expectations and social justice standards of the 21st century.

    It is fundamental that we keep the moral high ground, which continually changes with the time.

    The American people expects to have Special Forces units with a diverse membership, representing our multicultural society, with females, transgenders, gays, Muslims, polygamists, pederasts, Asians, and midgets.

    The bigoted people who does not understand the times have changed need to get out of the way of our brilliant, and socially just, future.

  6. Martinjmpr says:

    I swear you could take this article and change the date and re-submit it every couple of years.

    There’s always been a boom-and-bust cycle in terms of SF standards, recruitment and training. If there’s a war on and money is flowing freely, the complaint is not enough bodies. If there’s no war and money is tight, the complaint is too many bodies and not enough resources.

    There’s also an intangible “bragging rights” factor that everyone who’s ever served in the military should be familiar with.

    You all know what I mean – the guys who went before you always had it tougher.

    I learned a long time ago that the first person you meet whenever you complete an Army school or deployment is the one who says “Oh, you just completed [insert name of school here] huh? Yeah, that course was a sonovabitch when I went through it but I hear that’s a lot easier now.”

    Or when you come back from a deployment “Oh, you were in Afghanistan/Iraq, huh? Yeah, I hear you guys had it pretty good over there. Lemme tll you, we didn’t have any Baskin Robbins ice cream parlors or cable TV when I was ‘in the shit’ in Grenada!” 😀

    It’s a not-so-subtle form of one-upmanship that is probably as old as military service itself (“Peloponnesian wars, huh? Yeah, I heard that was a cakewalk. Now, fighting the Persians, THAT was a war!”)

    • Just Lurkin says:

      As far as deployments go everyone seems to think that the guys who were there after us had some terrible disaster with lots of KIAs “just after we left” because they “didn’t do it our way”. I always laughed, nobody seemed to want to check icasualties to see if it was true or not. They all needed to think that the other guy suffered because they weren’t as good as we were.

    • Comm Center Rat says:

      Fortunately, I avoided being ‘in the shit’ in Grenada. Just don’t seem right having our troops deprived of ice cream on a Caribbean island. Good timing occurred when I transited Bagram AF, AFG in early 2010.

      All the fast food emporiums were still up and running when I arrived until GEN McChrystal put a moratorium into effect in late March. Thankfully, that was lifted after seven months so when I transited Bagram in early 2011, coffee, ice cream, pizza, and burgers were readily available. I think GEN Petraeus rescinded the moratorium when he replaced the fired McChrystal.

      I imagine our VN vets in the TAH brotherhood are horrified by the fast food luxuries I enjoyed at the large bases in Iraq and AFG. I didn’t always deploy, but when I did I drank Green Beans Coffee – a cup of joe for a joe! LOL

      • Martinjmpr says:

        We didn’t have fast food places in Afghanistan when I was there in 2003 but I’ll defy the stereotype I posted above and admit that my time in “the ‘Stan” was a lot EASIER than the guys who came after me.

        Yes, we slept in tents while the guys after us had hard buildings. No, we didn’t have Green Beans or Chili’s. No fast food, barely a PX (just enough for soap/shampoo/razor blades and maybe a few local souveniers.)

        No smart phones, and barely any cell phones at all. Certainly not for the hoi polloi. Internet service was primitive, basically there were about 5 MWR computers that people had to share in 30-minute increments (though I was fortunate to have NIPRnet at work so I had internet access there as well.)

        But we had something so much more precious to any GI who’s ever had to deploy: We were LEFT ALONE!

        This was in early 2003 when everybody was focused in Iraq and Afghanistan just looked like a lazy backwater. General Order no. 1 was honored more in the breach than in the observance (courtesy of the German SOF unit, we had a case of beer in our tent at all times), we could go ‘outside the wire’ on “morale” trips to Kabul, etc.

        Once the war focus shifted back to Afghanistan, it became a lot more “professional” which means it became a lot more rigid, controlled, rule-bound and 100% less fun.

        I don’t know if Afghanistan was the exception to the rule or not – I suspect the early “Advisors” in Vietnam enjoyed a similar laid-back lifestyle, too.

        All I know is, from everything I’ve read about the troops who deployed to Afghanistan after about 2007, they had it a lot rougher than we did.

        • Roh-Dog says:

          “But we had something so much more precious to any GI who’s ever had to deploy: We were LEFT ALONE!”
          Amen x million! The further you get from the flagpole the better life gets, period.

        • SFC D says:

          I got to Bagram early FEB 2002. Population was about 75 people, best deployment ever!

        • MSG Eric says:

          Our FOB was far enough away no one wanted to travel to see us, but close enough that we could drive to the bigger FOB for whatever reason, not that we did more than once a month.

          I was there in 2011-2012 and it was pretty nice because we got to just do our jobs. There was some pressure to close things out and to transition districts back to Afghan control, but not too significant. I figured out about 3 months in that transition was happening no matter what we said or did, so we just drove on with our mission and didn’t worry about political BS. We also had the best chow hall in RC East, so we had very few complaints.

          We did have a few green on blue attacks happen, which started happening more often in 2012, but only had one on my FOB. A couple months after I left the Advisors rolled in and changed the mission to that effort. Not sure how that worked out in our AO though.

      • rgr769 says:

        No fast food luxuries in the Viet of the Nam during my tour. We did have the delightful desert in the bush known as the “John Wayne bar.”

  7. AW1Ed says:

    In SERE they called our dinner Floppy and Moppsie, can’t remember wabbit #3’s name. Right before they showed the class the quickest way to dispatch them.

    Evenly divided among the 30 man class, of course..

    • MustangCryppie says:

      And when they “dispatched” Flopsie, we all became “vewy, vewy kwiet.”

      It happened quickly and unexpectedly to say the least.

      • Poetrooper says:

        In CBR school we dispatched Moppsie with a tiny drop of nerve agent on the ear.

        After watching Moppsie flop and flop and flop, da widdle wabbit went uneaten…

        • Mason says:

          It’s like eating Fugu Pufferfish sushi. The little tingle on the tongue is the toxins.

          Did they seriously use some live agent on an animal in front of you guys? I was an AF chemical guy. All we got to do was watch all the videos, which were probably done by you guys. They all looked like they were made in the 60’s. Very much that “above ground nuke test” feel to the cinematography. I remember a goat and some ducks.

          We did do live agent training, but it was in a very tightly controlled environment. The building is set up like a prison, guard shacks and all pointed in to keep people from getting out with any of the VX and/or sarin.

          • rgr769 says:

            At my CBR course, they not only used “live” agent, they put a small drop of Mustard agent on my forearm. It raised a blister the size of a silver dollar and about half-an inch high. Needless to say, I still have the scar. I was coerced into being the sole student for the demo because I was wearing a Ranger tab.

    • RGR 4-78 says:

      Hold rabbit by the hind legs.

      Gently stroke it from its forehead to its back.

      When it stretches its head out, chop it with the outer edge of your hand, breaking its neck.

      Skin it, gut it, add it to the stew pot.

      Dead rabbits ain’t got no bones.
      Dead rabbits ain’t got no bones.
      Boneless rabbits.

      RGR Class 4-78, the last hard class. 🙂

      • rgr1480 says:

        I don’t remember rabbit in 14-80. BUT we did the “rabbit chop” when I went theough USAF ground survival/SERE.

        Hold Bunny Wabbit in the crook of your left arm and stroke him with the right hand; when he’s relaxed, break his neck with a knife-hand chop. Skin him starting at the anus and peel him like taking gloves off the hand. Gut and chop into tiny pieces. Use an ammo can for a pressure cooker (remove rubber seal so it doesn’t explode) add vegetables, blood (for seasoning/salt) and water then throw in a fire to stew.

        Best damn stew I ever had.

      • rgr769 says:

        They gave us a live chicken to kill and eat. After the kill and prep we boiled it in an ammo can. It tasted like it was sautéed with OD paint, likely from the inside of the can. Worst tasting chicken I ever ate.

        • AW1Ed says:

          Exactly the same method used by the SERE instructors. Actually a very humane way to dispatch the wabbits.

        • rgr1480 says:

          Yeah! Now that brings back memories: we had chicken. Right after the RI showed us how to pop the chicken head off the neck …. (it landed in the first row and those he-men scramble)!

          The stew tasted good to me; I didn’t detect any “bouquet de OD” at all.

  8. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    “Sir! Reality is biting us in the ass!”

    “Change reality.”

  9. USAF E-5 says:

    Throwing it out there again. Heinlein had it right. Service Guarantees Citizenship.

    Endlessly pisses me off to hear about “overweight people cannot get in.” I was overweight. 30lbs over my max on friday, at my max on monday a.m. weigh in, 47lbs under 8 wks later. The cure for overweight troops is regular daily exercise.

    • David says:

      30 pounds in one weekend… cough cough… I think you are proving Martinjmpr’s point.

    • Mason says:

      Agree on Heinlein. I’m in the middle of selling my house, which I got with my VA loan benefits. One of the people who put an offer in is on a state down payment assistance program. I looked into it and it is basically free money to buy a house if you’re poor. You know who else was poor? Me. So I joined up, knowing what some of those lifelong benefits are, to set myself up for a better future. Guess I didn’t have to go through all that trouble. Government just giving out money if you ask for it. I just wasn’t raised to beg.

  10. Roh-Dog says:

    Fighting means getting there which requires a whole host of skills and qualities.
    Weakness and faint-heartedness ain’t it.
    Our military must be filled with the best from the pool of citizens, and the elite tiers, a small group of individuals that earn the right to be there.
    Anything else is UNACF**KINGCEPTABLE.

  11. Skippy says:

    Here we go again
    I hope nothing real happens
    In the near future
    If so we are screwed

  12. Lets have some music played to trolling trolling over the bounding sea.

  13. Ret_25X says:

    You are all missing the true genius at work here…

    Lower the standards far enough and you can just outsource the entire mission to Booz Allen or Lockheed Martin.

    Won’t anyone think of all of those poor GO/FO types who need those big money jobs after retirement?

    LULZ….

  14. Graybeard says:

    The Five Sided Puzzle Palace is infested with large quantities of Good Idea Fairies.

    The reality of life/battle has, evidently, been absorbed in Good Idea Fairy Sparkles.

  15. Anonymous says:

    How is renewed (more) great power competition going to be less tough on SF than now?

  16. Sapper3307 says:

    So easy Snowden could have made it?

  17. rgr769 says:

    People forget what brought this thinking into policy in the Army. It was Commander -0-, who put generals in authority who would participate in his “fundamental transformation” of every institution of the federal government in this country, including the military. All the hard-core generals, many of whom were SF/Ranger types, were shown the door, one way or another. The Army was then run by his boot-lickers. Plus, most conventional generals have always hated the spec ops types, anyway. General Abrams absolutely loathed SF.

  18. IDC SARC says:

    Where I worked in the pipeline at an 18 series MOS school I watched a handful of beta cuck bitches that didn’t have the guts to gain a SOF MOS/Officer Designator team with traitorous seniors (mostly Army SF) looking for career advancement harass bona fide operator/instructors and abuse their authority over a period of years to water down the curriculum solely to increase productivity in an effort for their own advancement.

    Fuck them all even into the grave.

  19. Stacy0311 says:

    Just wondering how it’s going to work.
    “We’re going to cut back on training during the Q Course. They will be trained once the get to the teams.”
    With the ridiculous OPTEMPO, when the hell are they supposed to have time to train?
    Seems like it’s Deploy, Reset, Deploy again. Not a whole lot of time in there for 4-6 months at DLI learning Shitholestanese before the next deployment to Shitholestan.

  20. IS1FiveO says:

    I believe number three in the list is apropos here:

    SOF Truths

    Humans are more important than hardware

    Quality is better than quantity

    Special Operations Forces cannot be mass produced

    Competent Special Operations Forces cannot be created after emergencies occur

    Most special operations require non-SOF assistance