The first parts of this series outlined the realities of what it means to be Special Forces. If you haven’t read those two, I suggest that you start there first. Now that you have a better understanding of what Special Operations is all about, I want you to understand what keeps things operating smoothly once an SF Operator is fully trained and ready for business. It comes down to culture.

This word, culture, gets thrown around all the time. We’ve all heard it and we’ve all used it to describe characteristics of a country, state, province, town, workplace, or other geographic area or group of people. But what does it really mean? I believe culture to be the following:

“What people say and/or do when they think no one is watching.”

It’s that simple. Look around you at work. How do people act when they think no one important is watching? Do they act with professionalism or with disgrace? Do they clean up after themselves and leave things better than when they found them, or do they leave a mess for others to clean up? Do they badmouth their coworkers and superiors, or do they pump them up and focus their energy on how they can make the situation better?