Editor’s Note: Had JFK lived, what would he have wanted to see in today’s special operations forces (SOF)? The short piece examines that question (with a little help from artificial intelligence), and we quickly learn that his “old” ideas are still very much alive in today’s SOF troops. -GDM


As I sit here in the Oval Office, memories of my own military service flood my mind. The valor and dedication I witnessed during World War II continue to inspire me, and I can’t help but ponder the state of today’s special operations forces. As a former Navy officer and the President of the United States, I feel a deep responsibility to ensure their readiness and effectiveness in the face of evolving threats.

The world has changed since my time, and the challenges confronting our nation have grown more complex. It is imperative that our special operations forces remain at the forefront of excellence, equipped to confront unconventional threats head-on. They must be adaptable, highly skilled, and committed to preserving our security in this rapidly changing environment.

Kennedy with the troops
SOFREP created this image of JFK rallying the troops.

In envisioning the future of these elite forces, I see them as the silent warriors of our nation. Operating in the shadows, their commitment and resolve must be unwavering. They must possess the capability to execute precise intelligence-gathering missions, conduct clandestine operations, and provide vital support to our conventional forces when required.

To navigate the complexities of the modern world, I believe in the power of interagency collaboration. Breaking down bureaucratic barriers and fostering unity of effort among various government agencies is essential. Our special operations forces must work seamlessly alongside our intelligence agencies, sharing critical information and leveraging their combined expertise to confront the challenges we face.

Technological advancements have the potential to revolutionize warfare. I am captivated by the possibilities that emerging technologies offer. Our special operations forces should be equipped with cutting-edge communication systems, advanced weaponry, and unmanned aerial vehicles to extend their reach and effectiveness in the field.

But as we embrace these technological advancements, we must never lose sight of our ethical responsibilities. Our special operations forces must always adhere to the highest standards of professionalism, treating all individuals with respect and upholding human rights. Their actions should reflect the values and principles upon which our great nation was built.