The officer, who commanded the Delta Force raid that killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, is now in charge of all Green Berets.
Last month, Major General John Brennan replaced Major General E. John Deedrick Jr at the helm of the 1st Special Forces Command.
The 1st Special Forces Command oversees the seven Active Duty Special Forces Groups (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 10th), two National Guard Special Forces Groups (19th and 20th), two Psychological Operations Groups (4th and 8th), one Civil Affairs Brigade (95th), and one Sustainment Brigade (528th). The Command is comprised of approximately 22,000 operators, enablers and support personnel.
SOFREP has learned that Major Gen. “Bam-Bam” Brennan is an operator of great reputation and “a hell of a warfighter,” according to a JSOC source.
A former commander of the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Major Gen. Brennan is a Whiskey 9, meaning that he has completed both the Military Free Fall and Combat Diver schools. During his time in Delta, among other assignments, he commanded B Squadron.
Major Gen. Brennan’s stint as the deputy commander of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) was short-lived. He was selected to serve as the JSOC deputy commander only in June. The shortness of his time in JSOC, however, doesn’t mean he didn’t perform well — he was, after all, selected to command a national-level operation. His promotion and assignment to the 1st Special Forces Command is intended to revitalize the battered morale of the Command, which has been plagued by drama and bad publicity.
The Sonntag letter (also known as the Night Letter), which was sent by a Special Forces instructor to SOFREP back in 2017, described how Special Forces leadership was lowering the selection and assessment standards in an attempt to shepherd more candidates through the training. The letter portrayed a clear interference with the future operational effectiveness of the Special Forces Groups for political gains.
Major General Kurt Sonntag, commanding officer of the JFK Special Warfare Center and School (SWCS) at the time of the letter, retaliated against the instructors behind the Night Letter. He ended the careers of many in his hunt for revenge — he even offered a one-to-one fight with the author(s) of the letter.
To become a Special Forces operator, a Soldier must pass the Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) and Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) courses. The almost two-year-long process was recently shortened.
Major General Brennan, thus, has much to do: revitalize morale, address concerns over lowered standards and prepare his soldiers for the ongoing shift from counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations to near-peer threats.