It is no secret that Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has a growing shortage of operators and is experiencing an ongoing struggle to meet training quotas.

In previous articles, I have talked about the manning shortfalls within the Special Operations community and the dwindling number of people that are capable and willing to make it through a Special Operations program.

Facts are facts. The pool of people for the military to recruit from is very small. We’re not at war. There’s no draft, and the military ideally likes to pick people ages 18-25 that are fit and healthy.

This reality has made manning a real challenge for SOCOM. This week, during the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC), these issues were addressed. It appears that times are changing and new screening, selection, and training procedures may soon be put in place to help strengthen numbers within SOCOM.

Each branch has its own unique plans, theories, and ideas on how to accomplish this task.

The Air Force, for example, intends to begin using an algorithm to select candidates for its programs. This algorithm is based on 30 years of collected data.

Lt. Gen. James Slife, the Commander of Air Force Special Operations Command said, “We’re moving ourselves increasingly away from an assessment and selection program that’s based on performance and more toward one based on attributes.”

Slife went on to say, “So it’s not really as much about how quickly you can do a ruck march with a 30-pound ruck and how many pull-ups and push-ups you can do, it’s really more about the attributes you possess.”