Once upon a time you had to be a member of one of two units in US Special Operations to be considered an operator.  Those units were SEAL Team Six and Delta Force and only those who passed selection and training were entitled to call themselves that, not support personnel or those on the periphery.

Today everyone is an Operator.

When I was in Ranger Battalion, our Sergeant Major would send out memos for us to read, with pearls of wisdom.  One of them reminded us that we were not operators, we were Rangers and should be proud of that fact.  We were not Ju-jitsu experts, marathon runners, or body builders.  We were Rangers.

I was never an operator and have never claimed to be.  I was a Ranger, and then I went on to to be a Special Forces Weapons Sergeant, so you can take that into account as you read this and decide if you think I’m full of shit or not.