The Special Operations community is always under the spotlight even though they themselves would rather remain in the shadows as the “Quiet Professionals” but because of their nature, the public and the government are fascinated by them.
As a result, too many times, people in government with no operational experience, nor any idea what it takes to operate in a Special Operations environment, read up a bit and become instant experts. They then try to get involved with the training and assessment with Special Operations troops. This usually doesn’t end well.
Recently there was a story out of the UK that some in the government wanted to abolish the reserve SAS regiments, the 21st and 23rd as their training standards were different from the active component (22nd SAS) and that their role was ill-defined. Two candidates died of heat-related injuries on a ruck march in the Brecon Beacons. Don’t think for a minute that this wasn’t a talking point in Washington also. One thing in the favor of the US is that all training for SOF units be it, active or reserve component is done to the same standard in the same schools.
This week a report was issued that the Special Operations Forces (SOF) “The Role of Special Operations Forces in Global Competition,” where the focus of the SOF should be in preparing for the next conflict rather than just fighting in the current ones on-going. In it, the SOF community may have to be expanded to meet future requirements.