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Special Forces instructor reveals ‘cesspool of toxic officers,’ lowering standards at Special Warfare Center and School: SOFREP

November 30, 2017

A Special Forces instructor from Fort Bragg recently sent a mass email titled “Careerism, Cronyism, and Malfeasance in SWCS: The End of SF Capability.”

The content of the email was provided to and published by SOFREP, which says it has in the past and continues to verify anonymous emails that are sent in. The email details the lowering standards that are plaguing the Special Warfare Center and School (SWCS).

SOFREP (Twitter)

“SWCS has devolved into a cesspool of toxic, exploitive, biased and self-serving senior Officers who are bolstered by submissive, sycophantic, and just-as-culpable enlisted leaders,” the instructor wrote in the email. “They have doggedly succeeded in two things; furthering their careers, and ensuring that Special Forces more prolific, but dangerously less capable than ever before.”

“We consistently and concretely identify dozens of graduates every year who are incapable of ever being ‘value-added’ to ODA’s yet are pushed forward to you,” the email read. “THAT NUMBER IS SET TO RISE DRAMATICALLY in the very near future.”

The unidentified instructor recognized that those who are graduating from the course are not fully competent Green Berets and that they shouldn’t expect to be when finishing the course, the author wrote. However, the instructor said the graduates lack the basic qualities necessary to become assets.

“The actions of SWCS leadership have created a new era of Special Forces that are; increasingly incapable of actualizing SOF attributes; markedly and demonstrably weaker; and quantifiably projecting measurable risk and liability onto the teammates with which they serve. Before this paradigm shift, cadre due diligence was capable of some risk mitigation in these aspects,” the email continued. “We could, did, and often still do reach back to teams and prepare them for those [inevitable] outliers that slip through the course unimpeded due to [cronyism], nepotism, or malfeasance. But the recent systematic dismissal of course standards and [continuous] violation of regulations at the Training Group and SWCS echelons makes student failure nigh impossible.”

The instructor added that the weakening standards have been set in motion by senior leadership such as, “MG Linder and COL Lock, and actualized by MG Sonntag, CSM Arrowsmith, COL Kornburger, and CSM Berkibile,” the email said.

“In the last 24 months, Commanders and/or Sergeants Major at the Group and SWCS level have systematically removed numerous fundamental SF standards, lowered and undermined the grading metrics for others, all while simultaneously ensuring that a gagged cadre population was expressly prohibited from holding students accountable for their academic, physical, and character performance,” the email read.

According to the instructor, one of the underlying issues is that the “career-focused” leaders are removed from “team life” and do not care about having subpar soldiers in a “no-fail” environment.”

When one of the cadre brought up their concerns, the email said that CSM David Gibb’s response was: “‘We push some of these issues forward [to the Regiment] because we believe that the Groups can succeed in fixing those problem graduates when they arrive. That is an amount of risk we willingly accept, because after all it’s much easier to get a tab removed at Group if he doesn’t pan out, than to risk relieving what’s basically a fully qualified student who might have been able to fix himself and become a solid Green Beret.'”

Through the use of policy implementation and action, women attempting to become Special Forces will have their standards lowered, despite a majority of people who are in favor of having female Special Forces soldiers wanting them to meet the same standards of men, according to the instructor.

“The standards will have been lowered well beforehand,” the instructor said. “All accusations of preferential treatment or double standards will fall by the wayside when these ‘standards’ set forth have already been deemed the ‘status quo’ well before their arrival.”

“The cruelty of the situation is that any woman with the fortitude to attempt this training would most definitely have wanted the standards to remain the same,” the email read. “It is reasonable to assume they would have wanted to test their metal against the historical standards and ensured they were every bit as capable as the men they aspire to serve next to.”

In the email, the instructor provided dozens of examples where leadership lowered standards in favor of careerism, blaming the cadre and favoring command.

“This is the next generation of Special Forces,” the instructor wrote. “In just a few years, most of our regiment will be a product of this foundation. We will become a brotherhood of parasites: devoid of any real character, feeding off of the achievements those before us earned, and consuming the heritage as a whole. We can cure it, but it needs to happen now. We need to take back ownership of our profession.”

You can read the entire email on SOFREP.