The fifth annual Global SOF Symposium – US will bring together the Special Operations Forces (SOF) focused community in a collaborative and educational environment. This fifth iteration offers exciting new opportunities, including professional development workshops, business growth education, and a convenient new venue. Read on for details.
Our first-ever Pro Dev Day
March 5th marks the first time the GSF is hosting a Professional Development Day (#ProDev).
There will be five concurrent sessions covering a broad range of topics to appeal to all of our attendees. All of these sessions are free with a full Symposium registration, so you’re basically leaving money on the table if you don’t participate! Participants who can’t attend the whole Symposium may also purchase a single-day pass to Pro Dev Day, as well.
The only full-day session is the SOF for Life Transition Seminar, which will be hosted this year by the COMMIT Foundation. COMMIT is a non-profit helping “America’s top tier servicemembers and veterans find personal and professional purpose after military service” and we’re excited to have them on board! This session is specifically targeted toward Active Duty Military who are separating from service or have separated from service within two years.
There are also four half-day sessions that start in the afternoon. These are:
- The Changing Cybersecurity Workforce will be hosted by our academica partner, Norwich University
- Project Management Professional (PMP) Test Overview will also be hosted by Norwich, and cover key points about this valuable certification in the civilian workforce
- Innovation through Inclusive Leadership will be taught by PROMOTE, a non-profit that develops “innovative national security leaders and organizations that leverage inclusive cultures and cognitive diversity”
- DoD Acquisition Primer is a great session for anyone new to the world of defense acquisition, and will be taught by Mr. Chris Paddock, an Instructor at the Defense Acquisition University
Everyone who attends these sessions is invited to the Waterfront Welcome Reception, which will take place at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay’s beautiful Oystercatchers’ waterfront restaurant– a great networking opportunity… and a great place for a beautiful Tampa sunset!
Presentations on Simulation, Communications, SOF Training, and more
We work very hard to make sure our agenda features a variety of topics, and we definitely achieved that this year.
We have five confirmed Keynote Speakers–with more to come–including:
- Mr. Emerson T. Brooking, Author, LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media
- Dr. Lisa Costa, the Director of Communications Systems and Chief Information Officer (better known as the J6 Directorate) for USSOCOM
- Major General Maria Gervais, Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center – Training
- The Honorable Jim Locher, Former Assistant Secretary for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, U.S. Department of Defense
- Mr. James F. McDonnell, Assistant Secretary, Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
The Honorable Jim Locher will also be receiving the GSF’s Lifetime Achievement Award on March 6th during the Symposium General Session, and Mr. Brooking will be signing copies of his book, LikeWar, during that evening’s networking reception.
We’ll hit even more topics with the panel discussions, which will cover:
- Innovation in Modeling, Simulation, and Training
- The Operator’s Kit: Equipping the Operator
- SOF Training Standards for Multinational Operations
- The Nexus of Law Enforcement in Modern Warfare
The subject matter experts from across the defense spectrum are sure to make these extra informative and educational.
SOF Slams are some of our favorite sessions–while they are equally informative and educational, they are presented more like dynamic “TED Talks.” We’re especially excited about this year’s #SOFslams, which include: Why Reinvent the Wheel, Megacities and Urban Warfare, and Human Performance.
We don’t want to brag, but with this agenda we’re pretty sure we’ve got something for everyone!
Purple Monkeys, Blackbirds, and Rum–Oh my!
Another exciting addition to this year’s Symposium is a special “Strategy for Success” session on the evening of March 7th. This session, which is free to all Symposium attendees, starts with a one-hour seminar from Josh Tolley of Purple Monkey Garage–an organization that helps businesses reach their full potential.
The seminar will be followed by a fun networking reception that will feature rum-tasting with a growing brand in the rum industry–Kavana Rum. There will also be some high quality cigars to celebrate the Symposium, and live music from local Southern Rock band: Blackbird Anthem.
We’re expecting it to be an awesome way to close out the Symposium–book your travel accordingly so you don’t miss it!
Speaking of Travel Plans…
All of the Symposium events will take place at The Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay for the first time in its five years. Conveniently located near Tampa’s international airport, this waterfront venue provides ample opportunity to conduct business, build relationships, and learn–all while enjoying Florida’s beautiful spring season.
If you can, we strongly encourage you to make a week of it! Come for the Symposium and stay for the weekend. Here’s just a few of the cool things going on…
- 2019 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, March 8-10: Watch cars race through the streets of St. Petersburg, FL, in this unique 3-day event.
- 2019 Gasparila Music Festival, March 9-10: Tampa’s famed Gasparilla Pirate Season includes a music festival; this year’s features bands like The Avett Brotthers
- 007 Casino Royale Night hosted by the Tampa Chapter of the Special Forces Association, March 9: This event will raise money for a Tampa Team House that will benefit Veterans and the local community–a fun night for a worthy cause
Don’t miss this rare opportunity to join the global SOF community in Tampa, Fl., from March 5-7 2019 (and beyond!). Register today.