Our team at the Foundation is working steadfastly to push our mission to support and empower the global SOF community. We’ve always worked from home, but usually we’re traveling frequently and gathering our community–two things we can’t do right now.
However, we’ve adapted and found ways of staying true to our 2020 Areas of Focus, which are:
- Educate Stakeholders;
- Share SOF Stories;
- Engage Virtually;
- Support SOF Transition; and
- Strengthen the Network.
Here’s more information on what we’ve been up to and how it’s supporting our mission(s)!
The 5 Areas of Focus
1) EDUCATE STAKEHOLDERS: We’ve been incredibly busy on this front. Our final pre-COVID hurrah in February was to hold a SOF Imperatives Forum at which we unveiled our 2020 Imperatives for SOF.
Since that event, we’ve written nearly 10 relevant op-eds, held over 40 engagements with Congressional Staffers, and written letters directly to Members of Congress on key issues like Armed Overwatch and the elevation of ASD SO/LIC.
Learn more about these activities on our SOF Imperatives website.
2) SHARE SOF STORIES: Retelling events of the past is not only entertaining, but it’s also educational. Many mistakes repeat, and we find that sharing SOF history helps the current community learn and grow from past successes and failures.
Since mid-March, we’ve released 8 “SOF Stories from Quarantine” videos and 8 new episodes of our SOFspot podcast–they cover topics ranging from Operation EAGLE CLAW to Plan Colombia.
We have more coming–so stay tuned to our social media and subscribe to our podcast so you don’t miss anything!
3) ENGAGE VIRTUALLY: Even the least tech-savvy members of our team are borderline video call champions at this point! We can switch mic inputs, change our backgrounds, and we even mastered a few different platforms to find our perfect match.
Via Microsoft Teams, we’ve been conducting a variety of virtual engagements, including our Weekly Brown Bags. These 30 minute lunch-time sessions are only for our Corporate Partners and Advisors, and they feature SMEs who talk about everything from China to Security Cooperation to AFWERX.
We’re also hosting monthly “Corporate Partner Spotlights” for our Members and Partners. The first will happen on 9 JUL and feature 5 companies that provide IT Services. Future sessions will hit topics like Targeting and Intel, Simulation and Training, and Cyber Capabilities. Invites will be sent to our Members and Partners…so watch your inbox!
4) SUPPORT SOF TRANSITION: One of our most important programs is SOF for Life, which we run with AAFMAA Wealth Management and The Honor Foundation. It’s focused on helping SOF and SOF enablers as they transition from Active Duty service to civilian employment.
Three highlights from this Area of Focus since March include:
- 3 x Virtual SOF for Life Transition Seminars: The Honor Foundation hosted three 4-hour virtual seminars to give attendees a taste of what their full virtual transition course offers.
- Revival of the SOF for Life Job Board: We’ve brought back the SOF for Life Job Board, which allows our Corporate Partners to share open positions with our network and help them find meaningful careers.
- SOF for Life Working Group: We have some other ~ideas~ in the works to make our program even more robust… starting with a small SOF for Life Working Group. We’re excited to convene recently transitioned SOF operators from across the services and share our findings.
5) STRENGTHEN THE NETWORK: We think that all of these other areas contribute to this one. We are nothing without our people, and we’re honored to have a record high number of individual members.
During our Membership May campaign alone we gained 77 new members, many of which were Lifetime and Active Duty Members. This is awesome growth, and we hope to see our community continue to grow.
Rick on the Road
Large-scale in-person events have traditionally been a big part of our annual schedule, and we continue to push toward our two Fall Symposiums: GSOF Europe in Warsaw in October and Modern Warfare Week in North Carolina in November.
We have contingency plans in place in the event that either of these events need to be postponed, but in the meantime we have our foot on the pedal!
Literally…. Rick had his foot on the pedal last week as he made the drive from Tampa to Ft. Bragg to do some Modern Warfare Week Prep. Here’s what he had to say:
Last week I met with Kevin Stenstrom, Nick Cignarale, and Earl Kline from Deployed Resources at their “Yard” in Fayetteville, North Carolina. They have world class portable structures that can rapidly respond to everything from a natural disaster to a military deployment. They can create a climate controlled city or a base camp within hours, complete with office spaces, showers, toilets, kitchens, sleeping quarters and dining facilities. All with portable power sources and lighting! They even have laundry facilities and a gym!
They are a very professional team and we’re fortunate to have them as a GSF Small Business Partner!
Deployed Resources will support the USASOC Modern Warfare Symposium and Demo Days Live Fire, 17 through 20 November 2020 at Fort Bragg and The Range Complex, respectively.
Getting some R&R
We’re cognizant of the emotional and mental stress that the pandemic is causing on people across the globe, so many of us have taken the time to de-stress…whether on a hike or in the pool!
R&R = Ranger Rick!
Our COO Meaghan Keeler-Pettigrew brought her kiddos (and her Director of Marketing) to visit Ranger Rick Lamb at his “home base” in Lutz, FL. There Rick conducted an Orienteering 101 Course that involved a stop to feed the horses, land nav, hammocks, and some classic MREs.
R&R = Ramble & Reppin’
Chelsea climbed a mountain in Colorado just so she could take this photo with a Global SOF Adventure Flag by Conundrum Hot Springs!
R&R = Ready to Rock
Some of us who have been with the Foundation the longest were in need of new headshots…the job has apparently aged us rapidly! 😉
By this behind-the-scenes shot of Stu’s photo, you can tell that we’re always ready to get some work done and feel good while we’re doing it!
Thanks to all of you for your support and please reach out to our team if you need anything at all…