People have many ways to show that they care on Valentine’s Day, and we at the Global SOF Foundation are no exception!
This year we’re making February 14th the day that we unveil our 2022 SOF Imperatives Document!
Sure, it’s no bubble bath, massage, or fancy dinner, but it highlights key issues that are impacting our Special Operations Forces and what we think needs to happen to resolve them.
As an educational and professional association for SOF, this is our way of showing our love for our amazing community…
The Roundtable Launch
Last week, on 9 FEB 2022, we hosted an exclusive virtual SOF Imperatives Roundtable to officially launch the latest Imperatives document and discuss many of the issues highlighted within.
As one attending Brigadier General said, “This was a very good event with high-level speakers; and it was short and snappy…”
That’s the kind of reviews we’re here for, especially for a virtual event! The Brigadier was one of about 50 attendees of this invite-only session, which included Active Duty Military and Government along with representatives from our Corporate Partner Companies.
We also had an excellent list of speakers for this Roundtable, including:
- Congressman Scott Peters, who provided Keynote Remarks
- Sen. Marco Rubio, who provided Keynote Remarks via pre-recorded video
- Hon. Chris Maier, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations / Low – Intensity Conflict, who provided Keynote Remarks and participated in an extensive Q&A with the audience
We also heard from Global SOF President Stu Bradin, Navigators Global President Phil Anderson, and we had an excellent moderator in Mr. Gordon Lawson, representing NetAbstraction.
Now onto the actual document itself…
2022 Imperatives for SOF
As with previous editions, the document is organized by topic and focuses on issues that members of our community told us were critical via surveys and conversations.
BLUF: The Bottom-Line-Up-Front, or the BLUF, of the document is that SOF still needs to be a priority for the U.S. and its Partner Nations. There is a perception that without the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that SOF is less essential, but nothing could be further from the truth.
“The core activities executed by U.S. SOF must be strengthened with sufficient resourcing and investment. We cannot allow SOF capabilities to wither, lest we be caught unprepared by our adversaries at an inopportune time.”
STRATEGIC: Section 1 of the document focuses on overarching strategies in different Areas of Responsibility across the globe. Yes, deterrence is important in the Indo-Pacific region, but we must go further than that to stay ahead of our near-peer adversaries.
Areas that we particularly recommend focusing on are Irregular Warfare, employment of a diverse force, a SOF-specific career progression system, and support of operational requirements in the Middle East and Central Asian regions.
IRREGULAR WARFARE: It’s a phrase we hear often, but it’s not something we can let become a vague and inactionable buzzword.
“Congress authorized the Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI) but failed to appropriate funding. PDI should be fully funded, to include support for irregular warfare capabilities and the development of Partner Nation SOF.”
Additionally, the document implores the DoD to direct all Geographic Combatant Commands (GCCs) to develop umbrella operations to cover all aspects of irregular warfare in their theater to ensure mission success.
FORCE STRUCTURE: Despite the highly publicized “end” to the war in Afghanistan, “there is a potential need for increased counter terrorism efforts, along with the already planned shift to enhance SOF support to counter Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea.”
Additionally, we discuss the need for an assessment of the force structure at MARSOC.
SOF for LIFE PROGRAM: If you know Global SOF, then you know that the transition from Active Duty Service to Civilian Careers is a big focus area for us.
This year, we asked for Congressional funding and support for this program as its many facets are critical to the long-term health and well-being of our operators.
We focus on the impacts of “allostatic load” (and overload), the ORIEN program for cancer screening, Imminent Danger and Hostile Fire Pay, and recruitment challenges.
We also advocate for a truncated SIV program for Afghan SOF partners in the wake of the rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Interested in getting more involved in our Imperatives? We have a few upcoming opportunities…
- Attend the Spring SOF Imperatives Roundtable. It will be similar to the Winter event and will likely occur in April 2022. Stay tuned to our upcoming events page to get involved.
- Attend the 2022 SOF Imperatives Forum. This will be bigger than the Roundtables and will (COVID permitting) occur in-person in Washington, DC. More details on that event are on our upcoming events page.
- Take the SOF for Life Medical Survey. We’re collecting responses from those who served to get their input on the medical issues and treatments.
Other than that, stay tuned and help us spread the word about our programs and events!!