The Indigenous Approach

By 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne)

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Description

Welcome to The Indigenous Approach, a podcast where we examine the role of the Nation's Premier Partnership Force across the competition continuum - from cooperation to conflict, and everything in between.

Episode Date
Concept of Resistance: Part 2 - Resistance in the Indo-Pacific
2774

In Part 2 of our series on Resistance, we examine what Resistance looks like in the INDOPACOM AoR with the past, present and future commanders of our forward-stationed battalion in the region.

Guests for this episode:
Lt. Col. Erik Davis is the current commander of 1st Bn, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Okinawa, Japan.

Lt. Col. Ron Garberson works in the Operations Directorate at Special Operations Command - Pacific (SOCPAC) and is the next commander of 1st Bn, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Okinawa, Japan.

Col. (Ret) Dave Maxwell is a senior fellow at Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and was commander of 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group from 2000 to 2002. He's instructed at the National War College and Georgetown University. With over 20 years of service in the Indo-Pacific, he's an expert on the subjects of SOF and resistance.

*To join the conversation, navigate to the 1SFC CAG page on the SIPR portal, where you will find a button for the CDR's Blog*

Links for this topic:

 

Gene Sharp’s “From Dictatorship to Democracy”

https://www.nonviolent-conflict.org/resource/from-dictatorship-to-democracy-a-conceptual-framework-for-liberation/

Assessing Revolutionary and Insurgent Strategies (ARIS) Project:
https://www.soc.mil/ARIS/ARIS.html

Resistance Operating Concept (ROC):
https://jsou.libguides.com/ld.php?content_id=54216464

Jul 23, 2021
Concept of Resistance: Part 1 - Resistance in Europe
3286

The concept of resistance is foundational to Army Special Operations Forces, as our mission is generally to partner with forces to either support or defeat resistance movements. In this two-part series, we pair experts on resistance with our forward-stationed battalion commanders in Germany and Japan to discuss what resistance is and how it’s applied in today’s operational environment. 

*To join the conversation, navigate to the 1SFC CAG page on the SIPR portal, where you will find a button for the CDR's Blog*

Links:

Assessing Revolutionary and Insurgent Strategies (ARIS) Project: 
https://www.soc.mil/ARIS/ARIS.html

Resistance Operating Concept (ROC):
https://jsou.libguides.com/ld.php?content_id=54216464

Lt. Col. Mike Penn is a Special Forces officer and commander of 1st Bn. 10th Special Forces Group in Stuttgart, Germany. He’s been in the Army for almost 25 years and has spent the majority of that time in Special Operations units.

 Mr. Paul Tompkins is currently the Sensitive Activities Division Chief at the US Army Special Operations Command. A retired CW4 with 28 years of service, Mr. Tompkins joined the Special Forces regiment in 1980 and spent time planning resistance operations against the Soviet Union during his time with 10 Special Forces Group in the ‘80s. 

 Dr. Otto Fiala, also currently working at USASOC, is a retired Army Colonel and was the lead author of the Resistance Operating Concept while at Special Operations Command Europe.

 LtCol. Randy Martin has spent most of his career within the US Air Force Special Operations Command and is a subject matter expert on Resistance at SOCEUR. 

 Master Sgt. Frank Miller is a colleague of Mr. Tompkins and Dr. Fiala at USASOC. He’s served 15 years as a Green Beret, including several years with 1st Bn 10th Group in Germany, and is a Silver Star recipient from combat actions in Afghanistan in 2010.  

Jul 08, 2021
528th Special Operations Sustainment Brigade - A one-of-a-kind unit supporting SOF globally
2944

In this episode, Maj. Dan Lessard sits down with the command team and battalion commanders of the 528th Special Operations Sustainment Brigade to discuss what makes their brigade so unique.


Col. Mike Summers is the commander of the 528th.

Command Sgt. Maj. Dejarius Jones is the command sergeant major.

Lt. Col. Al Davis is the commander of the 528th STBn (has since changed command).

Lt. Col. Brian Wong is the commander of the 112th Signal Bn.

Lt. Col. Sapriya Childs is the commander of the 389th MI Bn.

For additional history about the 528th , check out the ARSOF History page, here: https://arsof-history.org/branch_support.html

Jun 24, 2021
Embracing Transition: A Command Team Conversation on Human Performance and Wellness
1935

In this episode Col. Jamie Riesberg sits down with Maj. Gen. John Brennan, Command Sgt. Maj. Ted Munter, Col. Brian O'Leary and Lt. Col. Chris Ford to discuss how transitioning from COIN/CT to Great Power Competition affects the force, identifying mental health concerns, and the importance of seeking help.

Maj. Gen. John Brennan is the commander of 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne)

Command Sgt. Maj. Ted Munter, Command Sergeant Major of 1st SFC (A)

Col. Jamie Riesberg, 1st SFC (A) Command Surgeon

Col. Brian O'Leary, 1st SFC (A) Command Psychologist

Lt. Col. Chris Ford, 1st SFC (A) Staff Judge Advocate

Jun 15, 2021
Celebrating the Diversity We Have – A Conversation with Lt. Gen.(R) Nagata and Maj. Min
2302

In this episode, Maj. Gen. Brennan sits down with Lt. Gen. (R) Michael Nagata and Maj. Ryan Min to talk their unique backgrounds and experiences as our command concludes our observance of Asian American and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month.

 Lt. Gen. Nagata retired in 2019 after serving more than 37 years in the Army. His time in Special Operations Forces includes service in 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), Special Missions Units, and as commander of SOCCENT. He concluded his career as the Director of Strategy for the National Counterterrorism Center and now serves as a Strategic Advisor and Senior Vice President at CACI International.

 Maj. Ryan Min is a PSYOP officer with 16 years of service who is currently serving in 1st SFC(A)’s Commander’s Initiatives Group. 

Jun 01, 2021
The Long Road From Mogadishu: Loss, Grief, and Healing Over Time
1812


In this episode, Chaplain (COL) Chris Dickey talks with Jeff Struecker about dealing with loss and grief following the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993. Their conversation is pointed and powerful, as Mr. Struecker describes his journey and what made other Rangers turn to him for guidance when the smoke cleared.

 

For more information about Jeff Struecker, visit https://jeffstruecker.com/

May 25, 2021
Command Team Corner - BG Marks: What He's Reading and Career Advice
1093

In this episode, Brig. Gen. Steve Marks talks about what he’s been reading and how it’s impacted his thinking. Then he discusses his time as the USAG-Italy Commander and how that job impacted him as a leader.

 Since recording, Brig. Gen. Marks has moved up to his new role as the Deputy Commanding General of the US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC). We wish him the best, and we want to thank him for his tremendous leadership and mentorship while serving in 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne).

May 21, 2021
Command Team Corner: CW5 Gronowski - Reflections on Afghanistan
1079

CW5 Scott Gronowski, 1st SFC(A) Command Chief Warrant Officer, reflects on multiple deployments to Afghanistan in light of the recent withdrawal announcement. 

May 11, 2021
Command Team Corner - Extremist Ideologies, Disinformation, and Permissible Online Conduct
1115

In this Command Team Corner episode, Maj. Gen. John Brennan sits down with Lt. Col. Eric Johnson and Lt. Col. Chris Ford to discuss Extremism, Disinformation, and Permissible Online Conduct. What we hear is that there are two parts to addressing these problems - shoring up the foundation of our Soldiers' professional military ethic and inoculating the force against disinformation intended to polarize our society.

Maj. Gen. John Brennan is the commander of 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne).

Lt. Col. Eric Johnson is our former G9, who is studying disinformation as a Fellow at New America's Future of War project.

Lt. Col. Chris Ford is the 1st SFC (A) Staff Judge Advocate.

Apr 29, 2021
Vax Facts Update - What's New? What's Changing? Get the Facts Here
1005

In this episode of the Command Team Corner, we sit down with Maj. Gen. John Brennan, Col. Jamie Riesberg, Lt. Col. Ryan Schloesser, and Lt. Col. Eric Johnson to discuss the latest on the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines, given the recent changes in guidance with respect to Restriction of Movement (ROM) for fully-vaccinated individuals.

Maj. Gen. John Brennan is the Commander of 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne).
Col. Jamie Riesberg is the 1st SFC (A) Command Surgeon.
Lt. Col. Ryan Schloesser is our Current Operations Division Chief.
Lt. Col. Eric Johnson is our former G9, who is researching Disinformation on a fellowship with New America's Future of War Project.

Apr 26, 2021
The Inter-Agency Approach: Civil Affairs and USAID's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance
2518

Show Overview
In this episode, MAJ David Thompson, commander of Alpha Company, 96th Civil Affairs Battalion and Mr. James Fleming, Office Director for Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean in the new Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) discuss humanitarian assistance and interagency relationships.

Bios
James Fleming
is the Office Director for Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean in the new Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). He was formerly Division Chief for the Asia, Latin America, and Eurasia (ALE) Response Division in the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).

MAJ David Thompson is an active duty U.S. Army Civil Affairs Major assigned to 96th Civil Affairs Battalion (SO)(A). He has a number of deployments to the Middle East and Southwest Asia. David has a Juris Doctorate from Washington and Lee University School of Law. He also holds a BS in Economics and MBA-Leadership from Liberty University. Outside the military, he's worked at the UN Refugee Agency, Department of Defense, and Physicians for Human Rights - Israel.

Apr 15, 2021
Message to the Force: The Value of our People
688

Maj. Gen. John Brennan and Command Sgt. Maj. Ted Munter share their thoughts on the value of our people and the role they play in making the command the most relevant organization in the Army. 

Apr 09, 2021
Caring for Our Most Important Resource
1563

Show Overview
In this episode, Col. Eric Kreitz, the 1st SFC (A) Director of Information Warfare sits down with the 1st SFC (A) Chaplain Col. Chris Dickey. They discuss Col. Kreitz's very personal story - one of fear, addiction, and hitting rock bottom...but also one of resilience, support, and overcoming adversity.

Seeking help is not a sign of weakness.  If you  or someone you know is in need of help, there many resources available like Military One Source, your local health clinic, or your religious support team .

Bios
Col. Eric Kreitz is the Director of Information Warfare at 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne). He has more than 14 years in the PSYOP Regiment and has commanded at the Detachment and Battalion levels.

Chaplain (Col.) Christopher Dickey is honored to serve as the Command Chaplain for 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne).  A native of Houston, Texas, and the son of an Army MP and Vietnam Veteran, Chaplain Dickey leads a dedicated team of Chaplains and Religious Affairs Specialists serving across the Command entrusted to care for our most precious resource: our Soldiers and Families.

Military One Source
Behavioral Health Fact Sheet

Apr 01, 2021
Honor & Legacy: A Conversation Between Two SF Medal of Honor Recipients
2945

In this episode, two Special Forces Medal of Honor recipients, Sgt. 1st Class (R) Melvin Morris and Sgt. Maj. Matt Williams, sit down to discuss what it means to serve in the Special Forces Regiment, the value of diversity, and the importance of partnerships around the world.

Sgt. 1st Class (R) Melvin Morris entered the Oklahoma Army National Guard in 1959 and later requested to join the active Army. He became one of the first Soldiers to don the 'green beret' at the command of President John F. Kennedy, Fort Bragg, N.C., in 1961. Morris volunteered twice for deployments to Vietnam. Sgt. 1st Class Morris received the Medal of Honor on March 18, 2014.

Sgt. Maj. Matthew Williams, the 3rd Special Forces Group operations sergeant major, graduated from Angelo State University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Driven to serve, Williams enlisted into the Army under the 18X Special Forces enlistment program in September 2005.After completing Infantry One Station Unit Training, Williams attended Basic Airborne Training at Fort Benning, Georgia. He then went through the Special Forces assessment and selection process in 2006 and was accepted into the program. In 2007, Williams graduated as a weapons sergeant from the Special Forces Qualification Course and was assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne). Sgt. Maj. Williams received the Medal of Honor on October 30, 2019.

ASOF History MoH

Mar 18, 2021
1st Special Forces Group - Preferred Partners in INDOPACOM
1681

In this episode, COL Ed Croot, the 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) Chief of Staff sits down with the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) Commander, COL Ryan Ehrler.  They discuss the importance of relationships spanning across the Indo-Pacific and why 1st SFG is "First in Asia".

Col. Ryan Ehrler is the commander of 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), which is regionally-aligned with the INDOPACOM area of responsibility. A graduate of both the U.S. Naval War College and U.S. Army War College, Col. Ehrler previously served as 1st SFG(A)’s deputy commander and has numerous deployments across the Middle East, to include Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, as well as North and West Africa.

Mar 11, 2021
Cyber Strategy and Tactical Cyber Integration
2649

Show Overview:
Col. Eric Kreitz, 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne)'s Director of Information Warfare sits down with Dr. Richard Harknett, one of the world's leading cybersecurity experts, and Maj.  Jay Kosturko, an Electronic Warfare Officer assigned to 1st SFC(A) to help frame how we should think about the cyber domain.

Bio's:
Col. Eric Kreitz is the Director of Information Warfare at 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne). He has more than 14 years in the PSYOP Regiment and has commanded at the Detachment and Battalion levels.

 Maj. Jay Kosturko is leading the effort for tactical cyber integration at 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne).

Dr. Richard Harknett is a Professor and the Department Head of the Political Science Department at the University of Cincinnati, where he's also the Co-Director of the Ohio Cyber Range Institute and Chair of the University’s Center for Cyber Strategy and Policy. Previously, he served as a Fulbright Scholar in Cyber Studies at Oxford University and as the inaugural Scholar-in-Residence at US Cyber Command and the National Security Agency.

Resources:
Jay Kosturko’s Resource list:

http://darknetdiaries.com/ - NPR's podcast on the art of the possible in cyber.

https://thecyberwire.com/podcasts - Collection of daily / weekly cyber news podcasts.  Particularly recommend "Hacking Humans" By Joe Carrigan of JHU.

https://tutorials.cyberaces.org/tutorials.html - Collection of free introductory tech tutorials by SANS.

https://overthewire.org/wargames/  - Learn cyber offensive principles and techniques through puzzles and challenges.

https://www.hackthebox.eu/ - Intentionally vulnerable online machines to learn basic-intermediate.  Requires users to "hack in" to receive an invite code for an account.

https://www.hackerone.com/ - Resources, challenges and a bug bounty program.

https://acictf.com/ - Army Cyber Institute's capture the flag competition.  This years is cancelled, last year's challenges are still available.

 

Dr. Harknett’s Resource List:

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2020-08-25/cybersecurity - AUG 2020 Foreign Affairs article by GEN Nakasone

https://www.lawfareblog.com/ -  Lawfare blog focused on policy 


Thanks for listening!
-The Indigenous Approach Podcast Team 

Mar 04, 2021
Command Team Corner - MG Brennan's Intent for Innovation
621

In this Command Team Corner episode, Maj. Gen. John Brennan, the commander of 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) speaks about his intent for Innovation, both at the command level and how that translates down to the team level.

A few Acronyms of note:
TISCO - Technical and Information Support Company
SOF-TC - Special Operations Forces Training Center (one of 1SFC's top 5 current priorities)
ARLIS - Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security
PEO-STRI - Program Executive Office - Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation

Mar 02, 2021
Civil Affairs: Tactical Level Operations, Strategic Level Implications
2545

Lt. Col. Sam Hayes, the Inter-agency Coordinator for the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade, hosts a discussion with members of the Civil Affairs regiment surrounding the Civil Affairs role at the tactical level in the great power competition in different global regions. They touch on embassy work, combining Military Information Support Operations with Civil Affairs capabilities, and the importance of civil society organizations. 

1st Sgt. Enrique Hernandez is an active duty Non-Commissioned Officer serving as a Company First Sergeant in 96th Civil Affairs Battalion (SO) (A).  He has deployed to numerous countries within the SOUTHCOM and CENTCOM AORs.

Maj. J. David Thompson is an active duty U.S. Army Civil Affairs Major assigned to 96th Civil Affairs Battalion (SO)(A). He has a number of deployments to the Middle East and Southwest Asia. David has a Juris Doctorate from Washington and Lee University School of Law. He also holds a BS in Economics and MBA in Leadership from Liberty University. Outside the military, he's worked at the UN Refugee Agency, Department of Defense, and Physicians for Human Rights – Israel.

1st Sgt. Richard Bisbal is an active-duty member in U.S. Army Civil Affairs. Serving in the 95th CA BDE (SO) (A). He has served in MEDCOM, the 98th CA BN, and 95th CA BDE with various deployments South America. 1SG Bisbal has a Bachelor's degree in Health Care Management from Trident University in California, and a Master of Arts Degree in Strategic Security Studies from National Defense University in Washington, D.C.

Maj. Mike Casiano is an active-duty  U.S. Army Civil Affairs Officer serving in the 95th CA BDE (SO) (A). He has served in 1st Armored Division, the 98th CA BN, and 1SFC (A) with various deployments across the Middle East and South America. Mike has multiple degrees to include a Master of Arts Degree in Public Policy: International Affairs from Liberty University, a Master of Military Arts and Science Degree in Military Operations from the US Army Command and General Staff College, and a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in International Management from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Capt. Christina Plumley is an active duty U.S. Army Civil Affairs officer serving in E Company, 97th Civil Affairs Battalion (SO)(A). She has recent experience in Southeast Asia as the Theater Civil Military Support Element Deputy Operations Chief. She previously served with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, supporting and executing multinational military exercises across Europe. She holds a Bachelor's of Science in International Relations and French from the United States Military Academy.

Capt. Paul Kuemmerlein is an active-duty U.S. Army Civil Affairs officer serving in Fox Co, 83d Civil Affairs Battalion.  Paul deployed to Guyana from AUG-DEC 2020 where he led his CA Team ISO synchronized SOF efforts and interagency collaboration with DOS and host-nation counter-COVID efforts.   A NOV 2019 Graduate of the U.S. Army JFK Special Warfare Center and School, Paul’s pre-SOF career in Transportation and Logistics included assignments in Korea (Camps Walkers & Henry) and Fort Hood, TX.

Lt. Col. Sam Hayes is an active-duty U.S. Army Civil Affairs officer serving at the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (SO) (A). He has served with the 82nd Airborne Division, the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion, 82nd Civil Affairs Battalion, USAJFK Special Warfare Center and School, USCAPOC(A), and NATO with various deployment across the Middle East and Africa. Sam has multiple degrees to include a Masters of Art in Information Warfare and Political Strategy from Naval Postgraduate School and a Ph.D. in Organizational Management with a specialization in Leadership from Capella University.

Feb 25, 2021
Command Team Corner: CW5 Holton Career Reflection
691

The 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) Command Chief Warrant Officer, CW5 David Holton reflects on his 31 years of service, mentors who influenced him along the way, and his transition to civilian life. 

Feb 18, 2021
1st SFC(A) and SFAC
2365

Maj. Gen. John Brennan, commander of the 1st Special Forces command, Brig. Gen. Scott Jackson, commander of the Security Force Assistance Command, and Col. Mike Sullivan, commander of the 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade, discuss the unique but complimentary roles of 1st SFC(A) and the SFAC. 

Feb 11, 2021
Command Team Corner: Reading & Self-Development
474

Maj. Gen. John Brennan discusses some books he's reading and how they shape his thoughts on leadership and self-development.

Feb 04, 2021
Psychological Operations - Narrative
3783

Col. Jeremy Mushtare is the commander of the 8th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne) located at Fort Bragg, NC. 8th POG (A) consists of 3rd PSYOP Battalion (A), 9th PSYOP Battalion (A), and a Headquarters and Headquarters Company. 3rd POB (A) supports operations around the globe with specialized expeditionary teams tailor fit to execute print, A/V, and broadcast activities. The unit also houses the Information Warfare Center and other capabilities designed to support our forces or compete with adversaries from the CONUS base. 9th POB (A) is the PSYOP Regiment’s National Mission Force (NMF) which is responsible for supporting Special Mission Units (SMU) across the world. Members of the PSYOP NMF are deployed specifically to address the most serious threats to U.S. National Security. 

Dr. Ajit Maan is a narrative strategist focused on national security and international relations. She is founder and CEO of the U.S. based think-tank Narrative Strategies, Affiliated Faculty at George Mason University, member of the Brain Trust of the Weaponized Narrative Initiative of Arizona State University, author of Internarrative Identity: Placing the Self, Counter-Terrorism: Narrative Strategies, and co-editor of Soft Power on Hard Problems: Strategic Influence in Irregular Warfare. Her most recently published book is Plato’s Fear

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Brian Steed is an instructor of military history at the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College. Having served in the Middle East for more than eight and a half years as a Foreign Area Officer, he is both a scholar and practitioner of cross-cultural influence. Published works include, among others, ISIS: An Introduction and Guide to the Islamic State and Bees and Spiders: Applied Cultural Awareness and the Art of Cross-Cultural Influence.

Jan 29, 2021
Command Team Corner: Talent Management
905

This week, we sat down with Command Sgt. Maj. Ted Munter to discuss the command's talent management initiatives.

Jan 27, 2021
Command Team Corner: Engaged Leadership
964

In this episode, we sit down with Brig. Gen. Steve Marks, Deputy Commanding General of 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne), to discuss his thoughts on engaged leadership and some of the techniques used by the engaged leaders he has served under. 

Hint: it starts and ends with communication!

Jan 21, 2021
Command Team Corner - Special Edition Vax Facts
1539
Jan 15, 2021
1st SFC(A) Command Team Corner
548

In this week's Command Team Corner, Maj. Gen. John Brennan reflects on 2020, provides his thoughts on the command moving into 2021, and gives an update on our diversity and inclusion efforts. 

Jan 09, 2021
Special Forces Identity Part 3
3829

When you hear brand names, what they are known for quickly will pop into your mind.  Names like McDonald's, Advil, or even Apple instantly bring a product or company logo to mind.  When the question of who is Special Forces was asked by the 1st Special Forces Command Chief of Staff, COL Ed Croot, he received mixed responses.  COL Croot's study determined that the SF Regiment was undergoing an identity crisis. 
  
  We gathered seven esteemed Sergeants Major from across the SF Regiment to discuss what is the SF identity and if there was an identity crisis. In our last episode, they discussed how the identity crisis affected the force. We now ask the question, how do we address the issue. Those Sergeants Major are:
  
  SGM Dave Friedberg, the Alpha company 4th Battalion, 1st Special Forces group sergeant major. Dave joined Special Forces in 1999 and is an original regional support element plank holder. He has multiple deployments in the CENTCOM and INDOPACOM AOR.

CSM Retired Jeffrey Wright. Jeff served in 3 different Special Forces groups and as the senior enlisted leader for 4 joint commands. He served in the army from the cold war to the gulf war to the global war on terror and many points in-between.  

SGM Matt Williams, the 2nd BN 3rd Special Forces group operations sergeant major. Matt joined under the 18x program in 2005. He has deployed to Afghanistan and Africa many times and was an instructor at SFARTAETC. SGM Williams was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2019 for his actions during the battle of Shok Valley, Afghanistan, in 2008.

 CSM Retried Bill Thetford, the USASOC Operations Integrator. Bill joined Special Forces in 1993 and retired in March 2019. Most of his expertise comes from CENTCOM and SOCOM. 

CSM Dave Waldo, the CSM of 4th battalion 1st SWTG.  He joined Special Forces in 2001 and started his SF career in 1st Special Forces Group. He now works to mold the newest generations of Green Berets. 

CSM retired Terry Peters entered the Army as an infantryman Sep 14, 1983, and retired as the 3rd Special Forces Group CSM with 27 years in the Army.  Since retiring in early 2010, Terry has served the SF Community in an advisory role to many leaders and contributes to numerous charities that help SF Veterans and their Families.  He currently serves as the Honorary CSM of the Regiment.

CSM(Ret) Thomas (Tom) Smith, who spent 35 years in SF, starting in 1977 until 2012. He served over 8 years at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School teaching SERE and in the SF Pipeline. Tom served as the U.S. SOCOM CSM for over 5 years, where he created the Joint Special Operations Forces Senior Enlisted Academy. After he retired, he created the Summit Course in JSOFSEA and continues to teach and mentor senior enlisted leaders.

COL Croot's Research Study:
  Paper
Presentation

WAR ROOM Podcast

 

 

Dec 23, 2020
Special Forces Identity Part 2
3796

When you hear brand names, what they are known for quickly will pop into your mind.  Names like McDonald's, Advil, or even Apple instantly bring a product or company logo to mind.  When the question of who is Special Forces was asked by the 1st Special Forces Command Chief of Staff, COL Ed Croot, he received mixed responses.  COL Croot's study determined that the SF Regiment was undergoing an identity crisis. 
 
 We gathered seven esteemed Sergeants Major from across the SF Regiment to discuss what is the SF identity and if there was an identity crisis. In our last episode, the general consensus was yes, but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Those Sergeants Major are:
 
 SGM Dave Friedberg, the Alpha company 4th Battalion, 1st special forces group sergeant major. Dave joined Special Forces in 1999 and is an original regional support element plank holder. He has multiple deployments in the CENTCOM and INDOPACOM AOR.

CSM Retired Jeffrey Wright. Jeff served in 3 different Special Forces groups and as the senior enlisted leader for 4 joint commands. He served in the army from the cold war to the gulf war to the global war on terror and many points in-between.  

SGM Matt Williams, the 2nd BN 3rd Special Forces group operations sergeant major. Matt joined under the 18x program in 2005. He has deployed to Afghanistan and Africa many times and was an instructor at SFARTAETC. SGM Williams was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2019 for his actions during the battle of Shok Valley, Afghanistan, in 2008.

 CSM Retried Bill Thetford, the USASOC Operations Integrator. Bill joined Special Forces in 1993 and retired in March 2019. Most of his expertise comes from CENTCOM and SOCOM. 

CSM Dave Waldo, the CSM of 4th battalion 1st SWTG.  He joined Special Forces in 2001 and started his SF career in 1st Special Forces Group. He now works to mold the newest generations of Green Berets. 

CSM retired Terry Peters entered the Army as an infantryman Sep 14, 1983, and retired as the 3rd Special Forces Group CSM with 27 years in the Army.  Since retiring in early 2010, Terry has served the SF Community in an advisory role to many leaders and contributes to numerous charities that help SF Veterans and their Families.  He currently serves as the Honorary CSM of the Regiment.

CSM(Ret) Thomas (Tom) Smith, who spent 35 years in SF, starting in 1977 until 2012. He served over 8 years at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School teaching SERE and in the SF Pipeline. Tom served as the U.S. SOCOM CSM for over 5 years, where he created the Joint Special Operations Forces Senior Enlisted Academy. After he retired, he created the Summit Course in JSOFSEA and continues to teach and mentor senior enlisted leaders.

COL Croot's Research Study:
 Paper
Presentation

WAR ROOM Podcast

 

Dec 10, 2020
Special Forces Identity - Part 1
3184

When you hear brand names, what they are known for quickly will pop into your mind.  Names like McDonald's, Advil, or even Apple instantly bring a product or company logo to mind.  When the question of who is Special Forces was asked by the 1st Special Forces Command Chief of Staff, COL Ed Croot, he received mixed responses.  COL Croot's study determined that the SF Regiment was undergoing an identity crisis. 

We gathered seven esteemed Sergeants Major from across the SF Regiment to discuss what is the SF identity and if there was an identity crisis:

SGM Dave Friedberg, the Alpha company 4th Battalion, 1st special forces group sergeant major. Dave joined special forces in 1999 and is an original regional support element plank holder. He has multiple deployments in the CENTCOM and INDOPACOM AOR.

CSM Retired Jeffrey Wright. Jeff served in 3 different Special Forces groups and as the senior enlisted leader for 4 joint commands. He served in the army from the cold war to the gulf war to the global war on terror and many points in-between.  

SGM Matt Williams, the 2nd bn 3rd special forces group operations sergeant major. Matt joined under the 18x program in 2005. He has deployed to Afghanistan and Africa many times and was an instructor at SFARTAETC. SGM Williams was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2019 for his actions during the battle of Shok Valley, Afghanistan, in 2008.

 CSM Retried Bill Thetford, the USASOC Operations Integrator. Bill joined special forces in 1993 and retired in March 2019. Most of his expertise comes from CENTCOM and SOCOM. 

CSM Dave Waldo, the CSM of 4th battalion 1st SWTG.  He joined special forces in 2001 and started his SF career in 1st Special Forces Group. He now works to mold the newest generations of Green Berets. 

CSM retired Terry Peters entered the Army as an infantryman Sep 14, 1983, and retired as the 3rd Group CSM with 27 years in the Army.  Since retiring in early 2010, Terry has served the SF Community in an advisory role to many leaders and contributes to numerous charities that help SF Veterans and their Families.  He currently serves as the Honorary CSM of the Regiment.

 CSM(Ret) Thomas (Tom) Smith, who spent 35 years in SF, starting in 1977 until 2012. He served over 8 years at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School teaching SERE and in the SF Pipeline. Tom served as the U.S. SOCOM CSM for over 5 years, where he created the Joint Special Operations Forces Senior Enlisted Academy. After he retired, he created the Summit Course in JSOFSEA and continues to teach and mentor.

COL Croot's Research Study:
Paper
Presentation

WAR ROOM Podcast


Nov 25, 2020
Civil Affairs Role in GPC and Cross-functional Teams
2623

In this episode, members of the Civil Affairs regiment discuss the Civil Affairs’ role in Great Power Competition and cross-functional teams in the 1st Special Forces Command vision.

 

LTC Sam Hayes Sam Hayes is an active-duty U.S. Army Civil Affairs officer serving at the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (SO) (A). He has served with the 82nd Airborne Division, the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion, USAJFK Special Warfare Center and School, USCAPOC(A), and NATO with various deployment across the Middle East and Africa. Sam has multiple degrees to include a Masters of Art in Information Warfare and Political Strategy from Naval Postgraduate School and a Ph.D. in Organizational Management with a specialization in Leadership from Capella University.

 

MSG Sean Acosta is an active duty Civil Affairs non-commissioned officer currently serving in the 7th Special Forces Group. He has served as a Senior Civil Affairs Instructor USAJFK Special Warfare Center and School, Team Sergeant 83rd Civil Affairs Battalion, and Civil Affairs NCO 81st Civil Affairs Battalion. He has deployed to Southwest Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis from Norwich University. 

 

MAJ Assad Raza is an active-duty U.S. Army Civil Affairs officer serving at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC). He has served with the 82nd Airborne Division, the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion, and the 5th Special Forces Group with multiple deployments across the Middle East. Assad holds a Bachelor of Art in psychology from the University of Tampa, a Master of Art in diplomacy with a concentration in international conflict management from Norwich University, and a Master of Military Art and Science from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He is a doctoral student at Troy University in Alabama

 

MAJ Travis Clemens is an active-duty U.S. Army Civil Affairs officer serving as the 91st Civil Affairs Bn. Company Alpha Commander. He has deployed with CA as a team leader to Tanzania, Senegal, and Niger. Travis has worked in the Joint Special Operations Task Force J35 and Special Forces Bn. S9 where he deployed to Chad.

Nov 12, 2020
Young Lions Leadership Development Program
2204

Brigadier General Marks, the 1st SFC(A) Deputy Commanding General,  speaks with five alumni of the command’s Young Lions leader development program.


A 2019 Young Lions event held in Chicago was highlighted in SOCOM’s Tip of the Spear magazine (Pages 22-23): https://www.socom.mil/TipOfTheSpear/USSOCOM%20Tip%20of%20the%20Spear%20Dec%202019(Web).pdf

LTC Carl Benander is a Special Forces officer and the commander of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne). With 13 years in the Special Forces regiment, he has commanded an ODA, SF Company, and Special Operations Task Force and has four deployments with Army Special Operations. He is a member of Young Lions Pride 02 from 2013.

LTC Brian Wong is a signal officer and is the commander of the 112th Signal Battalion, 528th Special Operations Sustainment Brigade (A), which provides communications support to Special Operations Forces worldwide. He has eight years in the ARSOF community, including seven years in a Special Missions Unit, and has been a critical player in the tactical network modernization efforts of the Army and SOF. He is a member of Young Lions Pride 02 from 2013.

MAJ Nicole Alexander is a Civil Affairs officer currently serving as the Secretary of the General Staff at 1st SFC (A). She has 10 years in Civil Affairs regiment and five ARSOF deployments. She was also a member of the Young Lions Pride 02 in 2013.

CPT Kara Hawkins is a logistics officer and is the commander of HHC, 4th Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne). She has three years within the ARSOF community, including two deployments. She attended the latest Young Lions event held earlier this year.

SGM Chris Miller is a Civil Affairs NCO and is the Operations Sergeant Major of 92nd CA Battalion, 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (SO) (A). He has 11 years in the Civil Affairs regiment and three ARSOF deployments. He is also a member of the latest Young Lions pride.

Oct 30, 2020
Vision 2021 and Beyond
2074

Maj. Gen. John Brennan, Command Sgt. Maj. Ted Munter, Brig. Gen. Steve Marks, and Chief Warrant Officer 5 Dave Holton, the 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) command team, discuss what brought about the new command vision for 2021 and beyond, the main lines of effort, and the focused priorities that drive the Nation's Premier Partnership Force.

Find the vision document here:
https://www.soc.mil/USASFC/Documents/1sfc-vision-2021-beyond.pdf

Oct 16, 2020
Innovation VS Modernization
2606

COL Ed Croot, 1st SFC(A) Chief of Staff speaks with Chris Brose, author of "The Kill Chain" discussing innovation vs. modernization. Leaning on his experience as a senior policy advisor for the late Senator John McCain and the staff director for the Senate Armed Services Committee, Chris Brose frames how we should think about innovation in the era of strategic competition. 

Oct 01, 2020