Report: Spec. Ops. has an “entitlement” issue, lacks leadership skills

The American special operations community has a discipline and entitlement issue, according to a report released by officials tasked with determining why a rash of behavior-related mishaps have occurred in recent years.

The 69-page report details a massive leadership failure across all of Special Operations Command, and that an obsessive focus on deployments and training has effectively led to neglect in leadership- and as a result, the moral fiber of units has degraded significantly.

“Knowing what is right requires a leadership presence and commitment and understanding,” SOCOM boss Army Gen. Richard Clarke stated of the matter. “And most importantly, training the leadership that is junior to them on those same things.”

The larger issue out of sixteen recommendations appears to be a culture of valuing combat proficiency over actual leadership skills and personal development, something Clarke believes should be balanced.

“Sometimes character is not held in as high regard as competence,” Clarke said. “And the two have to be linked.”

According to the report, a major focus on redeployment cycles is recommended, and fostering a culture of trust in good leadership will be important.

It is unknown if such changes will hamper the level of deadly effectiveness.

The Military Times reported that emphasis on “salty” veterans and physically capable operators appear to be the main target of the report, which denounces the levels of “hero worship” that allow such men to remain in teams and groups- regardless of their behavior.

“The junior elements of the force are looking for someone to step in, in a lot of ways,” Marine Brig. Gen. Frank Donovan said. “The problem is, the middle level has kind of grown up in this environment. They’re kind of struggling on how to reset themselves.”

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