In a recently published email, The Army’s Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, is accused of lowering standards in an effort to meet quotas for the demand of more Green Berets. As reported by the Associated Press, there is now an investigation into the claims contained in this now infamous email, with the author claiming commanders are guilty of “moral cowardice” by lowering standards and allowing Special Forces candidates to graduate that otherwise should not be allowed to do so. The email, which was sent anonymously, describes in detail the various infractions which the school’s senior officers are guilty of.
As reported by the Associated Press, the commanding general of the Special Warfare Center and School refutes the claims in this anonymously sent email, “Maj. Gen. Kurt Sonntag, commanding general of the school located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on Thursday defended the process for selecting Green Berets and rejected a number of the claims in the email. He said he stands firmly behind the “quality of every soldier we are sending to the operational force,” in a statement delivered to “men and women” of the Special Warfare Center and School.”
The email was originally sent on November 26, 2017, and published by SOFREP, a Special Forces community news publication. The 6,300-word email asserts that the Special Warfare School “has devolved into a cesspool of toxic, exploitive, biased and self-serving senior Officers who are bolstered by submissive, sycophantic, and just-as-culpable enlisted leaders.”
The well known Special Warfare Center and School is supposed to be one of the U.S. military’s elite training centers, creating some of the finest soldiers on the planet. However, the author of this anonymous email claims that the senior officers in charge are more interested in “ensuring that yearly graduation quotas are met and that political agendas are enforced.” The author goes on to say that, “They have doggedly succeeded in two things; furthering their careers, and ensuring that Special Forces [is] more prolific, but dangerously less capable than ever before. Shameless and immodest careerism has, in no uncertain terms, effectively destroyed our ability to assess, train, and prepare students, or to identify those students that pose very real risk to Operational Detachments.” You can read the email in its entirety here on SOFREP.com.
Some of the most concerning things in this email allege that SWCS senior command no longer enforce physical performance standards to a sufficient level, and that they have lowered training standards to meet graduation quotas. On the subject of physical performance standards, the author claims, “Students do not need to be able to pass a 2-mile run at an 80% standard. They do not need to pass a 5-mile run in under 40 minutes. They do not need to be able to pass a 12-mile ruck march in under 3 hours. They are not required to find ANY points during their land nav training and assessment. They do not need to be able to perform 8 pull-ups. They do not need to be able to perform 57 push-ups, or 66 sit-ups. They no longer need to be able to climb a 15 foot rope with weight on. Students are no longer administered any form of physical or administrative punishment.” If these claims prove to be true, this would mean that SWCS senior command are guilty of creating sub-standard Special Forces soldiers, ultimately putting America’s safety in danger.
Just as equally concerning is the claim that SWCS senior command have effectively done away with training standards, so they can claim that the Q Course, which is an extremely difficult wright of passage for Special Forces soldiers, is more efficient and better. “The moment they took command, their primary motivation for making changes to the SFQC was to acquire ‘Multi-star Potential’ on their OERs, They pursued this by, first, ensuring that the Q-course graduation rate was raised so they could lay claim to making the Q course more efficient and, second, ensuring that the standards were lowered so as to make certain that the first women able to pass selection would have the best possible chance of making it through the grueling 14 month (at it’s quickest) pipeline practically unimpeded. Being able to say they graduated the first female Green Beret is a milestone no officer (devoid of principles, that is) can possibly pass up. SFOC had the strictest requirements and the highest attrition rate, almost entirely physical in nature. They practically did away with it.”
Neither the Trump Administration nor Secretary of Defense James Mattis have commented on this matter, but it is a sure bet that they have been briefed on it. Should it turn out to be true that SWCS senior command have dumbed down standards to give Special Forces recruits a free pass, people will surely be fired and may even be court martialed for dereliction of duty.