New era of leadership from U.S. special operations forces

By Around the Web

A U.S. soldier assigned to 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) salutes his fellow soldiers while jumping out of a C-130 Hercules aircraft over a drop zone in Germany, Feb. 24, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Visual Information Specialist Jason Johnston)
A U.S. soldier assigned to 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) salutes his fellow soldiers while jumping out of a C-130 Hercules aircraft over a drop zone in Germany, Feb. 24, 2015.

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Wire.]

By Daniel Elkins
Real Clear Wire

In the dust of warfare, an elite breed of American has repeatedly proven their mettle. Hailing from all walks of life, members of the U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) have answered the highest call to service, defending our nation with unwavering courage, blood, and a commitment to something greater than themselves. As politics becomes increasingly pervasive in our everyday lives and politicians become less representative of the people, we need better candidates. SOF values and the desire to serve don’t end when the uniform comes off. Now, more than ever, our nation is calling on the SOF community to serve yet again.

Our nation’s leadership is dominated by career politicians whose understanding of the challenges we face is often theoretical—detached from the harsh realities our men and women in uniform confront daily. In contrast, members of the SOF community navigate the most complex, high-stakes environments imaginable every day, making difficult decisions with limited resources and against overwhelming odds. The amazing men and women of this community are adept at leading diverse teams, collaborating with allies worldwide, and tackling intricate problems with innovative solutions.

Members of the SOF community are assessed and selected to be America ‘s elite, undergoing rigorous training pipelines with high attrition. Their ability to adapt, innovate, and lead under pressure is unparalleled – these are skill sets our nation desperately needs in its elected officials.

These men and women are not merely Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, or Marines; they are strategic thinkers, problem-solvers, and decision-makers who possess the highest ethical standards. They have witnessed firsthand the consequences of policy decisions, bearing the scars and sacrifices that come with defending our way of life. Who better to shape the policies that will guide our nation’s future than those who have fought valiantly to protect and defend our freedom?

Critics might argue that military service is not a defining qualification for serving in Congress. Simply put, these critics are protectors of special interests and the status quo. Their interests lie in preserving the current order for political and personal gain. They do not want problem solvers in office because they thrive off collective fixation on problems, rather than fixing them.

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We’re championing those who have undergone the most rigorous training in the world — who have proven their aptitude in the world’s most demanding environments. They are leaders whose perspectives have been forged in the fires of real-world adversity and tempered by a deep understanding of the human cost of conflict.

Our decision to support members of the SOF community who choose to run for office transcends partisan politics. We will amplify their voices, endorsing SOF Veteran Candidates regardless of party affiliation, because their experiences and insights are invaluable assets to our democracy. We will organize our network to help get voters out to support and elect these candidates. Special Operations Forces draw their ranks from all walks of life, race, and creed, representing a diverse cross-section of America. By highlighting our community, we are not just diversifying our political leadership; we are enriching it with a wealth of experience, expertise, and unparalleled insight.

So, to the members of the SOF community who feel called to public service, we say, “Your nation needs you once more. Bring your experiences, your leadership, and your unwavering commitment to the halls of power. Help us forge a brighter, more inclusive future for all Americans.”
For those who have stared danger in the face and prevailed, the challenges of political life will hold no fear. It is time for a new era of leadership, one defined by the values that have made our nation’s elite forces the envy of the world.

We are the Special Operations Association of America, and we are proud to stand with you.

Daniel Elkins is the Founder and President of the Special Operations Association of America, a former Green Beret and Special Operations Combat Veteran, an Atlantic Council Counter-Terrorism Project member.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not represent the positions of the United States Government or the Department of Defense.

This article was originally published by RealClearDefense and made available via RealClearWire.


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