Unconventional Threats United States. Congress. House. Committee on Armed.

United States Special Operations Command personnel issues : hearing before the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee of the Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives, One Hundred Eighth Congress, second session, hearing held July 20, 2004 online

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[H.A.S.C. No. 108-45]




UNITED STATES SPECIAL OPERATIONS
COMMAND PERSONNEL ISSUES

Y 4.AR 5/2 A:
2003-2004/45

United States Special Operation

BEFORE THE

TERRORISM, UNCONVENTIONAL THREATS AND
CAPABILITIES SUBCOMMITTEE

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION



HEARING HELD
JULY 20, 2004



DEPOSITORY

NOV 2 6 /S}^^



NOV 2 6



ROSTON PUBLIC LIBRAE



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 2005



For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office

Internet: bookstore.gpo.gov Phone: toll free (866) 512-1800; DC area (202) 512-1800

Fax: (202) 512-2250 Mail: Stop SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-0001



[H.A.S.C. No. 108-45]




UNITED STATES SPECIAL OPERATIONS
COMMAND PERSONNEL ISSUES

Y 4.AR 5/2 A:
2003-2004/45

United States Special Operation

BEFORE THE

TERRORISM, UNCONVENTIONAL THREATS AND
CAPABILITIES SUBCOMMITTEE

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION



HEARING HELD
JULY 20, 2004



DEPOSITORY




B0ST0^4 PUBLIC LIBRA^
GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTSDM



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 2005



For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office

Internet: bookstore.gpo.gov Phone: toll free (866) 512-1800; DC area (202) 512-1800

Fax: (202) 512-2250 Mail: Stop SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-0001



TERRORISM, UNCONVENTIONAL THREATS AND CAPABILITIES
SUBCOMMITTEE

JIM SAXTON, New Jersey, Chairman



JOE WILSON, South Carolina

FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey

JOHN KLINE, Minnesota

JEFF MILLER, Florida

ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland

MAC THORNBERRY, Texas

JIM GIBBONS, Nevada

ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina

JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia

W. TODD AKIN, Missouri

JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado

Thomas Hawley, Professional Staff Member
Jean Reed, Professional Staff Member
Uyen Dinh, Professional Staff Member

William Natter, Professional Staff Member
Curtis Flood, Staff Assistant



MARTY MEEHAN, Massachusetts
JIM TURNER, Texas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
GIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
SUSAN A DAVIS, California
JAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island
RICK LARSEN, Washington
JIM COOPER, Tennessee



(II)



CONTENTS



CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
2004



Hearing:

Tuesday, July 20, 2004, United States Special Operations Command Person-
nel Issues 1

Appendix:

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 41



TUESDAY, JULY 20, 2004

UNITED STATES SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND PERSONNEL
ISSUES

STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS

Meehan, Hon. Martin T., a Representative from Massachusetts, Ranking
Member, Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommit-
tee 2

Saxton, Hon. Jim, a Representative from New Jersey, Chairman, Terrorism,
Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee 1

WITNESSES

Breining, Master Chief Clell, US Navy, Senior Enlisted Advisor, Naval Spe-
cial Warfare Command 5

Cull, Col. Kenneth, US Army, Director of Manpower & Personnel (Jl) US

Special Operations Command 2

Hall, Command Sgt. Maj. Michael, US Army, Senior EnUsted Advisor, US
Army Special Operations Command 6

Martens, Command Chief Master Sgt. Robert, Jr., US Air Force, Senior

Enlisted Advisor, US Special Operations Command 4

Mowry, Chief Master Sgt. Howard, US Air Force, Senior Enlisted Advisor,
Air Force Special Operations Command 6

APPENDIX

Prepared Statements:

Cull, Col. Kenneth 49

Martens, Sgt. Robert, Jr 52

Saxton, Hon. Jim 45

Documents Submitted for the Record:
[There were no Documents submitted.]

Questions and Answers Submitted for the Record:
[There were no Questions submitted.]



(Ill)



UNITED STATES SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND
PERSONNEL ISSUES



House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities

Subcommittee,
Washington, DC, Tuesday, July 20, 2004.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:02 a.m., in room
2212, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Jim Saxton (chairman
of the subcommittee) presiding.

OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JIM SAXTON, A REPRESENTA-
TIVE FROM NEW JERSEY, CHAIRMAN, TERRORISM, UNCON-
VENTIONAL THREATS AND CAPABILITIES SUBCOMMITTEE

Mr. Saxton. Good morning. The subcommittee meets this morn-
ing in its oversight role to review the personnel status of the U.
S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). While the subcommit-
tee does not have jurisdiction over military personnel law, we do
have jurisdiction over the Special Operations Command and the re-
sponsibility to ensure that all aspects of the command are in good
order.

As my Special Operations Forces (SOF) friends are fond of say-
ing, "Special Forces cannot be mass produced." Hence, we must
keep a watchful eye on the most precious element of special forces,
its people. As I have said repeatedly — and will continue to state —
SOCOM is the nation's single best weapon in the Global War on
Terror (GWOT). There are several reasons for my belief.

First, we all agree that it is best to deal with terrorism overseas.
It is a longstanding principle of war that offensive action is better
than defensive action. SOCOM, better than any other element of
the Department of Defense (DOD), takes the counterterror mission
overseas.

Because of the command's continued success and because the
war on terror has no foreseeable end point, it is appropriate that
we review the personnel status of the command. The subcommittee
has been told that the command is losing very valuable senior en-
listed personnel at a rate that cannot be replaced. We have also
been informed that the command established a senior task force,
on which some of our witnesses served, to review the matter and
formulate recommendations.

Our purpose today is to check on the status of that effort, to un-
derstand the extent of the problem, the urgency of the issue and
possible recommendations for solution. I understand that the solu-
tions are still under discussion, so we will not press the witnesses
on that point. Because the administration has yet to formulate its

(1)



official views, I understand the witnesses have no formal, written
testimony. Nonetheless, we welcome your frank professional views
on the nature of the problem and the general view as to what
needs to be done to keep SOCOM professionals in the force. Our
national security depends on it.

I look forward to your testimony. And at this point, I would like
to ask Mr. Meehan if he has any opening remarks.

[The prepared statement of Mr. Saxton can be found in the Ap-
pendix on page 45.]

STATEMENT OF HON. MARTIN T. MEEHAN, A REPRESENTA-
TIVE FROM MASSACHUSETTS, RANKING MEMBER, TERROR-
ISM, UNCONVENTIONAL THREATS AND CAPABILITIES SUB-
COMMITTEE

Mr. Meehan. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for schedul-
ing this hearing and for your opening comments.

I too am concerned with the overall health of the SOCOM com-
munity. As I have traveled at home and abroad, I have had a num-
ber of conversations with our uniformed personnel. It is not uncom-
mon for me to hear that the good ones are getting out. We need
to address the whole issue of retention. I would like to associate
myself with the chairman's concerns.

I am interested in hearing more about the command's general
state of readiness and how apparent trends and personnel changes
may or may not require policy or legislative fixes in the not-too-dis-
tant future. So I look to our panelists to help us in this regard. I
look forward to the testimony of the panelists.

And Mr. Chairman, again I thank you for scheduling this hear-
ing on this most important national security subject. Thanks, Mr.
Chairman.

Mr. Saxton. Thank you very much. We have one panel of wit-
nesses for our proceedings this morning. And I want to welcome
our witnesses, who are: Colonel Kenneth J. Cull, Director of Man-
power and Personnel (Jl), U.S. Special Operations Command; Com-
mander Chief Master Sergeant Robert D. Martens, Jr., senior en-
listed adviser, U.S. Special Operations Command; Command Ser-
geant Major Michael T. Hall, senior enlisted adviser, U.S. Army
Special Operations Command; Force Master Chief Paul Breining,
senior enlisted adviser. Navy Special Warfare Command; and Chief
Master Sergeant Howard J. Mowry, senior enlisted adviser. Air
Force Special Operations Command.

I understand that Colonel Cull and Command Master Chief Rob-
ert Martens both have opening statements. And so we will begin
with Colonel Cull.

STATEMENT OF COL. KENNETH CULL, US ARMY, DIRECTOR OF
MANPOWER & PERSONNEL (Jl) US SPECIAL OPERATIONS
COMMAND

Colonel Cull. Good morning, Mr. Chairman, members of the
Terrorism Subcommittee, on behalf of General Brown and the
United States Special Operations Command, I would like to thank
you for the opportunity to testify this morning regarding the per-
sonnel situation currently facing our special operators.



While I am prepared today to discuss certain force management
issues affecting the command from a somewhat sterile head-
quarters perspective, it is important to note that I am joined at the
table this morning by four of the most experienced non-commis-
sioned officers serving in the military today. Each of these men
have at least 27 years of service. And their collective operational
experience and force management skills are unsurpassed within
the Department of Defense.

Serving as the senior enlisted adviser to their respective com-
manders, each of them is specifically charged with the responsibil-
ity of advising the command's leadership on the proper training,
management and utilization of the force. This includes issues in-
volving operational tempo (OPTEMPO), recruiting and retention,
morale and quality of life. I could not think of four better individ-
uals that can address your questions this morning on the matters
affecting the men and women of the special operations community.

I would like to briefly address a few points relevant to today's
hearing topic. Mr. Chairman, Special Operations Forces are in high
demand and are employed in greater numbers today than at any
time in our history. For this reason, General Brown and his compo-
nent commanders continue to give special attention to maintaining
a workable OPTEMPO across the force. My message this morning
is that our OPTEMPO is manageable. It is difficult, yes. But again,
it is manageable.

We accomplish this by mitigating the stress on the force in sev-
eral ways. One way has been to increase our flexibility regarding
force utilization. For example, you are aware that we traditionally
orient our Green Berets to a special area of the world. There are
obvious benefits from this practice, in terms of language and cul-
tural awareness.

Today, however, with approximately 75 percent of our oper-
ational deployments going to Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army Spe-
cial Operations Command has found it prudent to sustain that
force by utilizing other special forces groups, to include two excel-
lent National Guard units in the U.S. and U.S. Central Command
(CENTCOM) area of responsibihty (AOR).

The tradeoff for relinquishing the traditional area orientation
has been the accumulation of vast operational experience for the
designated units, as well as the requisite opportunity to recuperate
the 5th Special Forces Group normally assigned to this region. An-
other way we have mitigated the stress on the force has been to
ensure that we have the right mix of active and reserve forces.

With the reserve component comprising one-third of our total
special operations force, you can imagine how much we count on
them in the Global War on Terrorism, particularly our civil affairs
and Psychological Operations (PSYOP) units that are predomi-
nantly comprised of Reserve and National Guard personnel. This
heavy dependence comes at a cost. And the command is currently
coordinating with the service on several initiatives to address the
issues associated with their deployment.

Another initiative is to redirect a portion of what have tradition-
ally been reserve component missions to the active duty units; one
example being the Air Force Special Operations Command air re-
fueling mission. Yet another important mitigating factor is that the



total number of deployed SOF after substantial increases in fiscal
year 2002 and fiscal year 2003 is beginning to come down. By fo-
cusing our deployments in light of the Global War on Terrorism,
the command has decreased the percent of deployed personnel by
approximately 13 percent over the past year.

Finally, USSOCOM is working closely with the services to add
a limited number of active duty units to the SOF inventory to sup-
plement our most stressed specialties, to include the civil affairs
and PSYOPS units I mentioned earlier, several of our aviation
units and our special operation schoolhouses. The current plan is
to add about 2,700 personnel to the force over the next 5 to 6 years.

Additional force structure authorizations are not necessarily a
stand-alone solution. As it is, we are only filling about 85 percent
of our authorized billets. Instead, we are putting a great deal of
focus on our recruiting and retention issues.

The gentleman with me at the table will be able to give you addi-
tional detail on this. But suffice it to say that the challenge today
is to recruit the right kind of soldier, sailor and airman who best
fits the profile of a special operator and to subsequently retain
these individuals once they become what we believe is the most
valuable asset the country has today in the Global War on Terror-
ism.

At this time, Mr. Chairman, I would again thank you for the op-
portunity to be here this morning and look forward to your ques-
tions.

[The prepared statement of Colonel Cull can be found in the Ap-
pendix on page 49.]

Mr. Saxton. Colonel, thank you very much.

We will go to Master Chief Martens at this point. And then we
will go to questions.

STATEMENT OF COMMAND CHIEF MASTER SOT. ROBERT
MARTENS, JR., US AIR FORCE, SENIOR ENLISTED ADVISOR,
US SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND

Command Chief Master Sergeant Martens. Yes, sir. Thank you.

Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, my name is Chief
Master Sergeant Bob Martens. I joined the United States Air Force
in 1976. I will do the math for you; I have about 28 years of active
duty service.

I have spent 24 years in the SOF — special operations community.
For the past year, I have had the honor of serving as the senior
enlisted adviser at the United States Special Operations Command.
And I have been honored to serve, to work with and directly with
and — perhaps more importantly — to listen to the men and women
out in the field of the United States Special Operations Command.

I would like to thank you for the opportunity to be here today
and to testify on behalf of the United States Special Operations
Command. I have to say that it is a rare honor for enlisted men
in general and for me personally.

While my colleagues and I stand ready to address your questions
relating to the personnel situation within the special operations
community, as outlined by Colonel Cull in this remarks, I would
like to take the opportunity to briefly touch on one issue in particu-
lar.



As Chairman Saxton mentioned, the retention of our highly
quahfied special operator personnel. Contrary to conventional mili-
tary organizations throughout the services, many segments of the
special operations community are unique in that we are extremely
dependent on a mature and operationally experienced population.
Because the loss of such experience will create an unacceptable
level of risk within the force, the command is giving this issue a
heightened emphasis as we posture ourselves to win the Global
War on Terrorism. Complementing their tactical skills, more often
today honed by combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, our
special operators offer a seasoned, culturally sensitive war on ter-
rorism-focused brand of leadership which is second to none.

They are independent thinkers who are routinely expected to
make tactical level decisions during the execution of sensitive and
dangerous missions which can have strategic impact, all of which
make them highly valuable to our Department of Defense. These
attributes also make them highly valuable to the civilian world.

The challenge facing the command is to retain these irreplace-
able soldiers, sailors and airmen in the face of a heavy OPTEMPO,
rising demands on the home front and numerous external opportu-
nities within the civilian sector. To meet this challenge, the United
States Special Operations Command and its component command,
represented by the men to my left and right here, are working
closely with the services and with the Office of the Secretary of De-
fense, to assist us in identifying potential incentives that will help
us keep these highly experienced senior operators.

With this help and with the continued interest and support of
Congress, we believe we can successfully avert future problems,
take care of our men and women within the community and pos-
ture ourselves for continued success in the Global War on Terror-
ism.

Mr. Chairman, with your permission, I would like to take the op-
portunity at this time to have my colleagues, each of whom serves
as the senior enlisted adviser within his respective command, intro-
duce himself to the committee. And following those introductions,
we look forward to the chance to address your questions.

Again, thank you for this opportunity.

[The prepared statement of Sergeant Martens can be found in
the Appendix on page 52.]

Mr. Saxton. Thank you very much. And we look forward to hear-
ing from your colleagues.

STATEMENT OF FORCE MASTER CHIEF CLELL BREINING, US
NAVY, SENIOR ENLISTED ADVISOR, NAVAL SPECIAL WAR-
FARE COMMAND

Master Chief Breining. Good morning, Mr. Chairman, other
members of the subcommittee. I am Clell Breining, the force mas-
ter chief for Naval Special Warfare Command, from Beaumont,
Texas, born and raised. And I also spent a few years in Louisiana
before I joined the service.

I am here representing Naval Special Warfare Command, our en-
listed SEALs, our special warfare combatant crewmen and the hun-
dreds of fleet support sailors that are assigned to the Naval Special
Warfare Command. I would like to say that I look forward to your



questions. And I am thankful for your continued support of the
men and women of SOF.

Thank you.

Mr. Saxton. Thank you very much.

STATEMENT OF COMMAND SGT. MAJ. MICHAEL HALL, US
ARMY, SENIOR ENLISTED ADVISOR, US ARMY SPECIAL OP-
ERATIONS COMMAND

Command Sergeant Major Hall. Mr. Chairman, members, I am
Sergeant Major Mike Hall, from Cleveland, Ohio. I represent the
26,000 soldiers of Army Special Operations Command, which con-
sists of the Army Special Forces, otherwise known as Green Berets,
the 75th Ranger Regiment, the 160th Special Operations Aviation
Regiment, the Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations sol-
diers, the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School and
the support command, which consists of a combat support and a
signal battalion.

I have about 28 years of service. I started with the 1st Ranger
Battalion; served a little time of ROTC at the Citadel in Charles-
ton; back to the Rangers. Served a tour, a short tour, in the 101st
Airborne; was the Senior Enlisted Adviser of JSOC and, the last
few years, have been the senior non-commissioned officer of Army
Special Operations Command.

And I really want to thank you all for the opportunity to be here
and listen to what we have to say. Thank you.

STATEMENT OF CHIEF MASTER SGT. HOWARD MOWRY, US AIR
FORCE, SENIOR ENLISTED ADVISOR, U.S. AIR FORCE SPE-
CIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND

Chief Master Sergeant MowRY. Mr. Chairman, honorable mem-
bers of the committee, my name is Jim Mowry. I have been serving
in our nation's Air Force now for about 27 years. I have the distinct
honor and privilege of representing nearly 13,000 of our airmen
that are deployed worldwide in Air Force Special Operations Com-
mand.

In the last couple of years, specifically, in my dealings with the
SOF community, I have had the opportunity to travel throughout
my command and those of my contemporaries here at the table.
And I have to tell you that, from what I see of the morale, the dis-
cipline and the sense of duty that our special operators are exhibit-
ing, not only here in the Continental United States (CONUS), but
over in overseas locations, is probably some of the best that I have
seen in my years of service.

It is an honor for me to be here today. And I look forward to an-
swering your questions.

Mr. Saxton. Thank you very much.

Let me just begin with several questions that I find of interest.
With regard to recruiting and retention, what is your best source
of finding the appropriate types of people to be recruited into the
special forces?

Command Chief Master Sergeant Martens. Mr. Chairman, I will
start off on that. Each of the service components here takes a dif-
ferent interest in that. In the Army Special Operations, their spe-
cial forces folks, the primary recruiting grounds are already on ac-



tive duty as they recruit from in service and have a very small out-
side initial entry program for special forces soldiers.

The Navy and the Air Force component both recruit from the
street and do some recruiting from active duty forces already with-
in their service. I would like each of the components to take a stab
at that and let you know exactly what they are doing on recruiting
efforts.

Command Sergeant Major Hall. We have tremendous support
from the United States Army, both from recruiting command and
the in service command. Depending on the type of unit, we get
many of our soldiers right off the street, Army contracts. The Army
recruiter does a great job of finding us the right people.

And some of our more senior folks in the special forces, over half
of those will come from units that are already in the Army. Our
aviators will already be experienced personnel. We will get them
from aviation units throughout the Army, as well as our experi-
enced officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs) from the
Ranger regiment.

So our senior leadership will all come from the Army. And we
have great support from the Army, especially lately, on making
sure we get the amount of people and the quality of people that we
need.

Chief Master Sergeant MOWRY. Mr. Chairman, within the Air
Force Special Operations Command, we also recruit and assess
right from basic military training and through a certain amount of
in service folks that have spent anywhere between 4 and 6 years
in a previous career field. I am pleased to say that our recruiting
service has done a great job for us this year. Our numbers are up.

For our combat controllers, which are typically the hardest ca-
reer field within the Air Force Special Operations to fill, out of 127
slots that were identified that needed to be filled for next year, we
filled 129 of those. So we are over by two, which is good, because
they do not all come out at the end of the pipeline. So that is good
numbers. And with our pararescue forces, the quota was about 213.
We filled 197 of those.

So the recruiting efforts are going very well. And I think that is
a combination of the increased focus on special operations in gen-
eral that our nation is giving it. I also think that it is increased
focus that our service is giving that. And they are certainly helping
us out in that venue.

Master Chief Breining. I think the story is much the same in
Naval Special Warfare. We do recruit the majority of our SEAL op-
erators right out of boot camp. And we have folks there that recruit
them and make sure that they are the right type of folks that we
want to assess into our program.

The Navy also, for the first time in the last year, has also put
recruiting goals out for the recruiters out across the United States
to actually find SEAL candidates for us. And this has been very
helpful. Arid for the first time, we will probably graduate over 200
SEALs this year, which will be a new record for us.

So I think we are going to see continued growth and success,
with the help of the Navy and helping to recruit those SEAL can-
didates right off the street and out of boot camp. And then about



20 percent we get from in fleet service, in service type guys that
are already in the Navy for 4 to 6 years.

Command Chief Master Sergeant Martens. Mr. Chairman, I
would like to add on to that that, over the past years, we have seen


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Online LibraryUnconventional Threats United States. Congress. House. Committee on ArmedUnited States Special Operations Command personnel issues : hearing before the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee of the Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives, One Hundred Eighth Congress, second session, hearing held July 20, 2004 → online text (page 1 of 6)