Small Wars Journal

Retiring SOCOM Chief: ‘We Are in the Golden Age of Special Operations’

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 7:58pm

Retiring SOCOM Chief: ‘We Are in the Golden Age of Special Operations’ by Dan Lamothe, Washington Post

Adm. William McRaven, the longtime and retiring commander of the U.S. military’s Special Operations Command, said Thursday that the United States is in “the golden age of Special Operations,” citing his troops’ work around the globe not only in fighting “barbaric” militant groups but in stabilizing conflict areas and teaching human rights.

It’s “a time when our unique talents as special operators are in the greatest demand. A time when the nation recognizes the strategic value of our services. A time when all that we train for, all that we work for, all that our predecessors planned for has come together,” McRaven said…

Read on.


Text of commencement speech given by Admiral McRaven at University of Texas on 16 May 2014:…

Would I be wrong to perceive that Admiral McRaven may see "the Golden Age of Special Operations" within the context of "Changing the World" -- more along modern western political, economic and social lines?

Our nation, and our coalition of like minded allies and partners who stand side by side with us in our collective fight against AQ, will benefit for many years to come from the impact of ADM McRaven's leadership and his vision for SOF as it continues to unfold and become a reality. Every now and then we get the right person, in the right place, and at the right time, and this was one of those times. Some commanders keep the seat warm, some do great harm, and some leave a legacy that is value added. I certainly didn't agree with everything he pushed, but that is normal in SOF. SOF operators are normally opinionated free thinkers that enjoy disagreement and the discourse that follows, and we despise group think, but we always appreciate a great commander.