Generational Resilience in Support of the Global Special Operations Forces

  • Colonel Walter James Wiggins

In order to sustain the Global Special Operations Forces (SOF) Network while waging a generational fight against violent extremist networks, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) must make a cultural shift toward building the long-term resilience of its most precious asset--highly trained, skilled, and experienced people. Resilience is achieved by adaptation in the face of pressure. Adaptation occurs when people who are screened, assessed and selected for SOF are given time and opportunity to learn, grow and adjust to the demands of volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environments. It is essential that SOCOM and its components invest in screening and selection processes that test for adaptability, build disciplined systems of time management to maximize black space, and leverage the preservation of the force and families programs to build a sustainable competitive advantage over future adversaries. Good leadership is critical to enabling adaptation and therefore SOCOM must invest in leadership development as the foundation upon which generational resilience is built.