From the commandant
By Maj. Gen. Bennet S. Sacolick
Originally published in the April-June 2012 edition of Special Warfare
The United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School has been providing quality education for special-operations forces for more than 50 years. In December 2011, in recognition of the outstanding training, education and force management that occurs at the school, SWCS was designated as the U.S. Army’s Special Operations Center of Excellence.
A center of excellence is an organization that creates the highest standards of achievement in an assigned sphere of expertise by generating synergy through effective and efficient combination and integration of functions while reinforcing unique requirements and capabilities. With the designation of SWCS as the Army’s Special Operations Center of Excellence, the Army now has 10 centers of excellence.
What does this mean to you? It means that ARSOF now has a relevant vote when the Army makes decisions concerning how we collectively fight our adversaries and engage our partners in our future operating environment. At this juncture, the Army is establishing doctrine for 2015, developing the Army Learning Concept, revising its Leader Development Strategy and harnessing lessons learned from the past decade of war. More importantly, decisions are being made as to what the 21st century Army will look like. SWCS’s designation as a CoE will greatly enhance our ability to contribute to those discussions and to frame the future of our Army.
SWCS has always been able to create great synergy with the other CoEs, but without the designation, we have merely been guests, not a vested partner. We believe that the synergy currently attained between the nine CoEs and the six Warfighting Functions will be dramatically increased with this designation.
SWCS may be the only Department of Defense element that trains and educates a force specifically designed to shape foreign political and military environments in order to prevent war. We do this by building a capability that works with host nations, regional partners and indigenous populations in a culturally attuned manner allowing us to bridge language barriers, open lines of communication and connect with key political and military leaders in a way that is both immediate and enduring. As a CoE, our consistent engagement and collaboration will enable us to be a part of the solutions needed by TRADOC as they develop similar capabilities.