News: SWCS showcases capabilities and initiatives at Special Forces Regimental Week
By Staff Sgt. Russell Lee Klika
FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Special Forces Regimental Week, held April 11-14 here, provided past and present U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers with an opportunity to discuss the state of the special-operations community and learn about the latest and greatest in unit and individual training.
Hosted by the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, the event was held in conjunction with the U.S. Army Special Forces Command commander’s conference, also at Fort Bragg. This allowed for maximum participation from personnel assigned to the Army’s Special Forces units located around the world.
Each Spring, members of the regiment come together at Fort Bragg to share ideas and lessons learned. This year’s attendees took the opportunity to learn from others through a variety of guest speakers and to rebuild the bonds of brotherhood that are first forged, in any soldier’s initial Special Forces experience, at SWCS.
SWCS is a constant resource to Special Forces soldiers throughout their careers. In the beginning, candidates hoping to earn their green beret come to SWCS for Special Forces Assessment and Selection, and the worthy few proceed on through the Special Forces Qualification Course. Even after reporting to their first operational detachments, soldiers know SWCS is there to provide advanced skill training, language support and current doctrine.
Many of the soldiers return to SWCS as instructors or advisors to help develop the next generations of Army special operators.
During Regimental Week, retired soldiers took the opportunity to learn from current soldiers and share the knowledge and experience they gained in their own careers. All attendees had the opportunity to take a look at current training initiatives and see how new soldiers are learning their trade.
As the week continued, the attendees broke off into groups and visited training sites, such as one site built to mirror standard homes and conditions in Afghanistan. The site, nicknamed “Sim City,” provided models of Afghan homes complete with low ceilings and doors that forced attendees to crouch down low to get through them. When one retired soldier asked his young, active-duty guide if he ever hit his head on a low-hanging door during an operations, the soldier responded with a testament to the facility’s accuracy, saying, “All the time in real life.”
Many of the attendees were very pleased with the changes that are underway to better prepare a new generation of soldiers, but also to further their education and career. An education fair was held for current soldiers to hear from over 30 civilian and military institutions from across the country about advancing their personal education by earning associates, bachelors and masters degrees.
The week ended with a Special Forces regimental formal in Fayetteville, where guests came together amidst senior Special Forces leaders, including the honorary colonel of the regiment and former SWCS commander, retired Maj. Gen. Sidney Shachnow.