Joining the U.S. Army Special Forces involves further more than elite combat training. The U.S. Army Special Forces also known as Green Berets specialize in unconventional warfare — i.e. working with guerrillas to overthrow governments — as well as counter-terrorism, foreign internal defense, and special reconnaissance.
With experience planning and executing complex operations, these veterans can also be a powerful force in the business world, according to former career Green Beret Scotty Neil.
“Let’s create a formula and say, hey, we can do business intelligence like we used to do combat intelligence,” Neil said. “Just as we did that meticulous [intelligence and training] to track and destroy foreign fighters, if you align that with an entrepreneur and a small business owner, [a business plan] would have the same traits.”
Neil’s Green Beret Foundation is an attempt to give Special Forces soldiers an exit plan for when they retire and leave the service.
“They have to realize that if they take all these tools that they’re used to, you don’t have to go on a [private military] contract and go to Djibouti, you can be a franchise owner,” says Neil.
Neil began as a normal infantryman in the Army in the early 80s, before going through the rigorous selection process to become a Green Beret in 1993. He had an eventful career with Special Forces and was one of the first operators in Afghanistan following 9/11.
He did five deployments before taking a position in the upper echelons of national security planning. Eventually, he retired from SF in 2006 and entered the civilian workforce.
“I loved what I did — had a great time. [Then I] put my kit in a locker, double lock on it, and walked away from it. A lot of guys can’t do that,” Neil said.
From about 2005 to 2010, Special Forces veterans could easily find $1,000-a-day jobs with private security firms. Since the Iraq War ended, however, those jobs have been drying up.
“We saw the trend. Most military guys only nurture one skill set. At least a truck driver can go and get a truck driving job,” Neil said. “Right now how do you get a 45-year-old senior sergeant major [special operator] and put him back in the workforce?”
The key is translating those special skills into the business world.
“These guys are selected to go through Special Forces training because they are adaptable, intelligent, and self-reliant,” said Neil. “They go through rigorous personality tests as well.”
Being a Green Beret wasn’t all “jumping, running, fighting. It was being patient and strategic enough to take multiple government entities, synch them with what the problem is, facilitate the discussion, get them to commit on an action that’s not on their behalf.”
“The same skills we use in tribal dynamics can be turned to something like small business,” Neil said.
The Green Beret Foundation is having a summit next year in New York City which will bring together leaders in business and government to help create an exit plan for current and future Green Berets.
If there’s one thing every Green Beret knows, it’s a clear exit plan is of utmost importance, and Neil plans on giving them one.
They call themselves the quiet professionals, but we know them as Green Berets. Their official title is U.S. Army Special Forces (SF), and they are one of the most elite fighting groups in the world.
Their mission is unconventional warfare — taking small SF teams to train and lead guerrilla forces.
SF soldiers work together in a 12-man “A-Team,” with each man holding a specific job: The ranking officer is the team leader, the weapons sergeant knows just about every weapon in the world, the communications sergeant tees up ordnance or extract, and the medics can take lives as quickly as saving them.
It may seem crazy to send only 12 guys into a hostile country, but it’s not crazy when they are Special Forces.
Source: Bussines insider
The Murph Challenge Workout
Special operations operators are well beyond professional athletes. SFO’s are in extreme physical conditions. they are prepared to react instantly, in defense of our county. One SFO stands out to me. Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, Navy Seal. No, I never had the supreme honor of meeting the man, but I have read and followed every piece of information I could find on him. “Lt Murphy” became a Navy Seal in July 2002. After several if not numerous mission combating terrorism, Lt. Micheal P. Murphy was surrounded by Taliban soldiers, along with his three other Navy Seals.
“Murphy was killed on 28 June 2005 after he left his cover position and went to a clearing away from the mountains, exposing himself to a hail of gunfire in order to get a clear signal to contact headquarters for relaying the dire situation and requesting immediate support for his team. He dropped the satellite phone after being shot multiple times but picked the phone back up and finished the call. While being shot, he signed off saying- “Thank You”, then continued fighting from his exposed position until he died from his wounds.” Michael P. Murphy – Wikipedia
Lt. Murphy left behind a legacy of honor and fitness and preparedness that many strive to archive. Lt. Murphy called this workout Body Armour, after his death, the workout was renamed The Murph Challenge.
- A 1-mile run.
- Then 100 pull-ups.
- Then 200 pushups.
- Then 300 squats.
- And ANOTHER 1-mile run.
I’m not saying professional athletes couldn’t do it, but Lt Murphy did this for fun.
That being said, I once met an SFO, in Hampton, VA. He was in his late fifties and ran alongside our platoon one morning during pt. , We finished a five-mile run, and he turned to us, and said… that’s it? cmon let’s do it again. The Master Chief was about 6′1 looked like he weighed about 220. It wasn’t until afterward, When I asked him, what was his weight, and almost fell out learning he was 185.
How to train after you retire?
Our training for Force Recon in the ‘60’s involved the fitness tests and times listed below. These were not training exercises. These were tests. You were expected to meet these times before deployment.
Our First Sgt was 46. He often trained with us, matching us step for step. 20 years later, in my mid-40’s, my test times were nearly the same as they had been in my 20’s. My former First Sgt was now retired and lived nearby. We stayed in touch and often trained together. His test times at age 65 were just shy of the times listed below.
As impressive as this is, he wasn’t unique. A good friend of mine owned and operated a local gym. He was a former Special Forces officer (Green Beret), and a Vietnam Vet. A couple of retired SEALS and a Ranger on TDY with Force Recon trained at his gym along with myself and my former First Sgt.
Occasionally, all of us got together and did some trail running, and soft sand beach running. A really fun part of this is when we’d go to MCRD and run the obstacle courses. One of the SEALS’ Grandson was a distance runner at SDSU. He liked to run with us. He especially liked the obstacle courses.
When we began running together, our ages ranged from the early ’20s to mid-’60s. We continued running together for another 15 years.
Today, in my mid-70’s, I can still do the test runs. However, I can’t equal the times. As for the strength tests, I can do them, just not as many reps.
The following are the performance times for my Force Recon team just before Vietnam deployment. To reiterate, these were tests, not training exercises.
PERFORMANCE TIMES — FORCE RECON — Mid 1960s
- 10-mile trail run—Boots, Utes, Rifle, Ammo, and 50-pound pack—75 minutes.
- 10-mile trail run—Boots, shorts, and T-shirt—65 minutes
- 5-mile run—soft beach sand—Boots, shorts, and T-shirts—40 minutes. NOTE: We ran on the soft sand about 50 yards from the water, not the hard pack sand near the water.
- 5-mile run—soft beach sand—Boots, Utes, Rifle, Ammo, and 50-pound pack—50 minutes.
- 50 pull-ups, palms forward, full extension, slow and continuous, no bouncing—90 seconds.
- 100 bent knee sit-ups, feet secured—3 minutes.
- 100 push-ups, chest touching floor, no bouncing—3 1/2 minutes.
- 30-foot rope climb, hands, no feet, from a sitting position—10 seconds.
The four strength tests were performed with no rest between them, i.e., you finished one and moved immediately to the next one. Force Recon Operators averaged 5′8″ to 5′10″, 150–175 lbs. SEALS were 5′10″ to 6′2″, 170–210 lbs.
In general, we could outrun and out power-walk the SEALS, but they could swim circles around us. They were better at push-ups. We were better at pull-ups and rope climbing. We were about equal in sit-ups.
PERFORMANCE TIMES TODAY — Age 70+
- 10-mile trail run, Boots and Shorts—75 minutes.
- 5 mile run in the soft beach sand—45 minutes.
- 25 pull-ups, palms forward, full extension, no bouncing—60 seconds.
- 50 bent knee sit-ups, feet secured—2 minutes.
- 50 push-ups, chest touching floor, no bouncing—2 minutes.
HOW TO TRAIN AT AGE 70+
- Power Walk up hills. Come down slowly. DO NOT RUN DOWN! (You can injure your joints running down).
- Run up hills. Come down slowly. DO NOT RUN DOWN!
- Power Walk on the soft beach sand.
- Run on the soft beach sand.
- Power Climb the stairs in tall buildings. DO NOT WALK OR RUN DOWN! Take the elevator down (it’s too easy to trip coming down the stairs, especially when you get tired).
- Lift Weights and do Flexibility exercises.
- If you can afford it, hire a fitness trainer.
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