I have recently represented several special forces soldiers in tab revocation proceedings. These soldiers were under investigation for misconduct, some real and some perceived.
In the 5th Special Forces group, the commander has a policy letter on tab revocation requirements for misconduct. As part of the tab revocation, there is a requirement to reclass the soldier out of the 18 series MOS. So, he loses both the Green Beret and the actual ability to operate in his field. My response to this is two-fold, (1) I am always saddened to see such highly trained and successful soldiers lose both their MOS and their tab; and (2) I am amazed at the changing landscape of the SOF Community.
Several years ago, I wasn’t hired by many SOF Soldiers. This has changed radically. I have represented 18 series Soldiers in many Courts-Martial and Administrative Separation Boards recently. In the old days, if a Green Beret committed misconduct, the misconduct was swept under the rug and not much was done to the tabbed Soldier. This developed into an idea of the “big boy” rules, where the tabbed soldiers were expected to be professional, without a lot of supervision. In the absence of the soldier’s professionalism, many times the command would not know what to do.
Those times have change. There have been several embarrassing incidents, which have brought unwanted attention to the commands, are causing commanders to reevaluate the “big boy” rules. Drinking incidents have begun to result in administrative discharges for tabbed soldiers. Criminal conduct downtown and while deployed the same.
With so much training and expertise, these decisions to end these special careers should be examined carefully by the commands. We can’t have soldiers who run amuck, but I sure hate to see all that courage and all those tax dollars flow down the drain.