Time, of course, is a valuable commodity for Army Special Forces (SF). Being a Green Beret requires a man to spend a lot of time on deploymentâ€”in turn, taking a lot of time away from family. And although there are five active groups compared to two National Guard groups within SF, the â€œGuard groups . . . are very busy. [They] are spending a great deal of time overseas and a great deal of time in harmâ€™s way.â€
And though you may have heard about animosity between active-duty soldiers and so-called â€œpart-timersâ€ (National Guard), the â€œactive groups have no problem integrating their guardsmen into their deploying units. In reality, theyâ€™ve no choice. Since 9/11, SF soldiers in the active groups are deployed 270 to 275 days a year.â€ And the guardsmen also â€œare gone a great deal of the time,â€ sometimes â€œas much or more than their active-duty brothers.â€
As Iâ€™ve written previously, in todayâ€™s war in the Middle East, the Green Berets are a critical element. In light of their particular significance in this point of history, Dick Couch has written Chosen Soldier: The Making of a Special Forces Warrior, the subject of my book-blogging this summer. Actually, it may likely go into the fall. While the Green Beretsâ€™ time is well-structured, mine has been pulled in numerous directions. Hence, the three-plus weeks between my last post on Couchâ€™s book and this one!
So I have been reading more about the structure of SF (that term, by the way, designates only the Army Special Forces, not that of all the branches), and the issues of time and prudence are what currently stand out.