Socom Commander: Success
Depends on Total Force Readiness
By Claudette Roulo, DoD News,
Defense Media Activity.
Washington D.C. — (DoD
News) — March 26, 2015 — The commander of U.S. Special Operations Command
told Congress today that he is “profoundly concerned” about sequestration’s
impact on the military as a whole. Speaking to the Senate Armed Services
Committee, Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel said that while Socom has been
well-supported in recent years, it is “absolutely dependent” on the military
services as a whole for mission support.
In addition to the fiscal challenges facing his command,
Votel told the committee, the variety of physical threats to national security
is on the rise.
“The spread of technology and the diffusion of power are not
only being used by responsible leaders to better societies, but unfortunately,
by wicked actors to orchestrate terror and violence, regionally and globally,”
Special Operations Provides ‘Comparative Advantage’
State and nonstate actors alike exert significant influence
over the strategic environment in which special operations forces operate, the
“And we are equally affected by the growing use of cyber
capabilities and social media, which make it easy for our adversaries to
coordinate, execute and inspire their actions,” Votel said.
Socom delivers options to the nation’s leaders and to
geographic combatant commanders, he said.
“Through small-footprint operations and by relying on a
network of purposeful partnerships, [special operations forces provide] a
comparative advantage through persistent engagement, partner enablement, network
focus and discreet rapid response to crisis situations,” the general said.
Special operations forces are uniquely suited “to operate and
succeed in the gray zone between normal international competition and open
conflict,” Votel said. “And it is in this area that we see our very best
opportunities to help shape the future environment.”
The general told the committee that he has established five
command priorities designed to support Socom’s singular abilities.
“First, we must ensure [special operations forces’] readiness
by developing the right people, skills and capabilities to meet current and
future requirements,” he said.
“… Second, we must help our nation win by addressing today's
security challenges,” Votel said.
“… Third, we must build purposeful relationships to improve
global understanding and awareness to create options for our leaders,” the
general said. “We don't own the network, but we are an important part of it, and
working with our partners will always produce the best options for our nation.”
Fourth, he added, “we have to prepare for the future security
environment to ensure that [special operations] is ready to win in an
increasingly complex world.”
And, “we must preserve our force and families to ensure their
long-term well-being,” the general said.
Socom leaders “are specifically focused on a holistic
approach to address the invisible challenges of stress and suicide that are
affecting our service members, civilians and their family members,” Votel said.
(Follow Claudette Roulo on
Related Biographies :
General Joseph L. Votel
Related Sites :
Department on Facebook
Department on Twitter
DoD News on Twitter
DoD News Broadcast Channel