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"Are SEALs overexposed to their own detriment?" Topic

25 Posts

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28mm Fanatik12 Apr 2017 11:02 a.m. PST

Books, movies, TV shows and even video games have become increasingly realistic in their depiction of Navy SEALs, their cameraderie and, especially, their tactics and methods. Is profiteering ("selling the trident") endangering lives and going too far in tipping off our enemies?


Chris Wimbrow12 Apr 2017 11:11 a.m. PST

I don't underestimate the skills and courage of the elite armed forces branches, but staying a bit humble and discreet about one's service adds to my respect.

28mm Fanatik12 Apr 2017 11:26 a.m. PST

If SEALs are not glamorized as the rock stars of our military establishment, fewer people may be inclined to join its ranks. But I agree they are covered too extensively in our media and should adopt a lower profile like Delta.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP12 Apr 2017 11:31 a.m. PST

There's a regular on Fox NEWS who is introduced as "the guy who killed Ben Ladin".
Whether or not it's in keeping with the Code, it's still kind of creepy. You get the feeling he's auditioning for a gig as a game show host.

Xintao Supporting Member of TMP12 Apr 2017 11:35 a.m. PST

First rule of Fight Club, don't talk about Fight Club.

They should be refered to as US Special Forces and leave it at that.

Rod I Robertson Inactive Member12 Apr 2017 12:30 p.m. PST

From a military perspective SF operations should remain clandestine and unpopularized. From a civilian perspective their every operation should be carefully made public after the fact and scrutinised with great scepticism for legality and effecacy to policy. Under no circumstances should they be romanticised and idolised, as this hurts both military and civilian "interests".

Rod Robertson.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Apr 2017 12:57 p.m. PST

This is why you here so little about USMC force Recon --- No movies there, just the real thing!!!

Russ Dunaway

Skinflint Games12 Apr 2017 2:04 p.m. PST

How do we know they're realistic? The only way you'd know is to have been Special Forces yourself – I think they're selling alot of what the public want to hear..

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP12 Apr 2017 2:32 p.m. PST

The inevitable law of economics dictates that everything is extracted for wealth.

Personal logo Striker Supporting Member of TMP12 Apr 2017 4:16 p.m. PST

Maybe they're not exposed enough. I say attach Hollywood producers with each unit so the movies can come out fast and furious.

foxweasel12 Apr 2017 4:45 p.m. PST

If you think SEALs are the cutting edge of US SF, think again.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Apr 2017 4:56 p.m. PST

Agreed totally foxweasel. The very fact you know of them is the first indicator.

Russ Dunaway

BigDan Supporting Member of TMP12 Apr 2017 5:03 p.m. PST

The rest of SOF (and not Force Recon Russ! its now MARSOC) just shake their head and mutter Hollywood under their breath.

Quiet Professionalism…

Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP12 Apr 2017 5:38 p.m. PST

I sometimes wonder if the SEALS are so publicized in order to help the Navy's image. Without the SEALS there would not be much public attention paid to the Navy today.


McKinstry Fezian12 Apr 2017 6:08 p.m. PST

USAF JTAC and PJ's, MARSOC, Army SF not to leave out the SAS and SBS and for the US the really silent Delta folks. Lots of really good operators out there with a lot less press. Whacking OBL did that community no real favors.

Lion in the Stars12 Apr 2017 6:13 p.m. PST

Funny, when I read that thread title, my mind went the other direction: Are the SEALs (and by extension, the rest of USSOCOM) doing too many ops?

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Apr 2017 7:43 p.m. PST

Big Dan, Being from the Old Corp, discharged in 71 I still stand by the original thought that all Marines are capable of quick and sudden amphibious assault and thus are all elite. I knew a few guys in the air wing that would make me question that a bit ??
Also, it is the job of reconnaissance to " locate,gather,and advise" and not to engage. "a mission where not a shot is fired is a susseful mission."
"Swift,silent,deadly" = the enemy should never know we were present!!!

Russ Dunawway

Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP13 Apr 2017 1:32 a.m. PST

There have been a few problems here in the UK with former SAS (not so much SBS) personnel writing their memoirs in order to guarantee a decent pension. Unfortunately, when a former SAS commander (de la Billiere) joins in, you are pretty much done with the "no you can't" argument for everyone else.

I think it's a good idea to present the "other side" of what goes on in special ops, if only to prevent the enemy lying about what goes on. It also deters certain types of attack if the enemy knows what you are capable of, and prepared to do, in order to thwart their efforts. I'm not sure what the US position is, but in the UK there isn't usually a problem in finding enough potential recruits to test for the places available.

Personal logo Ironwolf Supporting Member of TMP13 Apr 2017 2:14 a.m. PST

I look at it if the politicians and former directors can write books and make money off of it. Then nothing wrong with the military folks doing the exact same thing.

Noble713 Inactive Member13 Apr 2017 5:06 a.m. PST

The rest of SOF (and not Force Recon Russ! its now MARSOC)

MARSOC (now named the Marine Raider Regiment) is the Marine Corps contribution to Special Operations Command. The Marine Expeditionary Forces still maintain Force Recon battalions organic to the Marine Division which (theoretically) provide a company of Recon Marines directly to the MEF.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Apr 2017 6:35 a.m. PST

Noble713, I think this MARSOC was created because the Corp has always been annoyed that Force Recon was never considered an actual part of Delta,etc? It was made up for Marines and used by Marines and I'm fine with that.

Russ Dunaway

shirleylyn Inactive Member13 Apr 2017 10:59 a.m. PST

My husbands father was in Special Forces and silver star winner.

He was on the back up list for the Son Tay raid and no one in the family knew about it until he died and the mans military documents were gone through.

Low key man, indeed.

Noble713 Inactive Member13 Apr 2017 3:53 p.m. PST

I think this MARSOC was created because the Corp has always been annoyed that Force Recon was never considered an actual part of Delta,etc? It was made up for Marines and used by Marines and I'm fine with that.

No, more like the opposite. The Corps resisted the push for spec ops troops and SOCOM. "All Marines are special" was the mantra. Eventually the Rumsfeld DoD forced the Corps to contribute to the needs of the GWoT, plus Marine leadership wanted a piece of the SOCOM money faucet. MARSOC is definitely doing stuff outside the needs and focus areas (amphib ops /littorals) of the Corps.

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member13 Apr 2017 7:39 p.m. PST


For what it's worth, I don't think the issue with Marine resistance to SOCOM was 'all Marines are special' (and I'm not trying to be snide), the issue I always heard was the Corps didn't want to roger up bodies for stuff not having anything to do with Marine missions and not being under the command and control of Marines. A secondary issue brought up was 'the best and the brightest' being stripped from the ranks of the 'regular' grunts (which was always happening to a limited extent already for Force and Amphib Recon). The only answer to that was to open up indoc to non-03 types, but that still couldn't totally offset the losses to Force, Amphib, and now MARSOC.

Though the Machine always figures out a way to keep churning on ;)

I think it's been quite some time since the Corps' focus was amphib/littoral; maybe since Korea? Definitely since Vietnam, so I think that's not the problem (insofar as that's a problem aligned with my above statements about not wanting to fork bodies over). I mean, sure, it's a semi-unique capability (we have a forced entry capability that won't be used due to Force Protection issues), but, as I mentioned, Marines have been fighting set piece battles too far to even smell the sea for 60+ years.

So, from that perspective, the problem with MARSOC is that you have Marine Victor units deployed to one area of Afghanistan, conducting combat ops, and MSOTs deployed clear on the other side of the country, conducting combat ops in support of 'conventional' US Army and/or NATO forces (and if not in support, in coordination as they share the battle space).

Inter-op problems between conventional forces and SOF have always been an issue, but, from what I understand (and despite everyone's best efforts), there has been an additional layer of teething problems with units in this situation. It was one thing to have SOF and 'Big Army' working in the same space when the majority of SOF were coming out of Big Army, and a whole different ballgame to drop Marines off inside Big Army unit boundaries.

For my part, I don't really have an opinion one way or the other on MARSOC. I am a bit of a traditionalist, so it always strikes me as odd that you have Marine shooters not supporting Marine units, but the buddies I have in MARSOC are loving life.

For what it's worth…


jdginaz13 Apr 2017 8:01 p.m. PST

I've been told that the SEALs are looked down on by the other SF groups for being too talkative.

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