Special Forces Officer recruiting in a high OPTEMPO environment
Weathers, Michael B.
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This thesis investigates, analyzes, and determines how the current levels of operations tempo (OPTEMPO) and the Army's efforts to mitigate OPTEMPO's negative impacts are affecting the recruitment of U.S. Army officers for service in Special Forces (SF). In light of the dynamic nature of the Army's operational environment today, this thesis does not attempt to provide a conclusive list of all the things that have a positive or negative impact on SF officer recruitment, but rather focuses on aspects that have been most often identified by previous research, highlighted in interviews with SF volunteers and recruiters, and demonstrated by statistical trend analysis. This thesis contends that SF officer recruiting appears promising for the next several years despite the challenges of today's dynamic operational environment. There are two main reasons behind this success: the aspects of mission satisfaction associated with SF, which appear to be consistent across time, and the benefits of SF OPTEMPO structure, which may be temporary in nature. Both of these elements are currently enhanced by SF's increased exposure to the conventional Army.