SOF Truth: Humans are more important than hardware.
Team, I think this SOF Truth speaks volumes. Overseas, we have had Partnered Forces as organized, trained and equipped as most American Forces were, yet when tested however, they capitulated and readily gave up US provided equipment, valued in the millions. Interestingly enough, this happened not once but on several occasions. It was during these instances where this SOF Truth would sound off louder than the others. It is cliche but you really can bring a horse to water but not make it drink.
Even worse, was the fact that we trained these forces for years. We worked along side them and conducted operations with them. Yet, when left alone, having the same gear and equipment, they quickly abandoned it in place and left to the safety of their own homes. Maybe an emphasis should have been placed on developing the individuals mindset and confidence in their skill and not feed an illusion of immortality by having pricey gear.
Either way, these instances and others like it, warn me to never develop a false sense of security behind technology or equipment. It tells me that although armed, I still may need to physically defend myself the instant my firearm fails to function as designed. It says, that although I may wear an armored vest, I may become injured and need to apply self-aid and continue to fight for my life. In fact, on one operation, a fellow Green Beret earned a Silver Star by neutralizing his attacker with his bare hands. After being attacked from behind and having his shoulder dislocated because of the attack, he still managed to come out victorious, pop his shoulder back in place and continue to secure the objective. This operation, like no other at the time, reminds me that humans are in fact more important than hardware. It reminds me that I am the weapon, the warrior, the LiteFighter in charge of my own personal protection 365 days a year. It is a responsibility that I can never outsource to another individual, agency, nor piece of gear.