A Conversation With Former Chairman of the Board – Green Beret Foundation - Maj. Gen. David Morris
MG (Ret) David Morris - Former Green Beret & Special Operations Commander
Training, Helping, Fighting
Scout Warrior: How Would You Describe the Core Mission of the Green Beret Foundation?
Morris: “We connect Green Berets with the resources they need to succeed in the mission ahead. This is not just a military mission but something that includes Green Berets who are injured, or decide to leave service. For example, if a Green Beret needs to retire due to medical injury, we help with that transition. We help Green Berets and their families prepare for the next mission ahead, which often is civilian life.”
Scout Warrior: What Can You Say About the Uniqueness of the Green Beret Foundation as Part of the Special Forces Community?
Morris: Every member of our board is a Green Beret, with the exception of one lady who is the wife of a retired Green Beret. It is like family.”
Scout Warrior: Green Berets Are Known for Their Tremendous Sacrifice. What Does That Mean to the Foundation?
Morris: “An SF soldier can expect to have repeated deployments for at least 6-months to a number of forward locations including Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, the Philippines or the Horn of Africa. In the last 15 years, a Green Beret has spent more time with his unit than he has with his family. They are either deployed or getting ready to deploy.”
Scout Warrior: What Is One of the Greatest Sacrifices?
Morris: “US Army SF has the highest casualty rate per capita of any unit in the US military.”
Maj. Gen. (R) David Morris - Chairman of the Board - Green Beret Foundation
Scout Warrior: What Are Some of the Key Components of a Green Beret’s Wide-Ranging Mission Focus? I Understand Green Berets Have a Specialty Skill but are First and Foremost Soldiers Trained to Fight if Needed.
Morris: “While Green Berets perform direct combat missions, their core mission as the only Unconventional Warfare unit in the US inventory, is to train, coach, teach and mentor others. A 12-man A-Team can train a force of 1,000 - 2,000 fighters and bring them up to an acceptable measure of combat readiness. If you stop and think about it, that is 1,000 to 2,000 of our sons and daughters who do not have to go to war because of this training.”
Scout Warrior: What are Some of the Unique Skills Required of Green Berets?
Morris: “They cannot train someone from a foreign country unless they speak the language and learn the culture. Part of become a Green Beret means you have to display efficiency in at least one foreign language.”
Scout Warrior: What is the Scope of the Green Beret Global Mission?
Morris: “The SF community is a small force multiplier with repeated deployments. They deploy to the Middle East, Southwest Asia, South America and other places. Green Berets may be deployed in as many as 90-countries around the world. Not all of them are combat zones but many are remote, austere locations like the Philippines, Thailand and Africa.”
Scout Warrior: How Does Being a Green Beret Involve or Impact an Entire Family?
Morris: “Most Green Berets are typically a little older in their early-to-mid 30s. The families serve as well because the husbands are constantly gone. Families get used to operating without their dad and husband being close by. This creates stress on the family. Our executive director is the wife of an injured Green Beret.”
Scout Warrior: What are Some of the Biggest Stresses on Green Berets?
Morris: “Green Berets may deploy as many as 10-times (or more) throughout their career. There has been a lot of stress on them with the last 15 years of war. Green Berets don’t easily ask for help and do not easily identify themselves as having an issue, but it is OK to say you have a problem. The Green Beret Foundation understands the mindset of “America’s Quiet Professionals”, and because of this, we are in a good position to help identify needs and render assistance.”
Scout Warrior: How Does Your Long and Distinguished Career of Service to the US Impact your Perspective Now?
Morris: “I started in the 7th Special Forces Group with a first assignment to Panama. Also, I was the first Special Forces team leader to take a team into the war in El Salvador. Later, as a Colonel I had the opportunity to command Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Arabian Peninsula in Iraq. Those deployments, combined with my other assignments provided me the chances to observe and serve with some incredible American Soldiers and true heroes across over three decades. My volunteer work with the Green Beret Foundation is a labor of love for my Regiment and its families.”
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