As a kid I read any military history books I could get my hands on. I fantasized about being a paratrooper or a commando in WWII, killing Germans with my trust FS or V-42 stilletto, or gunning down wave upon wave of charging Japs with my M1 Thompson. All I wanted was to earn my CIB and Jump wings, and nothing else really mattered. When I was an older kid (aren’t we still just kids at the age of 18?), I had the fortune of joining the military, and making my lofty dream into a hard reality. One of the things taking the route I did in the military did for me, was give me an added amount of respect for those that came before me, and a realistic view of what they had to endure in the stories, that up until then were just that, stories. Rangers, Snipers, Commandos, Units with the term “Special” in their name are known to all of us, and with good reason, THEY EARNED IT!
In my view, there are certain things you don’t do. 1) You don’t disrespect those that made a name for themselves by using that name to describe something that has no true relation to the original definition, especially if it is a for profit venture. 2) You do whatever you need to, so as not to give the impression of being a “Wanna Be”, by giving yourself a rank that makes no organizational sense, or naming your unit, group or training course after one of the above mentioned groups. If you look at names that a number of us use to describe our tactical courses of instruction, you will see they have names like “Combat Patrol”, “Rural Buddy Team Essentials Course”, “Combat Rifle”, “Basic Leadership”, or “Grid Down Commo”. We use the name to describe the course, not to embellish the cool factor. Using names of “Bad asses” to describe your course or unit, does not give you any bennies, except to the ignorant, the “Wanna be”, or someone who is a little of both.
A while back (2008) a guy (a Lieutenant Kernel)from a PA militia tried telling me the name he had for his unit (had the word “special” in the title) was due to everyone being able to get a 280 or better on the APFT, and they were all at the “Special” level of ability and training (half of his unit was “snipers”). “Special” doesn’t begin to cover this “Soup sandwich without the bread”. I advised him if he wanted to keep up that ruse, he might want to take the pics of his “unit in training” down from his site, since it showed half of the members as possessing at least a 50 lb. “Forward facing, trunk mounted, modular food storage unit (obviously it was a different APFT than I took dozens of times) , and them doing any type of “water ops” (the training they had scheduled) would automatically start with a “capsize drill”. Obviously, he rescinded his request for me to come help train “His militia” ( Yes, I was doing this before I started MDT), and said I was probably a federal plant (actually posted this on a militia forum LOL), and he’d seen through my ploy, trying to infiltrate his unit (That’s funny….. he contacted me). What’s my point? The point is this. Do you want to get prior service members to join your group? Fine, don’t make them laugh when you introduce yourself as “Lieutenant Kernal_______ of the First Special Snipers Brigade” “Prior service recruiting tip” If you are a militia unit, and you use rank, keep it conservative (In a group of 8, anything over the rank of Lieutenant is BS, and that’s a stretch you do, only if you want an “officer” in charge), or better yet, only use the duty position as their title (my recommendation). When it comes to your unit name, keep it low key. Don’t use names with “Special”, “Recon” (I have yet to meet a unit with that name in their title that knew the first thing about reconnaissance), or any name that ends with an “O” (recondo, commando, etc.). You want to be nostalgic with a group name? Use something like “_______Rifles”, “________ Longrifles”, “________ Scouts”. Hell, I don’t even have an overall problem with a unit using the term “Rangers”, since it was also a generic term to describe militia units throughout our history (starting with the Brits), as long as it’s not being used to describe a training course.
We owe the men who have earned the history of those unit names, courses, and ranks more than we can repay, and those who try and capitalize on those names for recruiting (units) or monetary (courses) purposes are probably bullshit artists who probably have never done more than maybe attend a dojo, read a history book, or play Modern Warfare 3 one too many times. If in doubt about THEIR origins for THAT course name, ask them.The answer will probably confirm what I’ve mentioned above, and will register high on your BS meter.
By the way, I’m probably gonna start a “Selous Scouts” course, since I found this blank certificate online
Obviously, I’m joking. As stated before, those were some “Bad Ass” Dudes. I read about them in my first issue of Soldier of Fortune, and respect what they did too much to use it in that way.
American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE