Mission Essential Conversations – The Identity Crisis in Special Forces

Army Special Forces officer COL Ed Croot sat down for a Mission Essential Conversation on the identity crisis in Special Forces. During the discussion, COL Croot goes in-depth about U.S. Special Forces’ evolving demands influenced by prevailing global circumstances. Special Forces face vastly different challenges in the current Great Power Competition than mission requirements when founded in 1952. Today’s environment impacts critical variables such as scope, scale, and an adversary’s speed. 

COL Croot’s 2020 Duke University dissertation on the topic identified fundamental disconnects between recruitment, training, and deployment for Special Forces.

About COL Edward Croot

COL Edward Croot is an Army Special Forces officer from Long Valley, NJ. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh (B.A. Business / B.S. Psychology), Army School of Advanced Military Studies (M.A. Theater Level Operations), and Kansas State University (M.S. Education). He joined the Army in 1995, earning his commission through ROTC. He has commanded at the company and battalion level and served on operational assignments in Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Yemen, Zambia, Iraq, Bangladesh, and Jordan. COL Croot has interagency and policy experience from two U.S. embassy assignments in Sanaa and Dhaka and multinational experience on both a UN and NATO staff. He has focused on national security threats in the Middle East, the Asia-Pacific, and Africa.

COL Croot recently completed the Counterterrorism and Public Policy Fellowship at Duke University, where he conducted research on the current culture and identity of the U.S. Army Special Forces.