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Remarks by Commanding General, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Lt. Gen. Beaudette at the graduation of Psychological Operation Qualification Course 01-19

DECEMBER 5, 2019


"It's great to be here. I'm here for one reason: this is the most important thing we do. This is the most important part of the Special Operations community, the Special Operations Family. The Men and Women seated before you are how we win, how we consolidate gains. It's my honor to be here with you today and I really appreciate what you've done and what you're about to embark on for the Nation. I can't overstate how important all of you are to what we're trying to do. At the end of the day, we don't win without you, so we're really thankful for your efforts and your leadership.

Good morning, Distinguished guests, PSYOPers past and present, it's great to have you here as we honor these fantastic graduates of PSYOP class 01-19. A special welcome to the Families in attendance this morning. Army Families bear the greatest burden of all, and their service to this Nation is conducted quietly and without fanfare. Thank you for the unconditional love and support that enables all of our success. Not just here, but more importantly, for the 4,000 Men and Women from this command we've got deployed in over 80 countries around the world each and every day. We're incredibly proud of you, and it's not lost on us that these fantastic Men and Women grow up in an environment that leads them to this point ultimately. Those foundations are set out there and we're incredibly thankful. Let's please give these wonderful Families a round of applause.

It's always humbling, and frankly inspirational, to be here at the Special Warfare Center and School -- originally known as the Psychological Warfare School. This is the epicenter of "disciplined daring and reckless calculation," what it takes to be in our line of work. As we stand here this morning, you can feel the history of this renowned organization. This very auditorium is a place of honor. This was the venue for the Son Tay Raid brief; where the heroes of our past raised their hands and said "Send Me" when their Nation called, and where today's Warriors gather to sustain our great traditions. This is where our Team begins ultimately -- and today, a number of distinguished graduates become part of that legacy. Let me be the first to welcome you to the Special Operations Family! You're critically important to all of us.

For over 100 years, and you'll note that pre-dates Special Forces -- so feel free to bag on your Green Beret Brothers and Sisters out there - Psychological Operations have been sowing the seed of doubt, inciting fear, and disrupting the enemies of our Nation. This community is comprised of the best our Nation has to offer, a special breed of Warrior -- you are the true "Originals." Don't lose sight of that fact. You possess a mastery of influence theory, human dynamics, psychology, sociology, language, culture, and politics. Today's PSYOPer is the most highly skilled influencer the world has ever seen -- pure ARSOF-grade steel. Wear the Black Knight and crossed daggers with pride -- we're so incredibly proud of you!

Make no mistake, the road you've chosen is not an easy one. We are in conflict, right now. We have been for 18 years, and Special Operators have been fundamental to that fight every single day. We have our horns locked in the trenches with a determined and innovative enemy who actively leverages diminished barriers to entry, commercial off the shelf technology, and who is unconstrained by ethics, laws or policy. To combat that threat, we specially assessed, selected, and trained all of you to be the disciplined Warriors and premier problem solvers our Nation needs you to be.

Psychological Operations is the backbone of the ARSOF Family, and the key to our victory. As our newest practitioners of the dark arts of influence, you are now caretakers of a legacy that has been hammer-forged across the globe by executing some of the most dynamic, fluid, and complex Special Operations missions in history. I challenge all of you here today to continue that tradition. Push the envelope, it's who we are, and advance your craft as we transition into a world of technologically mediated communication, social media, and advanced computing. I know you won't let us down.

As the character of warfare continues to evolve, so must our role in it. To maintain our competitive advantage, we have to raise the bar. We must effectively weaponize and integrate all aspects of Information Warfare to seamlessly close the gaps between the physical and digital domains. We must tighten the noose on our adversaries by expanding the conversation to all the Information Related Capabilities -- Electronic Warfare, Deception, STO, PSYOP, and Civil Military Operations, among others. I promise you, you're central to them all. Even in the Information Age, the principles of war remain valid, and massing all the elements of combat power is paramount to our success. Just like it was day one.

You've joined this Regiment at the best possible time. We have been making aggressive moves to evolve and develop innovative approaches to how we fight; unit of action constructs, force disposition, expanded Combat Training Center scenarios, and cyber-enabled MISO, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us. We're at 5% power and you guys are going to take us to the next ridgeline. As I look upon this audience, I'm filled with a great sense of pride knowing that the talent in this room is more than capable of defying the laws of gravity and propelling this Regiment where it belongs, in the stratosphere.

The Nation will undoubtedly continue to demand much from us in the years ahead -- in fact that demand signal will likely increase. In combat, where ARSOF continues to take the fight to our enemies each and every day, the stakes remain high, and the sacrifices steep. We look to you, as we always have, to deliver on our promise to the Nation.

In closing, thank you all for joining us, God Bless the Psychological Operations Regiment, its outstanding Men and Women, our Nation's Army, and God Bless America."