Our culture in Special Forces and unofficial motto is the “Quiet Professionals.” We do our jobs/ missions, not looking for accolades but because we know we are making a difference. But there is a difference between being a Quiet Professional and a Silent Professional, we fail ourselves and our brotherhood when we think we have to be silent professionals. We have stories and experiences to share that are impactful and that resonate with people. We cannot be afraid to tell them, to share that knowledge and inform America.
God bless our brother Seals, but they are neither quiet nor silent. This is a reason why they are able to break through barriers when they separate from the military. I’m not saying every Green Beret needs to write a book or start writing their movie script, but we can learn a little bit from our brothers in arms. That being a “Seal” gives them that first 30 seconds of credibility in an introduction. They can then turn that into so much more and lead to opportunities. If we can gain that 30 seconds of credibility from saying we’re a Green Beret, then that is an opportunity we should take advantage of to open up opportunities after our service.
We are comfortable in the uncomfortable, Masters of Chaos, we need to get over that awkward moment of telling others we are/were a Green Beret. The doors and potential that can open are numerous if we allow ourselves to speak freely about who we are. Try it and see the results that happen, you will be amazed at how that can springboard a conversation. Frankly, its ok to say “Hi, I’m (insert name) a former Green Beret and it’s nice to meet you.” You are not divulging national security secrets by saying you are a Green Beret, you’re just identifying a chapter of your life that you have proudly earned.
It’s all about branding, you have a brand, and the Green Beret has a brand. These two brands are intertwined. The more we play the silent professional, the more our personal and the Green Beret brand is held back. Practically elevating our own brands can be a game changer in our transition.