Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Reader 1

Jennifer Taw

Rights Information

© 2015 Michael Connell


This thesis examines the extent to which Army Special Forces can grow in response to policy makers’ increasing demand for Green Berets. With the emergence of hybrid warfare, and the demand for conducting foreign internal defense and unconventional warfare operations worldwide, Special Forces have become increasingly useful for US foreign policy and military operations. Therefore, Special Forces, and its special operations brethren, are growing despite monetary cutbacks to the regular force.

However, there is an extent to which Special Forces can grow, and this paper investigates the limitations inhibiting the growth of Special Forces. Specifically, policy makers and military leaders should consider the time it takes to train a Green Beret, and adhere to the SOF truth “quality is better than quantity.”

Moreover, this paper argues policy makers should focus on utilizing the current number of Green Berets more efficiently, in manners which negates such an extensive growth of USASFC. Such recommendations include prioritizing Special Forces’ foreign internal defense missions by deploying small intelligence teams of specific Special Forces personnel to assess the area of operation prior to a deployment, to provide Special Forces leadership with a “boots on the ground” assessment of the battlefield. These intelligence reports can be utilized by Special Forces leaders and policy makers to prioritize future operations.

My respect for past, present, and future Green Berets transcends what I can articulate in a thesis; however, I submit this thesis in admiration of the men who don the green beret, and deploy in defense of our country.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.