The commander of NATO Special Operations Forces Headquarters (NSHQ), LTG Antonio Fletcher, is the guest of a USSOCOM SOFCAST episode. He discusses his career in U.S. Army Special Forces, the role of NATO Special Operations Forces, leadership development, diversity of SOF, the evolution of missions for SOF over time, and the current state of the world.
Fletcher, one of the most respected leaders in U.S. Army Special Forces, talks about his journey to West Point, deciding to go the Special Forces route, and his early days on an ‘A-team’ with 7th Special Forces Group. He gives credit to his early success in the Army to mentors, fellow soldiers, officers, and senior NCOs he was associated with. Fletcher shares his insight on how to develop ‘teams’ and interacting with other colleagues.
He compares Special Forces ODA’s from the pre-GWOT era, during GWOT, to the Special Forces ODA’s post-GWOT. This includes the differences in soldier development, training, planning, preparation, missions, and deployments during these eras. He provides excellent insight into 7th Special Forces Group’s missions in South American and the employment of the group in Afghanistan for almost two decades.
Fletcher notes that the impact of SOF in the contemporary operational environment has shifted – to one of achieving short-term objectives to setting goals that provide a long-term effect. During the discussion the conversation shifts from U.S. Army Special Forces to the role of North Atlantic Treaty Organization Special Operations Forces Headquarters (NSHQ).
He explains the role of NSHQ and how it engages with European SOF. The Ukraine conflict has NATO special operations forces engaged in various activities. However, NSHQ is also engaged in many activities not related to the Ukraine conflict – as there are numerous other requirements as well. NSHQ has a critical role in building ‘partnerships’ and ‘relationships’ among SOF of Europe in a very complex security environment.
His views on how to interact with colleagues and approach to working with other nations is valuable insight. The host of SOFCAST, Sergeant Major Matt Parrish, and ‘Tony Fletcher’ have a discussion that is wide-ranging, informative, and interesting . . . and worth the time to watch.
LTG Antonio Fletcher – Commander of NATO Special Operations Forces Headquarters (NSHQ), SOFCAST, USSOCOM, November 2, 2022, YouTube, one hour.