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How to look like you’re Special Forces

One thing this excellent article fails to mention is the beard…you have to grow a big beard, and you should grow your hair at least until it touches the top of your ears (see #3, which is good but could be expanded imho).

How to look like you’re Special Forces

by Anonymous, courtesy of BusinessWeek.com

1. First, go to EMS and buy the biggest watch you can find. A foreign special services officer asked me once whether we recruited guys based on the size of their watches or whether we bought everyone a big watch as a reward after training.

2. Cut the sleeves off your shirt. It’s hot in the Middle East, and guys would cut the sleeves off their operational uniforms. It makes sense in certain situations, but I had to tell my team, “Look, I know it’s hot, but I need you to meet safety parameters. You’re gonna get scratched.”

3. Make it your boss’s job to tell you to get a haircut and a shave.

Tactical Fanboy: You have to cut off your sleeves, grow a beard and wear a huge watch if you REALLY want to look like a steely-eyed Special Forces snake-eater.

4. Wear sunglasses. Everywhere. I’ll tell my team, “Hey, we’re inside. We can take off our sunglasses.” But they don’t.

5. Keep quiet. The baddest guys I know are also the quietest. The guy who’s talking about doing badass stuff? He’s probably not the biggest badass in the room. It’s a little like that guy on the football team who wears his letterman jacket all the time.

6. Never say “no.” Your first reaction has to be, “Yes, I can do that,” and then you figure out how. If the president asked me to go to the moon tomorrow, I’d say yes. Then I’d say, “I’ll need some training. And someone who can fly a rocket.” — As told to Brendan Greeley

Anonymous led teams in the Middle East and South Asia as a special forces officer.

20 Responses to “How to look like you’re Special Forces”

  1. […] Thanks to tacticalfanboy.com for the original article. […]

  2. Thomas says:

    Don’t forget Tribal Tatts and Huge bottle of Atomic human growth vitamins

  3. Wayne says:

    True Operators wear real watches, like analog, self winding watches that don’t need a battery. Rolex, Omega, Brietling, etc. They also don’t mind staying clean and shaving once in a awhile. Americans stand out no matter where they are. True Operators blend in. When in in Rome…well, you know the rest. Play the game and don’t piss off the people you have to live with. Real Operators will leave the people they live and work around wondering what they really do. Those people with over sized beards and watches are usually pulling security so the “others” can get “their” jobs done. Plus, over sized watches get in the way, draw attention and reflect light. They make great sniper targets too!
    All a watch needs to do is give the time…a plain old blacked-out Luminox is all that is needed on a real world OP.

  4. Joe Schmoe says:

    Wow Wayne… This just flew right over you didn’t it?

  5. EntilZha says:

    Wayne you’re almost right. What true Operators must do is blend in, if his mission is intel in a party dress according to the type of party, if in the field get ready to get down and dirty and especially blend in, know the lingo, know the customs of the country, don’t get into peoples faces, act like the dumbest person around in other words DON’T BRING ATTENTION TO YOURSELF be invisible. Leave the long beard, hair and when called for attitude for IF and when when you retire. And yes all a watch needs to do is tell time and it really makes for a perfect target.

  6. Mike says:

    ITT airsofters arguing about what SF does

  7. Jim says:

    I don’t understand why people feel the need to voice off about stuff clearly they have no idea about. It’s not a cool-guy competition here, no one cares.
    But if it was, Wayne you’d clearly be DQ’d for having the REAL INSIGHT buddy…. Sheesh.

  8. No Fan of Spain says:

    This article should have been titled “How to Look Like An Idiot Who Thinks War is Exactly Like Call of Duty”

  9. Tan says:

    Real operators dont wear undies

  10. killslowly says:

    ITT a lot of butthurt over nothing LOL.

  11. Casual Watches Shop…

    […]How to look like you’re Special Forces « Tactical Fanboy[…]…

  12. Andronaut says:

    Wayne, True Operators also posses this 6th sense… Some call it humour

  13. Skye says:

    Operators wear will wear a rolex or very expensive watch over a more tactical one- depending on the situation. Its not to be flashy- its because no matter what country you are in, and what language they speak, everyone knows what a rolex is, and they will give you lots of money in local currency in exchange for it. Remember, while these guys are bad ass killers, there job is more oriented around raising indigenous forces in a proxy war fashion. They ingrain themselves into another country’s culture and society to do this. It helps to get as far as possible from a uniform to do that.

  14. Anon says:

    Special Forces operators missions are to gain te trust of the locals and help over throw the bad guys (Taliban). Afghan men think of manly men having beards, so they won’t trust anyone who doesn’t have a beard. That might not be true for all cases, but lots of tribes judge you from your appearance.

  15. Adam says:

    HAHAHA the Rolex thing is a myth.

  16. JDaddy15911 says:

    Very sf guy I’ve met all fit the same profile. Shaved face…but not too shaved. Hair longer than regulation…but not too long. I’ve never met one that looked like he could bench press a Buick. Those guys were usually cooks or REMFs like me. In fact most of them carried a couple extra pounds. Not really fat, but not a Greek god either. I was told this was in case they had to miss a few meals. I’ve never met one under 25. They put off a weird vibe too. They never really seems dangerous (unlike SEALs, they always look at you like they aren’t sure you aren’t food) just…competent, like you can trust them. They make you want to do what they say. They are more patient than you’d expect (I always thought they’d be type A bullies…like Rangers). They like to drink, but I’ve never seen one hammered drunk. They are usually quiet, unassuming, and true professionals. They don’t love the spotlight like SEALs do. They don’t really brag much about what they do. In fact, I went to became friends with a SF CSM, even went on a week long camp out with him and had no idea what he did until I ran into him at work.

  17. get it says:

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I do believe that you need to publish more about this topic, it may not be a taboo subject but usually folks don’t speak about such issues. To the next! Best wishes!!|

  18. 1SG Retired says:

    I have many former/ current SF friends and you would never know they were SF unless you asked. They are mostly clean shaven, humble, and modest. It should be understood by the masses that true SF soldiers are only allowed to wear facial hair when it enhances their mission. True operators don’t wear beards and remain clean shaven like other troopers unless the mission dictates. Most “operators’ I see in the civilian world are just posers.

  19. Andy175 says:

    Hehehe, this is all hilarious. Special Forces, are not operators, they are different things. SF and special operations are different things. Some things people commented on may be somewhat accurate, but since most of you are airsofters, who spent a couple years as a fuel handler in the Nebraska National Guard I guess it doesn’t matter.

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