What happened to brotherhood?

What happened to brotherhood?

Authored By Gerald Searfoss 4 Comment(s)

Looking back at almost 15 years of service, 5 combat deployments and multiple training events and a small stent as a TACP (Tactical Air Control Party) Instructor, I continue to ask myself “What happened to Brotherhood”? Seriously, what happened to it? These new aged NCO’s think it’s a great idea to see if your Airman, Soldier, Marine or Seaman is being over STRESSED! Really?! I think that they are just coddling them and not teaching them shit about operating as a team member in the military or what the ability to deal with stress under certain conditions can do for them and the team in both combat and garrison. It has truly weakened a brotherhood that is built on teamwork and implanted in their minds that individuality is a good characteristic; the ability to deal with stress and how to react when that stressor is applied is one of the most important functions in combat for your TEAM. In my opinion they have successfully destroyed the brotherhood mentality and what it means to stand for something!

When I first joined the Air Force my very first Supervisor was SSgt Lopez (still a very good friend of mine today, and now an Intel sissy) but, I first thought this dude was a complete DICK in all aspects! But, he had taught me more than just how to be a TACP or JTAC, he taught me the importance of brotherhood, and the importance of teamwork. His methods were a bit unorthodox to say the least but they worked, and made our team even stronger. These days some of the snowflakes that have joined the military would have reported him for hazing, but to me, I gladly excepted the challenge whether I was pushing a HUMVEE for .25, .50 miles while studying for a test (with my team members inside it asking me questions) or sent on a navigation to look for something that was never there, because I wasn’t going to back down from any challenge he presented and make my team pay for it.


Brotherhood is built off camaraderie, not individuality. To this day I will gratefully stand by certain individuals as I know they would stand with me, and these are the ones that I call brother, and to this day I would gladly sacrifice for them in all aspects! This is the type of mentality that needs to be ingrained into the minds of our new age operator’s, Airman, Soldiers, Marines and Seaman, because this is what builds character and brings a team together and protects the greater good.

So, what has led to the deprivation of brotherhood? In my opinion it is the bullshit since of entitlement that these wannabe’s have been raised with! They feel that they are owed for their service opposed to having pride in their service, and added to that is the way that they are coddled by their superiors opposed to being put in their place when they fuck up! I would have never in my life thought that the military regarding any branch needed a safe space… but with these self-entitled snowflakes coming in, we are just about to that point! Agree or disagree with me, these are solely my thoughts on what has happened to brotherhood and how it has affected me in my career and all future endeavors as it has helped define me!




Peter de KAM
Peter de KAM

You absolutely nailed it! I still recall how the school house beat us down to the point where we stopped giving excuses. Being a TACP/ROMAD/etc wasn’t a right, it was a privilege… Stress was a badge of honor because the strong struggled and stood tall. On point with a TOT, no matter what. There was never any quit. The mission was the only thing that mattered…

How much does the brotherhood stand for? Like others, I seem to be having my fair share of orthopedic and medical problems… But, there has always been someone when I needed them the most… It didn’t matter if I was a five hour drive and they had to sneak beer into the nursing home where I was laid up… Some one was there. You can’t teach that in a classroom. You need NCO’s leading the charge. Some one, I have forgotten who it was, told me that the career field was sort of like Rugby…. There aren’t any time outs, there are positions on the team that require all different kinds of people, and, you got to play with the severed heads of your enemies… The reward just meant you earned the right to highlight there were “deceased insects”. (Aka DEAD BUG) sending people diving to the floor with howels of laughter….


Good stuff fellas.
Every generation talks about how weaker the youth are.
2 take aways; expectation management and adapting leadership styles.
Gearald can testify that I went a little above what the Air Force deems as acceptable training. Knowing the desired results and adapting to current environment makes everyone better. You guys nailed it when you talked about how the guys you want are the ones who want to get crushed in training. The harder the obstacle, the greater the pride. Which branch of service has the toughest boot camp? Which branch has the most pride? Same answer.
Brotherhood cant be found where it doesn’t truly exist and can’t be hidden where it truly does.
Awesome podcast. Keep it up.

S DeLoach
S DeLoach

What I could gather from this is how others act normally due to, maybe, their backgrounds. Not like a study, but my first taste of the environment was everyone’s first impressions to each other. Being the oldest in my group it seemed what was “hipster”, funny to say, was how the majority were relating. Then gossip or who got what from home. I’m not calling it spoiled, but it was terrible dealing “it” while focused about family related. Which in turn from grand parents to my immediate family being stronger and always active until retired. Comparing the maturity and brotherhood and still very proud as I am attempting a career to keep.

S DeLoach

Seth “The Tick” Pena
Seth “The Tick” Pena

Brotherhood is essential in the TACP community anthe true importance of it is overlooked. I’ll share what it means to me from a perspective not many will ever have. When my life was changed that fateful day March 1st 2013, my whole WORLD was turned upside down. I was in a coma, had died twice, lost my leg, suffered injuries that would have killed me a third and final time if I hadn’t been next to one of the top three trauma centers in the United States at the time. I had to go through recovery with memory loss, missing my left leg, internal injuries so numerous I tend to forget them all, and depression like I’ve never dealt with in my life.

Now for the part I almost never share with anyone. When I was laying on that hospital bed unconscious, I remember something so vividly clear even despite my memory loss from the brain trauma. The doctors and nurses were at a loss for what to do next to bring me back and keep me alive, because despite all their efforts, I was deteriorating still and was about to die a third and final time. (One of the top three trauma centers in the United States remember) I could feel myself slipping and wanted to just give in to the pull of the void. You know what kept me there? The voices of my TACP brothers! The ER docs and nurses were at a loss for what else they could do so they went out and brought all my TACP brothers in to shout encouragement at me. Of course our encouraging can often be mistaken as being mad at each other and I remember thinking, “WHY ARE THEY SO MAD AT ME?” ? I’m unconscious still don’t forget, but I was aware of what was happening around me. They kept shouting encouragement to me and I stopped just sliding away and was trying to get to where I could get my bearings in my mind, become more coherent. BROTHERHOOD by the GRACE of GOD kept me here.

This community has its red headed step children, as we are basically that for the USAF… but we are a brotherhood and it’s looking out for the best interest of each other that makes us stronger. Not back stabbing, not self interests, but the strength of our brotherhood that makes us strongest. All the old school TACP stories I hear, that’s the core theme and what makes those stories so great. Together, we are like the 300 who held off a million man Persian army. Separate… we fall by the wayside. Ignore the politics and the agendas and the self promotion of all of it and embrace the brotherhood. It can save you!

Seth “the Tick” Peña

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