"The decisive point of any SFA mission may very well be the selection, training, and education of personnel in preparation for deployment."SFA Handbook, JCISFA, June 2012
The United States military has had extensive experience in performing advising duties over the past decade in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in other parts of the world. Unfortunately, the United States Military has had poor results in selecting advisors to important advisory positions. This is true of all services but especially the U.S. Army. Quite simply - the personnel management system of the U.S. Army has operated in a peacetime mode while the nation was at war for over 13 years. The personnel management system is not flexible and it is not adaptable. The fault lies at Human Resources Command, FORSCOM, and the units selected to provide advisors. A recent article in Military Review entitled "Misunderstanding the Officer Personnel Management System", January 2015 defends the current system in place. However, there are many observers familiar with the SFA mission in Afghanistan that believe FORSCOM and Human Resources Command have failed in providing the right advisors for the Security Force Assistance mission in Afghanistan. This writer has personally embedded with over 120 Security Force Assistance Advisor Teams (SFAATs) in Afghanistan over the past three years. The number one problem with the SFA mission is poor advisor selection and pre-deployment training. Changes need to be made.