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Special Operations Experience

Take Your Team’s Offsite to the Next Level with Military-Style Special Operations Leadership Development Programs

Special Operations units are known for solving complex problems, overcoming adversity, and achieving superior results. The U.S. Special Operations Command develops these capabilities through selection, training, and immersion in a culture of accountability and high-performance teamwork.

Participating in a GEL special operations experience allows your team to partner with special operations veterans to gain insights into working as a team while also strengthening individual capabilities. This is an intense and powerful way to learn from military veterans and build leadership skills through an immersive experience.

How Special Operations Programming Will Elevate Leadership and Team Performance


Moving out of your comfort zone is a proven way to enhance learning and retention. And there’s no better way to do so than by simulating special operations missions. Participating in activities that emphasize military leadership techniques and team building tools will provide valuable insights about your team’s working style and relationships. Experienced GEL facilitators will apply those learnings to a business problem specific to your organization, providing immediate, actionable takeaways.

Special Operations programs are led by veterans of US Special Operations Forces with combat experience in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and other theaters. They have firsthand experience with the US Military’s selection and training processes and love sharing their knowledge with business professionals. Working directly with these military veterans, hearing their stories, and observing their leadership styles provides a profound and lasting impact for teams and individuals.

The experience demonstrates the importance of leadership, planning, and assessing results – all of which are vital to creating a high-performing team both in the military and in a professional setting. The skills emphasized in the program are identical to those valued by companies across the country.

NEW challenges and techniques help you Develop High-Performing EMPLOYEeS

GEL’s special operations immersion experiences are modeled after U.S. military training programs. With the option to participate in either high- or low-intensity formats, your team will complete challenges that will push them to embrace new experiences while focusing on their leadership skills and communication techniques. Recognizing that every business is unique, the experiences are customizable to address your objectives and the specific challenges facing your team.

Special operations experiences are well-suited as a leadership development program for high-performing employees, providing insights into leadership styles and communication. Additionally, the experience provides added benefits for companies interested in helping a new team bond, developing or maintaining relationships among peers, and strengthening organizational culture and esprit de corps.

Throughout the day, dedicated GEL facilitators lead moments of reflection, prompting participants to tie the special operations experiences back to their daily work. As individuals develop and strengthen their own skills, they will also gain insights to improve the team’s functioning and collaboration when you return to the office.

Special Operations Experiences: Find the Perfect Fit for Your Team

There are four special operations experiences to choose from, allowing you to curate a leadership development program that most closely aligns with your team's goals. Each program can be customized to ensure it is a good fit for your team and provides an opportunity to focus on the areas you are most interested in developing. 

Leadership Reaction Courses

A lower-intensity experience, leadership reaction courses allow your team to cycle through activities throughout the day, building leadership and communication skills while working together to complete challenges.

Hostage Rescue Simulation

This higher-intensity experience emphasizes problem-solving, critical thinking, and teamwork. It includes military-style training followed by a simulation that builds on the skills acquired throughout the day.

Escape and Evasion Exercise

A full-day, immersive activity, an escape and evasion exercise requires your team to plan and communicate while completing checkpoints leading to a final collaborative challenge.

Wilderness Search and Rescue

Combining shorter morning skill stations with an afternoon simulation provides your team with an opportunity to focus on time-sensitive planning and execution as well as efficient communication techniques.

GEL recommends pairing a an experiential program with additional off-site programming to build strong connections between the insights gained during the activity and your company’s objectives and goals.

For a more integrated program, consider pairing an experiential activity with off-site business consulting to tie skills learned and behaviors uncovered during the special operations experience to your team’s daily operations and functionality.

Develop your company’s next great leaders. Contact us today to learn more about how GEL’s special operations program could become the offsite your team talks about for years to come.


Participating companies: