1st Special Forces Group gets new commander


running up that hill
Jan 3, 2007
in Wonderland, with my Alice
http://news.soc.mil/releases/News Archive/2008/July/080717-03.html

FORT LEWIS, Wash. (USASOC News Service, July 17, 2008) – Hundreds of Green Berets and support Soldiers from the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) assembled in formation at Watkins Field here July 16 as two veteran Special Forces officers conducted the group’s change of command ceremony.

Col. Randolph R. Binford accepted command of the group from Col. Eric P. Wendt during the ceremony.

Binford, a native of Texas, comes to 1st SFG (A) after serving at the Pentagon in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence since July 2007. Binford was previously a battalion commander in 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne).

Wendt had served multiple previous tours in the 1st SFG (A), and commanded the group since 2006 as 1st SFG (A) troops deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, the Philippines and numerous other countries throughout the Pacific.

In keeping with Army tradition, Wendt handed the group colors and their symbolic responsibility for the unit’s Soldiers to Brig. Gen. Michael S. Repass, commanding general of U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne). With a few private words of encouragement, the general then passed the colors to Binford, who ceremonially passed it back to group Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Stigall.

During his remarks at the ceremony, Wendt thanked the group Soldiers for their accomplishments during his command.

“I want to thank each and every one of you standing in formation, as well as those from previous generations of the First Group, because without you, none of the things this group has accomplished would have occurred,” Wendt said. “I am proud to have been of service to our great country as a member of your ranks.”

Binford lauded the men and women of 1st SFG (A) and stated how eager he is to take the reins of the unit.

“I know you will do great things and I’m ready to be a part of this great organization,” Binford said.

Binford’s previous assignments include the Pentagon and multiple tours with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). Binford also served in Afghanistan and Iraq with the 3rd SFG (A).
Binford graduated from Sam Houston State University in 1984 with a Bachelor’s in Sociology and is a 1999 Naval War College with a Master’s in National Security and Strategic Studies.

For his next assignment, Wendt will deploy to Iraq again with Multi National Corps-Iraq.

The 1st SFG (A), formed in 1957, traces its lineage from Detachment 101 of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), as well as the 1st Special Service Force, a combined WWII U.S. and Canadian unit known as the “Devil’s Brigade.” The Group has called Fort Lewis home since 1984 and has its headquarters and three battalions here, and one battalion forward-stationed at Torii Station, Okinawa, Japan.


Col. Eric P. Wendt (right), the outgoing 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) commander, hands the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) colors to Brig. Gen. Michael S. Repass, commander of US Special Forces Command (Airborne) during a change of command ceremony at Fort Lewis, Wash. July 16. (US Army photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Kosterman)

Col. Randolph Binford (left) accepts the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) colors from Brig. Gen. Michael S. Repass, commander of US Special Forces Command (Airborne) during a change of the command ceremony July 16 at Fort Lewis, Wash. (US Army photo by Sgt. Jason Carter)