HISTORY OF THE ARMY SPECIAL FORCES (GREEN BERET'S)

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JJOIFVET

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Special Forces Major Herbert Brucker was behind the beginning of the green beret designation in the year 1953. Brucker began the designation which would later be realized by First Lieutenant Roger Pezelle who adopted it for his highly operative A-Team called the Operational Detachment FA-32. Rapidly, this little green beret would be seen on the members of the special forces units whenever these soldiers went out into the field. However, the US Army was not keen on making the green beret an authorized entity at that time.
Fort Bragg and President Kennedy changed all of that when in 1961; The President of the United States encouraged the General at the time, General Yarborough to inform all of the special forces to wear their green berets to the event. At the event, President Kennedy delivered a speech whereby he made the green beret a “mark of distinction in the trying times ahead.” The Green Berets became a very real distinction of excellence among special forces at that very moment.

Every November 22nd, the date of the assassination of Kennedy, several of the green berets travel to his graveside and pay tribute to the man, the President that enabled this group of very special forces to earn the green beret distinction. The men honor President Kennedy by placing a wreath and a green beret on his tomb. If Kennedy were alive today, they would still honor him for making such a profound difference in the way the special forces are perceived by people all around the world.

Green Berets today are considered to be in a very elite group of special soldiers. They are highly skilled and trained in areas some soldiers would never be interested in pursuing. They are the “cut above” the rest in a group of like young soldiers who can endure the toughest of conditions and succeed. These soldiers are self-reliant in the most difficult of situations and they are highly regarded in the field.

President Kennedy enabled this group of soldiers the ability to stand out in a crowd of soldiers. And while doing so, the irony was ever-present. Kennedy allowed a group of young men to excel in doing what they were born to do which was lead in combat. And of course, President Kennedy was born to lead the United States. The history of the green berets holds a lot of irony in their historic beginning.



This is just a little peak into our history. I hope you guys enjoy.

Below is a link to another site if anyone is interested.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Army_Special_Forces
 

Trip_Wire

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As you may know, many of us had Green Berets and wore them in garrison before JFK authorized them. I joined SF in June 1961 which was before they were authorized. Our only source were Canadian berets that were all size 6x small. (They gave most a headache.)

We did parade down Seattle streets in a local parade (1962) wearing 107's and the berets. They thought we were Canadians.
 
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arizonaguide

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As you may know, many of us had Green Berets and wore them in garrison before JFK authorized them. I joined SF in June 1961 which was before they were authorized. Our only source were Canadian berets that were all size 6x small. (They gave most a headache.)

We did parade down Seattle streets in a local parade (1962) wearing 107's and the berets. They thought we were Canadians.

Trip, that is COOL!

That's where I get confused. I will do MORE reading, but didn't the first (authorized) "Green Berets" (as well as first "Ranger" tab) get worn by the Special Forces groups that were in Southeast Asia (as yourself) and at that same time here at home? In other words wasn't the first "Ranger tab" worn in SE Asia by a Special Forces (Green Beret)? And only later did they ("Rangers") become a seperate entity. Didn't Special Forces (Green Berets) do the "first" (tabbed) Ranger Training in Vietnam?
 

Trip_Wire

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Trip, that is COOL!

That's where I get confused. I will do MORE reading, but didn't the first "Green Berets" (as well as first "Ranger" tab) get worn by the Special Forces groups that were in Southeast Asia (as yourself) and at that same time here at home? In other words wasn't the first "Ranger tab" worn in SE Asia by a Special Forces (Green Beret)? And only later did they become a seperate entity. Didn't Special Forces (Green Berets) do the "first" (tabbed) Ranger Training?

No the 1st Ranger tabs were awarded to the Korean War Airborne Ranger Company Rangers when they graduated as a Company. This happened in 1950. The colors on that tab were reversed (Gold & Black)

After the disbanding of the Korean war Airborne Ranger companies, they started the Ranger school using existing facilities and people to train individuals. The idea was to train individual NCOs and Junior Officers in the Ranger expertise and return them to their Infantry Divisions, to use that expertise in training others in that unit.

The Special Forces started in 1952 or so. Many Rangers from the Korean war Ranger Companies volunteered or were 'drafted' into these 1st SF type units. Of course, these people would be wearing their Ranger tab with the their patch and later the SF patch. There was no 'Long Tab' and/or SF tab in the 'old' days. The full flash on the Green Beret signified a fully qualified SF soldier.

The oldest SF units were those assigned to Japan & Korea during the Korean war and the 77th SFG(A) Ft. Bragg and the 10th SFG(A) in Germany. (Note those operating in Korea were not SF units as we know them now.)

The Ranger units and the Special Forces units have always been separate from each other as the have very different missions. That said, there has always been individuals who served in both.

BTW: The Korean war Rangers were the first Rangers to wear the Black Beret! (Authorized at Company level only.)

There is a lot of history on the start of SF, etc. You'll find it interesting. Start with this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Army_Special_Forces
 
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arizonaguide

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Thank you Trip! I have been trying to get that strait! Cheers, Bro! :cool: I will get on that link, right now..priority is "more ice". ;)
 
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tip001

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As you may know, many of us had Green Berets and wore them in garrison before JFK authorized them. I joined SF in June 1961 which was before they were authorized. Our only source were Canadian berets that were all size 6x small. (They gave most a headache.)

We did parade down Seattle streets in a local parade (1962) wearing 107's and the berets. They thought we were Canadians.

Great story Trip. Once again get started on that book sir :p
 

Trip_Wire

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Wow, I know nothing! I thought Ranger tabs started in WWII. Is that the insignia? :confused:

The Ranger Scroll started in WW II with the Ranger BNs; however, not the Ranger tab. It was first given to Korean War Rangers (Colors reversed) from the issue tab now days. All Korean war Rangers were issued the other tab, after the fact. ;)
 

QC

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Thanks Trip. Interesting that skills were put back into the service. It was similar with Aussie SF and about the same time in the mid '50's. The Commando Regt. was raised keep the skills of the WW2 guys and pass them on.
 
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