Soldiers to earn the coveted Green Berets during Nov. 13 graduation ceremony

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http://news.soc.mil/releases/News Archive/2009/November/091109-01.html

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, Nov. 9, 2009) – Newly minted Special Forces Soldiers will join the Special Forces regiment as they graduate from the Special Forces Qualification Course at the Crown Coliseum Nov. 13 in Fayetteville.

Eighty-nine Soldiers from the 248th SFQC have spent the past year or more learning the skills required of apprentice Green Berets, including individual specialty skills, unconventional warfare methods, and language and cultural expertise. The graduates range in age from 20 to 39 years old of which 56 have combat experience including four recipients of the Purple Heart medal.

The guest speaker at the graduation ceremony is scheduled to be Brig. Gen. Michael S. Repass, commanding general of the U.S. Army Special Forces Command.

After graduation, the students will be assigned to the Army’s seven operational Special Forces Groups, including the two Army National Guard Groups, and will deploy in support of U.S. national security interests.

During a 4 p.m. Regimental First Formation Nov. 12 at JFK Memorial Plaza, the graduates will don their Green Berets for the first time; welcomed into the brotherhood of the Special Forces regiment. During the ceremony, a prominent member of the regiment will be inducted as a Distinguished Member of the Regiment.

Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Ralph G. King began his career as member of the 101st Airborne Division during World War II. As a member of the Band of Brothers, he participated in Operation Market Garden, the airborne Jump into Holland on Sept. 17, 1944, where he was received the first of two Purple Heart Medals. King was later wounded again near the town of Foy, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge. King volunteered for Special Forces in 1952, becoming one of the original Special Forces Soldiers. King, as a member of the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), deployed to Laos form Sept 1961 to March 1962 as part of Operation White Star.

King retired in 1964, but has continued to serve the military community and the Special Forces Regiment. In 1993, he was the walk leader in a walk from North Little Rock, Arkansas, to Washington D.C. for the Vietnam Nurses Memorial Dedication, and again in 1997 when he participated as one of the leaders with a Bank to Bank walk from Pier 18, Los Angeles, Calif., to Wilmington, N.C. The latter walk of 2,640 miles across eight states in 65 days helped raise $130,000 for the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Museum.
Media interested in covering either event should contact the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School Public Affairs Office at 910-396-9394.
 
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