United States Army Special Forces
The United States Army Special Forces is the Army component of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) which is composed of small, highly specialized teams of Special Forces soldiers. JSOC teams are trained and equipped to conduct unconventional warfare missions against military forces and guerrilla groups in other countries. They are also trained and equipped for foreign internal defense, or FID, missions within the U.S.
- United States Army Special Forces
- United States Army Special Forces Mission
- United States Army Special Forces History
- Special Forces Groups
- SF Operational Deachment A Composition
- SF Operational Deachment B Composition
- SF Operational Deachment C Composition
- Selection And Training
- Green Beret
- Special Forces Tab
- Camouflage Pattern
- Yarborough Knife
United States Army Special Forces Mission
The Army’s primary mission is to train and lead unconventional warfare forces. The 10th Special Forces Group is the first deployed SF unit, intended to train and lead a clandestine guerrilla force in an occupied nation.
It was realized that guerrilla warfare specialists could also be useful against hostile guerrillas, so Special Forces got involved in what’s known as foreign internal defense (FID), working with host nation (HN) forces in a range of counter-guerrilla activities from indirect support to command.
While they are best known for their unconventional warfare capabilities, they also undertake other missions that include direct action raids, peace operations, counter-proliferation, counter-drug advisory roles, and other strategic missions. They are a strategic resource that reports to USSOCOM or to a regional Unified Combatant Command.
To enhance their DA capabilities, specific units were created with a focus on the direct action side of special operations. They are now called Hard Target Defeat companies, which are made up of a squad of specialized infantry, engineers, and support personnel. SF team members work closely together and rely on one another under isolated conditions for long periods of time, both during deployments and in garrison.
United States Army Special Forces History
Special Forces traces its roots as the Army’s premier proponent of unconventional warfare from purpose-formed special operations units like the Alamo Scouts, Filipino guerrillas, first Special Service Force, and the Operational Groups (OGs) of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).
Although the OSS was not an Army organization, many Army personnel were assigned to the OSS and used their experiences to influence the forming of Special Forces.
Former Filipino guerilla commanders Colonel Wendell Fertig and Lieutenant Colonel Russell W. Volckmann utilized their wartime experience to develop the concept of unconventional warfare that became the cornerstone of the Special Forces.
McClure chose former OSS member Colonel Aaron Bank as the Operations Branch Chief of the Special Operations Division of the Psychological Warfare Staff in the Pentagon.
After the establishment of the Psychological Warfare School in 1952, which eventually became today’s John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, Aaron Bank led the 10th Special Forces Group to Bad Tölz, Germany, in September 1953.
The U.S. Army special forces were originally created in 1947 during World War II, but it wasn’t until 1987 that they received the status of a basic branch.
Special Forces Groups
In 1957, the two original special forces groups, 10th and 77th, were joined by the 1st, stationed in the Far East. Additional groups were formed in 1961 and 1962 after President John F. Kennedy took office.
In 1961, the Army’s Special Forces Groups included the 10th, 16th and 17th. There was also an Airborne Operations Group, which was later renamed the 82d Aviation Brigade.
The 16th Special Forces Group is still a component of the Arkansas Air National Guard.
Each Special Forces group has a specific regional focus. They receive intense language and cultural training for the countries they operate in. They also have to work very closely with the U.S. Department of State.
The recent report that found the Special Operations Forces as perhaps the most deployed SOF units under USSOCOM, with many soldiers serving up to 75% of their careers overseas, almost all of which had been to Iraq and Afghanistan.
In addition to providing a command and control role for six SFODAs, the Special Forces Operational Detachment-Bs, or “B-detachments” (SFODBs) are subordinate to them. They are often given a battalion-sized task force mission when on unconventional warfare operations.
They have been a staple in the U.S. Marine Corps since 1876, and in fact the term Marine was derived from the name of this unit.
SF Operational Deachment A Composition
Special Forces Company – SFODA. Basic Element – SFODA composition. A Special Forces company normally consists of six Operational Detachments-A (ODA or “A-Teams”). Each ODA specializes in an infiltration skill or a particular mission-set (e.g.Q: Rails 3 model nested form: one to many association not saving record in database I have a very simple relationship set up as follows.
The Army’s Operational Detachment A (ODA) is a sub-unit of the Army’s Combat Arms Regimental System. Each ODU consists of four to ten ODAs. This article focuses on ODAs and the ODA Command Element.
An ODA consists of 12 Soldiers, each with a specific function. Members of the ODA can and do work on every MOS of the Army, and so are sometimes referred to as “cross trainers”. The Army is led by a 18A (Detachment Commander), a Captain, and a 180A (Assist Attache) who is their second in command.
The team includes the following enlisted soldiers: one 18Z (Operations Sergeant) (known as the “Team Sergeant”), usually a Master Sergeant, one 18F (Assistant Operations and Intelligence Sergeant), usually a Sergeant First Class, and two each, 18Bs (Weapons Sergeant), 18Cs (Engineer Sergeant), 18Ds (Medical Sergeant), and 18Es (Communications Sergeant), usually Sergeants First Class, Staff Sergeants or Sergeants.
The Marine Corps Community Services is an organization that facilitates 6-man “split team” operations, redundancy, and mentoring between a senior NCO and their junior assistant.
SF Operational Deachment B Composition
In the U.S. Army, the ODB, or B-team, is made up of soldiers who are often assigned to provide security and support for other units during training operations. The ODB also provides the Headquarters Element (HET) for the Special Forces Company (EOD).
The goal of the B-Team is to support the A-Team both in garrison and in the field. When deployed, in line with their support role, B-Teams are usually located in more secure rear areas.
A B-Team usually deploys into a hostile area to coordinate the activities of multiple A-teams. The 18A is the company commander, usually a major.
It’s the commander’s duty to assist the company executive officer (XO) with the tasks related to the organization, training, intelligence, and counterintelligence for the company and its detachments.
The company commander is assisted by a senior non-commissioned officer, usually a Sergeant Major. An 18Z assists them in their operational duties. A second 18Z acts as the operations sergeant, usually a Master Sergeant, and assists in operational matters.
When there’s a special operation, or training in Afghanistan, or somewhere else, he’s working with Special Forces as an assistant operations sergeant. He’s normally a Sergeant First Class. The company’s support comes from a Medical Sergeant, usually a Sergeant First Class, and two communications sergeants, usually a Sergeant First Class and a Staff Sergeant.
The soldiers in this position are not SF qualified but have the potential to be awarded the SQI “S” once they complete the appropriate unit level training, 24 months with their Special Forces unit, and Basic Airborne School.
The CBRN Defense NCO maintains and operates the company’s NBC detection and decontamination equipment, and assists in administering NBC defensive measures. Other jobs can also exist depending on the B-Team structure.
Specialist team members can include I.T. (S-6. personnel, and Military Intelligence Soldiers, including Intelligence Analysts (35F), Human Intelligence Collectors (35M), Signals Intelligence (35 N/P – also known as SOT-A and SOT-B as related to their positions on SFODA and SFODB teams), Intelligence Officers (35 D/E/F), and Counterintelligence Special Agents (35L/351L).
SF Operational Deachment C Composition
The Air Force is a complex organization with operations, training, logistics, signals, and other support responsibilities to its three subordinate units, the Tactical Air Command, the Tactical Electronic Warfare Wing, and the Air Battle Management Wing. It has two headquarters, one at Bolling Air Force Base and the other at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
There are an additional 20-30 special forces personnel who fill key positions in operations, logistics, intelligence, communications, and medical. A Special Forces battalion usually consists of four companies: “A”, “B”, “C”, and Headquarters/Support.
Selection And Training
The Special Forces soldier trains on a regular basis over the course of his/her entire career. The initial formal training program for entry into Special Forces is divided into four phases collectively known as the Special Forces Qualification Course or, informally, the “Q Course”.
The Q Course lasts as long as the applicant’s primary job field within Special Forces and their assigned foreign language capability.
After successfully completing the Special Forces Qualification Course, Special Forces soldiers are eligible to take some of the best advanced courses in the US military, including the MFF, Combat Diver Qualification Course, Special Operations Combat Medic, and the SFSC.
The Green Berets are a special forces group of the United States Army and are often referred to as G-Bergs (Green Berets), and, informally, as berets.
Captain Frank Dallas had the new beret designed and produced in small numbers for the members of the 10th & 77th Special Forces Groups. Their new headdress was first worn at a retirement parade at Fort Bragg on 12 June 1955 for Lieutenant General Joseph P. Powers.
Cleland was the commander of the XVIII Airborne Corps, now known as the 17th Airborne Division. Onlookers thought that the operators were a foreign delegation from NATO. In 1956, General Paul D. Adams banned the wearing of the distinctive headdress. Although members of the Special Forces wore it surreptitiously.
On 25 September 1961, Department of the Army Message 578636 designated the green beret as the exclusive headdress of the Army Special Forces.
Kennedy authorized the use of force for the U.S. special forces to be used exclusively in Latin America. In preparation for his 12 October visit to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the president sent word that he wanted a specific set of weapons to be delivered to him for use in Latin America.
The soldiers in Special Forces should wear green berets during the upcoming event. The president thought the Green Berets would have something special and distinct to set them apart from the other troops during the event.
It was JFK who gave green berets back to the Special Forces and made them into the elite warriors that they are today. They deserve our utmost respect and our gratitude.
It’s time to get rid of the beret. People have been sneaking around wearing them when conventional forces weren’t in the area and it was a cat and mouse game. Now that JFK has authorized the Green Beret, everyone has to scramble around to find a really green beret.
He had been brought to the United States by some other Canadian family. They wanted to sell him. His owner told me he knew it was wrong to sell him, but there were no other families. He had been brought to the US by someone else. Someone else knew it was wrong. But there were no other families.
In the wake of the Vietnam War, Healy was a commander of the JFK Special Warfare Center and School, and later he spoke at Arlington National Cemetery, where a wreath in the form of a green beret was placed on Kennedy’s grave.
Special Forces Tab
The Special Forces Tab was established in June 1983. It’s a service school qualification tab awarded to soldiers who complete one of the Special Forces Qualification Courses. Unlike the Green Beret, soldiers who are awarded the Special Forces Tab can wear it for the rest of their military careers, even when they are not serving with special operations units.
All personnel with qualifying wartime service are eligible for the Special Forces Tab.
The camouflage pattern used by the Green Berets was developed in the late 1950s. The name is derived from the tiger stripe coloration pattern.
When Tigerstripe re-entered the game, it was used for US Army Force Protection, or OPFOR, drills. The outfit was previously worn by Green Berets from 1981 to the mid-2000s.
When the war on terror began they began wearing MultiCam and Operational Camouflage Pattern uniforms during different missions. They used to wear those uniform ones but now that we’re at peace they stopped wearing those ones and went back to wearing Universal Camouflage Pattern ones.
This is a knife designed by Bill Harsey Jr., and it’s given out to every graduate of the qualifying course. Carnivorous plants are nature’s most successful predators, thriving on insects that would otherwise be food for other plant species.
During the Green Berets’ missions in other nations, they used GMVs-S (Humvees) for various uses or purpose built technicals for patrols on rugged terrain and help them undergo clandestine operations as the nature of their missions are classified.
In recent years, they also make the GMV 1.1 variant of the Army Ground Mobility Vehicle made by General Dynamics as well as the Oshkosh M-ATV Special Forces variant MRAPs.
There are other helicopters that are used to fly combat missions, but the Mi-8 and Mi-17 variants of the US military are the mainstay of Special Forces / Special Operations units for use on the battlefield.
Handgun M1911, M9 (Have been used since the mid-1980s, ready to be replaced by the SIG Sauer M17s and M18s). Glock 19 (Designated as Mk 27 Mod 0, recently standard issue in 2015 as Gen. 4 models, while the Gen.
The first semi-automatic handgun to use a rotating chamber system. It’s still in use today by various police agencies. Heckler & Koch MP5 (Some variants were used by them from the Vietnam War in 1975 to the 21st century for night operations, close quarters, hostage rescue and escort).
HK UMPs are available from a few different manufacturers. They come in many different calibers. Some of the.40s have been known to be modified and can be chambered for higher caliber rounds. A handful of the 5th SFG carried UMPs chambered for the.45 ACP.
Carbines is including the M4A1 and MK18
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