Sunday, November 27, 2011

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SPECIAL FORCES EQUALS GREEN BERETS. GOT IT?



This was posted on military.com - the author has said what I can never say, so I'm reposting it here - S.L.


November 18, 2011
Associated Press | by Kimberly Dozier

The U.S. Army Special Forces Green Berets get plenty of acclaim - sometimes too much. Often it's a case of mistaken identity. "Special Forces" means specifically - and only - Green Berets, as some Green Berets will tell you through gritted teeth.

All Special Operations Forces tend to get called - incorrectly - "Special Forces" and many in the military are trying to borrow their job description: training foreign forces to fight America's enemies overseas.

In a climate of shrinking budgets, the Green Berets are branding themselves as the go-to force for counterinsurgency that can do the job with fewer troops than conventional forces.


US Army Special Forces Green Berets training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.


As the Pentagon divvies up money and missions, the Green Berets want to make sure their job isn't handed to someone else.

It's not that the Green Berets don't have their hands full. Some 87 percent of the deployed force is in the general area of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the Pentagon has ordered their 8,500-strong force expanded by 1,000 over the past four years because they are so much in demand, Brig. Gen. Ed Reeder, the Special Forces commander, said in an interview with The Associated Press.
But sometimes, they feel less than appreciated, especially when just about everyone gets the name wrong.

Ever since the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan earlier this year, even the Commander-in-Chief has used "Special Forces" to refer to ALL Special Operations Forces - from SEALs to Army Rangers to Air Force Special Tactics. Many inside the Pentagon don't know the difference.


US Navy SEALs aren't the only ones who do maritime operations - in Special Forces we're called Combat Divers


The Special Forces were established in 1952, but Kennedy approved the namesake headgear in 1961.


"First Formation," October 12, 1961: Brigadier General Yarborough presents US Army Special Forces troops to President Kennedy at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.


Kennedy saw the Green Berets as key to his battle against Communism, using "unconventional warfare" - teaching local forces to overthrow the local government or leader, fighting alongside them to provide expertise, intelligence and logistical support.


Guerrilla warfare, Indochina 1958-1973: Vietnam-era US Army Special Forces with their Montagnard counterparts.


When the U.S. responded to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Green Berets were the first military forces deployed, Reeder said, together with CIA operatives. They provided Afghanistan insurgents firepower, direction and intelligence to help unseat the Taliban in just 43 days.

Read the rest of it HERE





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