Army Special Forces - Green Berets
The Birth of the Special Forces
The Birth of the Special Forces
The Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S.) was the brainchild of William “Wild Bill” Donovan. When World War II erupted in Europe and threatened the security and interests of the United States, this intelligence agency was formed. Then, in 1941, President Roosevelt commissioned Donovan to form the Coordinator of Intelligence, or the C.O.I. In September of 1947, a new name was given to this organization, and the Central Intelligence Agency, or C.I.A., was constituted. It is from the experiences of the C.I.A., and the successful use of guerrilla operations tactics, that the Special Forces Green Berets came to be in June of 1952. However, it wouldn’t be until Vietnam before the Green Beret’s would prove themselves. It is in this war theater that the Special Forces became the fighting machine of today.
Special Forces Mission
Today, the Green Beret's traditional mission is to advise and train foreign military forces to help them internally defend their nation. This Foreign Internal Defense (FID) mission is all-encompassing, including weapons and tactics training, combat medic training, building fortifications, communications, logistics, and leadership.
US Special Operations Command has the mission to train conventional and special operations joint force commanders and their staffs in the employment of Special Operations Forces (SOF) to enhance warfighting readiness and interoperability.
The United States maintains special operations forces capable of performing these difficult, complex, and sensitive missions on short notice, in peace and war, anywhere in the world. In support of the national military strategy, special operations forces are currently organized and trained in nine principal mission areas:
The Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course
Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course is the first step to
becoming a Green Beret. To be accepted into this course, you must
meet the basic physical fitness requirements, thus scoring a minimum
of 260 of a possible 300 on the Army physical fitness test. The
three-week S.F.A.S. course takes place at Fort Bragg, North
Carolina, and consists of two phases. The first phase is the
physical phase, and you will be expected to perform “PT” skills such
as running; swimming; sit-ups; pull-ups; and push-ups, as well as
run obstacle courses and participate in rucksack marches. The second
phase of the course measures your competency in leadership and
teamwork skills and capabilities.
After successfully completing the Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course, you will then be selected by an Army Special Forces instructor to attend the Q Course, or Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC). Depending on your occupational specialty skill, this course could involve 6 months to as long as a year of training, with medical and communications courses taking even longer.
Special Forces Soldiers in the Army conduct offensive raids, demolitions, intelligence, search and rescue and other missions from air, land or sea. For more information, check out the Special Forces Qualification Course section.
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have become an area of heavy use for
the Green Berets.
The Green Beret’s are broken down into divisions and stationed in different parts of the United States and the world. In the United States Special Forces groups are stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Elgin Air Force Base, Florida; Fort Carson, Colorado; Draper, Utah, and Birmingham, Alabama. Of those stationed outside of the United States, there is Okinawa, Japan and Stuttgart, Germany, which is a forward deployment of the 10th Special Forces Group located at Fort Carson, Colorado. The 7th Special Forces Group also has one forward deployment company in Puerto Rico.
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