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SGT Rock
2008-04-24, 22:03
I was just looking at my e-mail and there was a link from Military.com about SOCOM doing away with Army Special Forces - specifically the Green Berets. I thought this sounded a little out there - anyone know what this is really all about?

sfdude
2008-04-25, 08:20
SGT Rock,

I am an active duty SF guy. I am working at a higher headquarters away from the SF world but I am sure I would have seen something if the Army was going away with Special Forces. Can't imagine that happening after our successes in Afghanistan and our continuing work in Afghanistan, Iraq, Columbia and the Philippines. I will do some research to see what is going on in the news.

SFDude (Paul)

SGT Rock
2008-04-25, 09:41
That is sort of what I figured. Here is the story: http://www.military.com/forums/0,15240,165888,00.html?ESRC=army-a.nl

Take-a-knee
2008-04-30, 14:09
I'm not in the loop anymore but I don't think anyone has proposed the actual elimination of an SF Group like the carter administration did in the 70's (7th SFG). What is more likely is the existing groups will be starved for cash and rendered combat ineffective like after Vietnam.

SF's biggest problem is shortage of personnel. When Renaldous Magnus (Ronald the Great) left office we had 18 divisions, some poorly manned and equipped, but 18 divisions nontheless. These 18 divisions supplied the volunteers for five active SF Groups. We now have 10 divisions thanks to billary and Bush I (the drawdown started under him, not clinton, but clinton cut everything to the bone). Only a certain percentage of soldiers have the necessary attributes for SF, and of those, not all want to be there for various reasons. The type of person who excells in SF doesn't do well in the big army, and many don't hang around long enough to find their niche. SF is still the army and there is a certain percentage of self-serving treacherous types even there, SGM Bone's "purges" over the "Resister" in the 90's come to mind.

Tipi Walter
2008-04-30, 21:12
Didn't the army move the 5th group out of Bragg? Can't understand it. And I really don't understand how the 5th group's beret flash was changed from the Rep of South Vietnam flag into something else. And how the Rangers lost their black berets for tan. Tain't no sense of tradition or espirit de corps, etc.

Take-a-knee
2008-05-01, 00:59
Didn't the army move the 5th group out of Bragg? Can't understand it. And I really don't understand how the 5th group's beret flash was changed from the Rep of South Vietnam flag into something else. And how the Rangers lost their black berets for tan. Tain't no sense of tradition or espirit de corps, etc.

Tipi:

5th Group has been gone from Smoke Bomb hill for many years. They moved them to Ft. Campbell Ky in the 90's (early?). All those old WWII barracks that they used as CO/ODA houses have long been torn down with a huge barracks complex there now.

5th GP was supposed to move to Ft Bliss TX but it never happened.

10th SF Group moved from Devens Mass to Ft Carson CO.

3rd and 7th Gps are still at Bragg.

5th GP's Flash just lost the Vietnamese colors which it didn't have originally anyway. It was originally all black and then the white border was added as a "band of mourning" after JFK's assasination.

As for the Ranger's losing their black beret, the USAF did the same thing many years ago to the CCT guys. They gave the navy blue beret to the SP's (gate guards and rivet counters). The CCT headgear is a bright red beret, which no one ever wears. The Rangers will do fine with whatever dress headgear color they are given, I think the sand color looks cool. That was a command decision by General Shinseki, Army Chief of Staff, and not one of his more popular moves. Shinseki did have the guts to tell the world that Donald Rumsfeld's Iraq invasion would be the debacle it has become, and for that Rummy fired him. I believe history will view Shinseki as a sound leader and Rummy as an idiot.

SGT Rock
2008-05-01, 12:31
Ref black berets...

I hated wearing them, give me the old PC any day when working in the motor pool or whatever. The black beret looks good with the greens, but I just cannot get use to seeing it on a guy in ACUs.

Anyhow - the original black beret in the Army was actually on Tankers from WWI. It hid the grease better. The beret sort of made sense as a liner to a helmet inside a tank rather than the garrison style cap folks wore. In the late 50s, 60s, and even into the 70s Cavalry units wore them. Lots of old pictures of the Cav with their black berets on. The Rangers got them solely as their own in 1975, it was not the traditional head gear for them for decades as it is sometimes described. Some ranger units started wearing them in the 50s, but they were not the only ones.

As for giving everyone berets. It was a "gimmick" for lack of a better term. The Army, IMO, had gotten too soft. Too many people outside of combat arms acted as though they were just computer programmers with a uniform. Trust me, I heard this a lot from students I would get at PLDC that came from places like the Pentagon. In the end, Shenseki wanted to put the warrior ethos back into the entire Army. One thing he though would help is make all soldiers wear a beret just like the elite fighting forces did. I applaud trying to get that warrior ethos back in. Things like the CAB, longer basic training with focus on rifle marksmanship and combatives, and well - a asymmetric war have started to get the idea in the heads of soldiers that all soldiers are riflemen first.

Anyhow, the tan beret the rangers now wear is pretty damn cool IMO. Rangers will be rangers even if they are wearing do-rags.

As for the black beret, I wish the Army would only make people wear that with dress uniform and go back to a head wear that makes sense for utility work with the utility uniform.

Take-a-knee
2008-05-02, 00:57
Ref black berets...

I hated wearing them, give me the old PC any day when working in the motor pool or whatever. The black beret looks good with the greens, but I just cannot get use to seeing it on a guy in ACUs.

Anyhow - the original black beret in the Army was actually on Tankers from WWI. It hid the grease better. The beret sort of made sense as a liner to a helmet inside a tank rather than the garrison style cap folks wore. In the late 50s, 60s, and even into the 70s Cavalry units wore them. Lots of old pictures of the Cav with their black berets on. The Rangers got them solely as their own in 1975, it was not the traditional head gear for them for decades as it is sometimes described. Some ranger units started wearing them in the 50s, but they were not the only ones.

As for giving everyone berets. It was a "gimmick" for lack of a better term. The Army, IMO, had gotten too soft. Too many people outside of combat arms acted as though they were just computer programmers with a uniform. Trust me, I heard this a lot from students I would get at PLDC that came from places like the Pentagon. In the end, Shenseki wanted to put the warrior ethos back into the entire Army. One thing he though would help is make all soldiers wear a beret just like the elite fighting forces did. I applaud trying to get that warrior ethos back in. Things like the CAB, longer basic training with focus on rifle marksmanship and combatives, and well - a asymmetric war have started to get the idea in the heads of soldiers that all soldiers are riflemen first.

Anyhow, the tan beret the rangers now wear is pretty damn cool IMO. Rangers will be rangers even if they are wearing do-rags.

As for the black beret, I wish the Army would only make people wear that with dress uniform and go back to a head wear that makes sense for utility work with the utility uniform.

I agree Rock, a beret should be part of the dress uniform only, though I agree with what Shinseki was trying to do, he correctly saw the future and new it would likely be a difficult one.

The whole beret/elite thing comes from the Brits I believe. They've always worn them, and they've always fostered elitism in all of their forces. The US military has always despised elite forces, they create them when they have to, and disband them ASAP when they figure they are no longer needed.

I remember the Army of the 70's, there were all sorts of "unit issue" berets all over the Army. We had an OD beret in the 172nd in Alaska. It didn't make us shoot any better and it certainly didn't keep us warm in the winter.

SGT Rock
2008-05-02, 09:14
I think we still need Elite forces - there has to be the right tool already in place when you need it.

But as to the beret and how it doesn't always mean anything - you are right on with that.

Tipi Walter
2008-05-02, 16:41
When I was in Panama back in 72-73, my unit went to Ft Gulick for some stuff and we mingled with the SF there for a bit. 7th of the 7th?? Anyway, those boys wore their slanted pocket OG 107s blouses starched and they looked good. We used to hang out at the Albrook AFB stop-and-shop and watch the "berets" come in for the day. Those guys knew how to wear a beret with just the right tilt and just the right fold. Anyone else, it looks strange, but on those guys it was different. It helped that most of them were built like fireplugs and had necks as thick as their heads, no disrespect meant.