Though the US Army celebrates its birthday on June 14, 1775, it didn’t have the special operators with their distinctive “green beret” until much later.
Army Special Forces got its start on June 19, 1952, and since then, its soldiers have been at the forefront of fights in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and today, are advising US-backed forces inside Syria.
They call themselves the quiet professionals, and they are one of the most elite fighting groups in the world.
Their mission is unconventional warfare — taking small SF teams to train and lead guerrilla forces.
SF soldiers usually work together in a 12-man “A-Team,” with each man holding a specific job: The ranking officer is the team leader, the weapons sergeant knows just about every weapon in the world, the communications sergeant tees up ordnance or extract, and the medics can take lives as quickly as saving them.
It may seem crazy to send only 12 guys into a hostile country, but it’s not crazy when they are Special Forces.
Alongside the CIA, they were the first Americans on the ground in Afghanistan only one month after 9/11.
The Army selects this elite few from among the best soldiers that come to Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS).
That year includes language training (every SF soldier learns a second language), specialty skills -- such as weapons or radios -- and finally Robin Sage, the culminating training exercise.
Ultimately, all this training gets them ready for their mission as the masters of unconventional warfare.
As wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down, the US Special Forces will continue to train for the next fight ...
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