Discussion:
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of making the cut?
(too old to reply)
j***@yahoo.com
2005-06-19 16:16:14 UTC
Permalink
Inspired by:

http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18

What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
making the cut?

What were the Special Forces like during the Civil and Revolutionary
wars?
During WWII and Vietnam?

Where/when did "official" Special Forces start?

http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
Howard C. Berkowitz
2005-06-19 17:21:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
making the cut?
What were the Special Forces like during the Civil and Revolutionary
wars?
While the current US Army Rangers trace their lineage to Rogers' Rangers
during the French and Indian Wars, and Rogers' Rules are still useful,
they really didn't exist until WWII. I'll observe that there may be some
books to be written on the 1st and 2nd (Union) Sharpshooter Regiments.
AFAIK, the WWI German storm detachments were ad hoc.
Post by j***@yahoo.com
During WWII and Vietnam?
During WWII, there was a huge range of units, with no really central
military command -- to say nothing of the units controlled by SOE, OSS,
the Soviet Partisan Command, etc.

By Viet Nam, the formal SF organization was in place, although there was
a good deal of ad hoc organization of deep recon.
Post by j***@yahoo.com
Where/when did "official" Special Forces start?
Without looking it up, early 1950s. Immediately after WWII, the
Psychological Warfare branch of DCSOPS, under BG Russell Volckmann, had
jurisdiction over SF -- the roles are now reversed. Working with
Volckmann were COL Aaron Bank and COL (later BG) Donald Blackburn, they
created the first SF Group, commanded by Bank.
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
z***@netscape.net
2005-06-19 20:02:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
making the cut?
What were the Special Forces like during the Civil and Revolutionary
wars?
While the current US Army Rangers trace their lineage to Rogers' Rangers
during the French and Indian Wars, and Rogers' Rules are still useful,
they really didn't exist until WWII. I'll observe that there may be some
books to be written on the 1st and 2nd (Union) Sharpshooter Regiments.
AFAIK, the WWI German storm detachments were ad hoc.
No special forces existed until bio-weapons were invented.
Which was well after WWII. Which is why SEAL training by itself
still doesn't qualify as special forces, although it does
qualify for Green Beret Cross Training.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by j***@yahoo.com
During WWII and Vietnam?
During WWII, there was a huge range of units, with no really central
military command -- to say nothing of the units controlled by SOE, OSS,
the Soviet Partisan Command, etc.
By Viet Nam, the formal SF organization was in place, although there was
a good deal of ad hoc organization of deep recon.
Post by j***@yahoo.com
Where/when did "official" Special Forces start?
Without looking it up, early 1950s. Immediately after WWII, the
Psychological Warfare branch of DCSOPS, under BG Russell Volckmann, had
jurisdiction over SF -- the roles are now reversed. Working with
Volckmann were COL Aaron Bank and COL (later BG) Donald Blackburn, they
created the first SF Group, commanded by Bank.
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
ZombyWoof
2005-06-19 22:27:26 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 19 Jun 2005 13:21:05 -0400, "Howard C. Berkowitz"
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
making the cut?
What were the Special Forces like during the Civil and Revolutionary
wars?
While the current US Army Rangers trace their lineage to Rogers' Rangers
during the French and Indian Wars, and Rogers' Rules are still useful,
they really didn't exist until WWII. I'll observe that there may be some
books to be written on the 1st and 2nd (Union) Sharpshooter Regiments.
AFAIK, the WWI German storm detachments were ad hoc.
Well that goes back pretty far. I would guess throughout time there
has always been some type of independent irregular regulars if that
makes any sense.

The Viking's had the Beserkers.
(http://www.cdli.ca/CITE/v_berserker.htm)

A lot of the information I have seen (History Channel, Military
Channel) says the Rangers are the descendants of Merrill's Marauders
from WW II. Who the hell really knows?
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by j***@yahoo.com
During WWII and Vietnam?
During WWII, there was a huge range of units, with no really central
military command -- to say nothing of the units controlled by SOE, OSS,
the Soviet Partisan Command, etc.
By Viet Nam, the formal SF organization was in place, although there was
a good deal of ad hoc organization of deep recon.
Post by j***@yahoo.com
Where/when did "official" Special Forces start?
Without looking it up, early 1950s. Immediately after WWII, the
Psychological Warfare branch of DCSOPS, under BG Russell Volckmann, had
jurisdiction over SF -- the roles are now reversed. Working with
Volckmann were COL Aaron Bank and COL (later BG) Donald Blackburn, they
created the first SF Group, commanded by Bank.
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
--
"Either kill me or take me as I am,
because I'll be damned if I ever change..."

The Marquis de Sade
Howard C. Berkowitz
2005-06-19 23:44:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by ZombyWoof
On Sun, 19 Jun 2005 13:21:05 -0400, "Howard C. Berkowitz"
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
making the cut?
What were the Special Forces like during the Civil and Revolutionary
wars?
While the current US Army Rangers trace their lineage to Rogers' Rangers
during the French and Indian Wars, and Rogers' Rules are still useful,
they really didn't exist until WWII. I'll observe that there may be some
books to be written on the 1st and 2nd (Union) Sharpshooter Regiments.
AFAIK, the WWI German storm detachments were ad hoc.
Well that goes back pretty far. I would guess throughout time there
has always been some type of independent irregular regulars if that
makes any sense.
The Viking's had the Beserkers.
(http://www.cdli.ca/CITE/v_berserker.htm)
A lot of the information I have seen (History Channel, Military
Channel) says the Rangers are the descendants of Merrill's Marauders
from WW II. Who the hell really knows?
It's confusing, because there were really two lineages to modern
Rangers. See http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/lineage/branches/inf/0075ra.htm.
WWII Ranger Battalions coexisted with Merrill's force. The 1st Ranger
Battalion was organized in 1942, by William Orlando Darby, and cited
Rogers' Rules from the French & Indian Wars as guiding principles from
the beginning. They also claim the tradition of Francis Marion's
Revolutionary War unit. 1-5 Ranger Battalions operated in the ETO. 6
Ranger Battalion operated in the Pacific. After WWII, the Ranger
battalions were deactivated, but Ranger companies were created for Korea.

Merrill's unit, the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) was organized in
1943 and operated in the CBI Theater.the was consolidated with the 475th
Infantry on August 10, 1944. On June 21, 1954, the 475th was
redesignated the 75th Infantry. It is from the redesignation of
Merrill's Marauders into the 75th Infantry Regiment that the modern-day
75th Ranger Regiment traces its current unit designation. Of course,
the remnants of the Ranger battalions (WWII) and companies (Korea) also
folded into the 75th.

The joint Canadian-American First Special Service Force is formally
called the ancestor of Army Special Forces, mostly because it was under
Army command. In point of fact, the OSS Jedburghs and Operational Group
Command were the direct ancestors. The first SF Group commander, Aaron
Bank, was an Army officer attached to OSS. 1 SSF's mission was much
closer to a modern Ranger mission. Jedburghs were a smaller version of
a modern SF split A detachment, while OGs were larger, more like a
reinforced SF organization (e.g., SF Company) operating in deep recon or
strike mode.
tomcervo
2005-06-20 00:20:20 UTC
Permalink
"Merrill's unit, the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) was organized
in 1943 and operated in the CBI Theater.the was consolidated with the
475th Infantry on August 10, 1944. On June 21, 1954, the 475th was
redesignated the 75th Infantry. It is from the redesignation of
Merrill's Marauders into the 75th Infantry Regiment that the modern-day
75th Ranger Regiment traces its current unit designation. Of course,
the remnants of the Ranger battalions (WWII) and companies (Korea) also
folded into the 75th."


True. The irony being that Charles Hunter, the actual commander of the
5307th, regarded his unit as an infantry regiment--to him THAT was an
elite designation--and the only badge that meant anything to him was
the Combat Infantryman's badge. He was scathing on Stilwell's
successful effort to gain it for himself, but then he was pretty
scating on Stilwell in general, and no wonder if you know the 5307th's
history.
Ike
2005-06-20 00:38:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomcervo
"Merrill's unit, the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) was organized
in 1943 and operated in the CBI Theater.the was consolidated with the
475th Infantry on August 10, 1944. On June 21, 1954, the 475th was
redesignated the 75th Infantry. It is from the redesignation of
Merrill's Marauders into the 75th Infantry Regiment that the modern-day
75th Ranger Regiment traces its current unit designation. Of course,
the remnants of the Ranger battalions (WWII) and companies (Korea) also
folded into the 75th."
True. The irony being that Charles Hunter, the actual commander of the
5307th, regarded his unit as an infantry regiment--to him THAT was an
elite designation--and the only badge that meant anything to him was
the Combat Infantryman's badge. He was scathing on Stilwell's
successful effort to gain it for himself, but then he was pretty
scating on Stilwell in general, and no wonder if you know the 5307th's
history.
As explained to me by now-dead friends who were part of that process,
this is accurate in statement of fact and reasonable in analysis. My
first boss knew Stilwell, and wished he hadn't. That was in China, where
VGS would have lost his head had Chiang's wife not intervened. How can
the army produce a 4-star who doesn't know how to fight, how to command
troops? Okinawa - later - didn't count, of course. I don't think
Stilwell would qualify for "special" anything, and certainly not the
CIB. I met Jr. in RVN, and got the impression that he shared that opinion.

But Merrill and Hunter? They shared honors on the other side of the coin.

Ike
...with respect.
b***@hotmail.com
2005-06-20 00:46:42 UTC
Permalink
The best of the best of the best is still the Viet cong.
Al Superczynski
2005-06-20 00:55:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by b***@hotmail.com
The best of the best of the best is still the Viet cong.
Is that why NVA regulars had to virtually take over the war
effort in the South after Tet '68?
--
MSG, USA (retired)
ZombyWoof
2005-06-20 04:04:49 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 20 Jun 2005 00:55:50 GMT, Al Superczynski
Post by Al Superczynski
Post by b***@hotmail.com
The best of the best of the best is still the Viet cong.
Is that why NVA regulars had to virtually take over the war
effort in the South after Tet '68?
Tet Basically wiped out the VC as an independent fighting force.
There are those who are of the opinion that the Northern Masters did
this on purpose as they were becoming a problem and there wasn't a
great desire to deal with them when the North would eventually
prevail.

Of what there is no doubt is that an extremely good guerilla force was
thrown onto the spearhead. Whether to blunt it for their fellow
Northern buddies or to deliberately wipe them out as an independent
fight force is speculation at best.
--
"Either kill me or take me as I am,
because I'll be damned if I ever change..."

The Marquis de Sade
George Z. Bush
2005-06-20 10:16:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ike
As explained to me by now-dead friends who were part of that process,
this is accurate in statement of fact and reasonable in analysis. My
first boss knew Stilwell, and wished he hadn't. That was in China, where
VGS would have lost his head had Chiang's wife not intervened.
VGS??? Vinegar Goe Stillwell? Does the "G" stand for something like Gonads
or Guts, perhaps? I always thought it was supposed to be "Joe".

BTW, here's a sidelight. My wife was an RN at Columbia-Presbyterian in NYC when
Madam Chiang became a patient for some malady or other in the late 40s/early
50s. She told me that Madam Chiang was an overbearing, overly-demanding, and
otherwise thoroughly unpopular and disliked patient. Ordinary people who later
came back with a box of candy or bakery cookies for the staff or even with
nothing just to say thanks were more highly admired.

George Z.
Ike
2005-06-20 14:50:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by George Z. Bush
Post by Ike
As explained to me by now-dead friends who were part of that process,
this is accurate in statement of fact and reasonable in analysis. My
first boss knew Stilwell, and wished he hadn't. That was in China, where
VGS would have lost his head had Chiang's wife not intervened.
VGS??? Vinegar Goe Stillwell? Does the "G" stand for something like Gonads
or Guts, perhaps? I always thought it was supposed to be "Joe".
BTW, here's a sidelight. My wife was an RN at Columbia-Presbyterian in NYC when
Madam Chiang became a patient for some malady or other in the late 40s/early
50s. She told me that Madam Chiang was an overbearing, overly-demanding, and
otherwise thoroughly unpopular and disliked patient. Ordinary people who later
came back with a box of candy or bakery cookies for the staff or even with
nothing just to say thanks were more highly admired.
George Z.
Joe

And from what I was told, Madame Chiang saved (and gave) VJS' head. His
CIB stood for Chiang Intercourse Badge.
George Z. Bush
2005-06-20 17:27:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ike
And from what I was told, Madame Chiang saved (and gave) VJS' head. His
CIB stood for Chiang Intercourse Badge.
Well, if that was true, what the hell did he have to be vinegary about? You'd
have thought that everybody out there with the possible exception of the
Generalissimo would have been calling him "Honey Joe"! Maybe, like Mac the
Knife, she had sharp teeth!
(^=^))))

George Z.
LawsonE
2005-06-20 01:39:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by ZombyWoof
On Sun, 19 Jun 2005 13:21:05 -0400, "Howard C. Berkowitz"
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
making the cut?
What were the Special Forces like during the Civil and Revolutionary
wars?
While the current US Army Rangers trace their lineage to Rogers' Rangers
during the French and Indian Wars, and Rogers' Rules are still useful,
they really didn't exist until WWII. I'll observe that there may be some
books to be written on the 1st and 2nd (Union) Sharpshooter Regiments.
AFAIK, the WWI German storm detachments were ad hoc.
Well that goes back pretty far. I would guess throughout time there
has always been some type of independent irregular regulars if that
makes any sense.
The Viking's had the Beserkers.
(http://www.cdli.ca/CITE/v_berserker.htm)
A lot of the information I have seen (History Channel, Military
Channel) says the Rangers are the descendants of Merrill's Marauders
from WW II. Who the hell really knows?
My father trained with the Brits IIRC.
Cub Driver
2005-06-20 09:40:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by ZombyWoof
A lot of the information I have seen (History Channel, Military
Channel) says the Rangers are the descendants of Merrill's Marauders
from WW II. Who the hell really knows?
The Rangers surely are the descendants of the Ranging Companies of
colonial America. They were usually raised for punitive expeditions
against the Indians. During the French and Indian War, the British
formalized the Ranging Companies for more ambitious expeditions, the
most famous being Rogers Rangers, commanded by Major Robert Rogers,
immortalized in the novel Northwest Passage.


-- all the best, Dan Ford

email ***@mailblocks.com (put Cubdriver in subject line)

Warbird's Forum: www.warbirdforum.com
Piper Cub Forum: www.pipercubforum.com
the blog: www.danford.net
In Search of Lost Time: www.readingproust.com
tomcervo
2005-06-20 13:09:04 UTC
Permalink
"The Rangers surely are the descendants of the Ranging Companies of
colonial America. They were usually raised for punitive expeditions
against the Indians. During the French and Indian War, the British
formalized the Ranging Companies for more ambitious expeditions, the
most famous being Rogers Rangers, commanded by Major Robert Rogers,
immortalized in the novel Northwest Passage."

In a way.
The Rangers were the American version of the British Commandos. The
Ranger name came into it thanks to the immense popularity of the 30's
novel by Kenneth Roberts and subsequent movie from 1940. Despite the
hoopla, the actual raids that Roger's men undertook cost far more than
their results justified--the British described them as "smashing
windows with guineas", a guinea being about a month's pay for a soldier
back then. Wolfe loathed them.
A far better heritage would be the Apache Scouts, who were much more
effective than the regular units; one of the most effective units of
the Pacific war was the Alamo Scouts, who acknowledged such in their
name and emblem. After them, the 6th Rangers of Cabantuan fame--who
were made up of men from a mule-driving unit, broken up and retrained
by a hard-driving artilleryman. Some of the men who chose not to join
the Rangers went to Burma, where they joined a unit trained and led by
a hard-driving infantryman: the 5307th/Galahad Force/Merrill's
Marauders, depending on your source.
Eisenhower didn't like self-styled military elite forces--neither did
Slim, who thought the Chindits depleted the "Army spirit", as he called
it. He had the quaint idea that it took more than a badge and some
training to make an elite soldier--all that makes is a specialist.
Cub Driver
2005-06-21 10:21:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomcervo
Wolfe loathed them.
Well, of course he did. Generals always loathe special forces, elites
of any kind, fancy headgear--anything that sets one soldier off
against another.

Eisenhower forbade the Special Forces at Ft Bragg to wear the green
beret. Kennedy gave it back to them. But the generals won in the end:
now every soldier wears a beret!


-- all the best, Dan Ford

email ***@mailblocks.com (put Cubdriver in subject line)

Warbird's Forum: www.warbirdforum.com
Piper Cub Forum: www.pipercubforum.com
the blog: www.danford.net
In Search of Lost Time: www.readingproust.com
Kevin Brooks
2005-06-21 15:49:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cub Driver
Post by tomcervo
Wolfe loathed them.
Well, of course he did. Generals always loathe special forces, elites
of any kind, fancy headgear--anything that sets one soldier off
against another.
Eisenhower forbade the Special Forces at Ft Bragg to wear the green
now every soldier wears a beret!
I don't think Eisenhower was ever really personally concerned with the
matter of the headgear they wore, or that any reference exists that supports
the contention that he "forbade" the wear of the beret?

Brooks
Post by Cub Driver
-- all the best, Dan Ford
Ed Rasimus
2005-06-21 16:42:18 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 06:21:50 -0400, Cub Driver
Post by Cub Driver
Post by tomcervo
Wolfe loathed them.
Well, of course he did. Generals always loathe special forces, elites
of any kind, fancy headgear--anything that sets one soldier off
against another.
Don't tell that to Hugh Shelton.

For that matter, there is a long tradition of distinctive colors,
badges, uniform items, etc. that enhance unit cohesion, esprit, etc.
Check out the various organizations throughout history in British
service.
Post by Cub Driver
Eisenhower forbade the Special Forces at Ft Bragg to wear the green
now every soldier wears a beret!
While Kennedy encouraged the beret, there's nothing on the SF page
describing the origins and history of the headgear to indicated that
Ike had any input.
http://www.groups.sfahq.com/sf_heraldry/beret/history.htm

And, this comes from one who wore a black beret in the USAF as a
member of a Tactical Air Control Party. (Which was not really much of
a party...)

Ed Rasimus
Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
"When Thunder Rolled"
www.thunderchief.org
www.thundertales.blogspot.com
Kevin Brooks
2005-06-21 18:45:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ed Rasimus
On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 06:21:50 -0400, Cub Driver
Post by Cub Driver
Post by tomcervo
Wolfe loathed them.
Well, of course he did. Generals always loathe special forces, elites
of any kind, fancy headgear--anything that sets one soldier off
against another.
Don't tell that to Hugh Shelton.
Or for that matter to the current Army C/S, General Schoomaker (former Delta
memeber reportedly, and former SOCOM commander).

Brooks
Post by Ed Rasimus
For that matter, there is a long tradition of distinctive colors,
badges, uniform items, etc. that enhance unit cohesion, esprit, etc.
Check out the various organizations throughout history in British
service.
Post by Cub Driver
Eisenhower forbade the Special Forces at Ft Bragg to wear the green
now every soldier wears a beret!
While Kennedy encouraged the beret, there's nothing on the SF page
describing the origins and history of the headgear to indicated that
Ike had any input.
http://www.groups.sfahq.com/sf_heraldry/beret/history.htm
And, this comes from one who wore a black beret in the USAF as a
member of a Tactical Air Control Party. (Which was not really much of
a party...)
Ed Rasimus
Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
"When Thunder Rolled"
www.thunderchief.org
www.thundertales.blogspot.com
George Z. Bush
2005-06-21 19:58:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ed Rasimus
On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 06:21:50 -0400, Cub Driver
Post by Cub Driver
Well, of course he did. Generals always loathe special forces, elites
of any kind, fancy headgear--anything that sets one soldier off
against another.
Don't tell that to Hugh Shelton.
For that matter, there is a long tradition of distinctive colors,
badges, uniform items, etc. that enhance unit cohesion, esprit, etc.
Check out the various organizations throughout history in British
service.
Post by Cub Driver
Eisenhower forbade the Special Forces at Ft Bragg to wear the green
now every soldier wears a beret!
While Kennedy encouraged the beret, there's nothing on the SF page
describing the origins and history of the headgear to indicated that
Ike had any input.
http://www.groups.sfahq.com/sf_heraldry/beret/history.htm
And, this comes from one who wore a black beret in the USAF as a
member of a Tactical Air Control Party. (Which was not really much of
a party...)
Considering the extent to which most members of our armed forces look down their
noses at the French (remember Freedom Fries, nee French Fries?) and most things
French, it amuses the hell out of me to look at our worthies in their Class As,
each with a beanie on his head. I wonder how many of them, if any, stop to
think that they're putting on a beret, a French word signifying a hat without a
bill or brim on any side and with a tiny curlicue coming out of the top!

Boggles the mind, doesn't it? But then, I never wore one or saw one worn by any
of our troops in my day, so I can afford to snicker!
(^=^)))))

George Z.
Ed Rasimus
2005-06-21 20:31:45 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 15:58:04 -0400, "George Z. Bush"
Post by George Z. Bush
Post by Ed Rasimus
On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 06:21:50 -0400, Cub Driver
Post by Cub Driver
Well, of course he did. Generals always loathe special forces, elites
of any kind, fancy headgear--anything that sets one soldier off
against another.
Don't tell that to Hugh Shelton.
For that matter, there is a long tradition of distinctive colors,
badges, uniform items, etc. that enhance unit cohesion, esprit, etc.
Check out the various organizations throughout history in British
service.
Post by Cub Driver
Eisenhower forbade the Special Forces at Ft Bragg to wear the green
now every soldier wears a beret!
While Kennedy encouraged the beret, there's nothing on the SF page
describing the origins and history of the headgear to indicated that
Ike had any input.
http://www.groups.sfahq.com/sf_heraldry/beret/history.htm
And, this comes from one who wore a black beret in the USAF as a
member of a Tactical Air Control Party. (Which was not really much of
a party...)
Considering the extent to which most members of our armed forces look down their
noses at the French (remember Freedom Fries, nee French Fries?) and most things
French, it amuses the hell out of me to look at our worthies in their Class As,
each with a beanie on his head. I wonder how many of them, if any, stop to
think that they're putting on a beret, a French word signifying a hat without a
bill or brim on any side and with a tiny curlicue coming out of the top!
Boggles the mind, doesn't it? But then, I never wore one or saw one worn by any
of our troops in my day, so I can afford to snicker!
(^=^)))))
George Z.
Well, here's one former member of our armed forces who doesn't look
askance at things French. I was able to spend quite a bit of time
there during my seven years in Europe and found the people always to
be friendly, polite and easy to deal with. I like the wine, although I
also consume Italian, German, Australian and a lot of US grape juice
as well. I like the cheese, I don't like the cars and since last
Sunday's abortive US Grand Prix I've got a current mad on toward
Michelin.

But, that's beside the point. A big of Googling quickly pointed out
that the beret's origin goes back to the Greeks. In recent times, it
was favored by the Basques. And, in military usage, there are examples
from a lot of places beyond France, including even Scotland.

As for snickering at the wearers, I'd withhold too many guffaws around
guys with tan ones, maroon ones and green ones in US uniforms.

And there have been a lot of other unusual headgear worn by USAF
types--remember the "shit hot" hats, the baseball caps, the vinyl SAC
crewmember caps, etc.?


Ed Rasimus
Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
"When Thunder Rolled"
www.thunderchief.org
www.thundertales.blogspot.com
George Z. Bush
2005-06-22 04:00:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ed Rasimus
On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 15:58:04 -0400, "George Z. Bush"
Post by George Z. Bush
Post by Ed Rasimus
On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 06:21:50 -0400, Cub Driver
George Z.
Well, here's one former member of our armed forces who doesn't look
askance at things French. I was able to spend quite a bit of time
there during my seven years in Europe and found the people always to
be friendly, polite and easy to deal with. I like the wine, although I
also consume Italian, German, Australian and a lot of US grape juice
as well. I like the cheese, I don't like the cars and since last
Sunday's abortive US Grand Prix I've got a current mad on toward
Michelin.
Sounds like there are at least two of us with more or less similar views. I
studied French in high school for three years and then for another year and a
half in college. We had a French bakery in town for a while and I used to
practice my rusty French on them. Much of the pot that I've acquired over the
years could be attributed to the French bread and pastries that went along so
well with "le vin et le fromage". I always liked the language and, even if my
speech was rusty and halting, I was able to write it well enough to run
conversations back and forth in NGs with Frenchmen in French, and they always
said that they had no trouble understanding what I was saying.
Post by Ed Rasimus
But, that's beside the point. A big of Googling quickly pointed out
that the beret's origin goes back to the Greeks. In recent times, it
was favored by the Basques. And, in military usage, there are examples
from a lot of places beyond France, including even Scotland.
I'm sure that you're right about the origins of the beret, although I confess
that I thought it was Latin in origin and was derived from "biretta", the three
cornered bill-less and brimless hat worn to this day by Roman Catholic prelates.
Post by Ed Rasimus
As for snickering at the wearers, I'd withhold too many guffaws around
guys with tan ones, maroon ones and green ones in US uniforms.
At my age, I do all of my snickering in the privacy of my home. Our young bucks
in uniform, including those of the female persuasion, probably wouldn't have too
much trouble wiping up the streets with the likes of me.
Anyway, living not far from Camp Lejeune, I could probably gin up a few of those
guys with the pencil-sharpener haircuts to help me out if a little internecine
warfare was indicated.
Post by Ed Rasimus
And there have been a lot of other unusual headgear worn by USAF
types--remember the "shit hot" hats, the baseball caps, the vinyl SAC
crewmember caps, etc.?
How could anyone forget our 50 mission crush hats? Anyway, here's my only
uniform story.....shortly after we went into blues after WWII (1949-50?), I
found myself on a short TDY to Baer Field in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and, for some
reason I can't recall, I found myself in the local Greyhound station there. I
was approached by a character who, thinking that the US on my lapels stood for
Union Station, asked when the next bus for Indianapolis was leaving. I made up
an ETD on the spot, told him and then beat a hasty retreat out of the place
before I started attracting more attention than I wanted.

George Z.
Al Superczynski
2005-06-21 22:11:13 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 15:58:04 -0400, "George Z. Bush"
Post by George Z. Bush
Considering the extent to which most members of our armed forces look down their
noses at the French (remember Freedom Fries, nee French Fries?) and most things
French...
Do you have empirical data to back this up or are you just
pulling an assumption out of your ass?
Post by George Z. Bush
...it amuses the hell out of me to look at our worthies in their Class As,
each with a beanie on his head. I wonder how many of them, if any, stop to
think that they're putting on a beret...
Dunno what they think of it but Soldiers don't have any choice
except to wear the prescribed uniform.
Post by George Z. Bush
Boggles the mind, doesn't it?
No.
Post by George Z. Bush
But then, I never wore one or saw one worn by any of our troops in my day...
Never saw a Special Forces soldier, huh?

--
MSG, USA (retired)
ZombyWoof
2005-06-22 11:48:00 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 22:11:13 GMT, Al Superczynski
Post by Ed Rasimus
On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 15:58:04 -0400, "George Z. Bush"
Post by George Z. Bush
Considering the extent to which most members of our armed forces look down their
noses at the French (remember Freedom Fries, nee French Fries?) and most things
French...
Do you have empirical data to back this up or are you just
pulling an assumption out of your ass?
The French are fun to poke at since they are so overly impressed with
themselves. Now when we decided to deliver Kadafi Duck some air mail
and the rat bastards made our planes fly around their territory making
the mission longer & inherently more dangerous most of the USAF
personnel involved in that mission weren't real happy with the
froggies.

There have also been numerous instances when a country who we've had
to pull their fat out of the fryer in two World Wars & Vietnam goes
around bad-mouthing our country that many of our Military members cop
a bad attitude towards their government at a minimum.

To me they fit into the category of "With friends like that, who needs
enemies." After all most of Saddam's work on nasty-ass shit came from
bits & pieces that the French sold them. I think that is one of the
reasons they didn't want us going boots-in.
Post by Ed Rasimus
Post by George Z. Bush
...it amuses the hell out of me to look at our worthies in their Class As,
each with a beanie on his head. I wonder how many of them, if any, stop to
think that they're putting on a beret...
Dunno what they think of it but Soldiers don't have any choice
except to wear the prescribed uniform.
Post by George Z. Bush
Boggles the mind, doesn't it?
No.
I am seldom surprised anymore, but occasionally amazed. Boggled,
never.
Post by Ed Rasimus
Post by George Z. Bush
But then, I never wore one or saw one worn by any of our troops in my day...
Never saw a Special Forces soldier, huh?
There so special you just don't get to see them all that often :)

Now if a retarded child is now "Special" does that make the Special
Forces the Retarded Forces?

Just an example of PC Bullshit, call a spade a spade.
--
"Either kill me or take me as I am,
because I'll be damned if I ever change..."

The Marquis de Sade
Al Superczynski
2005-06-22 20:21:33 UTC
Permalink
The French are fun to poke at since they are so overly impressed with themselves.
Well, that could be said for a lot of countries. My disdain is
for the French government, not the populace in general, and certainly
not the French armed forces.

--
MSG, USA (retired)
Billzz
2005-06-22 01:29:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by George Z. Bush
Post by Ed Rasimus
On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 06:21:50 -0400, Cub Driver
Post by Cub Driver
Well, of course he did. Generals always loathe special forces, elites
of any kind, fancy headgear--anything that sets one soldier off
against another.
Don't tell that to Hugh Shelton.
For that matter, there is a long tradition of distinctive colors,
badges, uniform items, etc. that enhance unit cohesion, esprit, etc.
Check out the various organizations throughout history in British
service.
Post by Cub Driver
Eisenhower forbade the Special Forces at Ft Bragg to wear the green
now every soldier wears a beret!
While Kennedy encouraged the beret, there's nothing on the SF page
describing the origins and history of the headgear to indicated that
Ike had any input.
http://www.groups.sfahq.com/sf_heraldry/beret/history.htm
And, this comes from one who wore a black beret in the USAF as a
member of a Tactical Air Control Party. (Which was not really much of
a party...)
Considering the extent to which most members of our armed forces look down
their noses at the French (remember Freedom Fries, nee French Fries?) and
most things French, it amuses the hell out of me to look at our worthies
in their Class As, each with a beanie on his head. I wonder how many of
them, if any, stop to think that they're putting on a beret, a French word
signifying a hat without a bill or brim on any side and with a tiny
curlicue coming out of the top!
Boggles the mind, doesn't it? But then, I never wore one or saw one worn
by any of our troops in my day, so I can afford to snicker!
(^=^)))))
George Z.
Well, I was the operations officer for a province in Vietnam including an SF
B Team and five A Teams. I went out on operations with them (mostly
training new captains for MACV teams, to transition.) I always though the
beret was the most useless headgear ever invented, and sure enough, all of
the SF wore the MACV "booney hat" which protected the neck, protected the
face, and when it monsooned you didn't get ten gallons down your back.

The advantage of the beret is that you can fill it with water to water your
horse. You can also hide a pack of ciggies and matches. All good reasons
(not) for a modern headgear. Oh, I forgot: you can fold a beret and stick
it under a shoulder epaulet, and look muy macho while strolling down the
Champs De'Eleise.

The best hat would be the Australian or American "cowboy" hat which has
actual field history as to why it works. On the average they cost at least
ten times a beret, so Joe Blow, from Kokamo, is probably not going to get a
Stetson.

The only rationale for the beret is that it is the cheapest solution.
William Black
2005-06-21 18:01:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cub Driver
Well, of course he did. Generals always loathe special forces, elites
of any kind, fancy headgear--anything that sets one soldier off
against another.
That's not why generals hate Special Forces.

WWII generals didn't like them because they were recruited from line units
and if you take the top ten percent performing soldiers out of a unit you
get some pretty horrible effects.
--
William Black

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe
Barbeques on fire by chalets past the headland
I've watched the gift shops glitter in the darkness off Newborough
All this will pass like ice-cream on the beach
Time for tea
Kevin Brooks
2005-06-21 18:42:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Black
Post by Cub Driver
Well, of course he did. Generals always loathe special forces, elites
of any kind, fancy headgear--anything that sets one soldier off
against another.
That's not why generals hate Special Forces.
WWII generals didn't like them because they were recruited from line units
and if you take the top ten percent performing soldiers out of a unit you
get some pretty horrible effects.
It was referred to as the "selection-destruction cycle". Top quality troops
siphoned off to Ranger Battalions, 1st SSF, 10th Mountain Division, etc.,
where they often suffered horrendous casualties, while at the same time
stripping the best folks from the conventional units. There was an
interesting book written about the phenomena during the early seventies.

Brooks
Post by William Black
--
William Black
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe
Barbeques on fire by chalets past the headland
I've watched the gift shops glitter in the darkness off Newborough
All this will pass like ice-cream on the beach
Time for tea
William Black
2005-06-21 19:25:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by William Black
Post by Cub Driver
Well, of course he did. Generals always loathe special forces, elites
of any kind, fancy headgear--anything that sets one soldier off
against another.
That's not why generals hate Special Forces.
WWII generals didn't like them because they were recruited from line units
and if you take the top ten percent performing soldiers out of a unit you
get some pretty horrible effects.
It was referred to as the "selection-destruction cycle". Top quality troops
siphoned off to Ranger Battalions, 1st SSF, 10th Mountain Division, etc.,
where they often suffered horrendous casualties, while at the same time
stripping the best folks from the conventional units. There was an
interesting book written about the phenomena during the early seventies.
Interestingly it is no longer an issue with UK forces as the army high
command has been dominated by the 'parachute generals' for decades now.

The British army has, for several years, used its elite regiments and
Special Forces as the combat force and used the 'line' regiments as a
'background'. In the past forty years it was only in GW1 and GW2 where
'line' regiments were used in primary roles.
--
William Black

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe
Barbeques on fire by chalets past the headland
I've watched the gift shops glitter in the darkness off Newborough
All this will pass like ice-cream on the beach
Time for tea
tomcervo
2005-06-21 23:26:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomcervo
Wolfe loathed them.
"Well, of course he did. Generals always loathe special forces, elites
of any kind, fancy headgear--anything that sets one soldier off
against another."

Actually, he had the 42nd (Black Watch) Reg't in his command--not just
funny hats, but skirts and a foreign language--but at least they obeyed
orders, deserted rarely and spent most of their time in combat fighting
an enemy that was armed and in front of them.
Look up the legendary St. Francis Raid some time--it's not what MGM and
Spencer Tracy led you to believe.
z***@netscape.net
2005-06-22 23:46:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cub Driver
Post by tomcervo
Wolfe loathed them.
Well, of course he did. Generals always loathe special forces, elites
of any kind, fancy headgear--anything that sets one soldier off
against another.
Eisenhower forbade the Special Forces at Ft Bragg to wear the green
now every soldier wears a beret!
But, Eisnenhower and The Washington Bueracrats never good
accept the simple fact of life that the Army and
the Wright Brothers didn't invent special forces,
Admiral Rickover did. And the only force he considered special
was the North Pole.
Post by Cub Driver
-- all the best, Dan Ford
Warbird's Forum: www.warbirdforum.com
Piper Cub Forum: www.pipercubforum.com
the blog: www.danford.net
In Search of Lost Time: www.readingproust.com
z***@netscape.net
2005-06-21 21:51:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomcervo
"The Rangers surely are the descendants of the Ranging Companies of
colonial America. They were usually raised for punitive expeditions
against the Indians. During the French and Indian War, the British
formalized the Ranging Companies for more ambitious expeditions, the
most famous being Rogers Rangers, commanded by Major Robert Rogers,
immortalized in the novel Northwest Passage."
In a way.
The Rangers were the American version of the British Commandos. The
Ranger name came into it thanks to the immense popularity of the 30's
novel by Kenneth Roberts and subsequent movie from 1940. Despite the
hoopla, the actual raids that Roger's men undertook cost far more than
their results justified--the British described them as "smashing
windows with guineas", a guinea being about a month's pay for a soldier
back then. Wolfe loathed them.
But that's why nobody considered either the
Rangers or the British commado units special forces.
Since the British idiots picked it from the
Australians in WWI, who picked it from the
Hessians in the American Revolution,
who picked it from the French in the French-Indian wars.
Jeremy Shepherd
2005-06-19 17:47:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
making the cut?
I was never involved in special operations at all, but in the U.S.
military, the conventional wisdom seems to be that the U.S. Navy SEALs
are the toughest branch of "special operations" to get into. I have
read numerous claims by ex-navy SEALs that the SEAL teams are the
smallest and most elite branch of special operations in the U.S.
military. That said, I'm sure that *all* of the branches are very
tough and exacting in their selection standards. Some units in special
operations do not publicize their selection standards, so it's really
pretty difficult to say.
Post by j***@yahoo.com
What were the Special Forces like during the Civil and Revolutionary
wars?
During WWII and Vietnam?
Where/when did "official" Special Forces start?
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
LawsonE
2005-06-19 18:44:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeremy Shepherd
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
making the cut?
I was never involved in special operations at all, but in the U.S.
military, the conventional wisdom seems to be that the U.S. Navy SEALs
are the toughest branch of "special operations" to get into. I have
read numerous claims by ex-navy SEALs that the SEAL teams are the
smallest and most elite branch of special operations in the U.S.
military. That said, I'm sure that *all* of the branches are very
tough and exacting in their selection standards. Some units in special
operations do not publicize their selection standards, so it's really
pretty difficult to say.
Actually, my father (an Army Ranger during WWII) used to claim that the
Seabees were the toughest group in the US military.
Rob Arndt
2005-06-19 19:11:29 UTC
Permalink
The Seals are debatable now into the 21st century. Britain's Royal
Marines, the SBS, and the German KS troops rival them easily.

Rob
george
2005-06-19 20:25:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
making the cut?
snip
Special Boat Services Royal Navy
and no
Thomas Schoene
2005-06-19 22:11:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by george
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories
of making the cut?
snip
Special Boat Services Royal Navy
Royal Marines, not Navy.
--
Tom Schoene Replace "invalid" with "net" to e-mail
"Our country, right or wrong. When right, to be kept right, when
wrong to be put right." - Senator Carl Schurz, 1872
Kerryn Offord
2005-06-20 05:29:27 UTC
Permalink
<SNIP>
Post by Thomas Schoene
Post by george
Post by j***@yahoo.com
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories
of making the cut?
snip
Special Boat Services Royal Navy
Royal Marines, not Navy.
And it should be noted that 22nd Regt SAS takes people not considered
good enough for SBS (With the single selection and continuation training
course RMs can become SAS.. to become SBS they have to complete extra
selection and training (Officers are exempt the extra because they have
already covered the course material in Officer training)

Apparently SAS pays more than SBS... (Or it did at one stage)...
g***@mail.com
2005-06-19 21:18:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
making the cut?
[snip]

I believe the current term is "special operations", not "Special
Forces", which refers to the branch of the U.S. Army commonly known as
"Green Berets".

Judging from the responses, every country seems to have its favorites,
but in the U.S. military, 1st Special Forces Operational
Detachment-Delta ("Delta Force") is often considered the premier
special operations force, along with the Naval Special Warfare
Development Group ("DevGru"), which is Delta Force's maritime
counter-terrorism equivalent.

Because both these units have a highly classified counter-terrorism
mission, their selection standards are not public knowledge, but they
are known to recruit heavily from other special operations units, such
as the U.S. Army Rangers, U.S. Army Special Forces ("Green Berets"),
U.S. Navy SEALs, and U.S. Marine Corps Force Recon.

In addition, operators chosen for these elite units commonly undergo up
to two years' additional training in preparation for their
counter-terrorist role.
Fred J. McCall
2005-06-19 23:20:31 UTC
Permalink
***@mail.com wrote:

:***@yahoo.com wrote:
:> Inspired by:
:>
:> http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
:>
:> What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
:> making the cut?
:
:I believe the current term is "special operations", not "Special
:Forces", which refers to the branch of the U.S. Army commonly known as
:"Green Berets".
:
:Judging from the responses, every country seems to have its favorites,
:but in the U.S. military, 1st Special Forces Operational
:Detachment-Delta ("Delta Force") is often considered the premier
:special operations force, along with the Naval Special Warfare
:Development Group ("DevGru"), which is Delta Force's maritime
:counter-terrorism equivalent.

I'll simply note that DevGru was formerly known as SEAL Team Six.
--
The only easy day was yesterday.
Kevin Brooks
2005-06-20 03:24:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by g***@mail.com
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
making the cut?
[snip]
I believe the current term is "special operations", not "Special
Forces", which refers to the branch of the U.S. Army commonly known as
"Green Berets".
Judging from the responses, every country seems to have its favorites,
but in the U.S. military, 1st Special Forces Operational
Detachment-Delta ("Delta Force") is often considered the premier
special operations force, along with the Naval Special Warfare
Development Group ("DevGru"), which is Delta Force's maritime
counter-terrorism equivalent.
Because both these units have a highly classified counter-terrorism
mission, their selection standards are not public knowledge, but they
are known to recruit heavily from other special operations units, such
as the U.S. Army Rangers, U.S. Army Special Forces ("Green Berets"),
U.S. Navy SEALs, and U.S. Marine Corps Force Recon.
They (Delta) actually recruit service wide, not just in the SOF community
(though it is believed that the vast majority of Delta folks eventually come
from the SOF elements, with SF providing the bulk). Used to be any NCO with
a GT score of some certain level would be required to attend a Delta
recruiting brief, just as officers (at least combat arms and engineer types)
who had successfully completed a company command and made it to O-3 got the
"We are Delta, come (try to) join us" letter (even confirmed leg types like
myself received that note). On the officer side, the letters also went to
USAR and ARNG types too, not just AC folks. As far as selection and
acquisition, a fair amount of info has made it onto the open press. The
primary S&A site for Delta was Camp Dawson, West Virginia, and IIRC the
normal S&A course was three weeks long, with a strong emphasis on individual
cross country movement and psych evaluation.

Brooks
Post by g***@mail.com
In addition, operators chosen for these elite units commonly undergo up
to two years' additional training in preparation for their
counter-terrorist role.
Glenn Dowdy
2005-06-20 07:33:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevin Brooks
They (Delta) actually recruit service wide, not just in the SOF community
(though it is believed that the vast majority of Delta folks eventually
come from the SOF elements, with SF providing the bulk). Used to be any
NCO with a GT score of some certain level would be required to attend a
Delta recruiting brief,
One of the Delta recruiters went to Recruiting School with my platoon
sergeant, and I never met a harder drinking man. He wasn't an operator
himself, but he sure drove like he had a get out of jail card.
Post by Kevin Brooks
The primary S&A site for Delta was Camp Dawson, West Virginia, and IIRC
the normal S&A course was three weeks long, with a strong emphasis on
individual cross country movement and psych evaluation.
They've also got a training site located near Fort Bragg. I and members of
my platoon delivered 10 black jeeps there for the Rangers to play with.

Glenn D.
Kevin Brooks
2005-06-20 15:46:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Glenn Dowdy
Post by Kevin Brooks
They (Delta) actually recruit service wide, not just in the SOF community
(though it is believed that the vast majority of Delta folks eventually
come from the SOF elements, with SF providing the bulk). Used to be any
NCO with a GT score of some certain level would be required to attend a
Delta recruiting brief,
One of the Delta recruiters went to Recruiting School with my platoon
sergeant, and I never met a harder drinking man. He wasn't an operator
himself, but he sure drove like he had a get out of jail card.
Post by Kevin Brooks
The primary S&A site for Delta was Camp Dawson, West Virginia, and IIRC
the normal S&A course was three weeks long, with a strong emphasis on
individual cross country movement and psych evaluation.
They've also got a training site located near Fort Bragg. I and members of
my platoon delivered 10 black jeeps there for the Rangers to play with.
Their main facility is/was at Bragg Dawson is supposedly S&A related only,
from what I gathered at the time (having spent time at both Bragg and
Dawson); we did some range rehabilitation work on some of the facilities
they used at Bragg, and had our field maintenance site sitting on an old
assault landing strip across the road from their compound (big dollars
obviously went into building that facility, from what we could see through
gaps in the trees). Saw them riding the "planks" on the outside of the
MH-6's as they zipped in to conduct training operations (helos zip over with
folks hanging outside, disappear over treetops into the Delta facility,
followed very quickly by sounds of "boom" and then lots of SMG fire--those
guys apparently fired a heck of a lot of 9mm from their MP5's, based upon
what we saw at one of their ranges, where you could run your hand through
the dirt of the berm and come up with a handfull of spend bullets).

Brooks
Post by Glenn Dowdy
Glenn D.
Kerryn Offord
2005-06-21 00:49:30 UTC
Permalink
Kevin Brooks wrote:
<SNIP>
Post by Kevin Brooks
followed very quickly by sounds of "boom" and then lots of SMG fire--those
guys apparently fired a heck of a lot of 9mm from their MP5's, based upon
what we saw at one of their ranges, where you could run your hand through
the dirt of the berm and come up with a handfull of spend bullets).
Brooks
I've seen a comment that the GSG-9 fire off more rounds a year in
training than an infantry division... I wouldn't expect Delta to be any
different..
alumshubby
2005-06-21 12:09:32 UTC
Permalink
One eye-opener from _Rogue Warrior_ was that Seal Team Six's training
budget for ammo was greater than the entire US Marine Corps' at the
time.
Kevin Brooks
2005-06-21 15:39:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by alumshubby
One eye-opener from _Rogue Warrior_ was that Seal Team Six's training
budget for ammo was greater than the entire US Marine Corps' at the
time.
Sounds like another Marcinkoism (i.e., not true), which would be nothing
new...

Brooks
alumshubby
2005-06-21 19:22:13 UTC
Permalink
I have to admit it sounded a little counterintuitive -- a group of,
what, at most a few hundred people burning through more ammo than
several hundred thousand?
Gernot Hassenpflug
2005-06-22 14:22:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by alumshubby
One eye-opener from _Rogue Warrior_ was that Seal Team Six's
training budget for ammo was greater than the entire US Marine
Corps' at the time.
Kevin> Sounds like another Marcinkoism (i.e., not true), which
Kevin> would be nothing new...

Special forces... special prices.
--
G Hassenpflug RASC, Kyoto University
Jeremy Shepherd
2005-06-20 07:47:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by g***@mail.com
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
making the cut?
[snip]
I believe the current term is "special operations", not "Special
Forces", which refers to the branch of the U.S. Army commonly known as
"Green Berets".
Judging from the responses, every country seems to have its favorites,
but in the U.S. military, 1st Special Forces Operational
Detachment-Delta ("Delta Force") is often considered the premier
special operations force, along with the Naval Special Warfare
Development Group ("DevGru"), which is Delta Force's maritime
counter-terrorism equivalent.
Because both these units have a highly classified counter-terrorism
mission, their selection standards are not public knowledge, but they
are known to recruit heavily from other special operations units, such
as the U.S. Army Rangers, U.S. Army Special Forces ("Green Berets"),
U.S. Navy SEALs, and U.S. Marine Corps Force Recon.
They (Delta) actually recruit service wide, not just in the SOF community
(though it is believed that the vast majority of Delta folks eventually come
from the SOF elements, with SF providing the bulk). Used to be any NCO with
a GT score of some certain level would be required to attend a Delta
recruiting brief, just as officers (at least combat arms and engineer types)
who had successfully completed a company command and made it to O-3 got the
"We are Delta, come (try to) join us" letter (even confirmed leg types like
myself received that note). On the officer side, the letters also went to
USAR and ARNG types too, not just AC folks. As far as selection and
acquisition, a fair amount of info has made it onto the open press. The
primary S&A site for Delta was Camp Dawson, West Virginia, and IIRC the
normal S&A course was three weeks long, with a strong emphasis on individual
cross country movement and psych evaluation.
Brooks
Speaking of the open press, there are some excellent non-fiction
accounts of the Delta Force selection process in books commonly
available at bookstores: "The Commandos" by John Waller includes a
detailed look at the psychological mind-games conducted to weed out
prospective Delta Force commandos, "Delta Force" by Col. Charlie A.
Beckwith (the founder of Delta Force) includes a detailed account of
the origins of Delta Force Selection in the British Special Air
Service's Selection process, "Inside Delta Force" by Eric L. Haney is
an insider's personal experience of the formation of Delta Force from a
Command Sergeant Major and founding member.

In regards to DevGru, Commander Richard Marcinko has written a very
popular account of his founding of SEAL Team Six, "Rogue Warrior",
while Command Master Chief Dennis "Snake" Chalker has written an
enlisted man's view of the early days of Red Cell and SEAL Team Six,
"One Perfect Op"; former assault element leader Chuck Pfarrer has
written "Warrior Soul", an account of his years (the early-to-mid
1980's) in SEAL Team Six. There are also a myriad of books written by
journalists and ex-Navy SEALs dealing with BUD/S, the initial SEAL Team
candidate weed-out process.
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by g***@mail.com
In addition, operators chosen for these elite units commonly undergo up
to two years' additional training in preparation for their
counter-terrorist role.
Kevin Brooks
2005-06-20 15:50:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeremy Shepherd
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by g***@mail.com
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
making the cut?
[snip]
I believe the current term is "special operations", not "Special
Forces", which refers to the branch of the U.S. Army commonly known as
"Green Berets".
Judging from the responses, every country seems to have its favorites,
but in the U.S. military, 1st Special Forces Operational
Detachment-Delta ("Delta Force") is often considered the premier
special operations force, along with the Naval Special Warfare
Development Group ("DevGru"), which is Delta Force's maritime
counter-terrorism equivalent.
Because both these units have a highly classified counter-terrorism
mission, their selection standards are not public knowledge, but they
are known to recruit heavily from other special operations units, such
as the U.S. Army Rangers, U.S. Army Special Forces ("Green Berets"),
U.S. Navy SEALs, and U.S. Marine Corps Force Recon.
They (Delta) actually recruit service wide, not just in the SOF community
(though it is believed that the vast majority of Delta folks eventually come
from the SOF elements, with SF providing the bulk). Used to be any NCO with
a GT score of some certain level would be required to attend a Delta
recruiting brief, just as officers (at least combat arms and engineer types)
who had successfully completed a company command and made it to O-3 got the
"We are Delta, come (try to) join us" letter (even confirmed leg types like
myself received that note). On the officer side, the letters also went to
USAR and ARNG types too, not just AC folks. As far as selection and
acquisition, a fair amount of info has made it onto the open press. The
primary S&A site for Delta was Camp Dawson, West Virginia, and IIRC the
normal S&A course was three weeks long, with a strong emphasis on individual
cross country movement and psych evaluation.
Brooks
Speaking of the open press, there are some excellent non-fiction
accounts of the Delta Force selection process in books commonly
available at bookstores: "The Commandos" by John Waller includes a
detailed look at the psychological mind-games conducted to weed out
prospective Delta Force commandos, "Delta Force" by Col. Charlie A.
Beckwith (the founder of Delta Force) includes a detailed account of
the origins of Delta Force Selection in the British Special Air
Service's Selection process, "Inside Delta Force" by Eric L. Haney is
an insider's personal experience of the formation of Delta Force from a
Command Sergeant Major and founding member.
From what I gather the folks at the SF Q Course have adopted some of the
same processes in their own S&A course after having seen what Delta was able
to do.
Post by Jeremy Shepherd
In regards to DevGru, Commander Richard Marcinko has written a very
popular account of his founding of SEAL Team Six, "Rogue Warrior",
while Command Master Chief Dennis "Snake" Chalker has written an
enlisted man's view of the early days of Red Cell and SEAL Team Six,
"One Perfect Op"; former assault element leader Chuck Pfarrer has
written "Warrior Soul", an account of his years (the early-to-mid
1980's) in SEAL Team Six. There are also a myriad of books written by
journalists and ex-Navy SEALs dealing with BUD/S, the initial SEAL Team
candidate weed-out process.
I take anything Marcinko says with a (very large) grain of salt; one of the
other senior SEALs also wrote a book or an article (can't recall his name),
and sort of indicted Marcinko's Vietnam claims IIRC. That Marcinko also
ended up serving federal prison time...

Brooks
Post by Jeremy Shepherd
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by g***@mail.com
In addition, operators chosen for these elite units commonly undergo up
to two years' additional training in preparation for their
counter-terrorist role.
Kerryn Offord
2005-06-21 00:53:02 UTC
Permalink
Kevin Brooks wrote:
SNIP>
Post by Kevin Brooks
From what I gather the folks at the SF Q Course have adopted some of the
same processes in their own S&A course after having seen what Delta was able
to do.
<SNIP>
Hang on.. Isn't "Q" course the Ranger course (to get tabbed).. something
like 61 days???

I have heard/read that..

Delta selection was originally based on 22nd SAS selection.. Since then
both units exchange ideas etc.. Assume both selection courses are "similar'

SFAS was based on the SASR selection course (39 days??) with changes
since...
Kevin Brooks
2005-06-21 04:02:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kerryn Offord
SNIP>
Post by Kevin Brooks
From what I gather the folks at the SF Q Course have adopted some of the
same processes in their own S&A course after having seen what Delta was
able to do.
<SNIP>
Hang on.. Isn't "Q" course the Ranger course (to get tabbed).. something
like 61 days???
The Special Forces Qualification Course (which varies in length depending
upon specialty) at Bragg has long been known informally as the "Q Course".
The Ranger course, headquartered out of Benning, has always been referred to
as "Ranger School". I had a few classmates in other Army courses who had
completed both, and they all said that hands down the Q Course was the more
challenging/grueling. And that was *before they implemented the newer S&A
processes.
Post by Kerryn Offord
I have heard/read that..
Delta selection was originally based on 22nd SAS selection.. Since then
both units exchange ideas etc.. Assume both selection courses are "similar'
Beckwith and his cronies reportedly pretty much lifted it from the SAS
program (which they were graduates of), though I believe they added in the
more detailed psychological evaluation (a result of the then still rather
recent disaster at Munich, where a failure to shoot in a timely manner quite
possibly led to increased hostage fatalities). I knew one guy who went
through the rigamarole at Dawson; he was an airborne Ranger qualified type
combat engineer NCO, and he got dropped when he was well more than halfway
through due to an eye injury (a pretty bad one, with in the end lasting
effects) he sustained during a night ruck march. He told me the cadre told
him that they would welcome him returning to try again when/if his eye got
better, but he said there was no way in hell he'd voluntarily go through
that again. Last I heard of him he was the NCOIC of the Sapper Leader course
at Fort Leonard Wood, where they crammed all sorts of high speed light
combat engineering and patrolling stuff into a pretty intense three week
course. I knew *of* (never met him) one other guy, from a nearby ARNG SF
unit, who made it through the S&A course and went on an active duty tour to
complete the remainder of his Delta operator training and duty obligation.

Brooks
Post by Kerryn Offord
SFAS was based on the SASR selection course (39 days??) with changes
since...
Kerryn Offord
2005-06-22 02:21:19 UTC
Permalink
Kevin Brooks wrote:
<SNIP>
Post by Kevin Brooks
The Special Forces Qualification Course (which varies in length depending
upon specialty) at Bragg has long been known informally as the "Q Course".
The Ranger course, headquartered out of Benning, has always been referred to
as "Ranger School". I had a few classmates in other Army courses who had
completed both, and they all said that hands down the Q Course was the more
challenging/grueling. And that was *before they implemented the newer S&A
processes.
<SNIP>
It came back to me.. Q is stage two of the 3 part SPECFOR program of
selection and training.. (four if you include language training)

Apparently the Q course cost on average $100,000 regardless of whether
or not a person completed it.. So they introduced (or at least modified)
the SFAS to try and keep down the failures.

Isn't Q "just" book learning and practice of the specialty (and probably
practice "teaching" the skills)? With stage three being the combat skills?
Kevin Brooks
2005-06-22 05:03:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kerryn Offord
<SNIP>
Post by Kevin Brooks
The Special Forces Qualification Course (which varies in length depending
upon specialty) at Bragg has long been known informally as the "Q
Course". The Ranger course, headquartered out of Benning, has always been
referred to as "Ranger School". I had a few classmates in other Army
courses who had completed both, and they all said that hands down the Q
Course was the more challenging/grueling. And that was *before they
implemented the newer S&A processes.
<SNIP>
It came back to me.. Q is stage two of the 3 part SPECFOR program of
selection and training.. (four if you include language training)
Apparently the Q course cost on average $100,000 regardless of whether or
not a person completed it.. So they introduced (or at least modified) the
SFAS to try and keep down the failures.
Isn't Q "just" book learning and practice of the specialty (and probably
practice "teaching" the skills)? With stage three being the combat skills?
Not the way the guys who I knew who went through it explained it. The Q
Course included the phase one general training (which is anything but
limited to book learning--lots of fieldcraft, SERE, etc. training is
included, IIRC), which everybody attended, followed by the individual
specialty training, and culminated with the "Robin Sage" exercise which saw
the trainees formed into A-Teams and conducting pretty realistic UW
exercises in the Urharrie and/or Pisgah National Forests and surrounding
areas. SFAS was added later, but it is not part-and-parcel of the Q Course,
AFAIK. I was under the impression the language training came after the
trooper is assigned to one of the SFG's, given their differing regional
areas of emphasis.

Brooks
John Keeney
2005-06-20 07:12:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by g***@mail.com
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
making the cut?
[snip]
I believe the current term is "special operations", not "Special
Forces", which refers to the branch of the U.S. Army commonly known as
"Green Berets".
Judging from the responses, every country seems to have its favorites,
but in the U.S. military, 1st Special Forces Operational
Detachment-Delta ("Delta Force") is often considered the premier
special operations force, along with the Naval Special Warfare
Development Group ("DevGru"), which is Delta Force's maritime
counter-terrorism equivalent.
Because both these units have a highly classified counter-terrorism
mission, their selection standards are not public knowledge, but they
are known to recruit heavily from other special operations units, such
as the U.S. Army Rangers, U.S. Army Special Forces ("Green Berets"),
U.S. Navy SEALs, and U.S. Marine Corps Force Recon.
In addition, operators chosen for these elite units commonly undergo up
to two years' additional training in preparation for their
counter-terrorist role.
Good answer. I was about to make a similar response but would
have brain farted away the "formerly known as SEAL Team 6",
DevGru.

In other nations' service the SAS are pretty select.
Jeremy Shepherd
2005-06-19 22:38:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
making the cut?
I think one might plausibly argue that the CIA's Special Activities
Staff is *the* hardest "branch" of special operations to get into. The
CIA's paramilitary branch tends to take retired Delta Force and DevGru
operators, then run them through even more training in the "black
arts". Operators (that's generally what they call themselves) learn to
pilot vehicles, use vehicles as weapons, plant all sorts of explosives,
and generally conduct all sorts of nasty mayhem.

Apparently the British SIS has a similar unit, made up of ex-SAS and
SBS commandos, called "the Increment".
Cub Driver
2005-06-20 09:35:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@yahoo.com
Where/when did "official" Special Forces start?
The place was Smoke Bomb Hill, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. They were
in place when I arrived in March 1956. However, they weren't permitted
to wear green berets. Eisenhower didn't like the notion of elite
troops.



-- all the best, Dan Ford

email ***@mailblocks.com (put Cubdriver in subject line)

Warbird's Forum: www.warbirdforum.com
Piper Cub Forum: www.pipercubforum.com
the blog: www.danford.net
In Search of Lost Time: www.readingproust.com
Dave Holford
2005-06-20 15:33:10 UTC
Permalink
The home page of the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has a PDF
document on the First Special Service Force, formed in June 1942.

Dave
Post by Cub Driver
Post by j***@yahoo.com
Where/when did "official" Special Forces start?
The place was Smoke Bomb Hill, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. They were
in place when I arrived in March 1956. However, they weren't permitted
to wear green berets. Eisenhower didn't like the notion of elite
troops.
-- all the best, Dan Ford
Warbird's Forum: www.warbirdforum.com
Piper Cub Forum: www.pipercubforum.com
the blog: www.danford.net
In Search of Lost Time: www.readingproust.com
Kevin Brooks
2005-06-20 16:02:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Holford
The home page of the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has a PDF
document on the First Special Service Force, formed in June 1942.
But the Devil's Brigade was not a special forces unit of the nature of the
US Army SF, which was spearheaded by Aaron Bank in the fifties. There has
been quite a bit written over the years as to the unsuitability of the SF
even tracing its lineage to the 1st SSF, which was more of a ranger/commando
force. Bank was a former Jedburg team member, and he drew on those
experiences when he formed the 77th SFG (IIRC that was its original
designation). There was not 1st SSF influence involved.

Brooks
Post by Dave Holford
Dave
Post by Cub Driver
Post by j***@yahoo.com
Where/when did "official" Special Forces start?
The place was Smoke Bomb Hill, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. They were
in place when I arrived in March 1956. However, they weren't permitted
to wear green berets. Eisenhower didn't like the notion of elite
troops.
-- all the best, Dan Ford
Warbird's Forum: www.warbirdforum.com
Piper Cub Forum: www.pipercubforum.com
the blog: www.danford.net
In Search of Lost Time: www.readingproust.com
Howard C. Berkowitz
2005-06-20 16:44:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Dave Holford
The home page of the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has a PDF
document on the First Special Service Force, formed in June 1942.
But the Devil's Brigade was not a special forces unit of the nature of the
US Army SF, which was spearheaded by Aaron Bank in the fifties. There has
been quite a bit written over the years as to the unsuitability of the SF
even tracing its lineage to the 1st SSF, which was more of a
ranger/commando
force. Bank was a former Jedburg team member, and he drew on those
experiences when he formed the 77th SFG (IIRC that was its original
designation). There was not 1st SSF influence involved.
Historically, you are quite correct. I suspect, however, that the Army
senior command was reluctant to claim OSS, rather than Army, lineage for
the new SFG.

They had to stretch, but 1SSF does fall into today's range of special
operations (not Special Forces), as a large unit with a generally Ranger
mission. I suppose they could have claimed Merrill's Marauders, as a
group that worked significantly with indigenous forces as well as
operating in the enemy's rear areas.

The Jedburgh mission, however, was clearly much closer to the original
unconventional warfare training and leadership mission of Army SF.
Jedburghs, as three-man teams, also are closer to the 6-man split A and
12-man SF A detachments -- units that must recruit or otherwise be
augmented for large direct action missions.
Kevin Brooks
2005-06-21 04:04:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Dave Holford
The home page of the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has a PDF
document on the First Special Service Force, formed in June 1942.
But the Devil's Brigade was not a special forces unit of the nature of the
US Army SF, which was spearheaded by Aaron Bank in the fifties. There has
been quite a bit written over the years as to the unsuitability of the SF
even tracing its lineage to the 1st SSF, which was more of a
ranger/commando
force. Bank was a former Jedburg team member, and he drew on those
experiences when he formed the 77th SFG (IIRC that was its original
designation). There was not 1st SSF influence involved.
Historically, you are quite correct. I suspect, however, that the Army
senior command was reluctant to claim OSS, rather than Army, lineage for
the new SFG.
They had to stretch, but 1SSF does fall into today's range of special
operations (not Special Forces), as a large unit with a generally Ranger
mission. I suppose they could have claimed Merrill's Marauders, as a
group that worked significantly with indigenous forces as well as
operating in the enemy's rear areas.
That was the point that some of the SF folks made--that 1st SSF was more
realistically a Ranger type force, and inappropriate for their lineage.

Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
The Jedburgh mission, however, was clearly much closer to the original
unconventional warfare training and leadership mission of Army SF.
Jedburghs, as three-man teams, also are closer to the 6-man split A and
12-man SF A detachments -- units that must recruit or otherwise be
augmented for large direct action missions.
Kerryn Offord
2005-06-21 01:08:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cub Driver
Post by j***@yahoo.com
Where/when did "official" Special Forces start?
The place was Smoke Bomb Hill, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. They were
in place when I arrived in March 1956. However, they weren't permitted
to wear green berets. Eisenhower didn't like the notion of elite
troops.
Well that might be true for US special forces....

UK SAS was reformed in the late 1940s to deal with the problem in Malaya..

And SAS was pretty "Official" during ww2..

Then there were the German "Stormtroopers" of WW1...

It all depends on what you mean by "special forces"...
Cub Driver
2005-06-21 10:42:38 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 13:08:11 +1200, Kerryn Offord
Post by Kerryn Offord
It all depends on what you mean by "special forces"...
It certainly does. What's unique about U.S. Army Special Forces is
that they are meant to be cadre in guerilla ops, with two or three
Americans commanding a platoon or company of local irregulars. This is
how they operated in Vietnam, and to a lesser extent in Afghanistan
more recently. They were not intended to be commandos, like the U.S.
Navy Seals.

What has confused matters is that USA Special Forces aka Green Berets
has since become one particular branch of the generic Special Forces
of the U.S. military (and CIA, for all I know).


-- all the best, Dan Ford

email ***@mailblocks.com (put Cubdriver in subject line)

Warbird's Forum: www.warbirdforum.com
Piper Cub Forum: www.pipercubforum.com
the blog: www.danford.net
In Search of Lost Time: www.readingproust.com
Kevin Brooks
2005-06-21 15:46:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cub Driver
On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 13:08:11 +1200, Kerryn Offord
Post by Kerryn Offord
It all depends on what you mean by "special forces"...
It certainly does. What's unique about U.S. Army Special Forces is
that they are meant to be cadre in guerilla ops, with two or three
Americans commanding a platoon or company of local irregulars. This is
how they operated in Vietnam, and to a lesser extent in Afghanistan
more recently. They were not intended to be commandos, like the U.S.
Navy Seals.
Actually, they have also had direct action mission responsibilities for most
of their history, too. Along with strategic reconnaissance. Their major
emphases were the irregular warfare missions you described, along with
mobile training team (MTT) missions, but they have a long history of the
other stuff, too. Even during Vietnam there were various direct action and
SR missions, and in some cases special SF elements to perform them. As to
their not being "intended to be" commandos, remember Son Tay?
Post by Cub Driver
What has confused matters is that USA Special Forces aka Green Berets
has since become one particular branch of the generic Special Forces
of the U.S. military (and CIA, for all I know).
Not really. The generic term is "special operations forces"; here in the US
the term Special Forces is usually used in reference to those in the Army's
SF Groups. Even within the Army the Ranger Battalions and PSYOPS folks are
part of ARSOC (Army Special Operations Command), not "Special Forces" per
se.

Brooks
Post by Cub Driver
-- all the best, Dan Ford
Warbird's Forum: www.warbirdforum.com
Piper Cub Forum: www.pipercubforum.com
the blog: www.danford.net
In Search of Lost Time: www.readingproust.com
Howard C. Berkowitz
2005-06-21 18:11:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Cub Driver
On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 13:08:11 +1200, Kerryn Offord
Post by Kerryn Offord
It all depends on what you mean by "special forces"...
It certainly does. What's unique about U.S. Army Special Forces is
that they are meant to be cadre in guerilla ops, with two or three
Americans commanding a platoon or company of local irregulars. This is
how they operated in Vietnam, and to a lesser extent in Afghanistan
more recently. They were not intended to be commandos, like the U.S.
Navy Seals.
Actually, they have also had direct action mission responsibilities for most
of their history, too. Along with strategic reconnaissance. Their major
emphases were the irregular warfare missions you described, along with
mobile training team (MTT) missions, but they have a long history of the
other stuff, too.
I think you will find, however, that Vietnam-era DA and SR operations
were not under Special Forces group command, but generally individuals
detailed to other headquarters such as MACV-SOG. Remember also that the
Army had the since-disbanded LRRP dedicated to SR, as well as the
nondivisional Marine Force Recon units.

In other words, the unit emphasis was still UW and COIN (the latter now
FID). Certain other capabilities existed outside the DA and SR areas,
but that's about as far as I can go in an open forum.
Post by Kevin Brooks
Even during Vietnam there were various direct action
and
SR missions, and in some cases special SF elements to perform them. As to
their not being "intended to be" commandos, remember Son Tay?
Yes. It was an ad hoc unit of which the ground component was Special
Forces, with people pulled from various deployed and headquarters units,
and even some air force types on the ground.

At the time, Special Forces doctrine did not include direct action as a
primary mission of the basic Split A, B, or C detachments. That's not to
say they didn't do it, but FM 31-21 of the time didn't spell this out as
did more recent manuals.
Kevin Brooks
2005-06-21 18:39:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Cub Driver
On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 13:08:11 +1200, Kerryn Offord
Post by Kerryn Offord
It all depends on what you mean by "special forces"...
It certainly does. What's unique about U.S. Army Special Forces is
that they are meant to be cadre in guerilla ops, with two or three
Americans commanding a platoon or company of local irregulars. This is
how they operated in Vietnam, and to a lesser extent in Afghanistan
more recently. They were not intended to be commandos, like the U.S.
Navy Seals.
Actually, they have also had direct action mission responsibilities for most
of their history, too. Along with strategic reconnaissance. Their major
emphases were the irregular warfare missions you described, along with
mobile training team (MTT) missions, but they have a long history of the
other stuff, too.
I think you will find, however, that Vietnam-era DA and SR operations
were not under Special Forces group command, but generally individuals
detailed to other headquarters such as MACV-SOG.
But MACV-SOG was using primarily (if not exclusively) SF troops, organized
into detachments of varying sizes, to do the missions. Some of these
detachments worked with locals, some did not.

Remember also that the
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Army had the since-disbanded LRRP dedicated to SR, as well as the
nondivisional Marine Force Recon units.
Most of the LRRP teams were focused on tactical, not strategic, intel
collection, and came under the control of their parent divisions and
brigades.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
In other words, the unit emphasis was still UW and COIN (the latter now
FID). Certain other capabilities existed outside the DA and SR areas,
but that's about as far as I can go in an open forum.
It is well known that the SF Groups, or at least the 10th SFG, had various
direct action mission requirements in Eastern Europe from way back when. To
include use of SADM's to attack targets in the Soviet rear areas (in fact,
for a short while after the Engineer ADM Companies were disbanded and before
the final retirement of the SADM, the SF folks retianed the only nuclear
demolition capability and responsibility in the Army).
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Even during Vietnam there were various direct action
and
SR missions, and in some cases special SF elements to perform them. As to
their not being "intended to be" commandos, remember Son Tay?
Yes. It was an ad hoc unit of which the ground component was Special
Forces, with people pulled from various deployed and headquarters units,
and even some air force types on the ground.
At the time, Special Forces doctrine did not include direct action as a
primary mission of the basic Split A, B, or C detachments. That's not to
say they didn't do it, but FM 31-21 of the time didn't spell this out as
did more recent manuals.
The very first SADM's (not the latter W-54 model, but the interim capability
devices fielded in the late fifties/early sixties) were intended solely for
use by SF detachments in a direct action role--before the Vietnam conflict
heated up for the US.

Brooks
Howard C. Berkowitz
2005-06-21 21:23:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Cub Driver
On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 13:08:11 +1200, Kerryn Offord
Post by Kerryn Offord
It all depends on what you mean by "special forces"...
It certainly does. What's unique about U.S. Army Special Forces is
that they are meant to be cadre in guerilla ops, with two or three
Americans commanding a platoon or company of local irregulars. This is
how they operated in Vietnam, and to a lesser extent in Afghanistan
more recently. They were not intended to be commandos, like the U.S.
Navy Seals.
Actually, they have also had direct action mission responsibilities
for
most
of their history, too. Along with strategic reconnaissance. Their major
emphases were the irregular warfare missions you described, along with
mobile training team (MTT) missions, but they have a long history of the
other stuff, too.
I think you will find, however, that Vietnam-era DA and SR operations
were not under Special Forces group command, but generally individuals
detailed to other headquarters such as MACV-SOG.
But MACV-SOG was using primarily (if not exclusively) SF troops, organized
into detachments of varying sizes, to do the missions. Some of these
detachments worked with locals, some did not.
Would you accept that SF _units_ did not do any MACV-SOG missions, but
SF-qualified _personnel_ frequently did so?
Post by Kevin Brooks
Remember also that the
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Army had the since-disbanded LRRP dedicated to SR, as well as the
nondivisional Marine Force Recon units.
Most of the LRRP teams were focused on tactical, not strategic, intel
collection, and came under the control of their parent divisions and
brigades.
OK. I will still say that MAF-level Force Recon did SR in I Corps.
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
In other words, the unit emphasis was still UW and COIN (the latter now
FID). Certain other capabilities existed outside the DA and SR areas,
but that's about as far as I can go in an open forum.
It is well known that the SF Groups, or at least the 10th SFG, had various
direct action mission requirements in Eastern Europe from way back when. To
include use of SADM's to attack targets in the Soviet rear areas (in fact,
for a short while after the Engineer ADM Companies were disbanded and before
the final retirement of the SADM, the SF folks retianed the only nuclear
demolition capability and responsibility in the Army).
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Even during Vietnam there were various direct action
and
SR missions, and in some cases special SF elements to perform them. As to
their not being "intended to be" commandos, remember Son Tay?
Yes. It was an ad hoc unit of which the ground component was Special
Forces, with people pulled from various deployed and headquarters units,
and even some air force types on the ground.
It was not conducted by a SF unit. Its personnel were primarily but not
exclusively SF-qualified, such as their surgeon LTC? Cataldo.
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
At the time, Special Forces doctrine did not include direct action as a
primary mission of the basic Split A, B, or C detachments. That's not to
say they didn't do it, but FM 31-21 of the time didn't spell this out as
did more recent manuals.
The very first SADM's (not the latter W-54 model, but the interim capability
devices fielded in the late fifties/early sixties) were intended solely for
use by SF detachments in a direct action role--before the Vietnam conflict
heated up for the US.
Unfortunately, this is one of the areas where I can't go.
Kevin Brooks
2005-06-22 05:12:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Cub Driver
On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 13:08:11 +1200, Kerryn Offord
Post by Kerryn Offord
It all depends on what you mean by "special forces"...
It certainly does. What's unique about U.S. Army Special Forces is
that they are meant to be cadre in guerilla ops, with two or three
Americans commanding a platoon or company of local irregulars. This is
how they operated in Vietnam, and to a lesser extent in Afghanistan
more recently. They were not intended to be commandos, like the U.S.
Navy Seals.
Actually, they have also had direct action mission responsibilities
for
most
of their history, too. Along with strategic reconnaissance. Their major
emphases were the irregular warfare missions you described, along with
mobile training team (MTT) missions, but they have a long history of the
other stuff, too.
I think you will find, however, that Vietnam-era DA and SR operations
were not under Special Forces group command, but generally individuals
detailed to other headquarters such as MACV-SOG.
But MACV-SOG was using primarily (if not exclusively) SF troops, organized
into detachments of varying sizes, to do the missions. Some of these
detachments worked with locals, some did not.
Would you accept that SF _units_ did not do any MACV-SOG missions, but
SF-qualified _personnel_ frequently did so?
No, not really. SFOD-Delta (the original one, that is) operated in Vietnam,
albeit under SOG control--but it was still an SFOD.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Remember also that the
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Army had the since-disbanded LRRP dedicated to SR, as well as the
nondivisional Marine Force Recon units.
Most of the LRRP teams were focused on tactical, not strategic, intel
collection, and came under the control of their parent divisions and
brigades.
OK. I will still say that MAF-level Force Recon did SR in I Corps.
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
In other words, the unit emphasis was still UW and COIN (the latter now
FID). Certain other capabilities existed outside the DA and SR areas,
but that's about as far as I can go in an open forum.
It is well known that the SF Groups, or at least the 10th SFG, had various
direct action mission requirements in Eastern Europe from way back when. To
include use of SADM's to attack targets in the Soviet rear areas (in fact,
for a short while after the Engineer ADM Companies were disbanded and before
the final retirement of the SADM, the SF folks retianed the only nuclear
demolition capability and responsibility in the Army).
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Even during Vietnam there were various direct action
and
SR missions, and in some cases special SF elements to perform them. As to
their not being "intended to be" commandos, remember Son Tay?
Yes. It was an ad hoc unit of which the ground component was Special
Forces, with people pulled from various deployed and headquarters units,
and even some air force types on the ground.
It was not conducted by a SF unit. Its personnel were primarily but not
exclusively SF-qualified, such as their surgeon LTC? Cataldo.
Please. You are gonna argue this one on the basis of where the *doc* came
from? By that argument, the USMC units that engage in combat are not USMC
organizations because their medics are USN corpsmen? From what I recall
(been many years since I read/reread Schemer's book, "The Raid"), every
single member of Simons' assault group was an SF trooper. Those were SF
troops conducting a direct action mission, period.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
At the time, Special Forces doctrine did not include direct action as a
primary mission of the basic Split A, B, or C detachments. That's not to
say they didn't do it, but FM 31-21 of the time didn't spell this out as
did more recent manuals.
The very first SADM's (not the latter W-54 model, but the interim capability
devices fielded in the late fifties/early sixties) were intended solely for
use by SF detachments in a direct action role--before the Vietnam conflict
heated up for the US.
Unfortunately, this is one of the areas where I can't go.
OFCS. Go where the gosh-darned open media sources have already gone. SF
Teams had ADM missions--it is not exactly a great big secret.

Brooks
Howard C. Berkowitz
2005-06-22 14:34:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Yes. It was an ad hoc unit of which the ground component was Special
Forces, with people pulled from various deployed and headquarters units,
and even some air force types on the ground.
It was not conducted by a SF unit. Its personnel were primarily but not
exclusively SF-qualified, such as their surgeon LTC? Cataldo.
Please. You are gonna argue this one on the basis of where the *doc* came
from?
I was simply making an observation on other Army people involved. For
that matter, there were Air Force people on the ground, from the
helicopter that did the controlled crash into the courtyard.

I repeat: SF-qualified people were indeed the great majority of the
ground troops. The Son Tay raid (see, for example, Schlemmer's book) was
not conducted by a SF _unit_. It was a task force organized out of
JCS/SACSA.

Indeed, the overall commander was then BG (later LTG) Leroy Manor, USAF.
Coincidentally, I just found his personal account of the mission at
http://home.earthlink.net/~aircommando1/SONTAYRA1.htm.

From that source, Schlemmer, and others, the mission, as distinct from
the ground operation, had quite a number of planning and support
personnel from other Army, other services, and other agencies.

By that argument, the USMC units that engage in combat are not USMC
Post by Kevin Brooks
organizations because their medics are USN corpsmen?
You are overemphasizing one minor aspect. Should you want that argument,
I believe it's more significant that the senior commander of the
operation was Air Force. The reality is that it was task-organized and
not a SF unit action.
Post by Kevin Brooks
From what I recall
(been many years since I read/reread Schemer's book, "The Raid"), every
single member of Simons' assault group was an SF trooper. Those were SF
troops conducting a direct action mission, period.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
At the time, Special Forces doctrine did not include direct action as a
primary mission of the basic Split A, B, or C detachments. That's
not
to
say they didn't do it, but FM 31-21 of the time didn't spell this
out
as
did more recent manuals.
The very first SADM's (not the latter W-54 model, but the interim capability
devices fielded in the late fifties/early sixties) were intended
solely
for
use by SF detachments in a direct action role--before the Vietnam conflict
heated up for the US.
Unfortunately, this is one of the areas where I can't go.
OFCS. Go where the gosh-darned open media sources have already gone. SF
Teams had ADM missions--it is not exactly a great big secret.
Whether the open media have gone into it or not, that area is one in
which I first encountered in outside open media, and I am not free to
discuss. My posting history will demonstrate that I have very rarely
claimed classification issues, but the area of "additional capabilities"
of SF, not limited to ADM or not, is one where I can't honorably discuss.
Kevin Brooks
2005-06-22 20:47:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Yes. It was an ad hoc unit of which the ground component was Special
Forces, with people pulled from various deployed and headquarters units,
and even some air force types on the ground.
It was not conducted by a SF unit. Its personnel were primarily but not
exclusively SF-qualified, such as their surgeon LTC? Cataldo.
Please. You are gonna argue this one on the basis of where the *doc* came
from?
I was simply making an observation on other Army people involved. For
that matter, there were Air Force people on the ground, from the
helicopter that did the controlled crash into the courtyard.
Yeah, and when the SOF elements perform missions today they may even jump
from a C-130 flown by a USAF crew--so what? Does that mean that the mission
has not been tasked to the SOF element?
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
I repeat: SF-qualified people were indeed the great majority of the
ground troops.
Please name any of the ground assault force troops who were not SF. And
don't harken back to the helo crew for that HH-3--that dog won't hunt. In
that case you had an aircrew performing its air mission (they were not
subsequently tasked to go kick down doors and man the chainsaws that were
used to facilitate same).

The Son Tay raid (see, for example, Schlemmer's book) was
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
not conducted by a SF _unit_. It was a task force organized out of
JCS/SACSA.
Simons went to the SFG's at Bragg and asked for volunteers--he got 500 or so
volunteers for the 100 or so slots he had to fill. He filled those slots
from the SFG personnel. He created his own SF detachment, which was tasked
to perform the assault. End of story.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Indeed, the overall commander was then BG (later LTG) Leroy Manor, USAF.
Coincidentally, I just found his personal account of the mission at
http://home.earthlink.net/~aircommando1/SONTAYRA1.htm.
Whoopie. IIRC the overall commander for the Iran rescue mission was also a
USAF type--does that mean that Delta was somehow not a US Army SOF element?
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
From that source, Schlemmer, and others, the mission, as distinct from
the ground operation, had quite a number of planning and support
personnel from other Army, other services, and other agencies.
You keep acting as if the fact that this was a joint endeavor has any
bearing upon the fact that the assault element was made up of SF troopers,
formed into a temporary detachment with a direct action mission, but that
just is not the case.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
By that argument, the USMC units that engage in combat are not USMC
Post by Kevin Brooks
organizations because their medics are USN corpsmen?
You are overemphasizing one minor aspect. Should you want that argument,
I believe it's more significant that the senior commander of the
operation was Air Force. The reality is that it was task-organized and
not a SF unit action.
So what would you describe the assault element as being? A Boy Scout unit?
SF troops, recruited by design, formed into a detchment for a specific
mission, which in this case was indeed a direct action mission.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
From what I recall
(been many years since I read/reread Schemer's book, "The Raid"), every
single member of Simons' assault group was an SF trooper. Those were SF
troops conducting a direct action mission, period.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
At the time, Special Forces doctrine did not include direct action as a
primary mission of the basic Split A, B, or C detachments. That's
not
to
say they didn't do it, but FM 31-21 of the time didn't spell this
out
as
did more recent manuals.
The very first SADM's (not the latter W-54 model, but the interim capability
devices fielded in the late fifties/early sixties) were intended
solely
for
use by SF detachments in a direct action role--before the Vietnam conflict
heated up for the US.
Unfortunately, this is one of the areas where I can't go.
OFCS. Go where the gosh-darned open media sources have already gone. SF
Teams had ADM missions--it is not exactly a great big secret.
Whether the open media have gone into it or not, that area is one in
which I first encountered in outside open media, and I am not free to
discuss. My posting history will demonstrate that I have very rarely
claimed classification issues, but the area of "additional capabilities"
of SF, not limited to ADM or not, is one where I can't honorably discuss.
Geeze. You claimed IIRC that the SF units during that era were not tasked
with direct action missions, and when shown that was not the case (something
now well established in open source documentation), you try and hide behind
an alleged classification curtain. Big tip, hoss--if you are really
knowledgable of classified info, you don't even *hint* about it, as you did
earlier--that usually sets my BS detector off (the ol' "I know some stuff,
but I really can't discuss it" crap that so many charlatans and grand
exaggerators have used). I have run into guys who have claimed (and were
proven not to be) to have been Delta and SEAL operators who have used this
same approach, so you may want to reevaluate. The following reference SADM
and Special Forces employment thereof, so you can dump the "its classified"
crap--heck, SADM (along with all other US Army tactical nuclear weapons) was
removed from the inventory more than ten years ago!

www.thehistorynet.com/vn/blbudop/index2.html

www.nti.org/db/nisprofs/over/lebedlg.htm

www.wlhoward.com/id526.htm

www.armscontrolcenter.org/prolifproject/tnw/chap5.html

www.armscontrolcenter.org/prolifproject/tnw/chap5.pdf

www.fivestardefense.com/advisory.html


Brooks
Howard C. Berkowitz
2005-06-22 21:55:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Yes. It was an ad hoc unit of which the ground component was Special
Forces, with people pulled from various deployed and headquarters units,
and even some air force types on the ground.
It was not conducted by a SF unit. Its personnel were primarily but not
exclusively SF-qualified, such as their surgeon LTC? Cataldo.
Please. You are gonna argue this one on the basis of where the *doc* came
from?
I was simply making an observation on other Army people involved. For
that matter, there were Air Force people on the ground, from the
helicopter that did the controlled crash into the courtyard.
Yeah, and when the SOF elements perform missions today they may even jump
from a C-130 flown by a USAF crew--so what? Does that mean that the mission
has not been tasked to the SOF element?
That's EXACTLY right, because the mission has been tasked to the SOF,
not the SF, element. If that C-130 is from AFSOC, the whole mission is
Special Operations, which is the point I have been trying to make.
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
I repeat: SF-qualified people were indeed the great majority of the
ground troops.
Please name any of the ground assault force troops who were not SF. And
don't harken back to the helo crew for that HH-3--that dog won't hunt. In
that case you had an aircrew performing its air mission (they were not
subsequently tasked to go kick down doors and man the chainsaws that were
used to facilitate same).
Any dog that has the balls to do what that HH-3 did, and know they may
have to be grunts, is fine as infantry in my book.
Post by Kevin Brooks
The Son Tay raid (see, for example, Schlemmer's book) was
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
not conducted by a SF _unit_. It was a task force organized out of
JCS/SACSA.
Simons went to the SFG's at Bragg and asked for volunteers--he got 500 or so
volunteers for the 100 or so slots he had to fill. He filled those slots
from the SFG personnel. He created his own SF detachment, which was tasked
to perform the assault. End of story.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Indeed, the overall commander was then BG (later LTG) Leroy Manor, USAF.
Coincidentally, I just found his personal account of the mission at
http://home.earthlink.net/~aircommando1/SONTAYRA1.htm.
Whoopie. IIRC the overall commander for the Iran rescue mission was also a
USAF type--does that mean that Delta was somehow not a US Army SOF element?
No. While it was a clusterfuck, it was a JOINT MISSION. For that
matter as well, can you say Ranger Company? As in Ranger Company that
guarded some of the landing strips in Eagle Pull? That wasn't Delta.

Were that to be done today, it would be under a joint Special Operations
Commander. The hostage rescue would probably still be Delta, the
support area ground security would probably still be Ranger, but the
helicopters would be either AFSOC or 160th Aviation Regiment, and the
C-130s would probably be MC-130s from AFSOC.
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
From that source, Schlemmer, and others, the mission, as distinct from
the ground operation, had quite a number of planning and support
personnel from other Army, other services, and other agencies.
You keep acting as if the fact that this was a joint endeavor has any
bearing upon the fact that the assault element was made up of SF troopers,
formed into a temporary detachment with a direct action mission, but that
just is not the case.
It is not the case that the SF troopers were formed into a temporary
detachment? If that is so, what SF Group and Battalion, and probably
Company, was it? The ground element could have been made up of one or
two SF Companies. Was it?

Again not having _The Raid_ in front of me, there were people from
multiple groups. Again, it was NOT a TO&E, existing, SF Unit.
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
By that argument, the USMC units that engage in combat are not USMC
Post by Kevin Brooks
organizations because their medics are USN corpsmen?
You are overemphasizing one minor aspect. Should you want that argument,
I believe it's more significant that the senior commander of the
operation was Air Force. The reality is that it was task-organized and
not a SF unit action.
So what would you describe the assault element as being? A Boy Scout unit?
SF troops, recruited by design, formed into a detchment for a specific
mission, which in this case was indeed a direct action mission.
SF troops, agreed. A task organized unit or detachment, agreed. A
regular SF unit, as in Group, Battalion, Company, C/B/A/split-A
Detachment, no.
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
From what I recall
(been many years since I read/reread Schemer's book, "The Raid"), every
single member of Simons' assault group was an SF trooper. Those were SF
troops conducting a direct action mission, period.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
At the time, Special Forces doctrine did not include direct
action
as a
primary mission of the basic Split A, B, or C detachments. That's
not
to
say they didn't do it, but FM 31-21 of the time didn't spell this
out
as
did more recent manuals.
The very first SADM's (not the latter W-54 model, but the interim capability
devices fielded in the late fifties/early sixties) were intended
solely
for
use by SF detachments in a direct action role--before the Vietnam conflict
heated up for the US.
Unfortunately, this is one of the areas where I can't go.
OFCS. Go where the gosh-darned open media sources have already gone. SF
Teams had ADM missions--it is not exactly a great big secret.
Whether the open media have gone into it or not, that area is one in
which I first encountered in outside open media, and I am not free to
discuss. My posting history will demonstrate that I have very rarely
claimed classification issues, but the area of "additional
capabilities"
of SF, not limited to ADM or not, is one where I can't honorably discuss.
Geeze. You claimed IIRC that the SF units during that era were not tasked
with direct action missions, and when shown that was not the case (something
now well established in open source documentation), you try and hide behind
an alleged classification curtain.
Big tip, hoss--if you are really
Post by Kevin Brooks
knowledgable of classified info, you don't even *hint* about it, as you did
earlier--that usually sets my BS detector off (the ol' "I know some stuff,
but I really can't discuss it" crap that so many charlatans and grand
exaggerators have used). I have run into guys who have claimed (and were
proven not to be) to have been Delta and SEAL operators who have used this
same approach, so you may want to reevaluate.
Go right ahead and prove I was not at:
Center for Research in Social Systems, Army Contract Research Center
at American University, supporting Ft. Bragg and other units, 1967-ish
(it's been a long time)
Bunker-Ramo Corporation, tactical C3I engineer, 1970.
Technical advisory group to (FTSC) National Communications System,
1976-1980 (maybe 79).

To someone with a serious background in classification, it is a
perfectly rational thing to say "we have reached the limits that I can
discuss in that area." I deliberately phrased that SF have "additional
capabilities". I feel safe in saying that there is more than one.
Post by Kevin Brooks
The following reference
SADM
and Special Forces employment thereof, so you can dump the "its classified"
crap--heck, SADM (along with all other US Army tactical nuclear weapons) was
removed from the inventory more than ten years ago!
That the SADM existed is perfectly open and discussable, and has been
officially declassified. The full range of options for its tactical use
have been declassified in some areas and not in others.
Post by Kevin Brooks
www.thehistorynet.com/vn/blbudop/index2.html
www.nti.org/db/nisprofs/over/lebedlg.htm
www.wlhoward.com/id526.htm
www.armscontrolcenter.org/prolifproject/tnw/chap5.html
www.armscontrolcenter.org/prolifproject/tnw/chap5.pdf
www.fivestardefense.com/advisory.html
Brooks
Kevin Brooks
2005-06-22 23:33:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Yes. It was an ad hoc unit of which the ground component was Special
Forces, with people pulled from various deployed and headquarters units,
and even some air force types on the ground.
It was not conducted by a SF unit. Its personnel were primarily but not
exclusively SF-qualified, such as their surgeon LTC? Cataldo.
Please. You are gonna argue this one on the basis of where the *doc* came
from?
I was simply making an observation on other Army people involved. For
that matter, there were Air Force people on the ground, from the
helicopter that did the controlled crash into the courtyard.
Yeah, and when the SOF elements perform missions today they may even jump
from a C-130 flown by a USAF crew--so what? Does that mean that the mission
has not been tasked to the SOF element?
That's EXACTLY right, because the mission has been tasked to the SOF,
not the SF, element. If that C-130 is from AFSOC, the whole mission is
Special Operations, which is the point I have been trying to make.
WHAT point?! We were discussing whetehr or not the SF folks had a direct
action mission requirement during the Vietnam era and prior years. It is
patently obvious that they did. And if you think that because the C-130
crews dropping the Rangers at Point Salines were from the USAF and not the
Army Ranger establishment that means that the Rangers were not tasked with
executing an airfield seizure mission, then you are sadly mistaken.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
I repeat: SF-qualified people were indeed the great majority of the
ground troops.
Please name any of the ground assault force troops who were not SF. And
don't harken back to the helo crew for that HH-3--that dog won't hunt. In
that case you had an aircrew performing its air mission (they were not
subsequently tasked to go kick down doors and man the chainsaws that were
used to facilitate same).
Any dog that has the balls to do what that HH-3 did, and know they may
have to be grunts, is fine as infantry in my book.
LOL! Nice dodge, but it won't hunt either--I have nothing but the highest
regards for that helo crew. Now, back to the issue at hand--who were the
non-SF folks that were included in Simons' 56 man assault unit?
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
The Son Tay raid (see, for example, Schlemmer's book) was
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
not conducted by a SF _unit_. It was a task force organized out of
JCS/SACSA.
Simons went to the SFG's at Bragg and asked for volunteers--he got 500 or so
volunteers for the 100 or so slots he had to fill. He filled those slots
from the SFG personnel. He created his own SF detachment, which was tasked
to perform the assault. End of story.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Indeed, the overall commander was then BG (later LTG) Leroy Manor, USAF.
Coincidentally, I just found his personal account of the mission at
http://home.earthlink.net/~aircommando1/SONTAYRA1.htm.
Whoopie. IIRC the overall commander for the Iran rescue mission was also a
USAF type--does that mean that Delta was somehow not a US Army SOF element?
No. While it was a clusterfuck, it was a JOINT MISSION. For that
matter as well, can you say Ranger Company? As in Ranger Company that
guarded some of the landing strips in Eagle Pull? That wasn't Delta.
And that in no way nmeans that Delta was not the unit tasked with performing
the raid on the Embassy site. FYI, I should probably also mention that a
team from the "regular" SF side of the house (from either the 10th SFG or
from COL Bob Mountel's 7th SFG "Blue Light" element) was also in on that
operation, tasked to perform a hostage rescue on an ancilliary location
where some hostages were supposedly being kept...but that would merely be
*another* example of an SF unit doing that direct action thingie that you
said they were supposedly not doing at that time?
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Were that to be done today, it would be under a joint Special Operations
Commander. The hostage rescue would probably still be Delta, the
support area ground security would probably still be Ranger, but the
helicopters would be either AFSOC or 160th Aviation Regiment, and the
C-130s would probably be MC-130s from AFSOC.
Which would not change the fact that Delta would be performing a DA mission,
or for that matter that the attached SF A-Team used in the original mission
would not also be performing a DA mission...
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
From that source, Schlemmer, and others, the mission, as distinct from
the ground operation, had quite a number of planning and support
personnel from other Army, other services, and other agencies.
You keep acting as if the fact that this was a joint endeavor has any
bearing upon the fact that the assault element was made up of SF troopers,
formed into a temporary detachment with a direct action mission, but that
just is not the case.
It is not the case that the SF troopers were formed into a temporary
detachment?
Reading comprehension problem, huh? Read what I wrote, very slowly if
necessary, and you will find where your attempt to reword it is way wrong.

If that is so, what SF Group and Battalion, and probably
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Company, was it? The ground element could have been made up of one or
two SF Companies. Was it?
I said it was a temporary unit (duh!). Your point would be?
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Again not having _The Raid_ in front of me, there were people from
multiple groups.
Again, I have yet to see any evidence of anybody other than the SF troops
being included in the assault force--feel free to demonstrate otherwise.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Again, it was NOT a TO&E, existing, SF Unit.
And again, immaterial. It was an SF detachment (i.e., made up of troopers
detached from their parent units to serve under Simons' command for the
purpose of training for and executing the required mission). It was a direct
action mission.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
By that argument, the USMC units that engage in combat are not USMC
Post by Kevin Brooks
organizations because their medics are USN corpsmen?
You are overemphasizing one minor aspect. Should you want that argument,
I believe it's more significant that the senior commander of the
operation was Air Force. The reality is that it was task-organized and
not a SF unit action.
So what would you describe the assault element as being? A Boy Scout unit?
SF troops, recruited by design, formed into a detchment for a specific
mission, which in this case was indeed a direct action mission.
SF troops, agreed. A task organized unit or detachment, agreed. A
regular SF unit, as in Group, Battalion, Company, C/B/A/split-A
Detachment, no.
Who cares whether the unit was permanent, or "regular", or not? The issue
was whether or not SF units, be they permanent or temporary, made up of SF
troops, were being tasked with direct action missions in those days. The
evidnce says they were in this case, and they were when they were tasked
with the ADM missions, and for that matter they were when they were training
some A-teams to conduct SCUBA operations (or do you figure our goal was to
slip behind the lines and raise an irregular force of combat divers?).
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
From what I recall
(been many years since I read/reread Schemer's book, "The Raid"), every
single member of Simons' assault group was an SF trooper. Those were SF
troops conducting a direct action mission, period.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
At the time, Special Forces doctrine did not include direct
action
as a
primary mission of the basic Split A, B, or C detachments. That's
not
to
say they didn't do it, but FM 31-21 of the time didn't spell this
out
as
did more recent manuals.
The very first SADM's (not the latter W-54 model, but the interim capability
devices fielded in the late fifties/early sixties) were intended
solely
for
use by SF detachments in a direct action role--before the Vietnam conflict
heated up for the US.
Unfortunately, this is one of the areas where I can't go.
OFCS. Go where the gosh-darned open media sources have already gone. SF
Teams had ADM missions--it is not exactly a great big secret.
Whether the open media have gone into it or not, that area is one in
which I first encountered in outside open media, and I am not free to
discuss. My posting history will demonstrate that I have very rarely
claimed classification issues, but the area of "additional
capabilities"
of SF, not limited to ADM or not, is one where I can't honorably discuss.
Geeze. You claimed IIRC that the SF units during that era were not tasked
with direct action missions, and when shown that was not the case (something
now well established in open source documentation), you try and hide behind
an alleged classification curtain.
Big tip, hoss--if you are really
Post by Kevin Brooks
knowledgable of classified info, you don't even *hint* about it, as you did
earlier--that usually sets my BS detector off (the ol' "I know some stuff,
but I really can't discuss it" crap that so many charlatans and grand
exaggerators have used). I have run into guys who have claimed (and were
proven not to be) to have been Delta and SEAL operators who have used this
same approach, so you may want to reevaluate.
Center for Research in Social Systems, Army Contract Research Center
at American University, supporting Ft. Bragg and other units, 1967-ish
(it's been a long time)
Bunker-Ramo Corporation, tactical C3I engineer, 1970.
Technical advisory group to (FTSC) National Communications System,
1976-1980 (maybe 79).
Who cares? Fact--SF units had an ADM mission, which falls into the direct
action arena, bach when you said the SF units did not have direct action
missions.

Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
To someone with a serious background in classification, it is a
perfectly rational thing to say "we have reached the limits that I can
discuss in that area." I deliberately phrased that SF have "additional
capabilities". I feel safe in saying that there is more than one.
Post by Kevin Brooks
The following reference
SADM
and Special Forces employment thereof, so you can dump the "its classified"
crap--heck, SADM (along with all other US Army tactical nuclear weapons) was
removed from the inventory more than ten years ago!
That the SADM existed is perfectly open and discussable, and has been
officially declassified. The full range of options for its tactical use
have been declassified in some areas and not in others.
Post by Kevin Brooks
www.thehistorynet.com/vn/blbudop/index2.html
www.nti.org/db/nisprofs/over/lebedlg.htm
www.wlhoward.com/id526.htm
www.armscontrolcenter.org/prolifproject/tnw/chap5.html
www.armscontrolcenter.org/prolifproject/tnw/chap5.pdf
www.fivestardefense.com/advisory.html
Brooks
Howard C. Berkowitz
2005-06-22 23:38:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Kevin Brooks
Big tip, hoss--if you are really
Post by Kevin Brooks
knowledgable of classified info, you don't even *hint* about it, as
you
did
earlier--that usually sets my BS detector off (the ol' "I know some stuff,
but I really can't discuss it" crap that so many charlatans and grand
exaggerators have used). I have run into guys who have claimed (and were
proven not to be) to have been Delta and SEAL operators who have used this
same approach, so you may want to reevaluate.
Center for Research in Social Systems, Army Contract Research Center
at American University, supporting Ft. Bragg and other units, 1967-ish
(it's been a long time)
Bunker-Ramo Corporation, tactical C3I engineer, 1970.
Technical advisory group to (FTSC) National Communications System,
1976-1980 (maybe 79).
Who cares? Fact--SF units had an ADM mission, which falls into the direct
action arena, bach when you said the SF units did not have direct action
missions.
Who cares? I wanted to bring attention to how you start accusing people
of BS, because they do not fall at your omniscient feet, and when you
get a response, it's "who cares?"

In other words,

*plonk*
Kevin Brooks
2005-06-22 23:51:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Kevin Brooks
Big tip, hoss--if you are really
Post by Kevin Brooks
knowledgable of classified info, you don't even *hint* about it, as
you
did
earlier--that usually sets my BS detector off (the ol' "I know some stuff,
but I really can't discuss it" crap that so many charlatans and grand
exaggerators have used). I have run into guys who have claimed (and were
proven not to be) to have been Delta and SEAL operators who have used this
same approach, so you may want to reevaluate.
Center for Research in Social Systems, Army Contract Research Center
at American University, supporting Ft. Bragg and other units, 1967-ish
(it's been a long time)
Bunker-Ramo Corporation, tactical C3I engineer, 1970.
Technical advisory group to (FTSC) National Communications System,
1976-1980 (maybe 79).
Who cares? Fact--SF units had an ADM mission, which falls into the direct
action arena, bach when you said the SF units did not have direct action
missions.
Who cares? I wanted to bring attention to how you start accusing people
of BS, because they do not fall at your omniscient feet, and when you
get a response, it's "who cares?"
You and I fought this one long ago, when you tried to trot out your
Bunker-Ramo garbage--it did not fly then, and it ain't flying now. When you
are ready to get back to the gist of the discussion (all of those direct
action missions you said the SF did not do back then, despite the facts
showing otherwise), and want to stop hiding (again) behind your supposed "I
know classified stuff, but I can't discuss the classified stuff I know"
crap, get back to me. You gotta find a new schtick--your "I know secret
stuff" approach is getting a bit long in the tooth.

Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
In other words,
*plonk*
Kevin Brooks
2005-06-22 05:39:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Cub Driver
On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 13:08:11 +1200, Kerryn Offord
Post by Kerryn Offord
It all depends on what you mean by "special forces"...
It certainly does. What's unique about U.S. Army Special Forces is
that they are meant to be cadre in guerilla ops, with two or three
Americans commanding a platoon or company of local irregulars. This is
how they operated in Vietnam, and to a lesser extent in Afghanistan
more recently. They were not intended to be commandos, like the U.S.
Navy Seals.
Actually, they have also had direct action mission responsibilities
for
most
of their history, too. Along with strategic reconnaissance. Their major
emphases were the irregular warfare missions you described, along with
mobile training team (MTT) missions, but they have a long history of the
other stuff, too.
I think you will find, however, that Vietnam-era DA and SR operations
were not under Special Forces group command, but generally individuals
detailed to other headquarters such as MACV-SOG.
But MACV-SOG was using primarily (if not exclusively) SF troops, organized
into detachments of varying sizes, to do the missions. Some of these
detachments worked with locals, some did not.
Would you accept that SF _units_ did not do any MACV-SOG missions, but
SF-qualified _personnel_ frequently did so?
Post by Kevin Brooks
Remember also that the
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Army had the since-disbanded LRRP dedicated to SR, as well as the
nondivisional Marine Force Recon units.
Most of the LRRP teams were focused on tactical, not strategic, intel
collection, and came under the control of their parent divisions and
brigades.
OK. I will still say that MAF-level Force Recon did SR in I Corps.
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
In other words, the unit emphasis was still UW and COIN (the latter now
FID). Certain other capabilities existed outside the DA and SR areas,
but that's about as far as I can go in an open forum.
It is well known that the SF Groups, or at least the 10th SFG, had various
direct action mission requirements in Eastern Europe from way back when. To
include use of SADM's to attack targets in the Soviet rear areas (in fact,
for a short while after the Engineer ADM Companies were disbanded and before
the final retirement of the SADM, the SF folks retianed the only nuclear
demolition capability and responsibility in the Army).
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Even during Vietnam there were various direct action
and
SR missions, and in some cases special SF elements to perform them. As to
their not being "intended to be" commandos, remember Son Tay?
Yes. It was an ad hoc unit of which the ground component was Special
Forces, with people pulled from various deployed and headquarters units,
and even some air force types on the ground.
It was not conducted by a SF unit. Its personnel were primarily but not
exclusively SF-qualified, such as their surgeon LTC? Cataldo.
This one tickled my brain a bit, so I went back and checked into the
situation and *bang*, LTC Joe Cataldo was the former Chief Surgeon for (you
guessed it) the Special Forces when he was selected to participate in the
Son Tay raid. I can't find it on the web, but I seem to recall reading in
Schemmer's book that Cataldo had even attended the Q Course...

Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
At the time, Special Forces doctrine did not include direct action as a
primary mission of the basic Split A, B, or C detachments. That's not to
say they didn't do it, but FM 31-21 of the time didn't spell this out as
did more recent manuals.
The very first SADM's (not the latter W-54 model, but the interim capability
devices fielded in the late fifties/early sixties) were intended solely for
use by SF detachments in a direct action role--before the Vietnam conflict
heated up for the US.
Unfortunately, this is one of the areas where I can't go.
Howard C. Berkowitz
2005-06-22 14:44:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevin Brooks
This one tickled my brain a bit, so I went back and checked into the
situation and *bang*, LTC Joe Cataldo was the former Chief Surgeon for (you
guessed it) the Special Forces when he was selected to participate in the
Son Tay raid. I can't find it on the web, but I seem to recall reading in
Schemmer's book that Cataldo had even attended the Q Course...
If you look at the SF program acceptance rules of the time, SF could
accept only candidates from certain branches. I remember that among
others, they could not accept aviation or medical officers, because
ARSTAF had concluded their specialized training would be wasted.

I will look for my copy of the book. My recollection is that he was
_attached_ to SF or some other SPECOPS activity, found out about the Son
Tay mission, went to one of the senior officers, and volunteered. IIRC,
he was in a non-SF unit at the time.

From LTG Manor's account of the preparation,
http://home.earthlink.net/~aircommando1/SONTAYRA1.htm, "Our first
priority was to establish a planning group. Thanks to our high priority
on resources we were able to assemble a small group of the most
dedicated and innovative planners available. The group represented each
of the four services so it was truly "joint." The assembled group
consisted of 26 members. Space does not permit recognizing each member
and outlining his or her contribution to the concept that developed.
Suffice to say that it included such superb performers as Norman
Frisbie, Larry Ropka, Ben Kraljev, Art Andraitu, Joe Cataldo, Dick
Peshkin, Keith Grime, Warner Britton, William Norman, Richard Beyea, Max
Newman and John Knops."

Again, I don't have _The Raid_ immediately at hand...I remember seeing
it on a shelf recently but I have to remember what shelf. The
affiliations of the various planning and support groups are listed
there, and they certainly were not SF. Some were, including the key
ground commanders.

Nevertheless, the operation was a joint one, definitely not planned or
carried out by any specific SF unit.
Kevin Brooks
2005-06-22 19:20:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
This one tickled my brain a bit, so I went back and checked into the
situation and *bang*, LTC Joe Cataldo was the former Chief Surgeon for (you
guessed it) the Special Forces when he was selected to participate in the
Son Tay raid. I can't find it on the web, but I seem to recall reading in
Schemmer's book that Cataldo had even attended the Q Course...
If you look at the SF program acceptance rules of the time, SF could
accept only candidates from certain branches. I remember that among
others, they could not accept aviation or medical officers, because
ARSTAF had concluded their specialized training would be wasted.
I will look for my copy of the book. My recollection is that he was
_attached_ to SF or some other SPECOPS activity, found out about the Son
Tay mission, went to one of the senior officers, and volunteered. IIRC,
he was in a non-SF unit at the time.
He was indeed in a non-SF unit when he volunteered; he was a *former* group
surgeon. He was not previously "attached" to the SF; the SF Group MTO&E had
a slot for a group surgeon.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
From LTG Manor's account of the preparation,
http://home.earthlink.net/~aircommando1/SONTAYRA1.htm, "Our first
priority was to establish a planning group. Thanks to our high priority
on resources we were able to assemble a small group of the most
dedicated and innovative planners available. The group represented each
of the four services so it was truly "joint." The assembled group
consisted of 26 members. Space does not permit recognizing each member
and outlining his or her contribution to the concept that developed.
Suffice to say that it included such superb performers as Norman
Frisbie, Larry Ropka, Ben Kraljev, Art Andraitu, Joe Cataldo, Dick
Peshkin, Keith Grime, Warner Britton, William Norman, Richard Beyea, Max
Newman and John Knops."
Again, I don't have _The Raid_ immediately at hand...I remember seeing
it on a shelf recently but I have to remember what shelf. The
affiliations of the various planning and support groups are listed
there, and they certainly were not SF. Some were, including the key
ground commanders.
Nevertheless, the operation was a joint one, definitely not planned or
carried out by any specific SF unit.
Sheese. You have a hundred or so guys in the assault group, specifically
recruited from the SF Groups then stationed at Bragg by Simons, with no
non-SF folks included in said group, and you are still saying this was not a
direct action mision tasked to a SF formation???

Brooks
Howard C. Berkowitz
2005-06-22 20:33:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
This one tickled my brain a bit, so I went back and checked into the
situation and *bang*, LTC Joe Cataldo was the former Chief Surgeon for (you
guessed it) the Special Forces when he was selected to participate in the
Son Tay raid. I can't find it on the web, but I seem to recall reading in
Schemmer's book that Cataldo had even attended the Q Course...
If you look at the SF program acceptance rules of the time, SF could
accept only candidates from certain branches. I remember that among
others, they could not accept aviation or medical officers, because
ARSTAF had concluded their specialized training would be wasted.
I will look for my copy of the book. My recollection is that he was
_attached_ to SF or some other SPECOPS activity, found out about the Son
Tay mission, went to one of the senior officers, and volunteered.
IIRC,
he was in a non-SF unit at the time.
He was indeed in a non-SF unit when he volunteered; he was a *former* group
surgeon. He was not previously "attached" to the SF; the SF Group MTO&E had
a slot for a group surgeon.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
From LTG Manor's account of the preparation,
http://home.earthlink.net/~aircommando1/SONTAYRA1.htm, "Our first
priority was to establish a planning group. Thanks to our high priority
on resources we were able to assemble a small group of the most
dedicated and innovative planners available. The group represented each
of the four services so it was truly "joint." The assembled group
consisted of 26 members. Space does not permit recognizing each member
and outlining his or her contribution to the concept that developed.
Suffice to say that it included such superb performers as Norman
Frisbie, Larry Ropka, Ben Kraljev, Art Andraitu, Joe Cataldo, Dick
Peshkin, Keith Grime, Warner Britton, William Norman, Richard Beyea, Max
Newman and John Knops."
Again, I don't have _The Raid_ immediately at hand...I remember seeing
it on a shelf recently but I have to remember what shelf. The
affiliations of the various planning and support groups are listed
there, and they certainly were not SF. Some were, including the key
ground commanders.
Nevertheless, the operation was a joint one, definitely not planned or
carried out by any specific SF unit.
Sheese. You have a hundred or so guys in the assault group, specifically
recruited from the SF Groups then stationed at Bragg by Simons, with no
non-SF folks included in said group,
You seem to be ignoring the quote above from the Mission Commander,
emphasizing it was joint. I agree that the great majority were SF, but
NOT IN AN SF UNIT.

A significant number of the planners were non-SF, as were assorted
support personnel.
Post by Kevin Brooks
and you are still saying this was
not a
direct action mision tasked to a SF formation???
It was not carried out by a TO&E SF unit. It was carried out, on the
ground, by SF and USAF personnel. "Formation" implies task-organized
grouping ON THE GROUND. The planning and support for the MISSION were
clearly beyond the capabilities of SF alone.

Strategic and tactical air transportation was not SF. Diversionary
airstrikes were primarily Navy. Close air support was Air Force. At
least one USAF plane was shot down and needed CSAR, which was not SF.

The Mission Commander, outranking any SF person in the "formation", was
a USAF.

AFAIK, there was no Marine participation, although there were civilians
in planning and support.
Kevin Brooks
2005-06-22 20:59:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
This one tickled my brain a bit, so I went back and checked into the
situation and *bang*, LTC Joe Cataldo was the former Chief Surgeon for (you
guessed it) the Special Forces when he was selected to participate in the
Son Tay raid. I can't find it on the web, but I seem to recall reading in
Schemmer's book that Cataldo had even attended the Q Course...
If you look at the SF program acceptance rules of the time, SF could
accept only candidates from certain branches. I remember that among
others, they could not accept aviation or medical officers, because
ARSTAF had concluded their specialized training would be wasted.
I will look for my copy of the book. My recollection is that he was
_attached_ to SF or some other SPECOPS activity, found out about the Son
Tay mission, went to one of the senior officers, and volunteered.
IIRC,
he was in a non-SF unit at the time.
He was indeed in a non-SF unit when he volunteered; he was a *former* group
surgeon. He was not previously "attached" to the SF; the SF Group MTO&E had
a slot for a group surgeon.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
From LTG Manor's account of the preparation,
http://home.earthlink.net/~aircommando1/SONTAYRA1.htm, "Our first
priority was to establish a planning group. Thanks to our high priority
on resources we were able to assemble a small group of the most
dedicated and innovative planners available. The group represented each
of the four services so it was truly "joint." The assembled group
consisted of 26 members. Space does not permit recognizing each member
and outlining his or her contribution to the concept that developed.
Suffice to say that it included such superb performers as Norman
Frisbie, Larry Ropka, Ben Kraljev, Art Andraitu, Joe Cataldo, Dick
Peshkin, Keith Grime, Warner Britton, William Norman, Richard Beyea, Max
Newman and John Knops."
Again, I don't have _The Raid_ immediately at hand...I remember seeing
it on a shelf recently but I have to remember what shelf. The
affiliations of the various planning and support groups are listed
there, and they certainly were not SF. Some were, including the key
ground commanders.
Nevertheless, the operation was a joint one, definitely not planned or
carried out by any specific SF unit.
Sheese. You have a hundred or so guys in the assault group, specifically
recruited from the SF Groups then stationed at Bragg by Simons, with no
non-SF folks included in said group,
You seem to be ignoring the quote above from the Mission Commander,
No, I did not, it just is not germane.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
emphasizing it was joint. I agree that the great majority were SF, but
NOT IN AN SF UNIT.
You don't refer to Simons' detachment as a "unit"? It was authorized for
formation (albeit for a specific purpose), it had a defined structure and
command system (defined by the commander in this case), and it was made up
entirely of soldiers from "regular" (TOE) SF units. I guess you would
similarly claim that the old "Blue Light" force stood up by the 7th SFG in
the seventies was not a "unit"?
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
A significant number of the planners were non-SF, as were assorted
support personnel.
So what? FYI, the SFG's still have slots for folks who have not completed
the Q-Course.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
and you are still saying this was
not a
direct action mision tasked to a SF formation???
It was not carried out by a TO&E SF unit.
Who cares? It was an SF unit, albeit a temporary detachment.

It was carried out, on the
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
ground, by SF and USAF personnel.
You have yet to tell me what the critical mission of those USAF personnel
was after they had completed delivery of the SF troops?

"Formation" implies task-organized
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
grouping ON THE GROUND. The planning and support for the MISSION were
clearly beyond the capabilities of SF alone.
So what? You think that when Delta went into Iran it did so all by its
freakin' lonesome? You are making points that have NO point!
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Strategic and tactical air transportation was not SF.
So?

Diversionary
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
airstrikes were primarily Navy. Close air support was Air Force. At
least one USAF plane was shot down and needed CSAR, which was not SF.
But the sad fact remains that the assault group was an SF element, and it
was tasked with a direct action mission.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
The Mission Commander, outranking any SF person in the "formation", was
a USAF.
Again, your point would be...? How does that impact the FACT that the
assault element was made up of SF troops, formed into a temporary detachment
under Simons' command, which was performing a direct action mission?!

Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
AFAIK, there was no Marine participation, although there were civilians
in planning and support.
Howard C. Berkowitz
2005-06-22 22:03:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
From LTG Manor's account of the preparation,
http://home.earthlink.net/~aircommando1/SONTAYRA1.htm, "Our first
priority was to establish a planning group. Thanks to our high priority
on resources we were able to assemble a small group of the most
dedicated and innovative planners available. The group represented each
of the four services so it was truly "joint." The assembled group
consisted of 26 members. Space does not permit recognizing each member
and outlining his or her contribution to the concept that developed.
Suffice to say that it included such superb performers as Norman
Frisbie, Larry Ropka, Ben Kraljev, Art Andraitu, Joe Cataldo, Dick
Peshkin, Keith Grime, Warner Britton, William Norman, Richard Beyea, Max
Newman and John Knops."
Again, I don't have _The Raid_ immediately at hand...I remember seeing
it on a shelf recently but I have to remember what shelf. The
affiliations of the various planning and support groups are listed
there, and they certainly were not SF. Some were, including the key
ground commanders.
Nevertheless, the operation was a joint one, definitely not planned or
carried out by any specific SF unit.
Sheese. You have a hundred or so guys in the assault group,
specifically
recruited from the SF Groups then stationed at Bragg by Simons, with no
non-SF folks included in said group,
You seem to be ignoring the quote above from the Mission Commander,
No, I did not, it just is not germane.
*** the Mission Commander's statement is not germane to a mission? ***
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
emphasizing it was joint. I agree that the great majority were SF, but
NOT IN AN SF UNIT.
You don't refer to Simons' detachment as a "unit"? It was authorized for
formation (albeit for a specific purpose), it had a defined structure and
command system (defined by the commander in this case), and it was made up
entirely of soldiers from "regular" (TOE) SF units. I guess you would
similarly claim that the old "Blue Light" force stood up by the 7th SFG in
the seventies was not a "unit"?
You are overloading the term "unit". There can be regular TO&E units and
task units. They are not identical.
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
A significant number of the planners were non-SF, as were assorted
support personnel.
So what? FYI, the SFG's still have slots for folks who have not completed
the Q-Course.
Many of the planners were NEVER in a SF Group, especially those that
were Air Force, Navy, DIA and miscellaneous DOD cats and dogs.
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
and you are still saying this was
not a
direct action mision tasked to a SF formation???
It was not carried out by a TO&E SF unit.
Who cares? It was an SF unit, albeit a temporary detachment.
Someone who cares about describing things precisely does. You,
apparently, do not.
Post by Kevin Brooks
It was carried out, on the
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
ground, by SF and USAF personnel.
You have yet to tell me what the critical mission of those USAF personnel
was after they had completed delivery of the SF troops?
Survival, and infantry if required.
Post by Kevin Brooks
"Formation" implies task-organized
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
grouping ON THE GROUND. The planning and support for the MISSION were
clearly beyond the capabilities of SF alone.
So what? You think that when Delta went into Iran it did so all by its
freakin' lonesome?
Exactly my point. USSOCOM was formed just due to the clusterfuck that
resulted from ad hoc throwing together of units that did not train for
SPECOPS and had never operated together. Were that mission done today,
it would unquestionably be under USSOCOM, with multiple detachments from
different organizations, some of which would be under the US Army
Special Forces, and some that were not.

Indeed, there were a couple of CIA people in Teheran. They weren't on
the ground?
Post by Kevin Brooks
You are making points that have NO point!
Or you are unable to understand them. I think that ends my playtime
with you, since you seem to be incapable of accepting any point that
doesn't agree with your preconceptions.
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Strategic and tactical air transportation was not SF.
So?
Diversionary
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
airstrikes were primarily Navy. Close air support was Air Force. At
least one USAF plane was shot down and needed CSAR, which was not SF.
But the sad fact remains that the assault group was an SF element, and it
was tasked with a direct action mission.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
The Mission Commander, outranking any SF person in the "formation", was
a USAF.
Again, your point would be...? How does that impact the FACT that the
assault element was made up of SF troops, formed into a temporary detachment
under Simons' command, which was performing a direct action mission?!
For the same reason that when Tiger Brigade, US Army, was attached to
the ground Marine force against Kuwait, it was a Marine or joint
operation.
Kevin Brooks
2005-06-22 23:46:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
From LTG Manor's account of the preparation,
http://home.earthlink.net/~aircommando1/SONTAYRA1.htm, "Our first
priority was to establish a planning group. Thanks to our high priority
on resources we were able to assemble a small group of the most
dedicated and innovative planners available. The group represented each
of the four services so it was truly "joint." The assembled group
consisted of 26 members. Space does not permit recognizing each member
and outlining his or her contribution to the concept that developed.
Suffice to say that it included such superb performers as Norman
Frisbie, Larry Ropka, Ben Kraljev, Art Andraitu, Joe Cataldo, Dick
Peshkin, Keith Grime, Warner Britton, William Norman, Richard Beyea, Max
Newman and John Knops."
Again, I don't have _The Raid_ immediately at hand...I remember seeing
it on a shelf recently but I have to remember what shelf. The
affiliations of the various planning and support groups are listed
there, and they certainly were not SF. Some were, including the key
ground commanders.
Nevertheless, the operation was a joint one, definitely not planned or
carried out by any specific SF unit.
Sheese. You have a hundred or so guys in the assault group, specifically
recruited from the SF Groups then stationed at Bragg by Simons, with no
non-SF folks included in said group,
You seem to be ignoring the quote above from the Mission Commander,
No, I did not, it just is not germane.
*** the Mission Commander's statement is not germane to a mission? ***
It is not germane to whether or not Simon's assault element was a unit made
up of SF troops, serving under an SF commander, performing a direct action
mission.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
emphasizing it was joint. I agree that the great majority were SF, but
NOT IN AN SF UNIT.
You don't refer to Simons' detachment as a "unit"? It was authorized for
formation (albeit for a specific purpose), it had a defined structure and
command system (defined by the commander in this case), and it was made up
entirely of soldiers from "regular" (TOE) SF units. I guess you would
similarly claim that the old "Blue Light" force stood up by the 7th SFG in
the seventies was not a "unit"?
You are overloading the term "unit". There can be regular TO&E units and
task units. They are not identical.
Pardner, I have written more OPORDS which involved task organization than
you have probably ever *read*. Don't start lecturin' me on that subject now,
OK? It was a unit made up of, and intended from the outset to be, SF troops.
They were serving under a SF commander (Simons). Walks like a duck, talks
like a duck...
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
A significant number of the planners were non-SF, as were assorted
support personnel.
So what? FYI, the SFG's still have slots for folks who have not completed
the Q-Course.
Many of the planners were NEVER in a SF Group, especially those that
were Air Force, Navy, DIA and miscellaneous DOD cats and dogs.
So?
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
and you are still saying this was
not a
direct action mision tasked to a SF formation???
It was not carried out by a TO&E SF unit.
Who cares? It was an SF unit, albeit a temporary detachment.
Someone who cares about describing things precisely does. You,
apparently, do not.
LOL! Pretty good coming from a guy who has exactly how much experience in
military units of any kind? Simons' unit was an SF unit--that you have to
try and wiggle around that fact to try and keep your premise that SF units
during the Vietnam conflict and previous to that were not tasked to perform
direct action missions is your problem.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
It was carried out, on the
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
ground, by SF and USAF personnel.
You have yet to tell me what the critical mission of those USAF personnel
was after they had completed delivery of the SF troops?
Survival, and infantry if required.
LOL! Survival is not a mission for a military unit; it is more of a
condition required for all military units. Now can you show me where the
aircrew were tasked in the order to fight as an infantry unit?
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
"Formation" implies task-organized
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
grouping ON THE GROUND. The planning and support for the MISSION were
clearly beyond the capabilities of SF alone.
So what? You think that when Delta went into Iran it did so all by its
freakin' lonesome?
Exactly my point.
Your original point was that SF units did not perform direct action missions
during this era, and you are seemingly intent upon twisting things into such
a form that fits that odd notion.

USSOCOM was formed just due to the clusterfuck that
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
resulted from ad hoc throwing together of units that did not train for
SPECOPS and had never operated together. Were that mission done today,
it would unquestionably be under USSOCOM, with multiple detachments from
different organizations, some of which would be under the US Army
Special Forces, and some that were not.
Indeed, there were a couple of CIA people in Teheran. They weren't on
the ground?
Post by Kevin Brooks
You are making points that have NO point!
Or you are unable to understand them. I think that ends my playtime
with you, since you seem to be incapable of accepting any point that
doesn't agree with your preconceptions.
LOL! Coming from a guy who fixed his blinders into position to ignore the
various examples provided of Army SF performing direct action missions
during a time when you claimed they did not, that is a hoot.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by Kevin Brooks
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Strategic and tactical air transportation was not SF.
So?
Diversionary
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
airstrikes were primarily Navy. Close air support was Air Force. At
least one USAF plane was shot down and needed CSAR, which was not SF.
But the sad fact remains that the assault group was an SF element, and it
was tasked with a direct action mission.
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
The Mission Commander, outranking any SF person in the "formation", was
a USAF.
Again, your point would be...? How does that impact the FACT that the
assault element was made up of SF troops, formed into a temporary detachment
under Simons' command, which was performing a direct action mission?!
For the same reason that when Tiger Brigade, US Army, was attached to
the ground Marine force against Kuwait, it was a Marine or joint
operation.
WTF?! I hate to tell you this, but your strategy of changing the subject as
often as possible is not succeeding in making your original claims any more
valid than they were at the outset.

Brooks
Cub Driver
2005-06-21 10:36:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cub Driver
The place was Smoke Bomb Hill, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. They were
in place when I arrived in March 1956. However, they weren't permitted
to wear green berets. Eisenhower didn't like the notion of elite
troops.
To expand on this, Special Forces in 1956 was half of Special Warfare.
The other half was PsyWar, which is the organization that claimed my
attention for six months until I managed to get onto an overseas levy.

We shared a motor pool, which in theory SF guarded one night and
PsyWar the next. But in fact an SF guard turned up even on our nights:
they didn't trust us to protect their vehicles from bandits.

The joke was that the Special Forces wore green berets, while PsyWar
wore bermuda shorts. This was half true: we did wear bermudas, which
was approved that spring as an optional summer uniform. I was walking
out of the recreational building one day, with two 82nd Airborne
troopers behind me, and one of them said to the other: "That PsyWar
don't show me sh*t."

We got the last laugh, however. We were the ones who made the training
posters urging them: "Don't Make a Disabling PLF" (parachute landing
fallj--acronyms were a disease then, too).


-- all the best, Dan Ford

email ***@mailblocks.com (put Cubdriver in subject line)

Warbird's Forum: www.warbirdforum.com
Piper Cub Forum: www.pipercubforum.com
the blog: www.danford.net
In Search of Lost Time: www.readingproust.com
Miss Anne Thrope
2005-06-20 11:21:02 UTC
Permalink
Are you kidding? With enlistment numbers falling like rain on a
battlefield, all you need to enlist now, is a pulse, and eyes that point
in the same general direction.
ZombyWoof
2005-06-21 04:50:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Miss Anne Thrope
Are you kidding? With enlistment numbers falling like rain on a
battlefield, all you need to enlist now, is a pulse, and eyes that point
in the same general direction.
That may or may not get you in the general admission doors, but for
the reserved special setting you better have brains & brawn.
--
"Either kill me or take me as I am,
because I'll be damned if I ever change..."

The Marquis de Sade
alumshubby
2005-06-20 12:30:12 UTC
Permalink
One frequently overlooked group that has a pretty rigorous selection
process is the USAF Pararescue service -- the "PJs." I can't say
definitively that they're the hardest to get in, but I've heard it
asserted (on a TV program about them, for whatever it's worth) that
they have a higher washout rate than the SEALs do.

See http://www.specwarnet.com/americas/pj.htm for more about the PJs.
Arved Sandstrom
2005-06-21 13:34:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
making the cut?
Depends on how you define Special Forces. For example, in WW2, any named
German unit was considered as such by the Allies - hence, not only the
Waffen-SS, but also infantry divisions like Gross Deutschland. If you were
a Brandenburger (*) if you got caught you were screwed.

SAS is probably still the hardest SF unit to get into. People die during
selection, and you get RTU'd if you don't get along with the others.
Post by j***@yahoo.com
What were the Special Forces like during the Civil and Revolutionary
wars?
I'd imagine mostly roving cavalry.
Post by j***@yahoo.com
During WWII and Vietnam?
OSS, and Special Forces, respectively.
Post by j***@yahoo.com
Where/when did "official" Special Forces start?
That is a damned good question.

AHS

* The Brandenburgers operated totally against most laws of war.

" Early in that month, a Brandenburg unit of 62 Baltic and Sudeten Germans,
led by Baron Adrian von Fölkersam, penetrated farther into enemy territory
than ever before. Their mission was to secure the oil fields at Maikop.Using
Red Army trucks and NKVD uniforms, Fölkersam's force infiltrated the Soviet
lines and moved towards their target. Soon, however, they ran into a large
band of Red Army
deserters. Deciding to try and use this situation to his advantage,
Fölkersam persuaded the deserters to return to the Soviet cause, and thus he
was able to join with them and move at will through the Russian lines. This
journey took him to his destination, Maikop, where he conferred with the
city's military commander.Pretending to be a NKVD major from Stalingrad,
Fölkersam persuaded the Russian general to give him a personal tour of the
city's defenses. With a good knowledge of his target's strengths and
weaknesses, Fölkersam formulated a plan for the capture of Maikop.
By August 8, with the German army only 12 miles away, the Brandenburgers
made their move. Using grenades to simulate an artillery attack, they
knocked out the communications center of the city. Fölkersam then went to
the Russian officers and told them that a withdrawal was taking place.
Having seen Fölkersam with their commander and lacking any communications
with the rest of the Red Army, the Soviets had no choice but to believe
Fölkersam's story. The Russians left, and the German army entered Maikop on
August 9 1942, without a single hostile shot.

The history of the Brandenburg Regiment ended in late 1944, but they had
earned more decorations and mentions than any other unit of similar size in
the entire German army. Their tactics were what later influenced such
organizations as the US Navy's SEALS. "
Jack Linthicum
2005-06-21 14:57:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Arved Sandstrom
Post by j***@yahoo.com
What were the Special Forces like during the Civil and Revolutionary
wars?
I'd imagine mostly roving cavalry.
I missed this part but here's a few:

The Revolutionary War was filled with militia operations that seemed to
presage the sort of Special Ops warfare. George Rogers Clark seems the
best illustration. Much of the U.S. naval action could be personified
as Spec Ops, carrying raiding parties to British outposts, Nassau and
Whitehaven are two.

http://www.americanrevolution.com/BattleofVincennes.htm

Civil War was a set piece for armies but the cavalry provided the
mobility for raids like Morgan, Young and Grierson's Raid, the basis
for the John Movie The Horse Soldiers.

John Morgan, Ohio
http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/civil-war/1863/john-morgan-raiders.htm

Bennett Young St. Albans, VT
http://civilwartalk.com/cwt_alt/resources/articles/michael_swogger/04091998.htm

almost anything in Missouri and Kansas was a form of Special Ops.
Kerryn Offord
2005-06-22 02:09:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Arved Sandstrom
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
making the cut?
Depends on how you define Special Forces. For example, in WW2, any named
German unit was considered as such by the Allies - hence, not only the
Waffen-SS, but also infantry divisions like Gross Deutschland. If you were
a Brandenburger (*) if you got caught you were screwed.
***
That is "elite" rather than "special forces" for the most part.

For general use "Special forces" could/should be read as "Forces for
special roles". as in.. not normal roles.. So Gross Deutschland is an
elite infantry formation.. but not a special force..

An example is the WW1 stormtroopers who were tasked with leading the way
on storming trenches with their new SMGs and grenades
Post by Arved Sandstrom
SAS is probably still the hardest SF unit to get into. People die during
selection, and you get RTU'd if you don't get along with the others.
<SNIP>

Except they accept people that fail to get into SBS (A RMC trying for
SBS has to complete the same selection and training as a candidate for
SAS, then do the SBS bit (Probably diving associated)... Washouts from
that can still serve in the SAS...
ZombyWoof
2005-06-22 11:51:07 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 22 Jun 2005 14:09:24 +1200, Kerryn Offord
Post by Kerryn Offord
Post by Arved Sandstrom
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
making the cut?
Depends on how you define Special Forces. For example, in WW2, any named
German unit was considered as such by the Allies - hence, not only the
Waffen-SS, but also infantry divisions like Gross Deutschland. If you were
a Brandenburger (*) if you got caught you were screwed.
***
That is "elite" rather than "special forces" for the most part.
For general use "Special forces" could/should be read as "Forces for
special roles". as in.. not normal roles.. So Gross Deutschland is an
elite infantry formation.. but not a special force..
An example is the WW1 stormtroopers who were tasked with leading the way
on storming trenches with their new SMGs and grenades
As well as German Flame-throwers were first used at the Western Front
in October 1914. Operated by two StormTroppers, they were mainly used
to clear enemy soldiers from front-line trenches. At first they had a
range of 25 metres but later this was increased to 40 metres.

This meant they were only effective over narrow areas of No Man's
Land. Another problem was that the flame-thrower was difficult to move
around and only contained enough oil to burn 40 seconds at the time.
StormTropper Soldiers who operated flame-throwers had a short-life
span because as soon as they used them they were the target of rifle
and machine-gun fire.
Post by Kerryn Offord
Post by Arved Sandstrom
SAS is probably still the hardest SF unit to get into. People die during
selection, and you get RTU'd if you don't get along with the others.
<SNIP>
Except they accept people that fail to get into SBS (A RMC trying for
SBS has to complete the same selection and training as a candidate for
SAS, then do the SBS bit (Probably diving associated)... Washouts from
that can still serve in the SAS...
--
"Either kill me or take me as I am,
because I'll be damned if I ever change..."

The Marquis de Sade
Tank Fixer
2005-06-22 04:53:50 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com>,
on 19 Jun 2005 09:16:14 -0700,
***@yahoo.com ***@yahoo.com attempted to say .....

Trolling for hits to your forum son ?
http://specialforcesforums.com/lameshowthread.php?t=18
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
making the cut?
What were the Special Forces like during the Civil and Revolutionary
wars?
During WWII and Vietnam?
Where/when did "official" Special Forces start?
http://specialforcesforums.com/lameshowthread.php?t=18
--
When dealing with propaganda terminology one sometimes always speaks in
variable absolutes. This is not to be mistaken for an unbiased slant.
lannybudd
2005-06-22 17:02:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
making the cut?
What were the Special Forces like during the Civil and Revolutionary
wars?
During WWII and Vietnam?
Where/when did "official" Special Forces start?
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
According to Sebastian Junger in The Perfect Storm, the Pararescue
Jumpers are the most elite unit, harder to get into by far than the
SEALS.
Howard C. Berkowitz
2005-06-22 18:50:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by lannybudd
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
making the cut?
What were the Special Forces like during the Civil and Revolutionary
wars?
During WWII and Vietnam?
Where/when did "official" Special Forces start?
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
According to Sebastian Junger in The Perfect Storm, the Pararescue
Jumpers are the most elite unit, harder to get into by far than the
SEALS.
You remind me that I need to call a former PJ who used to post here. His
email isn't responding, but I do have his phone number. That sort of
disappearance can be worrisome.
La N
2005-06-22 18:57:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Howard C. Berkowitz
Post by lannybudd
Post by j***@yahoo.com
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
making the cut?
What were the Special Forces like during the Civil and Revolutionary
wars?
During WWII and Vietnam?
Where/when did "official" Special Forces start?
http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
According to Sebastian Junger in The Perfect Storm, the Pararescue
Jumpers are the most elite unit, harder to get into by far than the
SEALS.
You remind me that I need to call a former PJ who used to post here. His
email isn't responding, but I do have his phone number. That sort of
disappearance can be worrisome.
Yes. Let me know if you get in touch with him, Howard.

- n'a
Fred J. McCall
2005-06-23 04:19:29 UTC
Permalink
"lannybudd" <***@my-deja.com> wrote:

:***@yahoo.com wrote:
:> Inspired by:
:>
:> http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
:>
:> What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
:> making the cut?
:>
:> What were the Special Forces like during the Civil and Revolutionary
:> wars?
:> During WWII and Vietnam?
:>
:> Where/when did "official" Special Forces start?
:>
:> http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
:
:According to Sebastian Junger in The Perfect Storm, the Pararescue
:Jumpers are the most elite unit, harder to get into by far than the
:SEALS.

According to Bill Johnson, the Boy Scouts of America are the most
elite unit....
LawsonE
2005-06-23 05:07:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Fred J. McCall
:>
:> http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
:>
:> What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories of
:> making the cut?
:>
:> What were the Special Forces like during the Civil and Revolutionary
:> wars?
:> During WWII and Vietnam?
:>
:> Where/when did "official" Special Forces start?
:>
:> http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
:According to Sebastian Junger in The Perfect Storm, the Pararescue
:Jumpers are the most elite unit, harder to get into by far than the
:SEALS.
According to Bill Johnson, the Boy Scouts of America are the most
elite unit....
According to my Dad, an Army Ranger in WWII, the SeaBees were the toughest
unit. Ever check out the requirements for being an undersea diver in the
construction units, as a for instance?
Howard C. Berkowitz
2005-06-23 05:25:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by LawsonE
Post by Fred J. McCall
:>
:> http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
:>
:> What is the hardest branch of Special Forces to get in? Any stories
:> of
:> making the cut?
:>
:> What were the Special Forces like during the Civil and Revolutionary
:> wars?
:> During WWII and Vietnam?
:>
:> Where/when did "official" Special Forces start?
:>
:> http://specialforcesforums.com/showthread.php?t=18
:According to Sebastian Junger in The Perfect Storm, the Pararescue
:Jumpers are the most elite unit, harder to get into by far than the
:SEALS.
According to Bill Johnson, the Boy Scouts of America are the most
elite unit....
According to my Dad, an Army Ranger in WWII, the SeaBees were the toughest
unit. Ever check out the requirements for being an undersea diver in the
construction units, as a for instance?
And that little-known unit, the Seabee SEALs. The HAHO jump on a
bulldozer is bad enough -- just think about it when they have to make a
water landing and ingress underwater. Getting backhoes out of the
escape trunk of a sub is also a bit of a challenge.
Kerryn Offord
2005-06-23 08:09:26 UTC
Permalink
lannybudd wrote:
<SNIP>
Post by lannybudd
According to Sebastian Junger in The Perfect Storm, the Pararescue
Jumpers are the most elite unit, harder to get into by far than the
SEALS.
On that basis.. Then the British Army Gurkhas can be considered well up
there..

Apparently come recruiting time in Nepal they were getting up to 10,000
applicants.. and if they only needed a couple to reach authorised
strength.. that was all they recruited...

The Percentages game for special forces selection programs don't tell
the full story.

For example.. 1980, after Princess Gate (Iran embassy siege) the whole
class for one of the TF units failed selection... (making 21 and 23
regts the hardest to get into..

SEALs, SAS etc tend to talk about a 10% success rate (Is that passing
selection or passing through selection and continuation training (to
being badged)?

I've seen an article about a NZSAS selection course. Of about 18
starters IIRC 8 passed... ~44% pass rate...

SEALs need 300 people per year to maintain numbers.. That means an
average of 30 per selection course...

Do they ever go through a selection course without accepting anybody?
SAS (and by default SBS) can, and probably have.

Pass rates are basically meaningless.. Percentages taken from applicants
is also fairly meaningless..
Cub Driver
2005-06-23 10:13:41 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 23 Jun 2005 20:09:26 +1200, Kerryn Offord
Post by Kerryn Offord
Apparently come recruiting time in Nepal they were getting up to 10,000
applicants.. and if they only needed a couple to reach authorised
strength.. that was all they recruited...
Okay, it's time to trot out the yarn from Burhma, when the Ghurkas
began to look grim when the Air Commando guyr told them that they were
expected to go in at night and jump from the C-47s at 500 feet.

Not wanting to have a bunch of panicked first-time jumpers, he
backtracked to assure them that the Commando had done this many times,
and that 90 percent of the parachutes landed within the designated
clearing.

Big smiles. "Oh! We get parachutes!"


-- all the best, Dan Ford

email ***@mailblocks.com (put Cubdriver in subject line)

Warbird's Forum: www.warbirdforum.com
Piper Cub Forum: www.pipercubforum.com
the blog: www.danford.net
In Search of Lost Time: www.readingproust.com

Cub Driver
2005-06-23 10:09:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by lannybudd
Post by j***@yahoo.com
Where/when did "official" Special Forces start?
I have an earlier date than what I cited from my own experience: the
10th Special Forces turned up at Bad Tolz, Germany, in 1951.
Post by lannybudd
According to Sebastian Junger in The Perfect Storm, the Pararescue
Jumpers are the most elite unit, harder to get into by far than the
SEALS.
Please! Brave men no doubt, and tough training, but they are not for
combat.

There is a difference.


-- all the best, Dan Ford

email ***@mailblocks.com (put Cubdriver in subject line)

Warbird's Forum: www.warbirdforum.com
Piper Cub Forum: www.pipercubforum.com
the blog: www.danford.net
In Search of Lost Time: www.readingproust.com
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