It WAS October 12, 1961 when a visit by then President John F. Kennedy to Fort Bragg, North Carolina that would turn the tide and raise the awareness of these elite Soldiers of the US Army and award them officially their badge of honor – “The Green Beret”nc nc nc nc
Fort Bragg, NC - An historic meeting occurred that changed the US military – specifically the US Army forever. For it was on this day, 12 OCT 1961 a visit was arranged that forged a lasting effect that continues until this day - Presidential validation of the Special Forces – “The Green Berets”
To understand the history though, one must look back nearly 200 years before, one state south and consider “The Swamp Fox”…15e04 941ed e303a 7b690 nc nc
Posted 3 years, 7 months ago at 1:25 pm. 2 comments
or a Medal of Honor recipient …
Many of the colonial troops wore a rosette in their tricorn hats.
Instead of the rosette, a small piece of colored material to provide “A flash of color…” was the General’s answer…
Shown below are the 1st, 5th and 7th Group flashes worn on their green berets…
Posted 4 years, 3 months ago at 12:37 am. Add a comment
I was whisked down to Fort Bragg, NC – home of the 82d Airborne and Special Forces to witness and participate in a rather distinctive event of The Regimental First Formation of the Special Forces.
Three noted members of the Special Forces were inducted as “Distinguished Members of the Special Forces Regiment” and awarded plaques. These include:
- Colonel Ola Lee Mize – Medal of Honor Recipient
- Lieutenant Colonel Charles A. Aycock
- Command Sergeant Major Ronnie A. McCan
After the induction & awards, the soldiers who have been immersed in their Special Forces training reached the point where they were allowed to put on and wear their Green Berets for the first time. (The following day was graduation…)
I also reconnected with a General who I had met several years ago and I updated him on the progress I’ve made (he’s gone from 1 star to 3 stars … so I believe he’s making great progress!) When I showed him the array of offerings that I now have, he turned to his Aide-de-Camp. The next thing we were shaking hands and I found what’s below in my palm.
Thank you General for recognizing my work!
Later, I once again re-visited the JFK Warfare Museum and spent some time with the Director / Curator. It was a very informative several minutes which I wished would have never ended. She shared some rather interesting background on the development of uniforms and heraldry items that LTG Wm P. Yarborough orchestrated.
I later walked the halls where the General and those who have followed his footsteps have walked. It was a great feeling.
In the distance, I heard the echoing sounds of the GUNS… they were having live fire on one of the ranges on FT Bragg.
Posted 4 years, 3 months ago at 12:08 am. Add a comment
In 1940, General George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff of the US Army, directed the formation of airborne forces be investigated. Major William C. Lee was assigned to implement the possible development of a parachute group. Major Bill Lee was about to become known as the “Father of the U.S. Airborne”, he would also command the “Screaming Eagles” of the 101st Airborne Division. First Lieutenant William T. Ryder was the first commander of the Parachute Test Platoon.
Man flying like a bird and jumping from the skies…
Often the impossible is possible!
Posted 4 years, 4 months ago at 10:12 am. Add a comment
Here’s where you can get the listings and purchase them.
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The origins of the US Army Special Forces came from the First Special Service Force – A WW II combined United States – Canadian unit and the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). It was the initial efforts of Major General Robert A. McClure that brought about special warfare within the US Army and the Special Forces in the early 1950s.
Those early SF troops surreptitiously wore the green beret as a way of distinguishing themselves from the rest of the Army.
In the early 1960s, then Brigadier General William P. Yarborough had the future vision of the role of the Special Forces in winning the war. Much as he tried to work with the chain of command to make it happen, he couldn’t get “THE BRASS” to move in that direction. His classmate from West Point, Major General Chester V. Clifton just so happened to be President Kennedy’s military aide. The two Generals orchestrated a visit on this day 12 OCT 1961 to Fort Bragg, NC – the home of the 82d Airborne Division. The real mission was to see the Special Forces in action. The entire XVIII Airborne Corps which at that time included also the 101st Airborne Division – the “Screaming Eagles” and US Army Special Forces greeted the President – they were in formation on Pope Field which is adjacent to Fort Bragg.
The men provided President Kennedy a demonstration of their tactics. And during the review, they all wore their GREEN BERETS. The President was much impressed by this display and when he asked BG Yarborough how the men liked their green berets, the General responded that they liked them very much. It was that day with words most remembered that President Kennedy acknowledged that the US Army Special Forces were Special and authorized the wearing of the green berets.
The composite below highlights the historic meeting (47 years ago today!) and includes the autographed copy of the collage that President Kennedy sent to LTG Yarborough.
A print of the above composite including the autographed collage that hung in LTG Yarborough’s office for over 30 years is available for purchase.GHTime Code(s): nc nc nc
Posted 4 years, 7 months ago at 9:58 am. Add a comment
On a warm Spring Saturday, those assembled in the Episcopal Church, quietly assembled in the courtyard as final military honors for Robin (Robert Lowell) Moore was smartly executed by the 5th Group of the US Army’s Special Forces. The Honorable Rudi Gresham declared earlier that Robin and LTG William P. Yarborough were once again together – for all time, as their berets were honorably placed on the flag draped casket by Robin’s widow, Helen Moore and General Yarborough’s son, William Lee Yarborough.
The two men formed a lifelong friendship that affected both them and the world around them. Working together, the US Army Special Forces became the “SPECIAL” Forces of the US Military and achieved the recognition that they well deserve.
Posted 5 years ago at 12:36 pm. Add a comment
Rest in Peace…
Posted 5 years ago at 6:00 pm. Add a comment
Those words were among the final ones offered by the late LTG William P. Yarborough, USA Ret., before he passed away in December 2005… They were repeated again this 1st Day of March 2008 when Robin L. Moore, Jr. was remembered and honored by family, friends and most of all his US Army Special Forces “family”.
As the procession made its way to the Episcopal Church in Hopkinsville, KY near Fort Campbell, KY where the 5th Group of the Special Forces is headquartered, vehicles stopped and waited for those heading to the church to proceed to where Robin was honored for his life and outstanding contributions to the US Army Special Forces.
In the 1960′s he wanted to write a book about these men… and then BG Yarborough succinctly put it — you want to write about my men, become one of my men. Robin countered with “But Sir, I’m 37 years old…” Over the next year, Robin went through Airborne training and then the Special Forces “Q” Course and was sent over to Vietnam with the 5th Group of the Special Forces…
He wrote the book “THE GREEN BERETS”, which in 1965 became a best seller selling over a million copies. His additional contribution came when he added his “word-smithing” talents to hone “The Ballad of the Green Berets” as sung by SGT Barry Sadler. The song went onto becoming a #1 Hit on the charts in two weeks!