Monday, December 13, 2004

How to be a green beret - at least in casual conversation

Little known outside the military community is the fact that well over half of everybody who has been in the Army in the past 30 years is a "green beret" - a deadly killer, trained to use every weapon known to man, and able to defeat hordes of enemy in hand to hand combat. At least, that's the impression I have based on my experience with the flying public over the last several years. A few weeks ago, flying out to San Diego, I again had the opportunity to sit next to one of these "green berets", while he regaled me with tales of his exploits and adventures in far-off lands (including Afghanistan - man, I had no idea things were so rough there.)

Most special operations forces veterans take this kind of thing very seriously; in fact, there are entire organizations devoted to tracking down and exposing this kind of phony (see On the other hand, I usually find this kind of person pathetic but vastly entertaining. As long as he's not misrepresenting himself in a way that will get people hurt (for instance, using alleged special forces credentials to get a job training people in survival or self-defense), I usually encourage my chance seatmate to tell me all about how tough Special Forces really is. Its a fascinating glimpse of what people who don't have a clue think about special operations forces. Unfortunately, most people make it way too easy to bust them out as phonies. With that in mind, as a public service, this blog presents "How to pretend to be a Green Beret." People not wishing to pretend to be green berets may want to use this material to bust out the fakers and encourage those phonies they encounter to wire their stories a little tighter.

"Hey baby, I'm a green beret"
Well, no, you're not - the green beret is a hat; its a mark of distinction worn by Special Forces soldiers. You are a Special Forces soldier, or Special Forces operator, or, simply, "in SF". (Note that someone referring to themselves as a "green beret" is suspicious, but not conclusive - some SF operators get tired of telling people they're in Special Forces and then having to explain that they're not in the army band.) One of the best responses I ever heard to the question "Are you a green beret?" was, "No, I'm a baseball cap."

"I was in the 117th Special Forces Brigade"
No, you weren't. If you're pretending to be a green beret, and you meet a real SF guy, or someone who's been around SF, they're going to ask you which unit you're with. Special Forces is organized into Groups, not Brigades, or Regiments or Divisions - each Group has 3 Battalions, each Battalion has 3 Companies. Each company has six (or sometimes fewer, depending on manning levels) "A-teams". An A-team (more properly, an ODA, pronounced O-D-A, and short for "operational detachment - alpha") is the core of SF existence. It's the team that goes out and performs SF missions. The company headquarters is organized as, and referred to as, "the B-team." Despite what operators on the A-teams think, "B-team" is not pejorative - its simply one step up the food chain in terms of organization. If a company deploys, the company headquarters typically forms an AOB, pronounced A-O-B, or "area operating base." The Battalion headquarters is organized as, but almost never referred to as, "the C-team" (you're just "at battalion). A deployed battalion will form an FOB, or "forward operating base." An FOB will usually control one or more AOBs, but may also run teams directly.

There are a few more esoteric places you could be assigned in SF, but at some point in your career, you will have been in Group. There are five active duty groups, each oriented towards some part of the world. 1st Group deals with the Pacific rim area, 3rd group with Africa, 5th with the Middle East, 7th with South and Central America, and 10th with Europe. With the war on terror, some of the Groups have operated outside their normal areas, but others have not - if you're going to claim recent combat experience in Afghanistan or Iraq, better get on Google and figure that one out. There are also two National Guard SF Groups - 19th and 20th. Ironically, most people refuse to believe that there are "part time green berets" and peg anyone who claims to be one as a liar or delusional. Members of the NG SF Groups have to meet the same standards and go through the same training as their active duty counterparts. Every one of the six NG SF Battalions has been deployed to Afghanistan. But, since you want people to believe your stories, its better to steer clear of the National Guard on this one.

Picking the right group to claim to be assigned to is important - if the real green beret sitting across from you is in the group you pick, he's going to expect you to have some mutual friends. Better to ask him first, and then pick a different one - of course, if both of you are faking it, just pretend you know some of the same people. You'll need to know where the Group is located - 7th Group is at Fort Bragg, for example, and 10th Group is at Fort Carson (Colorado.) Back to the 'Net to do some more research . . .

Or, if you want to sound authentic and cadge some sympathy for how bad life sucks for you right at the moment, you can tell people you're assigned to SWC (the Special Warfare Center at Ft. Bragg, NC, short for USAJFKSWCS - the United States Army John F Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School , and pronounced "swick", not S-W-C) Most active-duty career SF soldiers do a SWC tour, where they teach others Special Forces skills instead of being out doing SF missions, and for that reason most of them hate their time there.)

"I was in the green berets in the Marines"
No, you weren't - Special Forces is an Army organization. Pay attention here, 'cause this gets a little confusing: Army S.F. (pronounced S-F-> Special Forces) is one of the US military's SOF (pronounced sof - like soft, without the "t"-> Special Operations Forces) units. Other SOF units include Navy SEALS, Army Rangers, and Air Force Combat Controllers. Back when the services were putting together SOF, the Marines didn't want to play (because they thought their whole organization was "special"), so they don't have any SOF forces (an organizational reality, and not a slam on Marine Force Recon.) Now that SOF has proven its value in combat and is getting tons of money, the Marines have rethought that stance, but they don't really have a seat at the table yet.

"The training was really hard"
OK, you're right about that one - the SF qualification process is fairly intensive. I slipped through the cracks, though, so maybe you did too - and who knows, maybe you weren't thirty pounds overweight back when you went through. To wear the SF Tab (a curved strip of cloth that reads Special Forces and that is worn on the left shoulder above the unit of assignment patch; also known as the "long tab" to differentiate it from the shorter Ranger tab) you'll have to have graduated from basic and advanced individual training. Then, it was off to airborne school at lovely Ft Benning, GA,for three weeks of training in basic parachuting (by the way, you'll have learned static line parachuting there - where the parachute opens automatically - at altitudes of about 1250-1500 ft AGL. It doesn't last eight weeks, and you don't jump from 25,000 feet there - at least I didn't, although the guy I sat next to a few weeks ago told me he did.)

If you made it through jump school - and, since this is your fantasy life, of course you did - and you're claiming to have gone through after 1988 or so, you'll have had to have gone through SFAS next. SFAS, or Special Forcess Assessment and Selection, or simply, "Selection", is a three week pure suckfest. They're always screwing around with the format, though, so you're probably safe telling a wide variety of stories about things sucking - you walked a long way with a heavy rucksack, you didn't get much sleep, and you had to finish the 20 mile road march (which went to 26 miles) with stress fractures in your feet. Just remember, SFAS serves the same purpose as the SEAL's Hell Week, but they're selecting for somewhat different qualities, so don't file the serial numbers off of one of the Discover Channel's BUD/S documentaries and tell those as selection stories. Just memorize this line "I thought the land nav stuff sucked until we got to the team events." Most people didn't make it through selection - they were either medically dropped (those pesky stress fractures) or non-selected, or, most commonly, VT'd (voluntarily terminated.) But you did, so you went to:

the Special Forces Qualification Course - otherwise known as the "Q" course. This is where you became your studly green beret self. The format here has changed over the years as well, but it typically consists of three distinct phases - in the old days, they were phase 1,2, and 3, but that was too simple for the army, so, after playing with having a phase 2 and a phase 13 (phase thirteen - a combined phase one and phase three - ha! those jokers in administration are just so witty) they are now:

Field Phase - taught at Camp Mackall, NC, just outside of Fort Bragg, this is where you learned land navigation, patrolling, small unit tactics - all the basic infantry stuff you're supposedly better at than anyone else.

MOS Phase - taught at Fort Bragg largely at the SOAF (Special Operations Academic Facility, pronounced so-af - originally called the NAF("naf") or New Academic Facility until someone figured out it wasn't new anymore and they had to change the name. This is where you learned your specialty, if enlisted- medicine, communications, engineering or weapons - or learned to lead an A-team, if an officer.

Common Phase - this is where you put it all together, and learned to work as an A-team. This phase culminated in Robin Sage, a practical exercise in guerilla warfare.

After the "Q" course, but before you were fully qualified, you attended language school - also at Fort Bragg at the SOAF - and then SERE (pronounced "sear") school, where you learned the fine arts of Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape. Only after all that did you get to go to a Group. Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief, you didn't learn to fly a helicopter or a fighter jet anywhere in there.

You did get an 18 series MOS (a military occupational specialty in Special Forces.) An SF Group has a lot of people assigned to it in support roles - clerks, supply sergeants, parachute riggers, technicians - they're usually great people and they are in an SF group, but they're not SF, and they don't wear the SF tab. They will sometimes tell members of the gullible public that they're "in Special Forces," and let them think that they're actually "green berets", but you wouldn't stoop to that when just outright lying is much easier. Each SF specialty has its own MOS designator - communications is an 18E, for example - and you'll need to know which is which, so go check out and do some studying.

If you went through in the last several years, you were awarded a serial numbered "Yarborough" knife when you graduated. This is a custom designed and engraved knife named after the first SF General, William Yarborough. If you graduated before the knife was issued, you can buy one from the SF museum after they get a letter from SWC verifying your SF qualification - but you haven't, because they cost $270, and it pisses you off that new guys get them free while experienced SF back from combat have to pay for them. Either way, you got a "group coin" - a custom medallion representing your SF group - when you reported in. You're carrying that coin with you now in case you get "challenged" -if someone else with a SOF coin displays their coin, and you don't have yours, you're buying the drinks, bucko. Probably be a good idea to pick up a reasonable facsimile at an army surplus store somewhere just in case . . .

If you do want to pretend to be SF, I hope this helps - if there's enough interest, I may post some general purpose anecdotes about each phase of training to help you further along, but for now, if you memorize these simple facts, you should have no difficulty in simply appearing pathetic when you talk to a real operator, instead of both pathetic and amusing.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When in conversation, throw in a couple of verbal signals usually associated by us, er, the SF types: call a fellow pseudo-SF warrior 'brother', as in "Brothers in Arms". This always works unless you are claiming to have served in 7th Group, where you should refer to him as 'piezo'.

12:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny. Well-versed. Ha ha.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Derek said...

This is classic I was a MP in the Army and when I got out I always had people telling me. Yeah I was SF or yeah I was a Seal. I knew it was bullshit but as an operator I know you guys either A) hate hearing these stories
B) love making fun of the guys

either way you have hit the nail on the head Touche Salesman

3:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

truly funny sh*t. i was an sf volunteer (late 70's) with an MI MOS who decided not to extend (stationed at Bragg) to go to jump school and instead get duty station and bonus and DLI (again!, wheeee!). I'm 51 now, taught SF O$I (huachuca), and (then) phase 1 and 3 components (bragg), and always felt more kinship with the teams than my MI colleagues (duh!).
I can't say I regret not attending jump school and the Q course (almost reupped for BUD/S - eeek!), but I was supposed to deploy as a contractor to Iraq last year (contract agency was dropped) so I guess I can't get it out of my blood.
Keep up the good work.

"we're stumps, cause they cut off our legs!"

4:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got quite a chuckle from your blog.... but have one little addition to make...
as far as JFKSWCS being the worst assignment in an SF career... what about the Military FreeFall School Instructors? The Army's Military FreeFall School in Yuma, AZ falls under JFKSWCS and quite a few SF guys love it down here in Yuma, AZ!!! Not a bad job throwing students out of airplanes all day!

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, My father is a retired PJ from the AF and I have been looking for a an XPJ by the name of Robert Ridout, last I heard he was working as a jumping instructor in Yuma, AZ. If you know of his where abouts please email me at

thank you

7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have enough wannabe's and posers out there, thanks for training them better you asshat. What happened to being a 'grey man'? Operator is not an SF term either - SF Soldier, period. Time for a coin check - drop it bubba.

an Ex SF Medic and Weapons Sergeant

6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simmer down.

You say he's training poseurs, I say he's training folks to call BS and not let poseurs get away with claiming SF.

If you go around worried about SF poseurs on the internet or even in the next cubicle, you are setting yourself up for a lot of grief.

And for the FOGs, "operator" has entered the lexicon. Sorry. You are jousting at windmills if you get worked up over the term operator.

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know why this shit is talked about, I hate seeing shit like this on-line. Pretty homosexual, it's like yal are squaring away any potential posers who should be punched in the face and ridiculed for their gayness.
Nobody should openly talk about what they do/did for a living, if so it just goes to show their lack of social skills. IT'S JUST A FUCKING JOB AND THERE IS NOTHING SPECIAL ABOUT IT

1:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty funny stuff. I was never SF but I spent a few years in the SOC community (PsyOp) and you can always smell the BS from a mile away. I even spent a little time as as recruiter (please don't shoot me) and I had to hear every a##hole in the street tell me how they were SF back in the day. When you start quizzing them they get real forgetful.

11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have yet to meet a cab driver in Ft. Bragg/Fayetteville that wasn't an SF/ninja/sniper.

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I usually dont read crap like this. However, my brother sent me this link and I was bored... Your info on the Q-course is completely wrong. I really hope people read this and use it, cause its riddled with mistakes and fallacies. I feel bad for those guys who actually lie about being SF, especially when they lie around a true Green Beret. At that point, its game on! Its extremely easy to identify the retards!

11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man I love this, im a psyoper and went the JFK school at bragg, prolly wasnt quite as bad as what the sf guys went through but I know a true sf soldier when I see one, usually pretty easy to call their bullshit, I used this guide before I read it, couldnt have put it any better. I just came back from Iraq and I was working out of a tiny little base with lots of SOC peeps there, got to know a little bit of everyone. Funny shit was when I came back and I got a job at a POS security company, my boss claimed the parachute rigger sf thing you were talking about, but then he went as far as to claim he was Delta Force. I called his bullshit on the spot! hahaha. I think if youve ever trained at JFK you can call someones bullshit even if they research it. Look em in the eyes!!!

1:07 AM  
Anonymous Big Red said...

I am retired SF guy (not an 'operator'; I hate that term) that has met so many 'Green Berets' that were in 'secret' units and couldn't tell you the names of anyone in it for 'opsec' reasons.
It's easy to spot a wannabe by asking who his team sergeant or sergeant major was. Even with four Battalions per Group now, it is still a pretty small organization.
You forgot about the plumb SWC assignment: SFUWO in Key West. The Special Forces Underwater Operations school was the best assignment to have in SWC. Of course, you had to pass pre-scuba and make it through scuba school to even be considered for this assignment.
Funny article though, as are most of the comments.

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You SF guys sure do squabble alot. I'm delta force myself, we just get the job done. I probably shouldn't have told you guys that because we're so secret.

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ha, ha, ok that last comment was funny, half of CAG is SF so what are you talking about? lol. the article was funny to read. period. nothing to argue about. lol. de oppresso liber!

4:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it possible to be in the 7th without any language training?

6:13 AM  
Blogger Justin Davis said...

This is awesome and hilarious. Most people don't realize that SF are highly-trained soldiers. I think the public believes SF soldiers resemble something closer to Special Activities Staff - which are definitely Ninja/Scuba/Kung Fu Masters. SOTIC 1,2 & 3 for sure.

The worst are the impostors that talk about selection as if the instructors were there to kill you, and you had to "survive". While the LRIM and land nav did kick my ass, the instructors are really apathetic as to whether you pass or not. It's not like Ranger School with instructors in your face. But I digress, all SF training is Rambo-esque, and requires a total commitment to suicide to be successful.

What is funny, however, is that very few impostors talk about the divorce rate of SF, or being deployed 10 months out of the year.

Thanks for posting, this was awesome.

TF 121 03-04

6:12 PM  
Blogger SEREMan said...

I am a special ops guy...I have met more SEALs in my hometown than exist in the entire word..nobody wants to admit to being a cook or a mechanic...the bad part is when people start believing their own stories...

Used to be able to call a simple coin check to pull the covers back but ow everybody has a damn coin

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hilarious! Well done! Love it!

I served 21 years in SF as an operator and instructor. This reminds me of the days when we would catch support pogues wearing unearned badges and headgear.

Battalions have increased in the groups, better do more research or be able to backstop it with a date.


10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, there was a period of time in the late 70's/early 80's that Marines were allowed to attend the SFQC as a re-enlistment option. I was the third to attend, going thru the weapons course first, then SOT with the original BlueLight team and then the demo course. I think this option was over by '82.

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article - I run into them all the time. Don't forget 11th and 12th Groups. Just because we were sold out in '95 doesn't mean we didn't serve too!

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Khye said...

I am a former Delta Force Operator.
I helped to train the Navy SEALs, well 3 and 6 anyhow. I earned 3 medals of honor (One being posthumous!) while doing a mission in 'Nam hunting down Uncel Ho.

Anyhow so there is proof I am a Delta Force Soldier.

6:31 AM  
Blogger K said...

Hmmm...then there's the guy who claims to be colorblind AND a former sniper on a SAT team. Hell, I was just an 11 Bugaloo and knew enough to call bullshit on that.

Then he got his "Navy SEAL" buddy to back him up....

Hilarity ensued.

5:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why doesn't anyone talk about their time on a TF or special activities staff?

6:40 AM  
Anonymous long1shot said...

i retired in 85 from 1st Grp. 18z ODA 143. when i am asked if i served, i say yes i was in the Army, then question is what part and i say SF and then the question is what is that and i say Special Forces, and then the question is what do you do in the band, and i say i blew the f------ing trumpet. usally the conversation ends. lol

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sad part is this is true. I served with 5th Group & 11th Group(reserves) from 1982-1985 and have the "tab". I am also a Life Member in the SFA. I am business owner and have had the sad opportunity to interview a prospective canidate for a position in my company. He was 40 years old and told me he served in 6th Group. 6th Group was deactivated in 1971. Which means he served before he was even born! Well, after I told him I served, his face turned pale. Guess what....he didn't get the job and I turned his name over to the SFA. A true Special Forces Soldier doesn't really talk about it much. We usually only talk about our service amongst other "Brothers".

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work as a consultant in the technology field, and people I interact with are shocked that I was in the Army - let alone my MOS. I typically just tell them I was in the Army, and I did go to Iraq.

Another thing I can't stand is going to some type of social function, and a friend or family members tells me "oh you need to talk to so-and-so, he was in the army", because I know I'm in for nothing but lies and/or exaggeration... I don't like talking about it with civilians who don't have the prerequisite perspective to appreciate it.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I normally don't post on sites like this but I enjoyed the article and read "most" of the comments. Good stuff for the most part. I was interviewing a guy for a job that told me he was in the "83rd Abn Div." I let it slide and introduced him to a guy I worked with who was MI in the "82nd" This guy has a pretty quick wit and immediately responded with "83rd that's just one better than the *2nd" I still managed to not bust out laughing and the "poser" didn't have a clue about what was going on. Lots of people out there that make false claims and I find my self more amused than annoyed!

12:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked with a guy who's big claim to fame was he went through SFAS (around 2007) and got selected, but was injured and couldn't finish... Turns out he didn't even make it through SFAS and was a holdover at Bragg forever..

12:16 AM  
Blogger Stephanie Long said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I put silver wings on my sons chest Dec 10 2010..second generation and I am now grandfather to 3 grandsons! I plan on pinning those little basterds someday!!!

If you aint airborne, you aint shit. I have worked with every branch, all parts of SF and airborne is truly what makes a soldier "special"...there is training that is cooler, and more unique, but that is the line in the sand...are you a leg or are you not...cause a leg is a dirty nasty yellow thing that holds up a chickens ass.

By the way, the new 7th group setup in Crestview a 105 out of that AC gunship right up their Spanish..LOL..god bless our troops!!!! All of them.

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hell, I have a hard enough time convincing peopl what I realy did in the military , being an SF poser would probibly be easier. I was a Combat Cameraman. We went to a bunch crappy ass places and did a bunch of stopid shit without training to show the JCS what it looked like there and what was going on. MOUT in Somalia with no armor, just sidearm and boonie hat ( not bright) Running around in BiH with no radio and only one vehical with only one longun and two people (once again not bright), number 2 or 3 in the door for building clearing with the camera up instead of a weapon, (really not bright!) and the list goes on and on. The SF guys We sometimes did some work for would frequently look at us and proclaim "you guys are idiots, no way I'd be caught doing that dumb shit"

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is Iron Mike standing these day's? Watch your PLF's and don't FRAP in! Love you guy's. Wonder how Chief Peter's is doing. C.B.'s. Mom. Airborne, All The Way.

2:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Delta Force Divorce Rate 99%, If you are a wife of a soldier wanting to go Delta, you can kiss your family life goodby in2-3 years. First they are real nice, suck in your family, then they pick apart your nuclear family and brainwash hubby that Delta is family. They get treated like kings, so coming home to you is a huge letdown. They hire only great looking females, who sleep with any and all, so again you look less and less appealing. Soon, they return home from a deployment with all their body hair shaved off and an empty bottle of Viagra in their kit bag along with no affection for family and the same script every other asshole in that unit uses, word for word. Yep, take it from experiance, Delta guys fuck anything, lie about everything, and feel entitled to all things, esp being above the law. They are trained to get away with murder, and do. Buddies in every corner hide auto accidents resulting in deaths, hog tying annoying neighbors along fence lines as they burn down the house because they were "noisey with their music". What do Delta do when not deployed killing people and destroying property? The same shit. Ever wonder why Fayetteville has the highest violent crime rate in the nation? I bet you don't now.

5:49 AM  
Anonymous m.b. said...

Delta Force Divorce Rate 99%, If you are a wife of a soldier wanting to go Delta, you can kiss your family life goodby in2-3 years. First they are real nice, suck in your family, then they pick apart your nuclear family and brainwash hubby that Delta is family. They get treated like kings, so coming home to you is a huge letdown. They hire only great looking females, who sleep with any and all, so again you look less and less appealing. Soon, they return home from a deployment with all their body hair shaved off and an empty bottle of Viagra in their kit bag along with no affection for family and the same script every other asshole in that unit uses, word for word. Yep, take it from experiance, Delta guys fuck anything, lie about everything, and feel entitled to all things, esp being above the law. They are trained to get away with murder, and do. Buddies in every corner hide auto accidents resulting in deaths, hog tying annoying neighbors along fence lines as they burn down the house because they were "noisey with their music". What do Delta do when not deployed killing people and destroying property? The same shit. Ever wonder why Fayetteville has the highest violent crime rate in the nation? I bet you don't now.

5:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like somebody woke up on the wrong end of an AC130 gunship.


10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too am a Delta Force divorce/widow I prefer to call it. The men change so much once they get in, you don't know who is living in your house anymore, or where all the petty snarky comments are coming from. But this is my experience; They hire only the best looking females, who are willing to flirt and have been caught on video in building during office hour screwing on desktops. Way to go Delta! Family First my butt! If you want to end your current marriage, go Delta. And be prepared to be a victim of spouse abuse. One wife's husband put a gun IN HER MOUTH. Most wives wake to their husbands trying to strangle them. I put this out for all the wives going in to know. Removal of this post will result in this going public in newspapers and television.

I am exercising my right to freedom of speech, which is in the Constitution and enforced by the US Armed forces. You Have been warned. Deletion of my truths is taking away my freedom. I have to read all the promotional pro-delta crap, this is truth time on the real deal.

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The government can't impose on your freedom of speech, individuals can.

I now see 2 wives who obviously couldn't live up to basic standards and were let go.

Remember that gentlemen, every woman you meet probably has a guy in her past who got fed up with her BS or poor performance, and tossed her to the curb.

The fact a chick wrote "family first" means she is not very bright. If the military wanted you to have a family, they would have issued you one.

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of these "Anonymous" comments are posers. Not all, but so many are. I was in SF, a medic crosstrained weapons-late 1970's, 5h Group...I love the article--well done. But all the posers come out to play. Posers--go back in you holes. Please, just go away

5:53 PM  
Anonymous R.E.Massey said...

Great article, I've done nothing, I've been nowhere. That's all I have to say on the matter.

8:44 AM  
Anonymous JSS said...

Im doing my SWCS time now at Bragg. It does indeed suck. I never tell anyone Im SF, but sometimes my wife does. I have told her not to but she forgets sometimes when she is drinking. It always makes me laugh because when she tells people what I do they never believe it, but when some poser claims to be SF and tells bullshit war stories everyone eats it up.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article! To learn more about the Army National Guard Special Forces visit! and yes, there really are two National Guard Special Forces Groups filled with part-time Green Berets.

2:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lol falling out of a plane makes a soldier special? So arensky divers like SAS? Let me guess you were an AB clerk.

7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BiH when? Was there in 99.

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remembef my first time as a 99Z space shuttle door gunner. Ever been attacked by an extra terrestrial? YOURE WELCOME!

7:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a friend who was a true SF soldier in 'Nam. The stories he tells are the funniest I have ever heard. He does not talk much of combat even with this old Ranger. '92-01 2nd 75th 7-93. His stories about life around camp and the shit they pulled out of boredom are awesome. Jump qualifying a monkey or finding out how many donuts a well endowed soldiers schlong would hold then giving said donuts to the legs.....
but the best is when he challenges a punk at a cafe that was wearing a de opresso liber pin and the guy couldn't remember which group he was in because he was in so many.
I've found that most Sf or spec ops don't talk about the combat missions, hero buttons or hell much but rather about the time they played the aggressor and humiliated the triple nickle in a combat readiness exercise or when they added a pair of panties to the team house wall. Posers make me sick but no bs about it their combat stories are better than most movies and cost much less.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous ScubaSteve said...

Thanks for the entertaining read. I spent my first few years after leaving group calling out assholes that exaggerated or completely fabricated their service. After a while I grew tired, as a bartender while attending school, checking every punk trying to get laid that stole valor that my brothers and I rightfully earned yet didn't claim. I've heard every variation of shit, and each new movie or popular tv show featuring SOF guys is followed closely by an increase of bullshitters claiming their glory.

In summation, thanks for the read (nearly 10 years old now) and I empathize and know that not many people have read this because they're still getting it all ass backwards.

ODA 075/0315 "You'll never walk alone"
ODA 9512 - They were too lazy for a motto.

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I spent 15 years in the Army. It was interesting as every time I came up for reenlistment I changed MOS's until my 4th re-up, or at the needs of the Army. I've seen the posers and have heard them. But I have been with SF not as one, not support but doing the same things in forward operating areas, and training with them. I always wanted selection and Q, but couldn't get there. So my point is, there are MOS's that are right there next to SF catching rounds but aren't SF. Oh yeah, check your facts a little more closelt-18E is Special Forces Engineer, not communications.

5:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was not SF just a lowly Ranger, that was Sniper qualified. I find it funny that I have met more Army Snipers in bars than I ever did in the Army. I got to where I didn't tell anyone I was sniper qualified for fear of being labeled a liar.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"i retired in 85 from 1st Grp. 18z ODA 143."

Hola Boss...I think I was your punk junior medic on 143. Nice to hear you're still alive and kicking.

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

18E engineer? You just blew your cover dipshit Guess again ahole From a former 18D!

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dang gents

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If a Special Forces guy got shot on one of his secret missions would he receive a purple heart?

7:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a few issues with what you're stating; A big one applies to my generation as 18X was disbanded at that time. That's not to state that Special Forces wasn't around, just that 18X wasn't an option, and persons at that time did not yield an 18X designation. Same jobs different names. Also, many of the places you mentioned to my understanding, would never be seen by "Asians", nor half-breeds.

Anyway, maybe it's a generational thing, but to my understanding all members of SF after 2003 were ordered silence. All issued gear was ordered returned, so possession of trophies, including coins would be considered criminal. Not exactly a tell, but it would cause me to question. Well...actually to just walk away.

I would assume if one was "posing", that they'd pick up a few languages, say Laotian, Candidness, etc...a degree or two, and BF command names and titles. The name of command alone is usually enough to spot a fake, as SF doesn't answer to the Army. Then again the name of the game with SF is deception and misdirection.

De oppresso liber, yet you seek to oppress? I'm not SF, but they are leading way with our humanitarian aid. I respect them. Maybe if you really wish to help people pretend you should tell them what's told to real recruits when they ask a question?

"What's my mission ***!?"
"Do your best Soldier."

"Am I doing good ***!?"
"Do your best Soldier."


Maybe you could talk about the real pains of SF being psychological from the start? Maybe owning up to the fact that VT's are used for head games and punished. Maybe talk about the pain of training a regime to overthrow a government just to have said regime attack the US.

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't edit the last comment but this is work a look if you held clearance at any point. De oppresso liber

18 U.S. Code ยง 798 is my favorite.

11:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a SWC Rigger and Delta did recruit riggers from our shed. I had a chance to join too but was scared I would get divorced. That much I did know. They were gone for 6mo before seeing them again and they looked as if they just did a 26mile hike. They could never speak of there involvement but did say it's no joke. We use to also get the CIA at our shed as well looking for people. Most of us got Halo slots. We also could do Dive in Key west and Sere school. Some were also able to do Ranger & the Q coarse, pathfinders and dopes on a rope as well. We also jumped with the Golden Knights often as they would tag along with our missions to jump out of high performance aircraft. Trust me when I say we jumped more HAHO & HALO missions than most SPEC Ops around other then the MMF instructors at SWC. But to tell you the truth, there was never an atmosphere of a pissing contest. Everyone was respectful and cool.

5:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it possible for someone who's served in Afghanistan to wear the tab and patch, but not actually completed the qualification? He's a dude here at work, was an MP, but he has pictures of him wearing the tab and patch on his right arm, even though he seems to be a "fake' to everyone else in the office based on his behavior/demeanor and the things he brags about.

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find this whole blog amusing,,especially the Engineers being 18E. Yes, it is possible for him to wear the SF unit patch w/Airborne tab if he deployed with an SF unit to any combat zone. It is not possible for him to be sporting the long tab until he graduates the course. I'm just trying to figure out how he got that SF unit combat patch if he was an MP.

2:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LMAO,spent 6 in Army, 95Bravo and 19Delta,most fun I had was working JDST team last year.I'm sorry to say to many stories with no backup. Proud of my time spent not wasted. I still get on my boy for bugging out of boot.

10:19 PM  
Blogger 11B4P said...

Never met or saw an MP who didn't get hard or wet jamming up (11B) Grunts up in garrison.
Then when home from deployment the claim to fame was.
"Well, over there I was basically Infantry "
POGs gonna POG.

8:45 AM  
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4:33 PM  
Blogger A. Cruz said...

(18B - Special Operations Weapons Sergeant, 18C - Special Operations Engineer, 18D - Special Operations Medical Sergeant, or 18E - Special Operations Communications Sergeant)

Goddamn retards....Use google if you are going to

I was communications 10 years Army, 2nd Cavalry...Now work in cyber security for DOD.
Any military "special forces" will not talk about it or give a shit about it. it's a job they do it and go home or they make funny videos about it and post on youtube.

11:56 PM  
Blogger A. Cruz said...

11:57 PM  
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9:28 PM  
Blogger average joe's said...

Question. Did anyone in Green Beret training in the 60's between 65-19 have to attend Vietnamese language school? I think my father is a stolen valor guy and really want to know. My email is


Joseph Shields

5:25 AM  

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