Segments in this Video

U.S. Army Special Forces (03:09)


The primary objective of the Green Berets is to teach indigenous forces to fight for their own freedom. In 1963, author Robin Moore wrote a book that brought them into the public consciousness.

"The Green Berets" (02:26)

In 1968, John Wayne starred in the first film about the U.S. Army Special Forces. The nickname came from the hat SF soldiers wore.

De Oppresso Liber (04:02)

The motto of the Green Berets means " to free the oppressed." The U.S. Army Special Forces receive the best training in the U.S. military. It has an inherited tradition of unconventional warfare.

Vital Part of War Machine (02:57)

The U.S. Army Special Forces developed out of the OSS, specifically from the need for unconventional warfare in Europe. Teams were secretly deployed all over the world. Jedburgh teams dropped behind enemy lines.

Central Intelligence Agency (06:57)

When WWII ended, President Harry Truman signed an executive order disbanding the OSS. The CIA worked with the U.S. military for national security. Guerilla operations were established in the Korean War.

Vietnam War (06:56)

U.S. Army Special Forces built a bond with foreign soldiers and were available as force multipliers. The main purpose of the Green Berets was economical use of force. They began wearing the same hats as British commandos.

Ultimate Force Multiplier (04:26)

The United States had been building a presence in Vietnam for years. Small, undetectable units trained indigenous forces. Special Forces A teams would mobilize hundreds of South Vietnamese soldiers into aid camps.

Hatchet Teams and MIKE Force (03:07)

Rescue teams consisted of five Special Forces team members and 30 indigenous personnel. They were used for rescue, recon, and ambush. The mobile strike force acted as a fluid SWAT team.

Montagnards (04:33)

This oppressed group of tribal people lived in the mountains of Vietnam; the Vietnamese viewed them as savages. The Montagnards were dedicated, loyal, and skilled and became close with Special Forces teams.

Son Tay Raid (06:41)

By the mid 1970s, there were 500 people in POW camps. The rescue team trained for months led by Colonel Bull Simons and Major Richard Meadows. The SF executed perfectly, but the POWs had been moved.

Abandoning the Montagnards (03:11)

Days after the U.S. Army left Vietnam, the Montagnards were slaughtered and put in concentration camps. Special Forces had promised to help them, but were pulled out before they could.

Vietnam Veterans' Memorial (04:39)

Special Forces did not work for medals but were among the most highly decorated units of the U.S. military. They fought for each other and still remember those who died.

Remembering Martha Raye (02:13)

Raye entertained Special Forces units in Vietnam for nine years and worked as a nurse when needed. An exception was made, and Raye was buried in the military cemetery at Fort Bragg.

Special Forces Training (05:23)

The men who volunteer for SF have completed basic training and are already U.S. Army soldiers. The first step is the assessment and selection process at Fort Bragg. Some will move onto the Special Forces Qualification Course.

Phases One and Two - SFQC (07:20)

Officers and enlisted personnel train together. This part of the Q course includes languages, extensive land navigation, small unit tactics, and field work. Next, soldiers are divided into their MOS.

Phase Three - SFQC (03:57)

This part of the Q course includes education on air operations, setting up drop zones, infiltrating by air, planning missions, and cross-cultural communication. An unconventional warfare training scenario called Robin Sage is the final step before becoming a Green Beret.

After SFQC (07:16)

Each soldier is assigned to an operational detachment that will receive regional specific training. Green berets are trained in charges and explosives, close quarter combat, urban combat, and foreign language communication. SERE was developed by Vietnam War POW Nick Rowe.

Modern Role of Special Forces (09:02)

Many SF groups were deactivated after the Vietnam War. Since reacting to instability abroad in the 1980s, Green Berets have played important roles in Panama, El Salvador, and the Middle East.

Future of Special Forces (04:00)

In addition to training for new and unique types of conflict, Green Berets continue to work to free the oppressed.

Credits: A Complete History of the Green Berets (01:01)

Credits: A Complete History of the Green Berets

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A Complete History of the Green Berets

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JFK called their trademark beret "a symbol of excellence, a badge of courage, a mark of distinction in the fight for freedom." One of the world's most unconventional warfare experts, the Green Berets are trained to train others.

Length: 94 minutes

Item#: BVL279870

Copyright date: ©2001

Closed Captioned

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