U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets) (Photo: U.S. Army)
They call themselves the quiet professionals, but we know them simply as Green Berets. Their official title is U.S. Army Special Forces (SF), and they are one of the most elite fighting organizations in the world. Their profession is unconventional warfare — taking small Special Forces (SF) teams to train and lead guerrilla forces. Their motto is widely known in latin De Oppresso Liber which stands for ‘To Liberate the Oppressed’.
Special Forces soldiers work together in a 12-man “A-Team,” with each man holding a specific job: The ranking officer is the team leader, the weapons sergeant knows just about every piece of weapon in the world, the communications sergeant tees up ordnance or extract, and the medics can take lives as quickly as saving them in all possible conditions and terrains.
It may seem crazy to send only 12 guys into a hostile country, but it’s not crazy when they are members of Special Forces. The US Army Special Forces or simply Green Berets are known for their exceptional skill and professionalism in modern war.
In the United States Army Special Forces, De Oppresso Liber is traditionally believed to mean “to free from oppression” or “to liberate the oppressed” in abbreviation in English.
Alongside the CIA, they were the first Americans on the ground in Afghanistan only one month after 9/11.
There they linked up with the Northern Alliance and brought Hamid Karzai into Kabul, preparing it for the things to come.
Riding on horses in the beginning of the forthcoming war, or on ATV’s, they were both feared and respected in the foreign country. But Special Forces doesn’t take just anybody. The Army selects this elite few from among the best soldiers that come to Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS).
Training and selection
Their training is physically exhausting and requires exceptional endurance and mental skill. It’s only 24 days at SFAS before future Green Beret move on to another year of training. That year includes language training (every Special Forces soldier learns a second language), specialty skills — such as weapons or radios — and finally Robin Sage, the culminating training exercise after they will become regular members of US Army Special Forces – Green Berets.
But it’s only the beginning of their Special Forces career as they don the Green Beret for the first time and earn the ‘Long Tab’ of the Special Forces. They’ll move on to a Special Forces Group and start training within their 12-man teams. That might mean High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) training, what stands for jumping out of an airplane, with an oxygen mask, since they’ll be up above 30,000 feet or breaching and clearing rooms. What Special Forces would call Close Quarters Battle (CQB). The object being — get through the doorway as quickly as possible and overwhelm a hostile force with blistering small arms fire. All in a matter of seconds, of course.
It’s not only Navy SEALs in the water. Special Forces has their own Dive school. And if their SF group needs winter training, they’ll get that too. Ultimately, all this training gets them ready for their main mission as the masters of unconventional warfare.That may include direct action — kicking in doors and going after the bad guys or helping foreign governments with their own defense and training their military to help them fight. One thing is certain when it comes to Special Forces, they have their pick of the best small arms and really, really big arms, with all other equipment.
Their members are some of the most highly-skilled shooters in the military that are both extremely accurate and fast shooters — and can remain so when fired upon. They keep calm and return fire. Green Berets have some of the coolest toys from their Humvees to helmets. Their support includes probably the finest helicopter pilots in the world and in Special Forces, even the dogs are elite.
De Opresso Liber
As wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down the US Special Forces will continue to train for the next fight, next war, next country and will likely be the first ones called into battle to live up to their motto: De Oppresso Liber — To Liberate the Oppressed, or even die for it.
U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets)
June 19, 1952 – present
United States of America
Special operations force
· Unconventional warfare
· Foreign internal defense
· Special reconnaissance
· Direct action
· Hostage rescue
· Humanitarian missions
United States Special Operations Command
United States Army Special Operations Command
Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Green Berets, Bearded Bastards, Quiet Professionals, Soldier-Diplomats, Snake Eaters,
De Oppresso Liber
Operation Urgent Fury
Operation Just Cause
Persian Gulf War
Operation Uphold Democracy
Operation Enduring Freedom
War in North-West Pakistan
War on ISIL