Gunnery Network - SOF



The Green Beret
Quick History
Detailed History
Beret Flashes
Unit Patches

SF Missions
About SF
SF Primer
SF Imperatives

The Soldiers
The Team Leader
The Team Sergeant
The Team Tech
SF Heroes
Medal of Honor

The "A" Team
Support Elements
SF Aviation
Spec War Center
SF Command
R &D - Technology

Assessment (SFAS)
Qualification (SFQC)
Specialty Training
SF Schools

New Technologies
Special Ops Aircraft
Weapons / Demo

Concerning "Hooah!"
About Rambo
About John Wayne
SF Memorial Fund
The "Coin Check"
The SF Creed
The SF Prayer
Green Beret Ballad
Murphy's Laws
Rogers' Orders
The Ranger Creed
The Creation (ABN)
Commando's Prayer

About Joining?
SF Recruiting
Army Recruiting
The Army Tour
Info Request Form
Find an Army Recruiter

Active Duty
Former Service

Reading Room
Official Links
Veterans Links

Commo Center


Web Hosting By

Network Viking - USA

U.S. Army Special Forces "The Green Berets"

A Detailed History of Special Forces

Any Thing, Any Time, Any Place, Any How

When the 10th Special Forces Group departed for its overseas assignment at Bad Tolz, Germany, the men who were not required to go remained on Smoke Bomb Hill and formed the 77th Group. The commander was LTC Jack T. Shannon. The Executive Officer was LTC (Ret) Frank J. Dallas, then a lieutenant, and the motto was:

"Anything, Any Time, Any Place, Any How."

  77th Special Forces Crest. Circa 1956

In 1956, Captain John W. Frye designed the arrow-shaped patch which is still worn by the Green Berets. The blue patch, featuring an upturned knife and three jagged lightning bolts, was approved by Department of Army and was pictured in the Army Times newspaper. The knife was issued during World War II to the First Special Service Force, a predecessor unit, and the lightning bolts represent Special Forces infiltration by air, by land and by water.

The next commander was Col. Edson Duncan Raff, a colorful combat veteran whose service during World War II was highly praised by General Eisenhower. The colonel encouraged the wearing of the beret, but it was not given official sanction until five years later. The green beret received the approval of President John F. Kennedy after his visit to the Special Warfare Center (a title adopted in 1956) on October 12, 1961. The Special Forces troopers, led by Gen. William P. Yarborough, wore berets to greet their commander-in-chief, and the nine-year controversy over the headgear came to an end.

The 77th Group carried out a rigorous training and sports program.-The men began a post judo club which by 1955 had 125 members. Fifty Green Berets began a club called the "Para Divers." Typical of the membership in the 77th was a private from Poland, a corporal from Shanghai, and a private from Finland. (A large number of displaced Europeans joined the U.S. Army under the "Lodge Act," and added an enviable foreign language capability to the group.)

Col. Gustav J. Gillert, Jr., became the group adjutant when Lt. Dallas went overseas with the 10th Group.

Maj. Gen. F.W. Farrell, 82nd Airborne Division commander, once told a Special Forces class: "Conventional warfare is outmoded, and we must prepare ourselves for the unconventional in any future conflict." His words were similar to the views held by the famed Gen. Orde C. Wingate, another advocate for "special" warfare.

The 77th was not destined to move overseas as a unit. The men remained headquartered at the Special Warfare Center, and in June 1960, became members of the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne).

 - Next: The Story Behind the Green Beret


This page is an unofficial document and does not represent information endorsed by the United States Government, the United States Special Operations Command or the United States Army Special Operations Command. However, most information is derived from those sources and has been checked for accuracy. For comments, questions, and suggestions, please go to the Communications Center.

Gunnery Network - SOF