|Special Forces Hero: Colonel Aaron Bank
Colonel of the Regiment
- Father of the Army Special Forces
Aaron Bank, U.S. Army Colonel
truly a legend in his own time. Indeed, if life were like
fiction, Colonel Bank would be the leading character in one of
the most dramatic stories of the 20th century. He is "Father of
the Special Forces."
Colonel Bank was born in New York
City in November of 1902. As a young man he lived in Europe and
learned French and Russian. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in late
1939 and graduated from OCS in 1940. He was commissioned in the
Infantry and served as the Tactical Officer of a railroad
battalion at Camp Polk LA. In 1943 when the Army called for
linguists to join the newly formed Office of Strategic Services
(OSS), Colonel Bank stepped forward.
Under the Command of
Colonel William B. ("Wild Bill") Donavan, Colonel Bank
parachuted into occupied France in the Rohne Valley to train and
fight with the French resistance. He was then Chief of Guerilla
Operations. He operated in the area of Avignon and Nimes, along
with other OSS Jedburgh Teams.
Colonel Bank was involved with
some of the most intriguing operations and personalities of that
era. He was actively involved with the famous Operation
"Iron Cross" - the plot to assassinate Adolph Hitler,
and later in a different theatre of operations he knew and
trained with Ho Chi Minh.
Following W.W.II, he served as
Commander of Counter-Intelligence in Bavaria until 1950. In
Korea he served as the XO of a Regimental Combat Team. From
1951-1952 Colonel Bank was assigned to the Special Operations
Branch, Psychological Warfare Staff at the Pentagon.
It was here
that the idea for the First Special Forces Group took form. On
19 June 1952 the idea became reality, when Colonel Bank
activated the 10th Special Forces Group, the original Special
Forces unit. Colonel Bank commanded the Group at Bad Tolz,
Federal Republic of Germany until 1954. After, he served on the 7th Army General Staff
and again at the Pentagon, until his retirement from active duty
In 1986 Colonel Bank was honored
by assuming the title of Colonel of the Regiment for all U.S.
Army Special Forces.
Back to Special Forces
- PLEASE READ
|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
Copyright © 1998-2002 - Stenhammar Viking - All Rights Reserved.
Gunnery Network - SOF