Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Army To Combat Advisors: You Are Not Special Forces. Now Here's A Brown Beret
U.S. Special Forces can relax now that the Army has officially unveiled a beret for combat advisors that is absolutely not green.
At an activation ceremony Thursday at Fort Benning, Georgia, the Army unveiled the new brown berets, flash and unit insignias for the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, which is set to deploy to Afghanistan in spring
The choice of brown berets came following an outcry in October when a picture of a new green beret for soldiers in the unit was posted online, which prompted a petition which called on the 1st SFAB to immediately abandon the distinctive headgear.
“The wearing of the Green Beret is a symbol of commitment and sacrifice to the men who challenged themselves to be the best of the best in the U.S. Army Special Forces,” the petition said. “This honor is earned, never issued.”
It soon became clear that the beret shown online was just a prototype and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley quickly concurred with those who lobbied for a different color, an Army official told Task & Purpose. The unit patch was also redesigned as an homage Military Assistance Command, Vietnam.
The roughly 800 soldiers in the brigade will be key to the U.S. military’s strategy of advising Afghan military and police units at the battalion level. But speaking at the ceremony, Milley reiterated that the SFAB “is not and will not be Special Forces,” according to the Columbus Star-Ledger.
“Special Forces is very unique,” Milley said, “They are trained, manned, equipped and tasked with the conduct of things like unconventional warfare, advance force operation, operational preparation environment. They are trained as our counter-terrorist operation, strategic reconnaissance and many, many other missions. ... The SFABs will work with Special Forces units.”
Security Force Assistance Brigades wear brown berets. SFAB Soldiers will be on the ground with their partners - fighting side by side with them in all conditions, so the brown beret symbolizes dirt or mud akin to the "muddy boots" moniker given to leaders who are always out with the troops. Brown berets are not similar to any other beret currently in the Army inventory.U.S. Army
Until now, the Army has ripped conventional brigade combat teams apart to produce soldiers to advise Iraqi and Afghan troops, Milley said earlier this year.
“We only have X amount of these brigade combat teams and if we take a whole bunch of them and we shred them, take their leadership apart, and they go through an exercise and we call them ‘advisers,’ then you’re essentially reducing your ground combat capability by whatever amount you commit to that task,” Milley said on Jan. 17 at an Association of the United States Army event. “I want to stop doing that. I want to make sure that our conventional combined arms maneuver capabilities stay together, train, hit the sled tons of times, and that we also have an advisory capability.”
There's nothing quite like finding out that the nifty little trinket you blew a paycheck on when you were a junior enlisted service member is actually worth three-quarters of a million dollars. (Take that every SNCO who ever gave a counseling statement on personal finances.)
Special Operations Command review finds deployment and leadership issues but no 'systemic ethics problem'
The long-awaited Special Operations Command's ethics review has finally been released, which argues that there is no "systemic ethics problem" in the special operations community while acknowledging a range of underlying problems stemming from a high operations tempo and insufficient leadership.
John Kelly, the retired Marine general who worked as President Trump's chief of staff for more than 16 months, told a crowd in Sarasota, Florida on Monday that he trusted John Bolton and thinks he should testify in the Senate impeachment trial.
"If John Bolton says that in the book I believe John Bolton," Kelly said during a town hall lecture series, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, mentioning claims in a forthcoming memoir by Trump's former national security advisor that the president told him a freeze on military aid to Ukraine was conditioned on the country opening an investigation into the Bidens.
While the Army pours resources into Fort Wainwright after suicides, leaders stress one reminder: Look out for your teammates
While the Army is making strides at Fort Wainwright with hopes of improving the quality of life at the base and stopping suicide, Army leaders are also reminding soldiers of one simple thing that could make a difference: Get to know your teammates, and look out for one another.