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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.”
An Army staff sergeant who "represents the very best of the 101st Airborne Division" has finally received a Silver Star for his heroic actions during the Battle of the Bulge after a 75-year delay.
On Sunday, Staff Sgt. Edmund "Eddie" Sternot was posthumously awarded with a Silver Star for his heroics while leading a machine gun team in the Ardennes Forest. The award, along with Sternot's Bronze Star and Purple Heart, was presented to his only living relative, Sternot's first cousin, 80-year-old Delores Sternot.
U.S. special operations forces are currently field testing a lightweight combat armor designed to cover more of an operator's body than previous protective gear, an official told Task & Purpose.
The armor, called the Lightweight Polyethylene (PE) Armor for Extremity Protection, is one of a handful of subsystems to come out of U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) effort that media outlets dubbed the "Iron Man suit," Navy Lieutenant Cmdr. Tim Hawkins, a SOCOM spokesman, told Task & Purpose on Wednesday.
Military families are suing their private housing provider over 'rampant mold infestation' at Fort Meade
Ten military families are taking their privatized housing provider, Corvias, to court over "appalling housing conditions and cavalier treatment" at Fort Meade in Maryland, according to a new lawsuit.
The lawsuit filed on Tuesday by law firm Covington & Burling —which is handling the lawsuit pro bono, according to their press release — details "distressingly similar stories of poorly maintained infrastructure leading to serious problems, such as mold growing on walls, windows, and pipes," at the the installation.
The lawsuit was first reported by the Washington Post. The defendants identified include Corvias Management-Army LLC and Meade Communities, LLC, which is a part of Corvias.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senior Democratic and Republican lawmakers presented dueling narratives on Wednesday as a U.S. congressional impeachment inquiry that threatens Donald Trump's tumultuous presidency entered a crucial new phase with the first televised public hearing.
The drama unfolded in a hearing of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee in which two career U.S. diplomats - William Taylor and George Kent - voiced alarm over the Republican president and those around him pressuring Ukraine to conduct investigations that would benefit Trump politically.