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Warrior-Mentor
01-11-2009, 15:20
April 11, 1962 President Kennedy wrote a letter to Department of the Army concerning Special Forces.

Where can you find a copy of the letter?

Cool points for the first person to post a link...

JJ_BPK
01-11-2009, 15:40
The Story of the Green Beret



www.myplanet.net/danperry/greenb.htm

The green beret was originally designated in 1953 by Special Forces Major Herbert Brucker, a veteran of the OSS. Later that year, 1st Lt. Roger Pezelle adopted it as the unofficial head-gear for his A-team, Operational Detachment FA-32. They wore it whenever they went to the field for prolonged exercises. Soon it spread throughout all of Special Forces, although the Army refused to authorize its official use.

Finally, in 1961, President Kennedy planned to visit Fort Bragg. He sent word to the Special Warfare Center commander, Brigadier General William P. Yarborough, for all Special Forces soldiers to wear their berets for the event. President Kennedy felt that since they had a special mission, Special Forces should have something to set them apart from the rest. Even before the presidential request, however, the Department of Army had acquiesced and teletyped a message to the Center authorizing the beret as a part of the Special Forces uniform.

When President Kennedy came to Fort Bragg October 12, 1961, General Yarborough wore his green beret to greet the Commander-in-Chief. The president remarked, "Those are nice. How do you like the green beret?" General Yarborough replied: "They're fine, sir. We've wanted them a long time."

A message from President Kennedy to General Yarborough later that day stated, "My congratulations to you personally for your part in the presentation today ... The challenge of this old but new form of operations is a real one and I know that you and the members of your command will carry on for us and the free world in a manner which is both worthy and inspiring. I am sure that the green beret will be a mark of distinction in the trying times ahead."

In an April 11, 1962, White House memorandum for the United States Army, President Kennedy showed his continued support for the Special Forces, calling the green beret... "a symbol of excellence, a badge of courage, a mark of distinction in the fight for freedom."


and the letter




FM PRESUS THE WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
TO CG FT BRAGG
DA GRNC
BT
UNCLAS CITE WH670-61 FOR BRIGADIER GENERAL WILLIAM P.
YARBOROUGH, COMMANDING GENERAL U.S. ARMY SPECIAL
WARFARE CENTER FORT BRAGG, N.C.
MY CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU PERSONALLY FOR YOUR
PART IN THE PRESENTATION TODAY AT FORT BRAGG, AND
ESPECIALLY FOR THE IMAGINATION AS WELL AS THE PRECISION
WHICH YOUR DIRECTION GAVE TO A DIFFICULT SUBJECT. I CAME
AWAY WITH A NEW APPRECIATION OF YOUR MISSION AND
ENTHUSIASM FOR ITS PERFORMANCE. I KNOW THAT YOU AND
YOUR MEN NOT ONLY SERVE AS GOOD INSTRUCTORS, BUT AS AN
INSPIRATION TO THE ALLIED OFFICERS WHO ATTEND YOUR
SCHOOL. PLEASE CONVEY MY CONGRATULATIONS AND MY
APPRECIATION TO ALL OF THE MEN WHO TOOK PART. THE
CHALLENGE OF THIS OLD BUT NEW FORM OF OPERATIONS IS A
REAL ONE AND I KNOW THAT YOU AND THE MEMBERS OF YOUR
COMMAND WILL CARRY ON FOR US AND THE FREE WORLD IN A
MANNER WHICH IS BOTH WORTHY AND INSPIRING. I AM SURE
THAT THE GREEN BERET WILL BE A MARK OF DISTINCTION IN THE
TRYING TIMES AHEAD.
JOHN F. KENNEDY
BT
CFN WH670-61
13/0259Z RUEPWW

Warrior-Mentor
01-11-2009, 19:00
Thanks Jim. I've seen a copy of the actual letter on the web somewhere and darned if I can find it now.

JJ_BPK
01-11-2009, 19:07
Thanks Jim. I've seen a copy of the actual letter on the web somewhere and darned if I can find it now.

This is off someone's blog,, I looked, but the Dem's have hid all Jack's weakness..

I think we should keep looking...

My $00.0002

UPDATE: I forgot my google-foo

search "WH670-61"

www.groups.sfahq.com/sf_heraldry/beret/kennedy_to_yarborough.htm

corpidelite.info/GreenBerets.html

Beerhunter
01-11-2009, 21:47
Check out this document at the JFK Library:

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/Archives/Reference+Desk/NSAMs.htm

click on NSAM 2- Development of Counter Guerilla Forces

I believe that this order expanded Special Forces and started the Navy's Seals.

Bill Harsey
01-11-2009, 22:01
This doesn't quite count but I have a framed black and white photograph of the 12 October 1961 meeting of Yarborough and Kennedy on my shop wall. It is signed to "me" by one General William P. Yarborough.

swpa19
05-04-2009, 16:34
I know that this is an old thread. But, was this question ever answered? Perhaps in another thread.

JJ_BPK
05-04-2009, 17:06
I know that this is an old thread. But, was this question ever answered? Perhaps in another thread.

We didn't find a photostat signed copy, just the text.
"WH670-61" is the WH doc id..

swpa19
05-05-2009, 18:25
Im trusting an old memory. I cant remember if it was at Fort Bragg or not. But, I do recall seeing an individual (who used to be Gen. Yarborough's aide) with what appeared to be the original photo and other typed and written correspondence.

I never got close enough to him to see what the letters were though. The collection was given him by the Yarborough family.

The aide and Col. Mize set with General Yarborough till he passed.

wet dog
05-05-2009, 18:45
Who was the SF soldier who placed his Green Beret at the Arlington marker for JFK?

I've asked, never learned who...

swpa19
05-06-2009, 09:16
Who was the SF soldier who placed his Green Beret at the Arlington marker for JFK?



SGM Francis Ruddy

greenberetTFS
05-06-2009, 13:57
SGM Francis Ruddy

Just curious. Is SMG Ruddy still alive and possibly joined in this forum. He's the most known SF soldier for what he did at the grave site, however no ones really remembered his name until today................:)

GB TFS :munchin

WCH
05-07-2009, 08:30
Im trusting an old memory. I cant remember if it was at Fort Bragg or not. But, I do recall seeing an individual (who used to be Gen. Yarborough's aide) with what appeared to be the original photo and other typed and written correspondence.

I never got close enough to him to see what the letters were though. The collection was given him by the Yarborough family.

The aide and Col. Mize set with General Yarborough till he passed.

That (Aide) would be Rudy Gresham.

Go For Broke
05-11-2009, 21:31
April 11, 1962 President Kennedy wrote a letter to Department of the Army concerning Special Forces.

Where can you find a copy of the letter?



There is a copy in the 1962 version of Special Warfare (http://smallwarsjournal.com/documents/swintro.pdf)(Page 5).


V/R,

koz
05-12-2009, 11:28
There is a copy in the 1962 version of Special Warfare (http://smallwarsjournal.com/documents/swintro.pdf)(Page 5).


V/R,


Well done sir, well done.

On page 4 - the QP to the right looks as though there is no flash on his beret. Does he have a flash and it's just blended in or is there no flash. Is that an unassigned QP?

Go For Broke
05-12-2009, 13:40
I can think of two possible reasons -

1. He and the E-7 on the left are not flash qualified, I am sure one of the older gentlemen on here can provide better timelines WRT when flash qualified vs candy stripe vs green beret was in prominance

2. Both the Lieutenant (Right) and the Sergeant First Class (Left) are from the 7th Group - both at Bragg in the 60's

Just my humble $0.02

Although, it is interesting that neither of the officers are wearing rank on their flash - when did this start happening?

V/R,

Richard
05-12-2009, 14:10
It's a 5th SFG ODA prior to deployment of the Group to RVN in 1964. It used to be that personnel were often assigned to a Group and utilized prior to attending SFTG and not fully 'flash qualified' until (1) finishing SFTG and (2) successfully participating in ODA ops for a period of time (generally around 6 months or so). The full qualification was then awarded by the Group CDR.

Overseas based Group's could do the same but with the OFF/NCO completing a series of correspondence courses vice attending SFTG.

All this decentralization makes it difficult to sometimes track down the record of whether or not someone was/wasn't SF qualified.

Richard's $.02 :munchin

swpa19
05-12-2009, 14:26
RICHARD and GO FOR BROKE have good valid points. In the early 60s (prior to the candy stripe) Un-qualified personell wore the beret and crest without the flash.

Personell could become flash qualified as Richard says. This process was also known as P.O.I. Point of Instruction qualification. This was particularly true in Europe.

Instances like those quoted, also applied to Guard and Reserve in the mid 1960s.

Im pretty sure that the above was the case. I will defer to someone more knowledgeable though. Given my recurring bouts with "Parts"heimers.

I was following this process till the introduction of the M-151 Light Utility Vehicle ended dreams of becoming SF and a Military Career.

f50lrrp
05-12-2009, 20:14
I transferred to the 10th SFGA in 1967. I was jump qualified but not SF. I was assigned to take correspondence courses to MOS qualify as an 11F4 by the Group SMG.

plato
05-12-2009, 20:57
We had a similar training scenario in the 1st Group in Okinawa around 73, I think. (if CRS were an MOS I'd be overqualified). :rolleyes: Through a combination of correspondence courses, local training by fully-qualified SF personnel, field exercises and deployments, personnel who had not attended the full training at Ft. Bragg could become qualified to wear the flash.

The 441st MID and the HQ S-2 personnel were a major focus of the effort since the individuals from those organizations frequently deployed with the teams. I recall that point clearly as I was the Group S-2 at the time, and it made supporting other Group deployments "interesting".

It may have been COL Geraci who started the ball rolling, (CRS again), but it was COL Sydnor (Son Tay) who awarded the flashes.

Sometimes being a FOG is a "Good Thing".:D