Thread: 8th Group
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Old 10-08-2014, 18:04   #37
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Originally Posted by zdect View Post
Gary A. Riggs


(Retired, US Army Sep 1988)

WKU Class of 1958

Completed tours of duty in Laos and Vietnam as a Special Forces Detachment Commander and Advisor to the 14th ARVAN Regiment

Company and Battalion Commander 8th Special Forces Group, Panama

Professor of Military Science, Army ROTC Western Kentucky University 1975-1978 Commander, Special Forces Schools Training Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

Commander - U.S. Military Group, Venezuela

Commander, Third Brigade, Second Region (ROTC) Fort Knox, Kentucky

Legion of Merit

Bronze Star Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters
On 30 June 1972, Lieutenant Colonel Tom Owens was the commander of Company A, 8th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and became the first commander of the 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne). When he retired his company guidon, he exchanged it for the colors of this Special Forces battalion. Additionally, he assumed the responsibilities of carrying on the traditions of his 8th Special Forces Group (Airborne) predecessors and set the standard for other commanders to follow

Are we talking about the same guys?
I think we're talking about different Riggs; MAJ Jere Riggs was an NG officer who shadowed MAJ Leroy Mitchell who was my company commander and one of three XOs on the Che Guevara MTT to Bolivia.

As for LTC Owens, he was the SAF XO (whether he was the Battalion Cdr, I couldn't tell you because I didn't pay much attention to the wiring diagram for the head shed after 8th Group was deactivated and became 3/7 SFG. I can tell you he reported to COL BJ Pinkerton who was the 8th Group and later the 3/7 SFG?/SAF commander [Pinkerton's daughter married one of the other LTs I ran around with -- after I PCSd back to the States I learned he, the LT, got in trouble for misappropriating equipment to line his wallet ... information I was never able to verify]). I can tell you that MG George Mabry (awarded the MOH) was the USARSO commander at the time and held the deactivation/redesignation ceremony for Group at the parade field in front of the Post Office on Fort Gulick.

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