24 Facts About Army National Guard Special Forces

Yes, there are Special Force units in the Army National Guard. These units have been highly utilized in the War on Terror, and have been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. High level military officials have praised the work of National Guard Special Forces in all their accomplishments in the Middle East.

In today’s post, we are going too provide you with 24 facts about Army National Guard Special Forces. Scroll down and learn more about the ARNG Special Forces.

1: The Beginning

United States Army Special Forces began during World War II. They were a part of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Their primary mission during World War II was unconventional warfare.

2: Father of the Army Special Forces

The founding Father of the United States Army Special Forces was Colonel Aaron Bank. Colonel Bank was an Officer with the OSS. He parachuted into France and helped “fire up” the French Resistance. In 1952, Bank became the first commander of the Army’s first designated Special Forces unit.

3: Green Berets

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy ordered the green beret to be the official headgear of United States Army Special Forces. After that, Special Force soldiers became known as Green Berets.

4: National Guard Special Forces Groups

The Army National Guard currently has 2 Special Forces groups. These groups are broken down further, but they are called the 19th Special Forces Group and the 20th Special Forces Group.

5: Special Forces Group Composition

Each Special Forces Group is broken down into this composition:

3 Battalions with each having

Headquarters Company

Support Company

and 3 Line Companies (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie) with each having

6 Operational Detachment Alpha Teams (ODAs) with each having

12 men with various Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) and ranks

Doctrinal Missions

United States Army Special Forces have and perform 11 different doctrinal missions. They consist of:

6: Foreign Internal Defense (FID)

This is the assistance of other governments to protect their society from lawlessness, insurgency, and any acts to deny the rights and freedoms of the people.

7: Civil Affairs Operations (CAO)

Operations to enhance relationships in localities between military and civil authorities.

8: Unconventional Warfare (UW)

This covers a broad spectrum of the use of military operations in enemy territories. Primarily, it means of the use of guerrilla warfare.

9: Military Information Support Operations (MISO)

This essentially covers the distribution of propaganda within enemy controlled territories to influence the emotions and actions of citizens and governments.

10: Special Reconnaissance (SR)

The verification through observation of enemy capabilities and intentions.

11: Counterinsurgency (COIN)

Joint military and civilian efforts to defeat and destroy insurgency.

12: Direct Action (DA)

Just as it says, this entails seizing, damaging or destroying enemy targets. It could also entail capturing or recovering personnel or materials in support of military objectives.

13: Security Force Assistance (SFA)

Assistance provided to foreign security forces as ordered by the Department of Defense.

14: Information Operations (IO)

Attaining a goal of having information superiority, and defending that information and the systems that hold it.

15: Counter-proliferation (CP) of Weapons of Mass Destruction

Combat the proliferation of any nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. This entails collecting and analyzing intelligence, and supporting diplomatic relations, arms control measures and the control of exports.

16: Combating Terrorism (CBT)

Taking preemptive measures to resolve any terrorist incidents or actions.

17: SOD-X

In 2014, the Pentagon added a new Special Forces unit. It is called Special Operations Detachment-X or SOD-X. SOD-X is part of the North Carolina National Guard, and SOD-X is attached to Joint Special Operations Command… a top secret Pentagon creation. To provide a picture of just how secretive this is, JSOC are the ones who sent Navy Seals into the Osama Bin Laden compound in 2011, and also worked with the CIA to kill the kill the American citizen who turned radical: Anwar Al Awlaki. You can bet that SOD-X will have some highly sensitive missions.

19th Special Forces Group

 

18: Headquarters

The 19th Special Forces Group which is 1 of the 2 Army National Guard Special Forces groups is Headquartered in Draper, Utah. The Commander of the 19th is Colonel Mark Drown.

19: States With 19th Special Force Group Detachments

The States that have detachments from the 19th Special Forces Group are:

  • Washington

  • Texas

  • West Virginia

  • California

  • Ohio

  • Colorado

  • Rhode Island

20th Special Forces Group

 

20: Headquarters

The 20th Special Forces Group is Headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama which makes them a part of the Alabama National Guard.

21: States With 20th Special Force Group Detachments

The States that have detachments from the 20th Special Force Group are:

  • Mississippi

  • Florida

  • Massachusetts

  • North Carolina

  • Maryland

  • Pennsylvania

  • Illinois

22: MottoSpecial Forces Motto

The Army Special Forces have a motto. It is:

De Oppresso Liber which is Latin for To Liberate The Oppressed

23: Army National Guard Special Force Military Occupational Specialties (MOS)

These are some of the current MOS positions in the Army National Guard Special Forces:

  1. 18A Special Forces Detachment Commander.

  2. 18B Special Forces Weapons Sergeant

  3. 18C Special Forces Engineer Sergeant

  4. 18D Special Forces Medical Sergeant

  5. 18E Special Forces Communications Sergeant

  6. 180A Special Forces Warrant Officer

24: Requirements For Special Forces In The Army National Guard

So do you think you have what it takes? Are you man enough to be Special Forces? These are the requirements:

No prior service

1. Must be a male, minimum age 20, no older than 35.
2. Must be a U.S. citizen.
3. Must be a high school graduate or have a general educational development (GED) certificate with at least 15 college credits.
4. Must not have any drug or alcohol related law violations.
5. Must score an absolute minimum of 50 points on the ASVAB with an absolute minimum of 110 in the General Technical (GT) section.
6. Must be able to meet medical fitness standards for military service, Airborne and Special Forces as outlined in Chap. 5, AR 40-501, Standards of Medical Fitness.
7. Must be able to score a minimum of 240 on the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), with no less than 70 points in each event, using the standards for 17-21 age group, before the completion of Advanced Individual Training (AIT).
8. Must volunteer and be eligible for Airborne training.
9. Must be eligible for a secret security clearance.

Prior service

1. Must be male, minimum age of 20. No maximum age, based on military qualifications and individual evaluation.
2. Must be a U.S. citizen.
3. Must be in the pay grade of E-4 to E-6. E-7s with no more than 12 years Time-in-Service (TIS) and 9 months Time-in-Grade (TIG) when applying and must be either Airborne or Ranger qualified.
4. Must be at least one year since completing an MOS producing course/school.
5. Must have a General Technical (GT) score of 110 (non-waiverable). If you do not have the required score, then you will first need to take the AFCT (ASVAB) to attempt to raise your line scores.
6. Must score an absolute minimum of 240 points on the Army physical fitness test (APFT) with no less than 70 points on any event and using the standards for age group 17 to 21.
7. Must be able to meet medical fitness standards for military service, Airborne and Special Forces as outlined in Chap. 5, AR 40-501, Standards of Medical Fitness.
8. Must be either Airborne qualified or willing to volunteer and qualify for Airborne training.
9. Must possess or be eligible for a secret security clearance.
10. Must not be barred to reenlistment or be under suspension of favorable personnel action.
11. Must not have been convicted by court-martial or have disciplinary action (Article 15/NJP) noted in your official military personnel file (OMPF) under the provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
12. Must not have any drug or alcohol related law violations.
13. Must be able to swim 50 meters unassisted, wearing boots and the Army combat uniform (UCP), prior to beginning the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC).
14. Must not have been terminated from Airborne, Ranger, or Special Forces duty, unless termination was due to extreme family problems.
15. No Soldier, regardless of Military Occupational Specialty will be recruited if he is unable to reclassify from his current MOS into Career Management Field 18 series (CMF 18).
16. Must have a minimum of 36 months remaining TIS upon completion of the SFQC. If not, then must extend or reenlist before starting SFQC.

Officers

1. Must be male, minimum age of 20. No maximum age, based on military qualifications and individual evaluation.
2. Must have completed BOLC-A (OCS/ROTC) and BOLC-B (Basic Branch training) and have been successful in your branch assignments prior to application for Special Forces (SF).
3. Must be in the rank/pay grade of 1LT/O-2 (preferably promotable) or CPT/O-3 with less than 2yrs Time-in-Grade (TIG) as a O-3 upon completion of SFAS.
4. Must have enough time remaining as a captain to complete SF training and serve a minimum of three years in an SF unit.
5. Must score an absolute minimum of 240 points on the Army physical fitness test (APFT) with no less than 70 points on any event and using the standards for age group 17 to 21.
6. Must be either Airborne qualified or willing to volunteer and qualify for Airborne training.
7. Must be able to swim 50 meters unassisted, while wearing boots and the Army combat uniform (UCP), prior to beginning the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC).
8. Must have a Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB) Score of 85 or higher or a minimum 1/1 Listening and Speaking as measured by the two-skill Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI)
9. Must be able to meet medical fitness standards for military service, Airborne and Special Forces as outlined in Chap. 5, AR 40-501, Standards of Medical Fitness.
10. Must have a secret security clearance and be eligible for a top secret security clearance.
11. Must not have any drug or alcohol related law violations.
12. Must not have been terminated from Airborne, Ranger, or Special Forces duty, unless termination was due to extreme family problems.
13. No officer, regardless of branch will be recruited if he is unable to reclassify from his current branch into Special Forces branch (CMF 18).
14. Must be a Resident Maneuver Captains Career Course (MCCC) graduate, before enrollment in the Special Forces Detachment Officer Qualification Course (SFDOQC). Normally, officers will attend the Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) before resident MCCC attendance.

Final Thoughts

Yes, there are Special Forces in the Army National Guard.

We would love to hear from any of you who are current or past Special Force soldiers. Tell us more please.

All comments and questions can be posted below. Now enjoy The Ballad of The Green Berets

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