De Opresso Liber – Special Forces

They call themselves the “Quiet Professionals,” and they are one of the most elite fighting units in our United States military. Versatility and expertise are central to the broad spectrum of missions that they can be called upon to undertake and conduct. They are the United States Army’s Special Forces (Airborne) units, which we know more commonly as the Green Berets.

I found this video on Youtube that is a compilation of the kind of training that the Special Forces troops experience in their mission to be ready to fight wars in all possible domains. In this case, you will see what various units from the National Guard from around the country are training for in the Arctic.

Photo: YouTube/Times Archives

If you don’t like the thought of being cold, this video will definitely give you the shivers. The video is taken at this year’s 2022 Arctic Edge training exercises in Alaska. Some of it is also from similar winter training exercises in Lake Margrethe in Michigan. As you will see, this training is both in military skills, such as sniper training, and also in survival skills. It is also designed to give the soldiers a physical and mental sense of what they might have to endure if they were called upon to fight in such winter conditions.

The war that my fellow Vietnam veterans and I fought in was quite the opposite of what you will see in this video. Our “domain” was mountainous, tropical jungle terrain and rice paddy fields. These soldiers are training for the frigid conditions that are most common in environments like Alaska and Siberia or in the winters that can be experienced in the northern parts of North America.

Photo: YouTube/Times Archives

Like all of our military branches today, the United States Army’s Special Forces units train for a wide variety of warfighting environments and for a wide variety of missions. Those missions include things like counterinsurgency, unconventional warfare, direct action, foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, and security force assistance.

The Special Forces were first formed in 1952 by President John F. Kennedy. The initial 10th Special Forces Group was led by Col. Aaron Bank, a veteran of WWII. Today, its most elite group is the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment (Delta SFOD-D), commonly referred to as Delta Force, which has been under the control of the Joint Special Operations Command since October 1, 2020.

Photo: YouTube/Times Archives

The motto of the Green Berets is, “De Oppresso Liber: Liberate the Oppressed.” And that phrase is as ingrained in those who have served in the Green Berets as is the phrase “Semper Fi!” to Marines.

These “Quiet Professionals” are among the nation’s best and most versatile fighting forces in the world. Today, they operate increasingly in coordination with other elite units from the other services. They are trained for the most difficult of missions in the most extreme circumstances. We are just glad that they are on our side.

De Oppresso Liber!

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