Local News

Elite, Secret Vietnam Soldiers Are Recognized For Heroism

Posted April 3, 2001

— An elite Army Special Operations group is now being honored, after years of government denials that it ever existed. Members of the secret Special Forces group, who operated behind the lines in Vietnam, were recognized Wednesday at Fort Bragg for their accomplishments.

Almost 30 years after the MACV-SOG unit was deactivated, members gathered to receive the Presidential Unit Citation. No film exists of what the men did, because the government denied their existence.

The citation honors the group "for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an armed enemy" between 1964 and 1972.

The soldiers took the battle to the enemy in clandestine operations. Deep behind enemy lines, the men of MACV-SOG conducted special reconnaissance on the Ho Chi Minh trail, called in B-52 strikes and rescued downed pilots in the Vietnam jungle.

Retired Army Maj. John Plaster pushed for recognition of the group.

"I would say that this is probably the greatest group of unsung heroes of the Vietnam War," he said.

The Presidential Unit Citation requires that the unit as a whole must display the same degree of heroism that would earn the Distinguished Service Cross for an individual.

More than 300 SOG soldiers were lost, and more than 50 of them are missing in action.


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