Military Trying To Get Ex-Servicemen To Join In War Effort
Posted October 19, 2001 5:26 a.m. EDT
FORT BRAGG — A U.S. official has confirmed that some American Special Forces troops are now on the ground in southern Afghanistan. The goal is to flush out Osama bin Laden. With the major role special forces will play in this fight, the military is trying to get ex-servicemen to rejoin.
The government source from the Pentagon gave no specifics about what military branch of Special Forces is involved. If it is Army, the soldiers would fall under the U.S. Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg.
Capable of going anywhere in the world, the Army's Special Forces are highly trained, light infantry units. Its soldiers have been involved in armed conflicts for more than 50 years, most recently seeing action in Operation Desert Storm.
Recognizable for wearing green berets, the Special Forces mission is broad.
Known as quiet professionals, the secretive soldiers are experts in foreign defense strategies, unconventional warfare, special reconnaissance, direct military action and counter-terrorism.
In a recent letter mailed to former green berets, the Army is asking them to rejoin. The letter says they could make an immediate impact on operational readiness.
Through the Prior Service Accession Program, the Army is targeting 1,200 Green Berets who have left in the last three years.
To rejoin, a green beret must meet certain qualifications and certifications. They also go through a refresher course. The entire acceptance process takes on average, about 60 days.
The 3rd and 7th Special Forces groups are stationed at Fort Bragg under the U.S. Special Operations Command. Shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, Special Ops confirmed a deployment order for some of its troops, but would not and will not elaborate.
The Army also has Special Forces groups at Fort Campbell, Ky., and Fort Carson, Colo., in Utah and Alabama. They all fall under the U.S. Special Operations Command, headquartered at Fort Bragg.