YouTube user MH6M posted a video explaining the long and prestigious history of the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne). Oh, you’ve never heard of them? They’re only the first ever special forces group in the US Army. No big deal.
The origin of the unit can be traced back to the Lodge-Philbin Act of 1950, which allowed the US military to recruit foreign nationals. Half of the members of the 10SFG would be American, and the other half would be anti-communist foreign nationals. In theory, this diversity would give the group an edge if they ever needed to conduct partisan warfare behind Soviet lines.
Luckily, the Cold War remained cold, but the 10SFG persisted as the US military’s most elite group of soldiers. They continued training both at home and abroad, exchanging unconventional combat tactics with allies such as the UK, Germany, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Norway.
In the ‘60s, they saw action as they evacuated civilians from the newly-independent Congo, safely moving 239 civilians without a single casualty in just nine days. From there, individual soldiers worked alongside other special forces groups in the Vietnam War.
Budget cuts hit the military after the Vietnam War ended, but that didn’t slow down the 10SFG one bit. They continued to train abroad with NATO allies, and they deployed 17 mobile training teams to support the Lebanese Army. They’re also credited by General John Galvin as saving half a million Kurdish people from death at the hands of Saddam Hussein.
In 1995, members of the 10SFG were among the first US soldiers to cross the border into Bosnia. Shortly after that, they provided reconnaissance and completed search-and-rescue missions for seven years in Kosovo. As you might expect, they also has a powerful presence in Iraq — they were the first to enter Iraq prior to the invasion. Under the exceptional leadership of Col. Charles Cleveland, they executed Operation Viking Hammer, overcoming a lack of surveillance and a shortage of vehicles to accomplish the mission without a single loss of us service member.
Are you impressed by their extensive resumé, yet? That’s barely the half of it. Watch the video for a complete run-down of this incredible special forces unit. The motto of the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) is simply, “The Best.” Yeah, we’d have to agree.