Pastor Butch s Corner. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! What really died at Auschwitz? President s Message

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1 JANURARY 2018 VOL 73 Chapter 16 Newsle er Organiza on and Responsibili es: Editor: Sec ons: Message from the President: Treasurers Report: Sec. Rpt (Staff Mee ng Minutes): Sick Call/Obituary: Blast from the Past: Special Recogni on: Upcoming Events: Calendar: Human Interest Story: SFA Na onal HQ Update: A er Ac on Report: Membership Info: Adver sements: Suspense: Newsle er published (Web): odd numbered month Input due to editor: even numbered month Dra due to President: even numbered month Final Dra due even numbered month Glen Craig Stephen Durfee Willi Lindner Mike Barkstrom Chaplain Butch Hall Glen Craig Mike Barkstrom Mike Barkstrom Stephen Durfee Chapter at large Stephen Durfee Jim Lessler Roy Sayer Glen Craig 1 st of each 20 th of each 27th of each 29 th of each President s Message First order of business is to wish all of our Chapter 16 Forma on, Brothers, and Family a very Merry Christmas and safe and prospers New Year! I would also like to thank the CH 16 Board, Eric, Mike and Willi for keeping me and us on track during this past year. We would moreover like to thank those that consistently support our events and ini a ves throughout the year, Organiza onal Day, The Newsle er, The Annual Picnic, Menton Week, Veterans Day Parade, Coffee Stop, and Memorial Day to name a few. With the start of a new year, I want to pose a challenge to each one of our members. That challenge is to make a commitment to do something that enhances Chapter 16. This could be things like, recruit one new member in 2018, volunteer for an event such as Veterans Day Parade, or take on a challenge to organize and event. Remember you are not alone and the board and I will leverage funds and resources to support your ideas. With that said, we are looking for three personnel to assume the du es of unfilled Chapter 16 posi ons. The first is the du es of Quartermaster who will sell and manage a new coin, shirts, glasses etc. The second is for a Public Affairs Officer that can help to manage our donor outreach and engagement plan. The last is for a Communica ons Officer that can help manage Social Media and our Website. If you have not seen the website please take a look as it give details on events and even a photo galley! The link to the website is below as well as the Official Chapter 16 Facebook Page. In closing, we have had an excellent year and we look forward to sustained best prac ces, new challenges and an even be er and more enjoyable one in Our Chapter 16 is comprised of many folks who have stood in the forma on for decades and given of themselves consistently for us. For our Chapter, to ensure longevity and increase our good done for all Special Forces members past, present and future I challenge you to step up and put in work for those on your le and right. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! SGM (Ret) Stephen P. Durfee President of Special Forces Associa on Chapter 16 Pastor Butch s Corner What really died at Auschwitz? Here's an interes ng viewpoint: The following is a copy of an ar cle wri en by Spanish writer Sebas a Vilar Rodrigez and published in a Spanish newspaper on Jan Page 1

2 It doesn't take much imagina on to extrapolate the message to the rest of Europe and possibly to the rest of the world. THIS WAS IN A SPANISH NEWSPAPER: "EUROPEAN LIFE DIED IN AUSCHWITZ" By Sebas an Vilar Rodrigez "I walked down the street in Barcelona and suddenly discovered a terrible truth Europe died in Auschwitz... We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims. In Auschwitz we burned a culture, thought, crea vity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world. The contribu on of this people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, interna onal trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. These are the people we burned. And under the pretence of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of racism, we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty, due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride. They have blown up our trains and turned our beau ful Spanish ci es into the third world, drowning in filth and crime. Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they plan the murder and destruc on of their naive hosts. And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fana cal hatred, crea ve skill for destruc ve skill, intelligence for backwardness and supers on. We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for a be er future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs. What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe. A lot of Americans have become so insulated from reality that they imagine America can suffer defeat without any inconvenience to themselves. Recently, the UK debated whether to remove The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it 'offends' the Muslim popula on which claims it never occurred. It is not removed as yet. However, this is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving in to it. It is now more than sixty years a er the Second World War in Europe ended. This e mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the six million Jews, twenty million Russians, ten million Chris ans, and nineteen hundred Catholic priests who were 'murdered, raped, burned, starved, beaten, experimented on and humiliated.' Now, more than ever, with Iran, among others, claiming the Holocaust to be 'a myth,' it is impera ve to make sure the world never forgets. How many years will it be before the a ack on the World Trade Centre 'NEVER HAPPENED' because it offends some Muslim in the United States? If our Judeo Chris an heritage is offensive to Muslims, they should pack up and move to Iran, Iraq or some other Muslim country. Boston Green Beret amputee set for another tour Marie Szaniszlo Friday, November 03, 2017 The Boston Herald THIS WAS MY REALITY : Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Lavery returned to ac on, above, a er losing his leg in the line of duty. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Lavery. Not once a er his right leg sha ered in Afghanistan in 2013, during a year of surgeries and the months spent learning to walk on a prosthe c leg, did Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Lavery consider se ling for a medical discharge or ending his Army career behind a desk. I never went through a phase like that, the 35 year old Green Beret weapons sergeant said. Within a couple of minutes, I acknowledged the fact that this was my reality. By 2015, Lavery was back in Afghanistan, the first special operator to return to combat as an above the knee amputee. My reasons for staying were the same as the ones I enlisted, the 6 foot 5 Kingston na ve said. I made an oath to protect my country. Yesterday, Lavery was inducted into the Military Alumni Hall of Fame at his alma mater, the University of Massachuse s Lowell. He is a protector of those who are unable to protect themselves, said Janine Wert, director of the school s Office of Veterans Services. Most of all, Nick is a defender of all of our freedoms. As a kid growing up in Boston, Lavery s favorite pas mes were playing soldier and ge ng into fis ights, s cking up for other kids. By the me he was a senior at Boston College High School, he was playing football and planning to enlist in the Army. But college coaches came calling, and he decided to enroll at UMass Lowell, where he studied criminal jus ce and was an outside linebacker. A er he earned his bachelor s degree in 2007, Lavery made good on his plans to enlist and joined the elite Special Forces, also known as the bearded ones or the quiet professionals. In four combat deployments, he was wounded three mes in Afghanistan: first in the shoulder by shrapnel from a rocket propelled grenade, then by a bullet in the face, and finally by an Afghan police officer who opened fire on Lavery s crew with a machine gun. Ins nct kicked in, and I hit the ground, he said. But when a young soldier with him froze, Lavery said he put himself between the gunman and the teenager and dragged him behind a truck. Shot once in the le leg and four mes in the right, Lavery nearly bled to death in the two hours before he underwent surgery a er he was picked up by a helicopter. Page 3

3 His bravery earned him numerous awards, including a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with V for valor and three Purple Hearts. But in the two years that followed, he had to prove that he was fit to return to combat. My command... felt what I brought to the table superseded my injuries, Lavery said. They thought it was a good return on their investment. In January, Lavery will deploy again where, he can t say. But in the mean me, he s pursuing his master s degree at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and spending me with his wife, Army Master Sgt. Toni Lavery, and their 6 month old son, Dominic. Being a dad is the best thing ever, Lavery said. If he decides to go down the road I did, great. But I think it s something sparked within you. We ll see if he catches that bug, like I did. Report: Green Beret Killed in Mali Discovered SEALs' Illicit Scheme Fox News 13 Nov 2017 Two Navy SEALs being inves gated in the strangula on death of Army Sgt. Logan Melgar in Mali in June allegedly offered the Green Beret a cut of the military money they pocketed, but he refused, according to a report. Melgar confronted the two Navy SEALs a er discovering their alleged scheme, where they reportedly took money for themselves from a fund used to pay informants, the Daily Beast reported. The two men tried to get Melgar to join the racket, but he declined the offer, the report said. Melgar later ended up dead in what appeared to be a strangula on. Whether the SEALs were involved in the death remained unclear as the inves ga on con nued. The commandos were ini ally described as "witnesses," but authori es later changed that to "persons of interest." Officials said Melgar's cause of death was "homicide by asphyxia on." Melgar, 34, was found dead June 4 at the U.S. Embassy housing he shared in Mali with several other special opera ons personnel working in West Africa on training and counterterrorism missions, the New York Times reported. There have been no charges so far in connec on with the homicide, but two member of SEAL Team 6 the famous counterterror unit that killed Osama Bin Laden in 2011 were placed on administra ve leave, pending inves ga on, according to the Times. The SEALs reportedly told their military leaders that they found Melgar and tried to save him, according to the Daily Beast. They also said Melgar was intoxicated that night as he was taking hand to hand figh ng exercises. The autopsy, however, showed no signs of drug or alcohol usage, according to the report. Army Rushes M3A1 Recoilless Rifles to Afghanistan The U.S. Army has approved a requirement for 1,111 M3E1 Mul Role An Armor An Personnel Weapon Systems, or MAAWS. Photo: U.S. Army. POSTED BY: MATTHEW COX OCTOBER 31, 2017 The U.S. Army is rushing 1,000 new M3E1 Mul Role An Armor An Personnel Weapon Systems, or MAAWS, to Afghanistan, according to Scout Warrior. The M3E1 is the latest version of the 84mm Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle that special opera ons forces have been using since the early 1990s. It s lighter, shorter and more ergonomically designed. The Army is fast tracking acquisi on of more than 1,000 upgraded, lightweight shoulder fired weapons able to destroy enemy targets hidden behind rocks, trees and buildings, service officials told Scout Warrior. As KitUp previously reported, the Army has approved a requirement for 1,111 M3E1 Mul Role An Armor An Personnel Weapon Systems, or MAAWS. The M3E1 is part of the Product Manager Crew Served Weapons por olio, which is processing a contract to procure 1,111 M3E1s and an Urgent Material Release to field them as soon as possible. The service announced in May of 2016 that it planned to permanently assign the devasta ng an armor weapon to infantry platoons. Army light infantry units began using the M3 in Afghanistan in 2011 when the AT4 proved ineffec ve. The breech loading weapon, made by Saab North America, can reach out and hit enemy targets up to 1,000 meters away. The M3 offers the units various types of ammuni on, ranging from armor penetra on and an personnel, to ammuni on for built up areas, as well as special features like smoke and illumina on. The Reason for Helicopter Names BY V SAXENA DECEMBER 5, 2017 AT 3:31PM For years, some liberals have complained about the military s long me habit of naming helicopters a er Na ve Americans, claiming that names such as the Apache, the Black Hawk, the Lakota, etc. count as slurs. But these simpleminded bellyachers know absolutely nothing about the beau ful history behind these meaningful names. Thankfully, the staff at the U.S. Army Avia on Museum in Fort Rucker, Alabama, is able to fill in the blanks. Speaking three years ago with Medium contributor Maj. Crispin Burke, an ac ve duty U.S. Army aviator, the museum s staff explained that the tradi on began with Army Gen. Hamilton Howze, a 20th century military figure and a towering force in the development of the U.S. copter strategy, according to The New York Times. Page 3

4 According to the museum director, early Army helicopters had rela vely benign names like Hoverfly, Burke reported. That apparently didn t sit well with Gen. Hamilton Howze, one of the pioneers of air mobile warfare. Bob Mitchell, the museum s curator, pointed out that Howze envisioned the helicopter as a fast, mobile, stealthy machine on the field of ba le using terrain and vegeta on to an advantage similar to the Warrior Tribes that fought the U.S. Army in the Plains and mountains of the West. Because of Howze s influence, the Army commissioned a copter in 1947 that wound up being called the H 13 Sioux. The rest is history, Mitchell said. Not quite. Piston powered whirlybirds like the Shawnee, Choctaw and Chickasaw soon followed, Burke wrote. In 1959, the Army christened its first turbine powered helicopter the UH 1 Iroquois, although aircrews would universally refer to their beloved ride as the Huey. However, in the 1960s the military broke with this newfound tradi on and introduced a new helicopter, the HueyCobra, that it named a er a snake. Here s the kicker. Burke wrote: Nevertheless, some Na ve American leaders were actually taken aback that the new aircra wasn t named for a Na ve American tribe. Indeed, though Army officials broke with tradi on in an effort to not offend Na ve American tribes, the gesture actually backfired. Because of the backlash, the military wound up returning to the tradi on of naming helicopters a er Na ve Americans much to the tribes approval. Since then the military has con nued to name new helicopters a er tribes that historians have noted for their mar al prowess, Burke wrote. The Green Beret Affair By Bob Seals By the year 1969 United States involvement in South Vietnam was in its fourth year with no end in sight. Major U.S. ground combat forces, to include elite paratroops and marines, had been first commi ed in country during the spring of The figh ng had increased in scale and intensity un l by 1969 U.S. military strength stood at 536,000 on the ground. The Navy s 7 th Fleet in the Tonkin Gulf and the Air Force Strategic bombers flyin from bases on Guam and Thailand provided major sea and air support for the U.S. forces on the ground. The South East Asia Treaty Organiza on Na ons of Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand and the Philippines would provide another 62,000 allied troops figh ng against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Communist forces. The Vietnam War, and peace talks in Paris, con nued to drag on in 1969 with li le end in sight. The year of 1969 would also see one of the most interes ng, controversial and li le understood events of the Vietnam War, the Green Beret Affair. This affair, involving the iden fica on and execu on of a Communist Viet Cong double or triple agent by the U.S. Army Special Forces Working with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), is an illustra ve example of the morally ambiguous nature of modern day unconven onal warfare. Such issues are s ll being faced by our Special Opera ons Forces in the current Global War on Terror (GWOT). I will a empt in this ar cle to examine the Green Beret Affair from 1969 and outline how similar issues are faced daily by our forces around the Globe. In many respects the war in Southeast Asia was tailor made for the newest and most controversial force in the U.S. Army, the Special Forces (SF). Special Forces would be popularly known as the Green Berets much to the chagrin of the troopers themselves, who were quick to point out to outsiders that they were not a headgear but a highly trained and capable force of professionals. The beret itself, jungle green in color, was not that important or func onal but was a highly emo onal symbol at least to the s ff necked conven onal Army, of the a tude of the man who wore it, unconven onal more concerned with substance over form, and quite willing to defy conven ons in order to accomplish a mission. The troops themselves were fascina ng, a unique organiza on that a racted square pegs that o en would not fit into the round holes of the spit and polish Conven onal Army. Ranks were full of colorful nonconformists and extremely dedicated soldiers such as the Eastern European Lodge Act enlistees who volunteered for service in the American Army and SF in the hopes of returning to their homeland with a victorious force. SF was probably the closest organiza on to the French Foreign Legion that the American Army had, and made many uncomfortable. Their willingness to defy conven on and discipline at mes, would prove troublesome to many in the Army. Many Generals could not hide their open disdain for Special Forces, with one Army Chief of Staff in the 1960 s describing SF troops as refugees from responsibility and that they tended to be nonconformists, couldn t quite get along in a straight military system... Note: This nonconformist trend has con nued to the present day, the author is proud to report. Organized into small 12 man teams with specialist in weapons, engineering, demoli ons, medicine, communica ons and opera ons and intelligence the Special Forces Opera onal Detachment Alpha, SFODA or A Team, was, and is, a compact, highly trained small unit capable of building, healing and destroying. The Special Forces Opera onal Detachment Bravo, SFODB, or B Team provides command and control for 6 A Teams and operated as the Company Headquarters. B Detachments in Vietnam would addi onally run special projects or missions o en involving intelligence collec on and repor ng. SF soldiers were capable of opera ng independently behind enemy lines with li le outside support and could train, organize and lead resistance forces against occupying powers. Unconven onal warfare (UW), as a mission would be the bread and bu er for SF. Defined as a broad spectrum of military and paramilitary opera ons, unconven onal warfare are normally of long dura on, predominately conducted through, with or by indigenous or surrogate forces that are organized, trained, equipped, supported and directed by an external source. UW includes guerrilla warfare, subversion, sabotage, intelligence ac vi es and unconven onal assisted recovery. The troops adopted the Trojan horse from classical history as their dis nc ve unit insignia and the La n phrase De Oppresso Liber, To Liberate from Oppression, as their SF mo o. President John F. Kennedy would visit the Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg for an orienta on on Special Forces by then Brigadier General William P Yarborough, wearing an unauthorized headgear, the Green Beret. Much to the chagrin of the Army and Department of Defense, JFK would come away so impressed with Special Forces that he would shortly authorize the wear of the Page 4

5 controversial Beret and call it A symbol of excellence, a badge of courage, a mark of dis nc on in the fight for freedom. Army Special Forces would forever be linked to JFK; members of SF served in the honor guard at his funeral in November of 1963, with one of the soldiers spontaneously placing his beret on the grave at the end of the ceremony as a mark of respect. President Kennedy s legacy would be further remembered when the Special Warfare Center and the School at Fort Bragg, NC would be named the U.S. John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. The Special Forces in the Six es would go through a period where they captured the public s imagina on, beginning with the bestselling book The Green Berets by Robin Moore in The paperback book became a best seller, followed by the surprise hit song Ballad of the Green Berets by Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler, an SF soldier who had served in Vietnam and received the Purple Heart for wounds, which would ul mately become the number 1 single record in the U.S. for GI Joes, bubble gum cards, comic books and Ma el toys would all celebrate the Army Special Forces during the craze. Finally, the ul mate honor would be accorded the force in 1968 when John Wayne would produce and star in the ac on film The Green Berets, with David Janssen and Jim Hu on. The strongly an communist, and pro South Vietnam film, was a labor of love by Mr. Wayne, a staunch supporter of the war, who was openly disgusted by the an war protest movement in the United States at the me. All of this would have a profound effect on many American youths coming of age, to include the author, who can remember receiving a miniature Green Beret one year as a Christmas present during that meframe, a foretaste of things to come years later. Army Special Forces was born in 1952, the brainchild of World War II Office of Strategic Service (OSS), and Philippine Island Guerrilla veterans. These veterans, such as Colonels Russ Volkman, Aaron Bank and Wendell Fer g had come out of the Second World War convinced of the effec veness of unconven onal warfare in an era of pushbu on warfare and atomic weapons. They had seen firsthand, the effec veness of unconven onal warfare against heavy handed occupying powers such as Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan. To use and example from both major theaters of war, accepted figures are that ul mately upwards to 200,000 were involved in the resistance in occupied Europe and some 250,000 in the Philippines a er Japanese occupa on in It is difficult to quan fy exactly how effec ve the pro Allied resistance movements were in Europe and Asia but General Eisenhower is said to have said that the force of the Resistance in Europe had done the work of some 15 Divisions and had shortened the Second World War by two months. The Army was not par cularly keen upon the unconven onal warfare concept in general but saw the u lity of using a group of misfits and foreigners in Europe against the expected Soviet led blitzkrieg from the east. Thus, the 10 th Special Forces Group (Airborne)(10 th SFGA) was formed in 1952 under the command of Colonel Aaron Bank, an OSS/SOE veteran and shipped to West Germany. The expected onslaught never occurred from the Soviets but SF trained hard throughout Europe and soon proved its worth to the Big Army. Addi onal SF forces were formed to include the 77 th SFGA at Fort Bragg in North Carolina and the 1 st SFGA in Okinawa. New roles and missions in addi on to the US and the familiar one of training poten al guerrillas against expected communist invasions, emerged. One of these new missions included assis ng friendly governments in the Foreign Internal Defense (FID) mode, mainly training Allied Armies to resist insurgencies. The gauntlet had been flung by Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in 1961 who would pledge support for Wars of Na onal Libera on throughout the World, a communist challenge to the free World that would not go unanswered. SF would soon be one of the instruments of choice throughout the 1960 s in resis ng these Wars of Na onal Libera on. A er the departure of the French from the states of Indochina, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the wake of the disastrous defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, a power vacuum existed in Southeast Asia. All French troops and trainers le the area leaving behind weak governments and Armies a emp ng to combat unrest and communist led insurgencies. A limited program of assistance was begun by the U.S. Government in support of these pro Western Governments to include economic and military assistance. Enter ins tu ons such as the CIA and SF. In 1956 Army Special Forces Detachments would be stood up in Okinawa and soon began training Allied Armies in Taiwan, Thailand and South Vietnam. In South Vietnam, SF teams working with the CIA, was soon training indigenous cadres in unconven onal warfare and long range Ranger type opera ons. It is interes ng to note that the first SF soldier, Cpt Harry Cramer was killed in 1957 near Nha Trang, a foreshadowing of sacrifices to come. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Special Forces were joined at the hip in Vietnam, both working and relying upon each other for be er or worse. Both ins tu ons were probably more similar than each wanted to admit as they represented the beau ideal of a Kennedy inspired muscular response to the communist led challenge of the Wars of Na onal Libera on. Roles and missions for the CIA and SF would overlap and conflict at mes, causing fric on inherent in War. Both were involved in various counter insurgency programs to include collec ng intelligence on the communist enemy and training and advising our South Vietnamese Allies. For SF the War in Vietnam would include various highly classified programs to include cross border opera ons into Laos and Cambodia, in addi on to gathering intelligence and running agent networks in support of opera ons. Since the Bay of Pigs disaster in 1961, the CIA or Agency, as many then and now refer to it, had moved away from such large scale military and paramilitary type opera ons to concentrate upon moer tradi onal ac vi es to include intelligence collec on and analysis. The Agency had been deeply involved in Southeast Asia just as long as Special Forces. Many of their intelligence oriented programs, with an appropriate code name, in South Vietnam would involve both the CIA and SF. The Phoenix Program was one of these intelligence programs. The Phoenix Program was born of the desperate need to iden fy and eliminate Communist Viet Cong infrastructure hidden deep within the South Vietnamese Civilian popula on. The Communist insurgency in the south was organized along classic Maoist cellular lines, with covert units responsible for everything from logis cs and procurement to guerrillas and secret police. Phoenix, using Vietnamese agents run or controlled by Americans, quickly achieved results but became known as an infamous terror and assassina on program. In each of the 44 Provinces of South Vietnam CIA run Interroga on Centers were established to process suspects. And process they did as the numbers rolled in 17,000 asking for Amnesty, 28,000 captured and 20,000 killed in ac on. Saigon and Washington were heartened by such numbers but others were not so sanguine. A State Page 5

6 Department Official who was an advisor to the South Vietnamese stated that It was a unilateral American Program, never recognized by the South Vietnamese Government. CIA representa ves recruited, organized, supplied and directly paid Counter Terror Teams, whose func on was to use Viet Cong Techniques of Terror Assassina ons, Abuses, Kidnappings and In mida on against the Viet Cong Leadership. The numbers were impressive however; one analyst would claim They assassinated a lot of the wrong damn people. Excesses were definitely commi ed and old scores se led as less then trustworthy informants pursued individual vende as. All true, but one must remember that the individuals involved in intelligence and unconven onal warfare o en deal with unsavory characters. Eventually William Colby, CIA Official in Charge of all ac vi es in Asia, himself an old OSS veteran of World War II, had to issue a reminder to all that torture and assassina on were not part and parcel of the Phoenix Program. Addi onally he informed all involved with the program that if individuals found the Phoenix Program so distasteful on moral grounds, due to the excesses commi ed by our Allies, they could be immediately reassigned with no harm to their subsequent careers. Soldiers to include Special Forces would not be given such an opportunity for reassignment. They would con nue, then as now to be bound by the Laws of War and Military Jus ce System, no ma er how imperfect. To the uninformed the concept of rules and regula ons limi ng warfare may seem strange, a er all is it not true that All s fair in love and War, to use a somewhat hackney phrase. The Laws of War, again which all military personnel are bound by, tolerate no such grey areas as the Phoenix Program or targeted assassina ons, at least in theory. A empts to modify or regulate behavior in warfare are as old as War itself, with numerous examples going back almost to the dawn of me. Alexander the Great, in 335 B.C. is said to have informed his troops before assaul ng a besieged town that Do not destroy today what will be yours tomorrow, a clear a empt to moderate the loo ng of a city a er it had fallen, acceptable behavior in Warfare during the Classical Period. Plato in the Republic wri ng on War, a empted to establish the principle of burial for the dead and prohibi on on despoiling the dead a er the heated fury of ba le had passed. Later in the middle Ages addi onal rules limi ng Warfare became established prac ce, at least in Europe due to the efforts of the Roman Catholic Church. Restric ons on targets began to be codified to include prohibi ng the a acking of churches, religious buildings and Priests or Nuns by Armies. In modern language these were protected places or forbidden targets. Addi onally the concept of non combatants began to be understood with the sick, old, women and children no longer considered worthy opponents. Other influences toward modera ng War me behavior would include the forma on of the Interna onal Commi ee of the Red Cross in Switzerland in 1863 by Henri Dunant and Interna onals agreements in the 20 th Century designed to control the impact of War both on par cipants and bystanders. The Hague Conven on Number 4 of 1907 and the Four Geneva Conven ons of 1949 would establish beyond a doubt the Law of War. Purposes of the Law of War would be many but would mainly exist for three purposes, 1. To protect combatants and noncombatants from unnecessary suffering, 2. To safeguard fundamental human rights of persons who fall into the hands of the enemy, par cularly prisoners of war, the wounded and sick, and civilians not involved in the hos li es, 3. To facilitate the restora on of peace. However the communist na ons of our globe would claim not to be bound by any such Laws of War, and would infamously mistreat any prisoners who fell into their hands as War Criminals. American soldiers to include the Special Forces, would con nue to be bound by such Laws of War, even in the unconven onal war going on in Vietnam. All U.S. Army Special Forces in 1968, operated under the control of 5 th Special Forces Group headquartered at Nha Trang, on the Southeast Coast of South Vietnam. Colonel Robert B. (Bob) Rheault took command of the 5 th SFGA in Vietnam in May of Colonel Rheault was a 1946 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy who had missed the Second World War but would go on to win the Silver Star, our Na on s third highest combat decora on figh ng in Korea. Rheault was a unique officer in a unique force, addi onally he was independently wealthy coming from an old Boston family. He spoke French without a flaw, would be educated at Phillips Exeter Academy, West Point and finally the University of Paris for a Masters Degree in Interna onal Rela ons. No Stranger to Special Forces, his ini al tour was with the 10 th SFGA in Germany during the late 1950 s Colonel Rheault would a end the SF Qualifica on Course, the Q Course in 1961, and would Command the 1 st SFGA on Okinawa before being assigned to Vietnam to take Command of the 5 th SFGA. It would probably be no exaggera on to say Rheault was one of the most respected and beloved officers ever in SF, a must promote to General Officer Rank if his Command and career had not been ended prematurely by the Green Beret Affair. In 1969 Special Forces Detachments or A Teams were placed throughout the country in 80 or so isolated camps. The A Teams were the Point of the Spear working, living, advising, figh ng and dying with the locals. SF was uniquely posi oned to gather and report intelligence. The Military Assistance Advisory Command Intelligence Officer or J 2, at one point during the war es mated that some 50% or so of all intelligence gathered daily was from SF and its sources. Some camps had such a level of Knowledge that they were able to successfully iden fy Viet Cong by name, opera ng in their area and then quietly go about elimina ng same. In order to accomplish its intelligence gathering mission in Vietnam, a number of intelligence oriented special missions would be established and given code names, similar to the Phoenix Program. One of these intelligence programs established by 5 th SFGA in country was Project GAMMA, a unilateral covert intelligence collec on opera on targeted against North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong Base Camps in Cambodia, to include the weak Cambodian Government personnel aiding and abe ng of the communists. In February of 1968 SF Detachment B 57 was transferred from Saigon to Nha Trang and officially designated as Project GAMMA Headquarters with responsibility for managing the en re program. The program itself had poten ally very serious Interna onal repercussions due to then secret B 52 Strategic Bombing missions being flown at the me against those Communist Base Camps across the border in Cambodia. If the classified program was discovered, poli cal repercussions in the U.S. and elsewhere would be most serious, given the poisonous poli cal atmosphere of the day. Personnel working on Project GAMMA were given cover as Civil Affairs (CA) and Psychological Opera ons (PSYOPS) officers augmen ng A Teams Page 6

7 near the Cambodian Border. Five collec on teams were authorized and soon had some 13 nets established with 98 codename agents providing intelligence of some manner. In October of 1968 the top intelligence officer in Vietnam on General Abrams Staff es mated that Project GAMMA was providing 65 per cent of the informa on known on North Vietnam Army (NVA) strength and loca ons in Cambodia and some 75 per cent of the same informa on known on NVA within South Vietnam. The Special Forces in Vietnam and Detachment B 57 led by Major David Crew had developed into arguably the most produc ve intelligence collec on project the U.S. had throughout Southeast Asia. It has been said that the reason that Project GAMMA was so successful was due to the fact that the South Vietnamese had been not read on to the program. As a Successful 1968 turned into 1969 for Project GAMMA it was no ced by Detachment B 57 that many extremely valuable intelligence nets and agents had began to disappear and many feared the worse, that the highly classified opera on had been compromised by a double agent. The S 3 or Opera ons Officer Captain Budge Williams, for the project felt that Project GAMMA was in danger of going under from an unseen and unknown communist spy. Other Intelligence and counter intelligence officers to include Captain Leland Brumley, Major Thomas Middleton and Chief Warrant Officer Edward Boyle became convinced also, there was a security leak somewhere in the organiza on. All began inves ga ons but made li le headway un l the spring of 1969 but discovering the unpleasant truth that some of the South Vietnamese SF working for U.S. Forces were involved in selling weapons and medical supplies to the communists. Then ironically enough a SF reconnaissance Team in a classified area across the border where U.S. Troops officially did not operate, discovered documents and a roll of film in a Communist Base Camp. When the film was developed one of the Viet Cong pictures on the roll was believed to be that of a Project GAMMA Vietnamese agent Thai Khac Chuyen. The Leak has been discovered, or had it? A er conferring with the Agency the SF soldiers involved in the inves ga on were told that the best way of handling the problem would be to get rid of the double agent, but the CIA could not authorize the execu on, somewhat disingenuously. The agent handler for Thai Khac Chuyen, Sergeant Alvin Smith iden fied him from the captured photos. It is interes ng to note that Sergeant Smith was not a Special Forces soldier but rather an intelligence specialist who had been assigned to Project GAMMA and Special Forces Sergeant Smith s supervisor, Captain Robert Marasco ordered that the agent in ques on be brought in for ques oning to include a polygraph test, which ominously the agent had not been given when recruited for Project GAMMA. If standard opera ng procedure had been followed the test would have already been conducted during his recruitment. Other doubts existed about the Vietnamese agent to include the fact that he was originally from North Vietnam, s ll had family north of the border, his English language skills were uncommonly good, and he had gone from job to job working for U.S. forces figh ng in South Vietnam with trouble always following his departure. Eventually Mr. Chuyen would undergo some ten days of rigorous interroga on and solitary confinement to include the use of polygraph tests and sodium pentothal (commonly known as truth serum ). The bad news at least for the agent, was the fact that the polygraph tests would indicate that Mr. Chuyen was no telling the truth when he denied having compromised any Project GAMMA security details and working for the Viet Cong. Addi onally the possibility existed that Chuyen was also working for the South Vietnamese Intelligence Service on the side, a triple agent. For the SF Officers of B 57 and Project GAMMA the leak that everyone had been looking for had been found. It would be distasteful but they knew what must be done. If Chuyen was turned over to the South Vietnamese Army or Na onal Police there was the chance he might go free due to the ac ons of another communist plant, and cause further damage and loss of American lives. Thus in June of 1969 three of the B 57 officers would drug Thai Khac Chuyen, put him on a boat and take him out into Nha Trang Bay, not far from the 5 th SFGA headquarters. He was shot twice in the head, weighed down with chains and dumped into the dark shark infested waters of the South China Sea. Without a doubt a killing but one could make the argument the me tested standard procedure for iden fying and elimina ng a known double agent during war me. An appropriate cover story was developed to explain the now obvious absence of the agent, if ques ons were asked he was believed to have disappeared a er being sent on a mission behind enemy lines to test his loyalty to the cause. The Group Commander Colonel Rheault, knew of the execu on and approved the execu on and cover story as above. It was then that control of the affair began to be lost never to be regained. Sergeant Smith, Mr. Chuyen s handler, began to be concerned for his security and safety and sought sanctuary with the CIA office in Nha Trang. It would not take long for that to get out even in a war zone, and soon all eight officers and noncommissioned officers involved in the execu on, to include Colonel Rheault, were arrested on charges of premeditated murder, an offense punishable under the UCMJ and confined in the infamous in country military facility known as the Long Binh Jail, or LBJ for obvious reasons. To make ma ers worse, if that was possible at the me, was the fact that Colonel Rheault had given a Four Star General, General Abrams, the cover story when asked about the agent s whereabouts. Unfortunately at least for 5 th Special Forces Group in Vietnam, the commander of all U.S. Armed Forces in Vietnam that crucial year of 1969 was General Creighton W. Abrams. General Abrams for be er or worse, was perhaps one of the most forceful and dynamic leaders in the Post World War II Army. A Graduate of the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point in 1936, Abrams has served in the old horse cavalry before the war, transi oning to Tanks and Armored Forces during the War. Figh ng in Europe, he soon proved himself to be one of the most capable young officers in the Army. Serving in both the 1 st and 4 th Armored Divisions, Abrams became one of General George S. Pa on, Junior s favorite officers. Pa on reportedly said to a reporter during the war that I s supposed to be the best Tank Commander in the Army, but I have a peer Abe Abrams. Hight praise indeed. During the Ba le of the Bulge, Abrams successfully led the Tank and Infantry Task Force that relieved the besieged 101 st Airborne Division at Bastogne in Belgium. General Abrams came out of the war one of the most decorated officers and was clearly a rising star in the Army s stable of Combat hardened Commanders. General Abrams would die in 1974 while serving as the Army Chief of Staff. The Army s high regard for him would be shown in the following Decade by naming the newest and most modern Tank, the M 1 Abrams. But along with all that capability General Abrams was a man with strong opinions. His top Intelligence Officer in Vietnam a Page 7

8 classmate from USMA, has wri en that this commonsensical, well read, sophis cated man harbored some of the longest las ng, strangest and most unusual prejudices. For one he hated hal acks, football hal acks. Abrams held another unusual and more serious bias, he disliked paratroopers. General Abrams had played sixth string football at the Academy, figh ng in the trenches of the line. This experience seems to have developed in him quite the distaste for glamorous half backs, which at some point was transferred to Airborne Forces to include Special Forces. In a Profile Piece on General Abrams in the New York Times from 1969, the writer claimed that the Post World War II Army was run by the Airborne Club which included the Special Forces and that Abrams as a square shoo ng, tradi onal soldier, he was shocked when some of the dirty tricks customary in Green Beret ac vity became known to him forcefully, and believed that ba les should be fought with feet planted firmly on the ground and that making a fe sh out of jumping out of airplanes is puerile. It is probably not surprising that General Abrams never volunteered for or served a tour of duty with any airborne unit. I believe this is most unfortunate given the fact that he would have perhaps developed a be er understanding of Airborne or Special Forces purposes and func ons. Thus when the Green Beret Affair would surface the Special Forces would most definitely not have a friend in Court. The ar cle 32 inves ga on held by the U.S. Army in Vietnam, before General Courts Mar al against all eight, quickly became engulfed in a firestorm of publicity. Most of the American public and the Special Forces, believed that Colonel Rheault and all involved had been made scapegoats for a ma er that reflected poorly upon the Army. One former member of the Special Forces in Vietnam commented to the author that We were thunderstruck, and thought what did he, (Colonel Rheault) do wrong? Na onal Newspapers and Television picked up the story most likely due to the involvement of the Special Forces and the Affair became another lightening rod for Pro and An War feelings. The hearing in Vietnam became somewhat of a Circus a er one of the Army Defense Lawyers for the 8 soldiers, Judge Advocate General Captain John Stevens Berry, called General Abrams and CIA Officials to the witness stand. Both declined to get involved in the proceedings and tes fy. Finally in September of 1969 the Secretary of the Army Stanley Resor announced to all that all charges would be dropped against the 8 soldiers charged since the CIA, in the interests of Na onal Security, had refused to make its personnel available as witnesses, therefore making any manner or a fair trial impossible. Colonel Rheualt requested immediate re rement from the Army and all others charged in the Affair had their careers effec vely ended, also leaving the Service a erwards. The affair con nued to have unfortunate repercussions for Special Forces and the Army. General Abrams a er having Colonel Rheault arrested on murder charges, had one of his Headquarters Staff Officers, Colonel Alexander Lemberes, assigned to take over Command of the 5 th Special Forces Group in Vietnam. The obvious problem with the assignment was that this officer was neither a Qualified Parachu st nor Special Forces Officer. A bit like having a United Methodist Preacher assigned to a Roman Catholic Church, a bit nonsensical at best. When Colonel Lemberes a empted to wear an unearned Green Beret in his new command, the 5 th SFGA Command Sergeant Major told him in no uncertain terms to take the Beret off. Eventually the Army Chief of Staff, General Westmoreland, no stranger to the Airborne would step in and assign a qualified Officer to Command Special Forces in Vietnam. By the end of 1969 the Green Beret Affair would be over, but ques ons raised and issues involved would come back again years later. The 1969 Green Beret Affair brought up issues that con nue to resonate in our Global War on Terror with SF con nuing to operate in that shadowy World of Unconven onal Warfare. Occasionally these issues surface and come to the a en on of the Press and American Public as per the 3 rd SFGA Special Forces Detachment that faced recent charges of premeditated murder for shoo ng an Enemy Combatant. Last year on 13 October 2006 at the small village of Srer Kalay near the Pakistan Border. Members of the Special Forces Opera onal Detachment Alpha 372 of 3 rd Ba alion, 3 rd Special Forces Group posi vely iden fied and killed Nawab Buntangyar, and Afghan Na onal on the approved Opera on Enduring Freedom target list. Spo ed outside a residen al compound, dressed in civilian clothes, not wearing a uniform, or carrying a weapon, Buntangyar was shot in the head while speaking to the local police from 100 yards away by a concealed SF sniper. The enemy target had been involved in suicide and roadside bombing a acks. Thus the takedown of the target, an enemy combatant, was considered a textbook example of a classified mission completed in accordance with the American rules of engagement. But for reasons that s ll remain vague, murder charges were preferred against the SF Detachment Commander, a Captain and the Opera ons Sergeant, a Master Sergeant. Once again, just as in 1969, an Ar cle 32 hearing was held, as per the Uniform Code of Military Jus ce (UCMJ) before a General Courts Mar al. Both soldiers were charged with viola ng Ar cle 118 of the UCMJ, premeditated murder. Once again SF soldiers became the objects of Na on Press a en on to include two ends of the ideological spectrum, the New York Times and Fox News Network and Bill O Rilley. However a er the hearing the Two Star General in charge of all SF at Fort Bragg dismissed the charges, an outcome just as in An isolated incident perhaps but an illustra ve example of the rules of engagement that our soldiers operate under on a daily basis, where a split second decision made on the ba lefield to shoot or not shoot can be reviewed later in the cool comfort of the Courtroom. This is a level of oversight that will con nue, even in the shadowy World of SF and Unconven onal Warfare. Army Special Forces will con nue to work with the CIA, FBI and other Agencies, commonly referred to in today s lexicon as Other Government Agencies or OGAs. One could say some of the OGAs at mes may not be bound by laws and rules, but our Armed Forces are. Make no doubt, Rules of Engagement carefully drawn up by Military Lawyers will con nue to govern what our troops can or cannot do, with Legal Review from Higher is always a possibility. Conclusion In the end what would the Green Beret Affair signify? Was it as one author has suggested, a sort of a Cain Mu ny of the Vietnam War, raising complex issues of morality, murder and professional jealousy? Was the execu on of an iden fied double or perhaps triple agent, murder or simply standard opera ng procedure old as warfare itself? Did General Abrams and the Army leap upon the case in order to make a point and discredit and discipline an unruly child, Special Forces? The Affair was ul mately a tragedy. Commi ed and capable Officers found themselves on two sides of a chasm in Warfare. On one side World Page 8

9 War II era Officers to whom events were black and white, right and wrong. The other side was a younger genera on, less respec ul of rules and regula on perhaps, but completely commi ed to winning. Both main player in the Affair, Colonel Reault and General Abrams were graduates of the Military Academy at West Point, separated in me by 10 years. That is where the similari es end. The Affair became a clash of Philosophies, World Views and Personali es. Ul mately we will never know whether or not the executed agent, Thai Khac Chuyen was truly working for the Communist Viet Cong, the American Special Forces, the South Vietnamese Government, or a combina on of all three. Evidence suggests that he was guilty of a least a emp ng to conceal the truth, a dangerous game and one that led to his execu on in the summer of He became just another causality in Unconven onal Warfare. As we have seen above the 1969 Vietnam Green Beret Affair is not unique as our Forces con nue to face similar moral and legal issues daily in the current Global War on Terror. However as seen above, all Americans can take comfort in the fact that even our Best and Brightest remain subject to the Law of War and Military Jus ce. That is one certainty in an uncertain War that will not change. Amazing SS Warrimoo The passenger steamer SS Warrimoo was quietly knifing its way through the waters of the mid Pacific on its way from Vancouver to Australia. The navigator had just finished working out a star fix and brought the master, Captain John Phillips, the result. The Warrimoo's posi on was LAT 0º 31' N and LON ' W. The date was 31 December "Know what this means?" First Mate Payton broke in, "We're only a few miles from the intersec on of the Equator and the Interna onal Date Line". Captain Phillips was prankish enough to take full advantage of the opportunity for achieving the naviga onal freak of a life me. He called his navigators to the bridge to check & double check the ships posi on. He changed course slightly so as to bear directly on his mark. Then he adjusted the engine speed. The calm weather & clear night worked in his favour. At mid night the SS Warrimoo lay on the Equator at exactly the point where it crossed the Interna onal Date Line! The consequences of this bizarre posi on were many: The forward part (bow) of the ship was in the Southern Hemisphere & in the middle of summer. The rear (stern) was in the Northern Hemisphere & in the middle of winter. The date in the a part of the ship was 31 December In the bow (forward) part it was 1 January This ship was therefore not only in:two different days, Two different months, Two different years, Two different seasons But in two different centuries all at the same me. J. K. Wright Memorial Breakfast at Carr s Restaurant 11/4/2017 Veteran s Day Parade Auburn, WA with lunch at the Longhorn BBQ a er 11/11/2017 Page 9

10 Chapter XVI Buffet Breakfast at Patriot s Landing, Dupont 11/18/2017 Chapter XVI (North Recon) at Gene Finney s Home 11/18/2017 Dinosaur Luncheon at Super Buffet, Dupont 11/24/2017 J. K. Wright Memorial Breakfast at Carr s Restaurant 12/2/2017 1st SFGA Menton Week Memorializa on and Dedica on Ceremony 12/4/2017 First in Asia Ball Greater Tacoma Conven on Center 12/8/2017 Dinosaur Luncheon at Super Buffet, Dupont 12/29/2017 Page 10

11 Chapter XVI Special Forces Associa on Quartermasters Store The Quartermasters Store has Special Forces Crest Uniform and Blazer Bu ons for Sale. They can replace the Army Dress Uniform or the SF Associa on Blazer Bu ons. They really look sharp. The Bu ons are $5.00 a piece. A set of 4 Large and 6 small are $ If you would like them mailed there is a shipping and handling cost of $4.50. We also have a number of other Items of SF interest. We also have SF T Shirts, hats, jackets, SFA Flashes, SF Door Knockers, Belt Buckles, Money clips and numerous other Items of Special Forces interest. 1st SFG(A) Ar facts The current 1st SFG(A) Commander is solici ng support from former 1st SFG(A) unit members for dona on of ar facts that could be displayed in the units Regimental Mess area at Fort Lewis. He has his PAO officer working on the project and he is asking for items that could be secured in display cabinets for viewing by guests who use the facility for ceremonies, re rements and other ac vi es. Hank Cramer is planning to donate some uniform items that his dad wore in Vietnam and others from SFA Chapter and First In Asia Associa on are pu ng out feelers to our community. If interested, please contact Major Jason Waggoner at Looking For Historical 10th SFG(A) Items Assistance Requested for Group Foyer POCs: SSG Ryan Sabin OR Andy Tyler Public Affairs NCOIC 10th SFG (A) We are looking for any historical items and photos that will cover the following areas. I a ached the history outline that we will be following. These items will be used in the HHC foyer and we are trying to tell the 10th SFG(A) story Ac va on of 10th SFG (A) 1953 Bad Tolz Authoriza on of the wear of the Green Beret 1962 CPT Roger Pezzelle Trojan Horse Unit Insignia SF Soldiers opera ng in; western and eastern Europe, clandes ne organiza ons in England, France, Norway, Germany, Greece, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. Fort Devens JOINT ENDEAVOR and PROVIDE COMFORT Opera on Desert Storm Panzer Kaserne Task Force Viking Page 11

12 I am delighted to invite you to join me in celebra ng the recent publica on of my book. Titled Captain Ron Flying Life s Longitudes and Latitudes The book Explores the fascina ng life and mes of Ron Rismon. I am looking forward to seeing you all enjoy and share my work. To Order Books will be sold for $ $20.00 Shipping. Call (253) Or E mail: Page 12

13 Hotel San Blas This is a story about a primi ve three room hotel res ng atop a coral island on the north coast of Panama no electricity, no running water, no telephone, and guests must bring their own food. Everyone who comes to the hotel has life changing experiences including Dr. Roger Feldman. At the height of the war in Vietnam, Feldman s near idyllic life at a small mid western college is sha ered by a campus an war demonstra on and news from the war zone. Frustrated by government stone walling, he jeopardizes his career and goes on a quest to find the man who can tell him how and why his brother died in the war a war Roger Feldman hates. The U.S. Army Green Beret who can answer his ques ons has disappeared into the wilds of Central America. Roger s search takes him to the hotel. There he encounters a new and unfamiliar world, and new challenges, both emo onal and physical. He s forced to make cri cal decisions about his future. Hotel San Blas: A Caribbean Quest is a great read! Walker has wri en a non war war story that should appeal to a wide range of readers. The book is replete with believable characters, both good guys and bad. The se ng is portrayed in a way to make the reader want to go there or somewhere like that tropical paradise isolated from traffic, cell phones, CNN and all the rest of daily minu ae. Good story. Well told. Writer s Digest. Stephen John Walker is a former Green Beret who spent several years in Panama and Vietnam. He is an award winning author whose short stories have appeared in The Pen and The Key, The Paragon Journal, Ricky s Back Yard, and Military Experience and the Arts. Hotel San Blas: A Caribbean Quest was selected as a finalist in the 2017 Next Genera on Indie Book awards. Hotel San Blas: A Caribbean Quest is available from Amazon as a Kindle Ebook. Page 13