The modern history of 1st Special Forces Group commenced on 1 April 1956, with the activation of 14 Special Forces Operational Detachment (Area) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Hand picked from the 77th Special Forces Group (Airborne), the members of this detachment along with the 12th, 13th, and 16th SFOD’s–were specifically selected and trained for the purpose of establishing a special operations capability in the Asian-Pacific theater.
A group of new Special Forces recruits prepare for a selection process that will determine their professional future.
Tested to their physical and mental limits, not all of them will make it, but those that do will become Latvia’s elite soldiers.
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Shortly afterwards, the 12th SFOD (Regiment), 13th SFOD (Regiment), and 16th SFOD (District) were moved to Camp Drake, Japan under cover of “8231st Army Unit.”On 24 June 1957, the 1st Special Force Group (Airborne) was officially activated at Camp Drake Japan, although all its elements were either en route to Okinawa or on temporary duty in South Vietnam on that date.
Group activation ceremonies were conducted 14 July 1957 at Fort Buckner, Okinawa, following arrival of the operational detachments and the 248th Quartermaster Detachment (Rigger).A staff officer from US Armed Forces Far East was initially assigned as Group Commander, but broke both his legs on his first parachute jump and was evacuated. Scott Madding of the 14th SFOD, a highly decorated veteran who had served with Merrill’s Marauders and OSS in World War II and with Ranger and partisan units in Korea.The period 1957-1960 was a time of intensive training for 1st Special Forces.A large contingent of Republic of Korea Special Forces troops were trained in Okinawa, while 1st Group sent mobile training teams to conduct missions in Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, and South Vietnam.Simultaneously, 1st Group also conducted internal training operations to qualify Special Forces volunteers who had not been through training at Fort Bragg, as well as to cross-train qualified personnel in additional team skills.During the same period, the Group grew in strength from 55 personnel in July 1957 to 364 personnel by October 1960.