Dragon DRF70392 Dragon Expo 2005 Exclusive #4: "De Oppresso Liber" 1970 - 2003 Twinpack (1:6 Scale)
"De Oppresso Liber."
- Motto of the United States Army Special Forces
The United States Army Special Forces, also known as the Green Berets because of their distinctive service headgear, are a special operations force. Army Special Forces are tasked with six primary missions: unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, direct action, hostage rescue, and counter-terrorism. The first two emphasize language, cultural, and training skills in working with foreign troops. Other duties include combat search and rescue (CSAR), security assistance, peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, humanitarian demining, counter-proliferation, psychological operations, manhunts, and counter-drug operations; other components of the United States Special Operations Command or other U.S. government activities may also specialize in these secondary areas. Many of their operational techniques are classified, but some nonfiction works and doctrinal manuals are available.
The original and most important mission of the Special Forces had been "unconventional warfare", while other capabilities, such as direct action, were gradually added.
Their official motto is De oppresso liber (supposedly meaning Latin: To Liberate the Oppressed), a reference to one of their primary missions, training and advising foreign indigenous forces.
Currently, Special Forces units are deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom. They are also deployed with other SOCOM elements as one of the primary American military forces in the ongoing War in Afghanistan. As a special operations unit, Special Forces are not necessarily under the command authority of the ground commanders in those countries. Instead, while in theater, SF soldiers may report directly to United States Central Command, USSOCOM, or other command authorities.
The Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) highly secretive Special Activities Division (SAD) and more specifically its elite Special Operations Group (SOG) recruits soldiers from the Army's Special Forces. Joint Army Special Forces and CIA operations go back to the famed MACV-SOG during the Vietnam War. This cooperation still exists today and is seen in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Dragon Hobby Expo 2005 Exclusive #4: "De Oppresso Liber" 1970 - 2003 Twinpack contains Major General (ret.) Kenneth R. Bowra as:
- "One Zero" Team Leader, MACV-SOG, Vietnam
- 5th Special Forces Group Commander, Afghanistan Sold Out!
Historical Account: "Titans" - Major General (Retired) Kenneth R. Bowra graduated as a Distinguished Military Student from the Citadel Military College of South Carolina, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Infantry branch of the U.S. Army in 1970. His initial assignment was as an airborne rifle platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne Division.
Bowra served in the Republic of Vietnam as a reconnaissance team leader ('One Zero') of Recon Teams Idaho and Sidewinder in MACV-Studies and Observations Group TF1AE (CCN). As a SOG Team Leader in Vietnam, Bowra conducted numerous deep special combat operations against North Vietnamese targets with an indigenous Montagnard team and one other American. He later served as an adviser to Cambodian Infantry Battalions, serving as an A-Team executive officer and commander.
During the period 1977-78, MG Bowra was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency. From 1983-88, Bowra served in the Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, participating in several special operations missions including deployment in the initial assault of Grenada in 1983.
As commander of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), MG Bowra designed and deployed the first-ever U.S. de-mining program in support of operations in Afghanistan. Operation Safe Passage was later adopted by the United Nations. Under his command, the 2nd Battalion of the 5th Special Forces Group also conducted numerous classified programs in support of the Afghan Mujihadeen and their resistance from Soviet occupation.
MG Bowra has commanded Special Forces units from the Operational Detachment Alpha, battalion and Group level. He formed, deployed and commanded a Joint Task Force to conduct peace-keeping operations in the Peru-Ecuador War. This multinational force is credited with stopping the conflict, the withdrawal of 10,000 combatants and demobilization of 150,000 additional belligerent forces.
In May 1996, MG Bowra assumed command of the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne) at Fort Bragg. As commanding general, he was responsible for organizing, training, equipping, readiness and world-wide employment of 10,000 Special Forces soldiers assigned to the command. These include operations in Bosnia, Central and South America, Africa, Europe and Asia. Additionally, Bowra published and implemented the first 'Human Rights' Policy which provided specific guidance and responsibilities and was critical for deployed Special Forces soldiers.
MG Bowra assumed command of the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School in March 1998. As commander, he was responsible for the institutional training base for all individual training for the Army Special Forces, Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations personnel, as well as for selected soldier from foreign countries. He additionally managed and executed the worldwide U.S. Army Security Assistance Program.
In March 2000, Bowra served as the Deputy Commander of NATO's Headquarters, Kosovo Forces. He provided oversight of all KFOR operations and served as second-in-command of the 44,000 multi-national NATO Command. He was responsible for the support of Kosovo's first-ever municipal elections, as well as for the employment of Russian forces in support of KFOR.