The SOG Code of Silence

You will NEVER hear a real SOG Soldier Talk

Here’s a real team of heroes–a Green Beret SOG-Special Operations Group

. They don’t blow their own horns. Unlike some branches of our military, you’ll not see bestseller stories of operations they’ve been on, because they understand and truly put the honor code of silence above their longings for personal recognition. They understand that exercises in self-aggrandizement may endanger their buddies or the next generations of special operations troops. They are Army Green Berets.

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One of these men was my classmate at Bishop Byrne High School in Memphis, and we were in the Explorer Scouts together. He was one of the guiding models that led me to become a paratrooper. He would not want me to mention his name, therefore I won’t, but I will tell a very small part of his story.

He was a HALO trained and qualified Special Operations Group Green Beret, small arms specialist who made HALO insertions into Laos and Cambodia during the Vietnam War. What is HALO? Well, the acronym stands for High Altitude Low Opening. What that means is that these Army—not Marine, not SEAL—Army Special Forces, AKA Green Berets, jumped, usually from a C-130 aircraft at some ridiculously high altitude that required they use oxygen bottles till they got down (skydived) below twelve thousand feet. They followed a leader down through the sky. The leader had a small strobe light on the back of his helmet. And they pulled the ripcord on their chutes at some ridiculously low altitude, usually one where if the main chute failed, the reserve was useless.

Some of these teams left their aircraft back in the sixties to never be heard from again, their only memorial being a name on the black granite wall of the Vietnam Memorial. Think what you want about that particular war, but judge these men as the heroes they were. Facing overwhelming odds, they did what they could to stem the flow of communist soldiers coming down the Ho Chi Minh Trail, enemy troops with the sole mission of killing American soldiers in South Vietnam.

Later, my classmate went on combat deployments to Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan and some that can’t be mentioned, because they remain classified operations. No, this is not Veterans Day or Memorial Day. It’ just another day you draw a breath of the fresh air of freedom because men like these put their lives on the line for you. Enjoy it, but never forget what they did for you.

Thanks, Buddy.

You may also enjoy: Valley of the Purple Hearts and Rawlings: No Longer Young

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