Why I Joined Special Forces.


While in high school I read a book titled THOSE DEVILS IN BAGGY PANTS. This really got my interest up for airborne. Later I read a book about Otto Skorzene whom many others and I would consider the ultimate special ops commando. I think some of our opns in SOG were modeled after some of his exploits - changing road signs, putting on allied uniforms and mis-directing traffic, etc. Many troops were committed to finding him who were dearly needed at the front.

I still hadnít heard of Special Forces but I knew I wanted to be an airborne ranger. In 1963 I was working night shift in an Oscars in Van Nuys, Ca, while attending Cal St. Northridge. A dude started dropping by. He always had a beret with him. He said that he was a member of the Special Forces reserve. His name was Chritchfield. He had majorís insignia but I think he was a Captain while on active duty. He may have been blowing smoke, but he knew everything there was to know about Smoke Bomb Hill - he said he was in the 77th SFGA. This was my introduction to the fact that Special Forces existed. During my 7th semester, I managed to fail Qualitive Analysis twice, (This is a story in itself). Anyway I quit school and enlisted in the army. I wanted to be Special Forces but was told they only accepted prior service NCOs. So I enlisted Airborne unassigned. The recruiter neglected to tell me I could pick my MOS and still volunteer for jump school. As a result I became a 310, field communications crewman.

While in jump school they asked for volunteers for Special Forces. In retrospect I feel that among those prior service NCOs who went to training group, the most were weapons oriented. SF was going to grow and they needed commo and medics and were willing to contaminate their gene pool to get them. I volunteered and became a SF commo man. Not the most glorious MOS but a good commo man was greatly respected and protected by his fellow team members.

I never did anything for the adulation. The wings, beret, etc. were marks of achievement but I did things as personal challenges. I always wanted to prove myself to me, not others.

Terry Dahling