Military Special Forces Patches History

Page 2 of 3
Information extracted from the book
"US ARMY PATCHES"
by Barry Jason Stein

Used by permission

Special forces personnel began serving in the Republic of Vietnam in 1957.  During the early days of the Vietnam military build up, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy sent special forces units to South Vietnam in a special advisory capacity.  In September 1962, United States Special Forces, Vietnam (Provisional) was formed from members of the First Group, stationed on Okinawa, and the Fifth and Seventh Groups from Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  The soldiers, operating in small units, created many patch designs, which were locally manufactured and, in many cases, handmade.  The first insignia, of course, was the beret flash, which combined the yellow from the first group, black from the Fifth, and red from the Seventh and incorporated them with a bend with bendlets that represented the flag of the Republic of Vietnam.  This flash, designed by Colonel George Morton, eventually became the insignia of the Fifth Special Forces Group.  Popular among the recon teams known as "Mike Force," which is the universal corruption of "Mobile Strike Force," was the use of state names, some of which appear here.  As state names were used up, names of snakes (for example, the Adder, Anaconda, and Cobra) became popular.  The motto "We Kill For Peace" was almost universally used by these units.  The collector will find that many of the MACV-SOG insignia can be found in hand-sewn and machine-sewn versions and in many variants.  This is due to the fact that many of the insignia were remade "in country" for new arrivals or new recon team members.  It is interesting to note that the Green Berets in many cases wore their patches inside the green beret.  It was placed there in keeping with the covert nature of their missions.  Besides recon teams, MACV-SOG also deployed exploitation teams or "hatchet teams" which were of platoon size and consisted of Americans and indigenous troops.  The most famous area of operations was along the Ho Chi Minh trail.


 Worn from:  1966 - 1969.
    RT Anaconda
CCN

Worn from:  1966 - 1969.


Worn from:  1966 - 1967. Many members of the team were Nungs (ethnic Chinese), which is indicated by the dragon.
RT Arizona
CCC
 

Worn from:  1966 - 1967.

Many members of the team were Nungs (ethnic Chinese), which is indicated by the dragon.


Worn from:  1966 - 1969.
RT Arkansas
CCC


Worn from:  1966 - 1969.


Worn from:  1967 "Tham Bao" means "intelligence."  In the center of the design is the Greek letter sigma, indicating the name of the project.  Project Sigma was an unconventional warfare operation headed by Fifth Special Forces Group (Airborne), First Special Forces.  Using ethnic Cambodian and Chinese personnel, it provided long-range and intelligence-gathering capabilities directly to the II Field Force, Vietnam commander.  It was located at Ho Ngoc Tau.
Project Sigma
Det B-56

Worn from:  1967.

"Tham Bao" means "intelligence."  In the center of the design is the Greek letter sigma, indicating the name of the project.  Project Sigma was an unconventional warfare operation headed by Fifth Special Forces Group (Airborne), First Special Forces.  Using ethnic Cambodian and Chinese personnel, it provided long-range and intelligence-gathering capabilities directly to the II Field Force, Vietnam commander.  It was located at Ho Ngoc Tau.


Worn from:  1967 The patch was worn by civilian irregular defense groups, sometimes referred to as "Mikeforce."  This was a village defense program using the Montagnards (mountain people) of the central highlands.  It was begun by the First Special Forces Group in Darlac province.  Formed in June 1965, this unit's purpose was conducting raids, ambushes, and combat patrols.  The missions called "Black Jack Operations" included border surveillance, interdiction of enemy infiltration routes, and the conduct of both reconnaissance and combat operations.
5th Mike Force
Cmd 3

Worn from:  1967.

The patch was worn by civilian irregular defense groups, sometimes referred to as "Mikeforce."  This was a village defense program using the Montagnards (mountain people) of the central highlands.  It was begun by the First Special Forces Group in Darlac province.  Formed in June 1965, this unit's purpose was conducting raids, ambushes, and combat patrols.  The missions called "Black Jack Operations" included border surveillance, interdiction of enemy infiltration routes, and the conduct of both reconnaissance and combat operations.


Worn from:  1966 - 1969. MACV -- SOG's recon teams were located at three sites: DaNang, Kontum, Ben Me Thuot.  Command and Control Central had its headquarters in Kontum.
RT California
CCC

Worn from:  1966 - 1969.

MACV -- SOG's recon teams were located at three sites: DaNang, Kontum, Ben Me Thuot.  Command and Control Central had its headquarters in Kontum.


Worn from:  1970 - 1971. The Cambodian phrase translates as "Khmer National Number One Raiders."  "Number One" was used throughout Southeast Asia to mean "the best."
SF Advisor
Cambodian
Exped Force

Worn from:  1970 - 1971.

The Cambodian phrase translates as "Khmer National Number One Raiders."  "Number One" was used throughout Southeast Asia to mean "the best."


Worn from:  1966 - 1969. MACV - SOG's recon teams were located at three sites.  Command and Control North had its headquarters in DaNang.
Recon Det Hq
CCN

Worn from:  1966 - 1969.

MACV - SOG's recon teams were located at three sites.  Command and Control North had its headquarters in DaNang.


Worn from:  1966 - 1969. In addition to recon teams, MACV - SOG deployed exploitation teams into areas occupied by the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong.  The units, which consisted of Americans and indigenous troops, were known as "hatchet teams" and they conducted operations along the Ho Chi Minh trail.
C Co CCC
Hatchet Force

 

Worn from:  1966 - 1969.

In addition to recon teams, MACV - SOG deployed exploitation teams into areas occupied by the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong.  The units, which consisted of Americans and indigenous troops, were known as "hatchet teams" and they conducted operations along the Ho Chi Minh trail.


Worn from:  1966 - 1969.
D Co
Exploitation Force

Worn from:  1966 - 1969.


Worn from:  1966 - 1969. The inscription at the top reads, "Recon Team, Cobra, To The Attack."  The inscription in Vietnamese reads "Kill for peace.  Never retreat."
RT Cobra
CCN


Worn from: 1966 - 1969.

The inscription at the top reads, "Recon Team, Cobra, To The Attack."  The inscription in Vietnamese reads "Kill for peace.  Never retreat."


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