Profile: 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)

Green Beret prepares goggles for parachute jump
A 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) (7 SFG (A)) Green Beret checks attached night vision device outside of a U.S. Air Force AC-130 before conducting a high altitude low opening (HALO) parachute jump at Hurlburt Field, Florida, April. 23, 2013. (Spc. Steven Young/U.S. Army)

Unconventional warfare is uniquely Special Forces. It is the soul of the Green Beret, from their predecessors in the OSS of World War II to the SF soldiers of today. Their willingness to accept the danger, isolation and hardships inherent to their mission helps define Special Forces. Their dedication is expressed in the Special Forces motto: De Oppresso Liber -- To Free the Oppressed.

The 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) became one of the U.S. military's most committed forces, spearheading coalition efforts to topple the Taliban in Afghanistan. Since that successful start to the Global War on Terrorism, Special Forces soldiers have been key players in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, firmly establishing their role as a combat multiplier by accomplishing high-risk missions that are beyond the scope and capabilities of conventional forces.

Every day, 7th Special Forces Group soldiers remain deployed around the world in support of U.S. national security and foreign policy.

7th Special Forces Group consists of a command headquarters element, three operational battalions, a group support battalion and a headquarters company. The three operational battalions have three companies each, and those companies have six operational detachments-A, better known as ODAs or A-Teams, assigned to them. The 12-man ODA is the heart and soul of the Special Forces regiment.

Special Forces units perform five doctrinal missions: foreign internal defense, unconventional warfare, special reconnaissance, direct action and counterterrorism. Special Forces soldiers employ these missions throughout the operational continuum during peacetime, conflict and war.

Special Forces units often are required to perform additional, or collateral, activities outside of their primary missions. They include coalition warfare support, combat search and rescue, security assistance, peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, counter-mine and counter-drug operations.

The 7th SFG (A) Structure

The 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) is commanded by a colonel, who is assisted by a group command sergeant major.

The group is comprised of five battalions, four Special Forces Battalions and one Group Support Battalion. The Group Support Battalion has assets to support the group headquarters and below with additional logistical, intelligence, medical and signal support soldiers.

The Battalion

The Special Forces Battalion is commanded by a lieutenant colonel, who is assisted by a battalion command sergeant major. The battalion has four companies. Among these companies are three Special Forces Companies (A Co., B Co., and C Co.) and one support company composed of support soldiers that include communications, mechanics, riggers, cooks, intelligence, personnel services, chaplain, legal and more.

The Company

A Special Forces company is commanded by a major, who is assisted by a company sergeant major. The company has six operational detachment alphas. Among these are ODAs specializing in military free fall, combat diving and mountain operations. In addition to the six ODAs, the company headquarters is known as an Operational Detachment Bravo (ODB), or "B-Team." The B-Team is composed of 11-13 soldiers and supports the A-Teams with logistical, communications and intelligence support.

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