When you think about United States Army Special Forces personnel, the Green Berets stand out. We’ve heard the stories of their heroism, ranging Dick Balwanz and ODA 525 surviving against outrageous odds during Desert Storm to the acts of Gary Beikirch during the Vietnam War. They are very well trained (as the famous song says, “100 men we’ll test today, only three win the Green Beret”), and a single ODA can make a huge impact on any mission, especially as they reach across cultural and language boundaries.
Outside of being extremely brave and skilled with their weapons, Green Berets are also trained in operating and maintaining weaponry from foreign arsenals. Given that a primary mission of Green Berets is to help train and support foreign military forces, this lesser-known skill is quite important. Take, for instance, the Special Forces troops being sent today to work with Nigerian troops against ISIS presence in West Africa, known as Boko Haram.