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Home > USASFC > 7th SFG (A) History

7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) History

The 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) was first constituted as the 1st Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Regiment, 1st Special Service Force on 9 July 1942 at Camp William Harrison, Montana. This specialized Canadian-American unit was organized and trained to conduct commando raids against Nazi Germany’s fledgling nuclear weapons capability in the Scandinavian region of occupied Europe. However, the unit was diverted to the campaign in the Aleutian Islands, where they were confronted by not only Japanese, but the brutal arctic climate. Upon successful culmination of the Aleutian Campaign, the Special Service Force was transferred to the European theater. They fought with distinction in both southern France and Italy, where they earned the nickname “The Devil’s Brigade.”

The 1st Special Service Force was disbanded in France in 1945. It was reactivated on September 1953 at Fort Bragg as the 77th Special Forces. In 1960, the Group was recognized and designated as the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces. In 1965, the Group participated in Operation POWER PACK in the Dominican Republic. Throughout the 1980s, the 7th Special Forces Group played a key role supporting democratic governments of Central America in their fight against communist insurgencies. From 1981 through 1992, 7th Special Forces Group Soldiers spearheaded Counterinsurgency Operations during the Civil War in El Salvador. Since 1987, the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) has trained host nation forces from Andean Ridge Countries for Counter-narcotics Operations.

In December 1989, 7th Special Forces Group Soldiers participated in Operation JUST CAUSE in Panama. Since 1994, 7th Special Forces Group Soldiers have participated in numerous peacekeeping operations to include Operation SAFE HAVEN in Panama and Joint Task Force Safe Border as part of the Military Observer Mission Ecuador/Peru, providing a stabilizing influence to resolve this centuries old border dispute.

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, 7th Special Forces Group has deployed the Group for combat operations in Afghanistan supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and currently provide support for Operation FREEDOM'S SENTINEL. From 2004 to 2011, 7th Special Forces Group deployed the Group for combat operations in Iraq, assisting the El Salvadorian contingent in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.

The key to our success has been and will continue to be the intelligence, maturity, judgment and interpersonal skills of the Officers, Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, and Soldiers assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne).

De Opresso Liber!

Valor Award

Roger Donlon:
In May 1964, Donlon's team was sent to Vietnam where they established an outpost at Nam Dong, about 15 miles (24 km) from the border with Laos. Early in the morning of July 6, 1964, the base was attacked by a large force of Vietcong. Under Captain Donlon's leadership, the two-battalion attack was repelled. Donlon received the Medal of Honor for his actions. Donlon later retired at the rank of Colonel.

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