Small Wars Journal

Is Special Forces Lineage, Real or “Disinformation”? Really?

Wed, 12/05/2018 - 10:20am

Is Special Forces Lineage, Real or “Disinformation”? Really? By Steve Balestrieri - Special

There are certainly times when one is forced to scratch his own head. And others where you are just forced to throw up your hands and utter WTF! Today would be more of the latter than the former.

But I guess it really shouldn’t be a shock because as our boss Jack frequently says, “SF eats its own.” And in this case, like usual, he’s spot on.

So what’s the flap you say? Well, I’m very glad you asked. Like every Special Forces soldier that came before me and those that followed, we learned our legacy, like Moses coming down from the mountain about where we sprung from, what our true lineage is and the debt we owe to those we followed in World War II.

The current day Special Forces came from the wartime, World War II OSS. OSS, the brainchild of William “Wild Bill” Donovan was created at the beginning of the war and by war’s end numbered around 13,000 personnel, of which about half was stationed overseas.

OSS not only gave birth to the modern-day Special Forces groups but to CIA as well. OSS espionage operatives set up stations in foreign countries where the head, the Station Chief ran all operations. That hasn’t changed, and the names and hierarchy remain the same.

But now the USASOC (US Army Special Operations Command) Historian’s Office has published an article in the official magazine “Veritas” that states that the lineage that SF has long believed to be gospel is a “fallacy” and a product of “disinformation”.

And yet if you log onto the USASOC official website…

Read on.