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The 12th Special Forces Group (Airborne) traces its lineage from the 6th Company, 2nd Battalion, First Regiment, 1st Special Service Force, a joint Canadian-American special operations unit from World War II. The 12th Special Forces Group stood up as a Regular Army special operations unit under the 1st Special Forces in 1960 and was subsequently moved into the Army Reserve in 1969 where it reminded until deactivation in 1995.

12th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
12th SFG(A)
12SFG beret flash.svg
12th SFG(A) beret flash
Active15 April 1960 – 15 September 1995
CountryUnited States United States of America
BranchEmblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg U.S. Army 1960–1969
Seal of the United States Army Reserve.svg U.S. Army Reserve 1969–1995
TypeSpecial forces
RolePrimary tasks:
  • Unconventional warfare
  • Foreign internal defense
  • Special reconnaissance
  • Direct action
  • Hostage rescue
  • Counter-terrorism

Other roles:

  • Counterproliferation
  • Information operations
  • Humanitarian missions
Part ofSpecialForces Badge.svg 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne)
Nickname(s)Green Berets, Quiet Professionals,[1] Soldier-Diplomats, Snake Eaters
Motto(s)De oppresso liber
(U.S. Army's translation: "To Liberate the Oppressed")
EngagementsVietnam War
Operation Urgent Fury
Operation Just Cause
Gulf War
Former 12th SFG(A) recognition bar, worn by non-qualified soldiers—in lieu of a beret flash—from the 1960s to 1984[2]
US Army 12th SFG Recognition Bar.svg
1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) shoulder sleeve insignia, worn by all SFG(A)s from 1955–present
United States Army Special Forces SSI (1958-2015).png
U.S. Special Forces Groups
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11th Special Forces Group 19th Special Forces Group


Activated 9 July 1942 at Fort William Henry Harrison, Montana.

Disbanded 6 January 1945 in France.

Reconstituted 15 April 1960 in Regular Army; concurrently, consolidated with Company C, 2d Infantry Battalion and consolidated unit designated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 12th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces.

Withdrawn 14 December 1969 from the Regular Army and allotted to the Army Reserve (organic elements concurrently constituted).

Group activated 24 March 1961 with headquarters at Chicago, Illinois.

Location of headquarters changed 19 January 1964 to Oak Park, Illinois; changed 1 September 1970 to Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Elements Located at Richards Gebauer AFB in Kansas City Missouri in 1978- 80 and San Diego, California (Van Deman Hall - USAR)

The Group was deactivated, along with the 11th Special Forces Group, on 15 September 1995.[3]

Many members of the 12th SFG transferred to 20th SFG following the group's inactivation.


  1. ^ "Doug Stanton: The Quiet Professionals: The Untold Story of U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan". 24 June 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  2. ^ US Army Special Forces 1952–84, Bloomsbury Publishing, by Gordon L. Rottman, dated 20 September 2012, ISBN 9781782004462, last accessed 29 March 2019
  3. ^ 12th Special Forces Group from

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