19th Special Forces Group

The 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) [19th SFG(A)] is one of two National Guard groups of the United States Army Special Forces. 19th Group—as it is sometime called—is designed to deploy and execute nine doctrinal missions: unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, direct action, counter-insurgency, special reconnaissance, counter-terrorism, information operations, counterproliferation of weapon of mass destruction, and security force assistance.[4] Headquartered in Draper, Utah, with detachments in Washington, West Virginia, Ohio, Rhode Island, Colorado, California and Texas, the 19th SFG(A) shares responsibility over Southwest Asia with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), and the Pacific with the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne).[5][6][7] Company A, 2nd Battalion is one of several National Guard units with colonial roots.

19th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
19th SFG(A) beret flash
Active1 May 1961 – present
Country United States
BranchEmblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg United States Army
Seal of the United States Army National Guard.svg Army National Guard
TypeSpecial Forces
  • Unconventional Warfare (UW)
  • Foreign Internal Defense (FID)
  • Direct Action (DA)
  • Counter-Insurgency (COIN)
  • Special Reconnaissance (SR)
  • Counter-Terrorism (CT)
  • Information Operations (IO)
  • Counterproliferation of WMD (CP)
  • Security Force Assistance (SFA)
Part ofTitle 32: Utah Army National Guard
Title 10: 1st Special Forces Command
Garrison/HQDraper, Utah
Motto(s)Anything, Any Place, Any Time
EngagementsWar on Terror
COL Larry L. Henry
Former 19th SFG(A) recognition bar, worn by none-special operations qualified soldiers—in lieu of a beret flash—from the 1960s to 1984[3]
US Army 19th SFG Recognition Bar.svg
1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) distinctive unit insignia, worn by all SFG(A)s and 1st SFC(A)
SpecialForces Badge.svg
1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) shoulder sleeve insignia, worn by all 1st SFC(A) units
United States Army Special Forces SSI (1958-2015).png

U.S. Special Forces Groups
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12th Special Forces Group 20th Special Forces Group


The parent unit was constituted on 5 July 1942 in the Army of the United States as the 1st Company, 1st Battalion, Third Regiment, 1st Special Service Force, a combined Canadian-American organization. This unit was activated on 9 July 1942 at Fort William Henry Harrison, Montana, then disbanded on 6 January 1945 in France.

19th Group was constituted on 15 April 1960 in the Regular Army as Headquarters, 19th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces. One year later, on 1 May 1961, the unit was allotted to the Army National Guard; 19th Group was concurrently organized from existing units in Utah with headquarters at Fort Douglas. Continuous reorganization developed over the next three decades, and by 1 September 1996, the unit consisted of elements from the Utah, California, Colorado, Ohio, Rhode Island, Washington, and West Virginia Army National Guards.

During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, a company element from the 19th SFG was attached to TF Dagger as were several regular and National Guard infantry companies to provide FOB security and to act as a QRF. As the prospect of war grew A company, 1st Battalion, 19th SFG, were tasked with liaison roles supporting conventional forces: ODA 911 and ODA 913 were to support the I MEF; ODA 914 was divided into two elements, one supporting the 3rd Infantry Division with ODA 916 and the other supporting British Forces; ODA 915 was attached to the 101st Airborne Division; and ODA 912 was tasked with providing PSD for General Harrell, the commander of CFSOCC (Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command).[8] p. 89

On 1 October 2005, 1st Special Forces was redesignated as the 1st Special Forces Regiment. Today's unit designation - Headquarters, 19th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces Regiment - was then established.

19th Group operators attend the same special operations training as their active duty counterparts. The unit deploys elements to conduct special, irregular, and counterterrorist operations in various places around the world. Their official motto is De Oppresso Liber (Latin: "From oppressed [to] free"), a reference to one of their primary missions to train and assist foreign indigenous forces.

In September 2014, the Huffington post reported that members of the 19th SFG were deployed to Camp Ram Ram in Morocco to take part in Operation Enduring Freedom – Trans Sahara.[9]

Green Berets from the 19th SFG took part in the War in Afghanistan (2015–present); A Company, 1st BTN, 19th SFG was deployed to Afghanistan in July 2015 and several members were decorated for their actions during December 2015 and January 2016.[10] On 5 January 2016, during a major operation assisting Afghan forces reclaiming territory held by the Taliban. SSG Matthew McClintock of A Company, 1st BTN, 19th SFG was killed by small arms fire during an hours long battle in the Marjah district, Helmand Province.[11][12]

Controversially, from June 1 to June 7, 2020, during the George Floyd protests, members of the 19th SFG were deployed to Washington, DC and stationed outside the White House. Photos began to circulate of soldiers wearing the arrowhead patch and the Special Forces Tab. Questions rose as to why Special Forces soldiers were needed. On June 4, National Guard commanders made the decision to pull the Special Forces patches off the uniform in an attempt to avoid sending the wrong message.[13]



On 13 November 2001, the following units of the 19th SFG were called to active duty:

  • A Company, 1st Bn/19th SFG—Fort Lewis, Washington
  • B Company, C Company, and Support Company 1st Bn/19th SFG—Utah
  • A Company, 2nd Bn/19th SFG—Rhode Island
  • B Company, 2nd Bn/19th SFG—Ohio
  • C Company and Support Company, 2nd Bn/19th SFG—Kenova, West Virginia
  • A Company, B Company, C Company and Support Company from the 5th Bn/19th SFG—California & Colorado

In April 2007, the 5th Battalion of 19th SFG and troops from the 2nd Battalion were called to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The unit came home with no deaths and very few minor injuries.

In April 2007, the following units of the 19th SFG were called to active duty (Operation Iraqi Freedom V)

  • HHC, 19th SFG(A)—Utah

On September 2008, the following units of the 19th SFG were called to active duty (Operation Enduring Freedom XIII)

  • A Company, 2nd Bn/19th SFG—Rhode Island
  • B Company, 2nd Bn/19th SFG—Ohio
  • C Company, 2nd Bn/19th SFG—Camp Dawson, West Virginia
  • Support Company and HHC, 2nd Bn/19th SFG—Kenova, West Virginia


  1. ^ "Keeping Track of U.S.S Special Ops in Africa". Huffington post. 6 September 2016.
  2. ^ "Green Beret killed in Afghanistan was new father". Stars and Stripes. 7 January 2016.
  3. ^ US Army Special Forces 1952–84, Bloomsbury Publishing, by Gordon L. Rottman, dated 20 September 2012, ISBN 9781782004462, last accessed 29 March 2019
  4. ^ Army Special Operations Forces Fact Book 2018 Archived 19 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine, USASOC official website, dated 2018, last accessed 28 July 2019
  5. ^ FM 3-05: Army Special Operations Forces (PDF), US Department of the Army, September 2006, archived (PDF) from the original on 28 May 2008, retrieved 7 June 2008
  6. ^ "FM 3-05.102 Army Special Forces Intelligence" (PDF). July 2001. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 May 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2008.
  7. ^ Joint Chiefs of Staff (1993), Joint Publication 3-05.5: Special Operations Targeting and Mission Planning Procedures (PDF), archived from the original (PDF) on 27 February 2008, retrieved 13 November 2007
  8. ^ Neville, Leigh (2015). Special Forces in the War on Terror. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1472807908.
  9. ^ "Keeping Track of U.S.S Special Ops in Africa". Huffington post. 6 September 2016.
  10. ^ "Green Berets honored with Silver Star and eight other valor awards". army times. 6 May 2016.
  11. ^ "Green Beret killed in Afghanistan was new father". Stars and Stripes. 7 January 2016.
  12. ^ "US servicemember killed in Helmand was part of major operation against Taliban". Stars and Stripes. 6 January 2016.
  13. ^ Standing Guard, Picking Up Trash and Getting Booted From a Hotel. Inside a Special Forces Unit’s Controversial Deployment to D.C., TIME, By W.J. Hennigan, June 12, 2020 5:48 PM EDT, https://time.com/5852608/standing-guard-picking-up-trash-and-getting-booted-from-a-d-c-hotel-inside-a-special-forces-units-controversial-deployment-to-dc/

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