Dec. 23, 2020
When you hear brand names, what they are known for quickly will pop into your mind. Names like McDonald's, Advil, or even Apple instantly bring a product or company logo to mind. When the question of who is Special Forces was asked by the 1st Special Forces Command Chief of Staff, COL Ed Croot, he received mixed responses. COL Croot's study determined that the SF Regiment was undergoing an identity crisis.
We gathered seven esteemed Sergeants Major from across the SF Regiment to discuss what is the SF identity and if there was an identity crisis. In our last episode, they discussed how the identity crisis affected the force. We now ask the question, how do we address the issue. Those Sergeants Major are:
SGM Dave Friedberg, the Alpha company 4th Battalion, 1st Special Forces group sergeant major. Dave joined Special Forces in 1999 and is an original regional support element plank holder. He has multiple deployments in the CENTCOM and INDOPACOM AOR.
CSM Retired Jeffrey Wright. Jeff served in 3 different Special Forces groups and as the senior enlisted leader for 4 joint commands. He served in the army from the cold war to the gulf war to the global war on terror and many points in-between.
SGM Matt Williams, the 2nd BN 3rd Special Forces group operations sergeant major. Matt joined under the 18x program in 2005. He has deployed to Afghanistan and Africa many times and was an instructor at SFARTAETC. SGM Williams was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2019 for his actions during the battle of Shok Valley, Afghanistan, in 2008.
CSM Retried Bill Thetford, the USASOC Operations Integrator. Bill joined Special Forces in 1993 and retired in March 2019. Most of his expertise comes from CENTCOM and SOCOM.
CSM Dave Waldo, the CSM of 4th battalion 1st SWTG. He joined Special Forces in 2001 and started his SF career in 1st Special Forces Group. He now works to mold the newest generations of Green Berets.
CSM retired Terry Peters entered the Army as an infantryman Sep 14, 1983, and retired as the 3rd Special Forces Group CSM with 27 years in the Army. Since retiring in early 2010, Terry has served the SF Community in an advisory role to many leaders and contributes to numerous charities that help SF Veterans and their Families. He currently serves as the Honorary CSM of the Regiment.
CSM(Ret) Thomas (Tom) Smith, who spent 35 years in SF, starting in 1977 until 2012. He served over 8 years at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School teaching SERE and in the SF Pipeline. Tom served as the U.S. SOCOM CSM for over 5 years, where he created the Joint Special Operations Forces Senior Enlisted Academy. After he retired, he created the Summit Course in JSOFSEA and continues to teach and mentor senior enlisted leaders.