19th Special Forces Group

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19th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
19th SFG(A) beret flash
Active1 May 1961 – present
Country United States
Branch United States Army
Army National Guard
TypeSpecial operations
Part of1st Special Forces Command and various state national guard commands
Motto(s)Anything, Any Place, Any Time
EngagementsWar on Terror
COL Brian Pazzaglia [4]
Former 19th SFG(A) recognition bar, worn by non-special operations qualified soldiers—in lieu of a beret flash—from the 1960s to 1984[5]
Background trimming
1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) Distinctive Unit Insignia, worn by all SFG(A)s and 1st SFC(A)
1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) shoulder sleeve insignia, worn by all 1st SFC(A) units

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 sometimes 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.[6] Headquartered in Bluffdale, 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).[7][8][9] Company A, 2nd Battalion is one of several National Guard units with colonial roots.


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).[10]

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 Forces selection and 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 Morocco to take part in Operation Enduring Freedom – Trans Sahara.[2]

Green Berets from the 19th SFG took part in the War in Afghanistan (2015–2021); 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.[11] 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.[3][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]


The structure of 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) includes the following units:[14][15]



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

Company A, 1st Bn/19th SFG participated in the 2003 invasion of Iraq

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. ^
    • "Army Special Forces: Mission and History". military.com. 2023. Retrieved 28 February 2023.
    • "Special Forces Officer". goarmy.com. 16 April 2020. Retrieved 28 February 2023.
    • "THE UNITED STATES ARMY SPECIAL FORCES". greenberetfoundation.org. Retrieved 28 February 2023.
    • "ASSESSING U.S. SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND'S MISSIONS AND ROLES". govinfo.gov. 29 June 2006. Retrieved 28 February 2023.
  2. ^ a b Turse, Nick (6 September 2016). "Keeping Track of U.S.S Special Ops in Africa". Huffington post. Archived from the original on 21 September 2021.
  3. ^ a b Druzin, Heath (7 January 2016). "Green Beret killed in Afghanistan was new father". Stars and Stripes. Archived from the original on 17 January 2022.
  4. ^ 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) welcomes new leadership, Utah National Guard Official Department of Defense Website, by SGT James Bunn, dated 19 September 2019, last accessed 15 November 2022
  5. ^ Rottman, Gordon L. (2012). US Army Special Forces, 1952-84. London: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1782004462. OCLC 813846700. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Army Special Operations Forces Fact Book 2018". SOC.mil. 2017. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016.
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ "FM 3-05.102 Army Special Forces Intelligence" (PDF). US Department of the Army. July 2001. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 April 2022. Retrieved 7 June 2008.
  9. ^ Joint Publication 3-05.5: Special Operations Targeting and Mission Planning Procedures (PDF), Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1993, archived from the original (PDF) on 27 February 2008, retrieved 13 November 2007
  10. ^ Neville, Leigh (2015). Special Forces in the War on Terror. Osprey Publishing. p. 89. ISBN 978-1472807908.
  11. ^ Tan, Michelle (6 May 2016). "Green Berets honored with Silver Star and eight other valor awards". Army Times.
  12. ^ Druzin, Heath (6 January 2016). "US servicemember killed in Helmand was part of major operation against Taliban". Stars and Stripes. Archived from the original on 23 July 2022.
  13. ^ Hennigan, W.J. (12 June 2020). "Inside a Special Forces Unit's Controversial Deployment to D.C." Time. Archived from the original on 6 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  14. ^ "19th Special Forces Group (Airborne)". Utah National Guard. Archived from the original on 30 December 2019. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  15. ^ "19th Special Forces Group". CurrentOps.com. Archived from the original on 1 August 2021. Retrieved 10 February 2021.

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