|19th Special Forces Group (Airborne)|
|Active||1 May 1961 – present|
|Branch|| United States Army|
Army National Guard
|Part of||1st Special Forces Command and various state national guard commands|
|Motto(s)||Anything, Any Place, Any Time|
|Engagements||War on Terror|
|COL Brian Pazzaglia |
|Former 19th SFG(A) recognition bar, worn by non-special operations qualified soldiers—in lieu of a beret flash—from the 1960s to 1984|
|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|
|U.S. Special Forces Groups|
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. 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). 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).
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.
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. 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.
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.
- Headquarters and Headquarters Company (UT ARNG) - Camp W.G. Williams, Riverton, Utah
- 1st Battalion
- Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment (UT ARNG) - Camp W.G. Williams, Riverton, Utah
- Company A (WA ARNG) - Buckley Armory, Buckley, Washington
- Company B (UT ARNG) - Camp W.G. Williams, Riverton, Utah
- Company C (CA ARNG) - Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos, California
- Support Company (UT ARNG) - Camp W.G. Williams, Riverton, Utah
- 2nd Battalion
- Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment (WV ARNG) - SGM Earl R. Biggs Memorial Armed Forces Reserve Center, Kenova, West Virginia
- Company A (RI ARNG) - Middletown Armory, Middletown, Rhode Island
- Company B (OH ARNG) - Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Columbus, Ohio
- Company C (WV ARNG) - Camp Dawson, Kingwood, West Virginia
- Support Company (WV ARNG) - SGM Earl R. Biggs Memorial Armed Forces Reserve Center, Kenova, West Virginia
- 5th Battalion
- Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment (CO ARNG) - Watkins Armory, Watkins, Colorado
- Company A (TX ARNG) - Camp Bullis, San Antonio, Texas
- Company B (CO ARNG) - Buckley Space Force Base, Aurora, Colorado
- Company C (TX ARNG) - Camp Bullis, San Antonio, Texas
- Support Company (CO ARNG) - Watkins Armory, Watkins, Colorado
- Group Support Battalion
- Headquarters and Headquarters Company (UT ARNG) - John M. Browning Armory, Ogden, Utah
- Company A (UT ARNG) - John M. Browning Armory, Ogden, Utah
- Company B (UT ARNG) - John M. Browning Armory, Ogden, Utah
- Company C (UT ARNG) - Camp W.G. Williams, Riverton, Utah
- Company F (UT ARNG) - Camp W.G. Williams, Riverton, Utah
- Group Support Company (UT ARNG)
- Detachment 1 (WA ARNG)
- 197th Special Troops Support Company (TX ARNG) (aligned) - Camp Bullis, San Antonio, Texas
- 190th Chemical Detachment (MT ARNG) (aligned) - Fort William H. Harrison, Helena, Montana
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
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- "It All Starts Here" | SF and Recruiting Information page for the 19th Special Forces Group (A) in Utah
- "California and the Global War on Terrorism, Company A, 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Afghanistan". CaliforniaMilitaryHistory.org. The California State Military Museum. Archived from the original on 18 February 2018. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
- The short film Big Picture: Silent Warriors is available for free viewing and download at the Internet Archive.