FORT CARSON, CO – Soldiers, Family Members, retirees and distinguished visitors honored the history of the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) as the unit celebrated its 60th Anniversary as the original Special Forces unit throughout the month of June 2012, with a multi-day event that included a kick-off ceremony, golf tournament, compound tours, weapons familiarization for family and friends, Commander’s Motorcycle Ride, picnic and the highlight of the military ball at a five-star hotel.
“Incumbent with wearing the flash of the 10th Group is a responsibility to uphold the lineage, tradition and honor of the U.S. Army Special Forces. We are “The Originals” and we are “The Best” said Col. John Deedrick, commander of 10th SFG (A) Group. “We wanted to recognize the tremendous history of the 10th Special Forces Group with a celebration befitting the unit’s distinguished accomplishments and to honor its warriors both past and present.
The celebration of the Army’s first Special Forces unit was tremendous both in scale and the importance of attendees which boasted five original members of the 10th SFG (A), seven active duty and retired general officers, a Medal of Honor and Distinguished Service Cross recipient, five former Group Commanders, three former Group Command Chiefs, three former Group Command Sergeants Majors and four Gold Star families traveled from all over the globe to take part in this historic event.
Lt. Gen. Charles T. Cleveland, commander of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, was the guest speaker for the military ball.
The celebration was opened in a formal ceremony that included the induction of50 current group Soldiers into the unit’s Century Jumper Club. Members of this organization achieved the rare feat of having made more than 100 airborne jumps and are a certified Jumpmaster. The ceremony was highlighted by a patriotic parachute demonstration from the Black Daggers, the United States Army Special Operations Command’s official military freefall demonstration team.
The sharp report of weapons being fired and golf balls being whacked sounded as family members and visitors fired a variety of weapons employed by the group’s Soldiers and to enjoy the camaraderie of friends both old and new. Approximately 250 civilians, retirees and friends got a taste of a Special Forces Soldier’s life by firing numerous weapons utilizing live ammunition while nearly 150 golfers enjoyed a golf tournament at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort.
The sight and roar of approximately 250 motorcycles filled the roadway as the Commander’s Motorcycle Ride headed out of Fort Carson on their way to MacCandless Veteran’s Home, led by Cleveland. There the riders interacted with and showed their appreciation to veterans at the home, who’s pride in their service touched many of the bikers who rode in the largest Commander’s Ride in the Group’s history.
Military balls have always been historically significant in the customs and courtesies of the Army and no more so than at the group’s 60th anniversary ball.
“The ball was the highlight of the week’s celebrations, “said Command Sgt Maj. Jason Krider, the group’s command sergeant major. “It was without question the most significant, largest, and classiest military ball I have experienced in my 24 years of service.”
The haunting sounds of live bagpipers playing “Amazing Grace” echoed through the enormous hall of the Broadmoor hotel, where nearly 1,500 guests in tuxedos, dress uniforms and gowns experienced an evening filled with toasts, remembrance of fallen comrades, the traditional Grog Bowl ceremony, and dancing the night away as they enjoyed the close camaraderie of the group.
Finally, an enormous unit picnic the next day brought the historic celebration to a close with tug-of-war competitions, wagon rides, dunk tanks, archery and geo-caching revealed the strength and closeness of the unit’s Family Readiness Group.
“The 60th Celebration of the 10th Special Forces Group was a magnificent success,” said Deedrick. “Through the tremendous effort of hundreds of Soldiers and family members, we were able to recognize the incredible accomplishments 10th SFG (A) Soldiers past and present have made in their selfless service to this nation.”