ARLINGTON, VA – The U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne) held a commemorative President John F. Kennedy Wreath Laying Ceremony Oct. 18 at the JFK grave site at Arlington National Cemetery. The event paid tribute to JFK’s vision of building a dedicated counterinsurgency force, a vision that helped build the Green Berets into an elite force recognized around the world.
Brig. Gen. Christopher Haas, the commanding general of USASFC (A), was joined by Jean Kennedy Smith and Michael Sheehan in presenting a wreath in the shape of a Green Beret during the ceremony.
Smith, who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland from 1993 until 1998, said later that it was an honor to take part in the ceremony recognizing her late brother’s patronage to the Green Berets.
Sheehan, a Green Beret who retired from the Army in 1997, is the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict. For much of his military and civilian careers, Sheehan has been involved in counter terrorism, counterinsurgency, peacekeeping and law enforcement operations.
In October 1961, JFK commended the men of the Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, N.C. on their efforts to prepare a force of unconventional warriors to combat growing threats to our nation.
“The challenge of this old but new form of operations is a real one and I know that you and the members of your command will carry on for us and the free world in a manner which is both worthy and inspiring,” Kennedy wrote. “I am sure that the Green Beret will be a mark of distinction in the trying times ahead.”