In This Issue:
- President’s Page
- SFACON 2023: High Speed — Low Drag
- Book Review: Budapest to Vietnam by Nick Hun and Michael L Jewell
- Blue Ridge Safehouse
- An Expression of Gratitude
- A Journalist’s First Trip to a Communist Country
- Saigon Memories — 1990
- Value Added: A/1/19th SFG in Iraq
- Alpha Company, 1/19th SFG(A) at War
- The Bolivian Rangers and the Capture of Che Guevara
- January 2023 Chapter Meeting
From the Archive:
MACV Recondo School: From the February 2015 edition of the Sentinel, Chapter 78’s Kenn Miller, an early graduate of “Recondo School,” writes a bit about the history of the school and gives his perspective of the school, its SF Cadre, and students.
ON THE COVER: Green Berets with 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), conduct room clearing drills on February 28, 2018. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Iman Broady-Chin)
From the Editor:
I’m excited about a recently added capability on our SFA Chapter 78 website. People can now subscribe to the electronic version of the Sentinel thanks to Debra’s addition of this feature, and they will then receive the monthly email from the SFA Teamhouse announcing the release of the most recent issue.
It’s also time to start making plans for this year’s SFA national convention, SFACON 2023. It is being held early in the year this time. Since Indianapolis is the host, it makes sense that it is being held around the Indy 500 schedule. You can read about how welcoming the venue is trying to make our Green Berets and about speakers and events. Believe it or not, there is not much time left to act.
Nick Hun spent some “interesting” time with SF as a part of his distinguished career. In Budapest to Vietnam, he gives the reader a feeling of what it was like to use lessons he learned in SF to make it to Full Bird Colonel and much more.
Included is a mention of Blue Ridge Safehouse (BRS), founded by SFA member Greg Peterman in order to help active duty Green Berets and their families reconnect post deployment. Located in NC fairly near FT Bragg, NC, BRS facilitates the process of reintegration to the family by providing an amazing weekend of fun filled family adventures.
Our long-time Sergeant-at-Arms, Mark Miller, was surprised to receive a very special gift from an interpreter he worked with in Vietnam. Even fine photography does not do this lustrous painting justice. So many of the elements are quite shiny and give it a feeling of elegance, much like the colorful Ao Dai worn by Vietnamese women.
My first connection with Marc Yablonka was a June 2019 Sentinel review of his wonderful coverage of military reporters in Vietnam in his book Vietnam Bao Chi. “Bao Chi” means reporter in Vietnamese. Marc treats us to a rendition of his uneasy visits to a couple of locations in Communist countries, Laos and Vietnam, 15 years after the fall of Saigon.
Our chapter meetings are held in Los Alamitos at the Joint Forces Training Base, also the location of SF National Guard Company C/1/19. Many of the members of C/1/19 are members of our Chapter. It is incredible how much time these National Guard Green Berets spend on active duty across the world, often deployed in very small numbers, from the Sandbox to Africa to Ukraine. Two of our articles give a detailed account of some of their early exploits, which helped them gain the respect they have both inside and outside the regiment today. The first was published by Robert W. Jones, Jr. for ARSOF’s Veritas magazine in 2005, while the second was written by Greg Walker for the Sentinel with an extra 17 years of hindsight, adding some rich details. Perhaps this will give some insight into why we are so proud of them.
We end with another Veritas article written by Kenneth Finlayson giving the inside account of the Bolivian Rangers’ successful mission in 1967 to end Che Guevera’s reign of Communist terror. Che simply couldn’t outlast Bolivia’s best unit, trained by our 8th SFG.
- Awarded best Special Forces Association Monthly Newsletter at SFA National Convention June 2011 and 2014
- Awarded Golden Quill at SFA National Convention June 2015 and June 2016
- Best Newsletter Award for 2017 from Special Forces Association National Board of Directors at the International Convention in Fayetteville, NC
- Special Forces Association (SFA) Cross Arrow Award for Excellence, 2018, First Award Presented by SFA in this category
- The War Reporters Award, Presented by Alex Quade – (War Reporter and Film Producer) for Chapter 78 Sentinel’s Commitment documenting Special Forces History, July 2018
- The Golden Arrows for Excellence in Newsletters 2019 awarded by SFA National
- The Golden Arrows for Excellence in Newsletters 2020 awarded by SFA National
The Sentinel is published monthly by Special Forces Association Chapter 78, Southern California — art direction and design by Debra Holm, Dinwiddie Holm Graphics. The views, opinions and articles printed in this issue do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Army or the United States Special Operations Command, the Special Forces Association, or Special Forces Association Chapter 78. Please address any comments to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SFA Chapter 78 has a great newsletter. I now read every issue. How many active members are in Chapter 78? I need to check my Drops. Chapter 78 JROTC/ROTC Awards program?
Hello John, thanks for the feedback on our newsletter. We are happy to be able to share it with you. Regarding your questions about our membership, we currently have 151 active members in our group. The Chapter support several local ROTC programs. You can read more about this at https://www.specialforces78.com/sfa-78-rotc/.