Newly released documentation on a Green Beret major’s Silver Star for valor highlights the role and importance of having Special Operations troops in Somalia in the fight against al-Shabaab. 

Stars and Stripes was the first to report the action, which it uncovered after a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. This allowed the narrative to be publicly seen for the first time.

Major William Doyle: An Exemplary Officer

Major William Doyle was the commander of a Special Forces A-Team from the 10th Special Forces Group (10th SFG) deployed to Somalia.

In July 2015, Major Doyle’s A-Team, or Operational Detachment Alpha, was accompanying and advising Kenyan and Somali forces during Operation Piga Jangili. The forces were tasked with retaking the town of Baardheere, west of the capital of Mogadishu, which had been under Shabaab control for six years.

The actions of Major Doyle saved the lives of many partner forces and American Special Forces troops during an ambush by al-Shabaab terrorists. 

A Green Beret's Actions Highlight Why the US Needs to Be in Somalia
A recent photo of a Special Operations soldier advising Somali Forces (U.S. Air Force)

Although the official Somali account at the time stated that Baardheere was taken with “no resistance” the truth is much different.

Doyle’s Silver Star citation recounts a pitched battle with heavy fighting against a “prepared, determined and numerically superior enemy.”

This demonstrates how the often-scantily reported activities of American troops in Africa belie the dangers they face while fighting against terrorist forces on the continent.