“Across The Fence” by John Stryker Meyer is one of the very few memoirs written by and about the highly classified Studies and Observations Group or SOG. Running cross border operations during the Vietnam war, small teams of Special Forces soldiers partnered with indigenous team members launched missions into Laos, Cambodia, and North Vietnam. These missions were so secret that it wasn’t until the 1990s that information started to become available about this unit. To this day, details are somewhat hard to come by, only three or so former SOG members having written about their time running recon in one of the most dangerous assignments of the war.
As a former Ranger (3/75) and Greet Beret (5th SFG) myself, I have a few patrols under my belt in Afghanistan and Iraq, but I can tell you that reading this book made me feel like a pansy. I don’t have anything on my predecessors, especially those who served on SOG, conducting missions deep behind enemy lines, often outnumbered ten to one (on a good day).
“Across The Fence” recounts the author’s personal journey through SOG, but also tells the stories of many of his fellow soldiers and comrades to include the South Vietnamese and American pilots who daringly flew into hostile fire again and again to extract Meyer’s team.