Frequently, we get emails or tweets here at in the realm of questions about the training and the qualification course. Many of course deal with Selection and I have to tell people that the Instructors don’t actually kill anyone during the events and one doesn’t have to be 10-feet tall to pass. But one I got last week was different and an intriguing one so I’ve decided to post it and address it in our post today.

J.P- wrote, “as a young man getting ready to attempt Selection soon, I was wondering if you can reccomend (sic) any books that deal with Special Forces, specifically SF history and maybe some that aren’t as well known as others.”

Consider it done. The history of SF doesn’t really begin just with Aaron Bank and the SF of 1952. The OSS in World War II, with the Jedburghs and the Operational Groups (OGs) were the first true forerunners to what SF and CIA became down the road. There are plenty of great books about the beginnings of OSS and Special Forces and we’re compiling a list of some of the definitive great books to read in that regard.

But for today, if you want to understand where you are and where you’re going as a candidate in Special Forces, then look to the past. Special Forces got its reputation during many years of combat during the Vietnam conflict. And the more you can learn about the men and operations of that era then you can gain an understanding of what you are about to attempt.

“War Stories of the Green Berets”, The Vietnam Experience, by Hans Halberstadt is a great book for not only the military history enthusiast but for the potential candidates who someday hope to wear the Green Beret.

Halberstadt has done dozens of interviews with former Special Forces soldiers who fought in Vietnam and the stories are always intriguing, oftentimes funny and many times sobering.

Book Review: “War Stories of the Green Berets” by Hans Halberstadt

Many of the legends of Special Forces tell their stories. Among them, Martha “Maggie” Raye, a Hollywood entertainer and trained nurse who would visit the austere SF A-camps and during rough times would pitch in and work as a nurse. Colonel Maggie as she was affectionately known by the SF troops, always preferred the Sergeants company to that of the officers and could drink many of those sergeants under the table.