Special Forces have a very tight select group of members and it isn’t often that an outsider is accepted as one of their own. Very few have been given the honor of becoming an honorary Green Beret.

A German woodcarver, who has been supporting the members of the 10th Special Forces Group in Europe for more than 50 years, will be the latest honorary Green Beret. Last week, a Stars and Stripes story related that according to USASOC spokesman, LTC Loren Bymer, Sebastian Demmel will be the first German to receive the honor.

Demmel with one of his thousands of SF woodcarvings. (Photo U.S. Army.)

Demmel has lived in the small village of Sachsenkam his entire life. One day, back in the early 1970s, a Green Beret stationed at Bad Tolz, about four miles away from Demmel’s village, stopped outside Demmel’s home to admire his woodcarvings. The two began talking, one thing led to another and soon Demmel carved a Trojan Horse badge that 10th SFG troops have long used as their own. Lieutenant General Francis Beaudette, the commander of USASOC said that the woodcarving he received as the Commander of the 10th SFG was “the best gift I’ve received in my 31-year career.”

After reading about the honor bestowed on Demmel, we decided to look at a few of the other honorary Green Berets. Thanks goes to the Special Forces Museum for the information. (Hopefully the Museum will survive the latest attempt to erase SF history, but this is a subject for another time.)

John Wayne: The “Duke” was made an honorary Special Forces member after his portrayal of Colonel Mike Kirby in the film “The Green Berets.”

Robin Moore: The author of the book that the film “The Green Berets” was based on. He was made a lifelong member of the 5th SFG in 2007.

Snoopy: Yes, the lovable Peanuts character drawn by Charles Shutlz was made an honorary Green Beret by soldiers of the 5th SFG in Vietnam. Snoopy can be seen wearing a beret on several different items. Perhaps the two most famous sketches of Snoopy donning the beret was one titled “Happiness is a Green Beret” and one flipping the bird stating “F**k Communism.” The PC world of today, wouldn’t look kindly on that… bad dog!

LTC Rolande “Frenchy” Colas de la Nouye Amundson: Frenchy worked with the French Army behind enemy lines in WWII until she was captured by Germans. She later served as an interpreter for General Eisenhower. She got married and moved to Vietnam. When her husband died, she returned to France working for the American Embassy in Paris. She met an American officer there and they married. She became an American citizen in 1958. She was given the honorary green beret by the 12th SFG(A) at a banquet in 1977. On the same occasion, she was also given the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.