A while back a friend asked me what the differences are, between the Special Forces of my day, and this generation of Green Berets.

After careful thought I have decided that the spirit is virtually identical, the mission and organization are basically the same, and everything else is a lot different. The spirit of Special Forces, when I joined it, was forty percent Knights of the Round Table, and maybe sixty percent Robin Hood’s Merry Men. I’m pretty sure that’s what it is today.

The attitude is businesslike, but with gusto.

The twelve-man A team, the Operational Detachment Alpha, is still the heart of the Group: two officers, a captain and a warrant officer, formerly a first lieutenant, two operations and intelligence NCOs, two weapons men, two commo guys, two medics, and two engineers. Each of these specialists is vastly more highly trained than their counterparts in conventional units. The medics train for a year.