In the late 1950s. the fear that the Soviet Union would invade and overrun Western Europe was very real. So the U.S. had come up with a contingency plan. A small unit of unconventional warriors who would conduct guerrilla warfare, train indigenous forces, and operate behind Soviet lines until the Western allies could liberate their territory. This unit was the secretive 10th Special Forces Group. 

The 10th Special Forces Group was formed in 1952. Besides a New York Times article in 1955, the unit was kept under the radar. Then, in 1959, Americans were properly introduced to these phantom fighters in an episode of The Big Picture, which was produced with the assistance of the Army’s Signal Corps. 

The phantom fighters had already accumulated significant experience conducting unconventional warfare during WWII and Korea. They would soon become known for their distinctive green headgear. Their green beret.

The Necessity of the Unconventional

During World War II most American unconventional warriors were part of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) which had also been conducting intelligence operations. Yet, due to the typical short-sightedness and petty jealousies that permeate Washington, OSS and unconventional warriors were deemed expendable after WWII ended.