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Special Forces Soldiers memorialize Battle of Little Bighorn

#1
Special Forces Soldiers memorialize Battle of Little Bighorn

RELEASE NUMBER: 060706-01
DATE POSTED: JULY 6, 2006

Quote:
Special Forces Soldiers memorialize Battle of Little Bighorn
10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Public Affairs Office

CROW AGENCY, Mont. (USASOC News Service, July 6, 2006) — Arriving at the invitation of Crow Tribe leaders and local National Park rangers, a group of Army Green Berets impressed audiences here by parachuting in to help honor the 130th anniversary of the Battle of Little Bighorn June 23-25.

About a dozen Soldiers from the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), based at Fort Carson, Colo., provided three military free fall parachute demonstrations during memorial events to pay tribute to the famous battle, which on June 25, 1876, pitted U.S. cavalrymen against victorious American Indian forces here, including Sioux and Cheyenne Indians.

More than 260 members of the U.S. 7th Cavalry died on the Little Bighorn battlefield here, including the unit commander, Lt. Col. George A. Custer in his famous “Last Stand.”

With support from two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters of the Montana Army National Guard’s Company A, 1-189th Combat Support Aviation Battalion based in Helena, the 10th SFG Soldiers parachuted from an altitude of 9,000 feet into three related events. On June 23, they jumped into a veterans’ remembrance ceremony at Apsaalooke Veterans Park here as part of the Crow Native Days celebration. Then, on June 25, they parachuted again to mark the 130th anniversary of the Battle of Little Bighorn at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. Their final jump, that same day, commemorated Custer’s Last Stand at Medicine Tail Coulee on the battlefield.

During the ceremony at the national monument, the Soldiers also placed a memorial wreath at the cemetery there to honor the fallen fighters of Little Bighorn, both U.S. Army and American Indian. The Soldiers were recognized individually for their service and received a special blessing from the Crow during the veterans’ ceremony on June 23.

The Green Berets are uniquely suited to help memorialize the Battle of Little Bighorn, in part because the U.S. Army’s Special Forces is the only organization in the U.S. Army that traces its lineage back to the legendary U.S. Army Indian Scouts of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, said Lt. Col. Rick Steiner, the deputy commander of the 10th SFG, and one of the Special Forces Soldiers present to mark the occasion.

“Since they have their roots with the Indian Scouts who served with the U.S. cavalry … it’s very special to have (Special Forces Soldiers) here to participate in the 130th anniversary,” said Darrell Cook, superintendent of the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument.

Steiner added that modern-day Special Forces heraldry features many American Indian tributes, including the crossed arrows that represent the Special Forces branch and the arrowhead-shaped shoulder patch of the Army’s Special Forces groups.

-usasoc-

Update: A team of Green Berets from the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), led by deputy commanding officer Lt. Col. Richard Steiner (right), place a memorial wreath during a remembrance ceremony for the 130th anniversary of the Battle of Little Bighorn June 25 at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Crow Agency, Mont. The Soldiers, who are based at Fort Carson, Colo., had parachuted onto the battlefield itself only moments before forming up to present the memorial wreath in honor of the warriors who fell there in 1876. (U.S. Army photo)
 

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#2
Interesting article. Interesting about the Crow tribal leaders inviting them in.
 
#4
Chief_Joseph said:
Interesting article. Interesting about the Crow tribal leaders inviting them in.
Agreed. Being a Montana native myself, I have to say it's good to see both sides getting together and agreeing on a fitting tribute. Of course I didn't see anything about how the Sioux and Northern Cheyenne felt about it, and they're the ones whose ancestors fought there.
 
#5
Yeah, but I think the crow were in the Indian Scout units there with the Cavalry. But yeah, that is strange.
 
#6
Chief_Joseph said:
Interesting article. Interesting about the Crow tribal leaders inviting them in.
It's not so strange when you note that American Indians have worn the uniform in greater numbers proportionally than other ethnicities from the start of the twentieth century onwards. From all I've seen it's an extension of the warrior tradition they had prior to being invaded. The tribes tend to take great pride in service.
 
#7
Trip_Wire said:
The Green Berets are uniquely suited to help memorialize the Battle of Little Bighorn, in part because the U.S. Army’s Special Forces is the only organization in the U.S. Army that traces its lineage back to the legendary U.S. Army Indian Scouts of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, said Lt. Col. Rick Steiner, the deputy commander of the 10th SFG, and one of the Special Forces Soldiers present to mark the occasion.

“Since they have their roots with the Indian Scouts who served with the U.S. cavalry … it’s very special to have (Special Forces Soldiers) here to participate in the 130th anniversary,” said Darrell Cook, superintendent of the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument.

Steiner added that modern-day Special Forces heraldry features many American Indian tributes, including the crossed arrows that represent the Special Forces branch and the arrowhead-shaped shoulder patch of the Army’s Special Forces groups.

-usasoc-
I don't believe they trace their lineage to the Indian Scouts.

In respect for the SO skills of the early native Americans, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) and the U.S. Army Special Forces unit patches are in the shape of an arrowhead. The Special Forces branch insignia consists of two crossed arrows, representing the craft and stealth of the early American warriors. Numerous “Indian Scouts” distinguished themselves on the battlefield and earned the Congressional Medals of Honor.
Perhaps he actually meant these guys:

Alamo Scouts
 
#8
Well the indians won this one so no wonder their happy to invite everyone to the memorial. :D
 
#9
sawdusty said:
Chief_Joseph said:
Interesting article. Interesting about the Crow tribal leaders inviting them in.
It's not so strange when you note that American Indians have worn the uniform in greater numbers proportionally than other ethnicities from the start of the twentieth century onwards. From all I've seen it's an extension of the warrior tradition they had prior to being invaded. The tribes tend to take great pride in service.
I didn't say strange, I said interesting. Plenty of American Indians have served, I know that. After all, everyone knows about the code talkers. A man I know that served as a US Army ranger in Burma had a Sioux in his squad who was nicknamed 'Chief', and who called his Garrand 'Betsy'. I simply remarking that I think it's pretty cool.

As for the Indian scouts, I'm relatively sure that at least some Crow tribesman were served as Indian scout in the Northwest. I'm almost positive they served under General Howard in the Nez Perce campaigns (I'll need to double check on that though).
 
#10
#11
Chief_Joseph said:
sawdusty said:
Chief_Joseph said:
Interesting article. Interesting about the Crow tribal leaders inviting them in.
It's not so strange when you note that American Indians have worn the uniform in greater numbers proportionally than other ethnicities from the start of the twentieth century onwards. From all I've seen it's an extension of the warrior tradition they had prior to being invaded. The tribes tend to take great pride in service.
I didn't say strange, I said interesting. Plenty of American Indians have served, I know that. After all, everyone knows about the code talkers. A man I know that served as a US Army ranger in Burma had a Sioux in his squad who was nicknamed 'Chief', and who called his Garrand 'Betsy'. I simply remarking that I think it's pretty cool.

As for the Indian scouts, I'm relatively sure that at least some Crow tribesman were served as Indian scout in the Northwest. I'm almost positive they served under General Howard in the Nez Perce campaigns (I'll need to double check on that though).
My apologies. I had no intention tp portray your comments as negative or cynical.
 
#12
Trip_Wire said:
sawdusty:

No the article is correct, they didn't mean the Alamo scouts, The article meant just what it related. The 'Scouts are listed in their linage though.

http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/branches/Special Forces.htm

http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/SF/1SpecialForces.htm

http://www.execulink.com/~kiska/FSSFHomepage.index.html
I read your links plus about five pages of Google queries and I've found nary a supporting document. I still contend that the only connection between the US Scouts and SF is a nod to the Scouts unconventional war tactics and skills as shown in the crossed arrows and arrow shaped SSI that currently adorns SF uniforms.

The US Army has played a bit fast and loose with establishing lineage as I'm sure you've noticed. Too many lineages are established arbitrarily rather than through continuous service of a unit.
 
#13
sawdusty:

South S----? You must be from Missouri!

Well you can "contend," all you would like; however, the Army says its the way it is, so I'll accept it that way! You of course are welcome to contend whatever you would like!

As for playing fast and loose with the linage of both the Rangers and Special Forces linage. I'd have to agree! The Ranger linage was a part of the Special Forces linage, until the Ranger BNs were reactivated. In creating their linage they chose "Merrill's Marauders." to form the 75th Ranger Regiment. They also chose the First Special Service Force to form the Special Forces Regiment. (BTW: Soldiers and Officers wore the Crossed Arrows on their collars. (Brass.) They were also calle "Braves," as in Indian warriors.)

I thought that te Army did a disservice, to both the Rangers and Special Forces Regiments when they created those linages for them. The true linage of the Special Forces is the OSS and the Rangers the WW II Ranger BNs. The Army needed at least a regiment or division to use for the linage of these units, so they chose the ones that they did. IMHO "Merrill's Marauders," was not a Ranger unit. The Rangers should have stuck with the WW II BNs, Korean War Companies and Vietnam Companies.

In the case of the 75th Ranger Regiment, they left out the linage of the Korean War Airborne Ranger Companys (The 1st Airborne Rangers.) Their excuse was they were companys, yet they did keep the Vietnam Ranger Companys in the linage. The Koraen war companys were each assigned to a division and eight of them served in combat in Korea, two of which made a combat jump there. So, I agree the linage is IMHO screwed up.
 
#14
Trip_Wire said:
sawdusty:

South S----? You must be from Missouri!

Well you can "contend," all you would like; however, the Army says its the way it is, so I'll accept it that way! You of course are welcome to contend whatever you would like!

As for playing fast and loose with the linage of both the Rangers and Special Forces linage. I'd have to agree! The Ranger linage was a part of the Special Forces linage, until the Ranger BNs were reactivated. In creating their linage they chose "Merrill's Marauders." to form the 75th Ranger Regiment. They also chose the First Special Service Force to form the Special Forces Regiment. (BTW: Soldiers and Officers wore the Crossed Arrows on their collars. (Brass.) They were also calle "Braves," as in Indian warriors.)

I thought that te Army did a disservice, to both the Rangers and Special Forces Regiments when they created those linages for them. The true linage of the Special Forces is the OSS and the Rangers the WW II Ranger BNs. The Army needed at least a regiment or division to use for the linage of these units, so they chose the ones that they did. IMHO "Merrill's Marauders," was not a Ranger unit. The Rangers should have stuck with the WW II BNs, Korean War Companies and Vietnam Companies.

In the case of the 75th Ranger Regiment, they left out the linage of the Korean War Airborne Ranger Companys (The 1st Airborne Rangers.) Their excuse was they were companys, yet they did keep the Vietnam Ranger Companys in the linage. The Koraen war companys were each assigned to a division and eight of them served in combat in Korea, two of which made a combat jump there. So, I agree the linage is IMHO screwed up.
Louisiana, not Missouri.

I'm still waiting to see something official stating the Indian Scouts are in the official lineage of SF. You can denigrate my "contention" all you'd like but without any supporting documentation you are "contending" as well.

Something I've never understood, why can't the 75th Infantry and SF share a common lineage? It would seem very appropraite in that both engage in commando type ops (that's not to downplay SFs role in training/leading indigs). Barring that, lineage really is about continuity. The units I served in had mostly short histories yet we managed pride in them nontheless. Coincidentally I served in 5/20 Inf. A regiment that fought for many years against...Indians. :D
 
#15
sawdusty said:
Chief_Joseph said:
sawdusty said:
Chief_Joseph said:
Interesting article. Interesting about the Crow tribal leaders inviting them in.
It's not so strange when you note that American Indians have worn the uniform in greater numbers proportionally than other ethnicities from the start of the twentieth century onwards. From all I've seen it's an extension of the warrior tradition they had prior to being invaded. The tribes tend to take great pride in service.
I didn't say strange, I said interesting. Plenty of American Indians have served, I know that. After all, everyone knows about the code talkers. A man I know that served as a US Army ranger in Burma had a Sioux in his squad who was nicknamed 'Chief', and who called his Garrand 'Betsy'. I simply remarking that I think it's pretty cool.

As for the Indian scouts, I'm relatively sure that at least some Crow tribesman were served as Indian scout in the Northwest. I'm almost positive they served under General Howard in the Nez Perce campaigns (I'll need to double check on that though).
My apologies. I had no intention tp portray your comments as negative or cynical.
No worries :wink:

Anyway, I think what they mean is that the Green Berets are the "spiritual successors". It's certainly an unnofficial lineage. But it works for me.
 
#16
Chief_Joseph said:
No worries :wink:

Anyway, I think what they mean is that the Green Berets are the "spiritual successors". It's certainly an unnofficial lineage. But it works for me.
I find that rather amusing as the Indian Scouts were actually contractors (meaning they were employed by the Army but weren't actually soldiers) for most of their existence. Funny old world...
 
#17
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/custer_battle_01.shtml

A lot of archaeology has been done on the site of the battle, using metal detectors to recover cartridge cases and bullets. If I recall it correctly, it seemed many of the Indians had better weapons ( repeating rifles) than the soldiers and were better deployed to use them effectively.

There are regular complaints on here about Hollywood re-writing history for dramatic effect (U57whatever, Braveheart, etc..); it's interesting to see they've made a similarly inaccurate version of American history. It's nothing personal, then.
Custer was outclassed, but that's not what the paying public want to be shown.
 
#18
Onetap said:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/custer_battle_01.shtml

A lot of archaeology has been done on the site of the battle, using metal detectors to recover cartridge cases and bullets. If I recall it correctly, it seemed many of the Indians had better weapons ( repeating rifles) than the soldiers and were better deployed to use them effectively.

There are regular complaints on here about Hollywood re-writing history for dramatic effect (U57whatever, Braveheart, etc..); it's interesting to see they've made a similarly inaccurate version of American history. It's nothing personal, then.
Custer was outclassed, but that's not what the paying public want to be shown.
No secret. The Indians had access to all the modern weapons of the time. Hollywood always gives them arrows and spears. While they did use bows, it was only when the occasion called for it (usually ambushes, and as a means of conserving bullets). They understood well the weapons of the time.

Hollywood changes things for a mass audience, and accuracy is often a casaulty, sometimes at the demands of studios against a film-makers true wishes.
 
#19
A lot of archaeology has been done on the site of the battle, using metal detectors to recover cartridge cases and bullets. If I recall it correctly, it seemed many of the Indians had better weapons ( repeating rifles) than the soldiers and were better deployed to use them effectively.

There are regular complaints on here about Hollywood re-writing history for dramatic effect (U57whatever, Braveheart, etc..); it's interesting to see they've made a similarly inaccurate version of American history. It's nothing personal, then.
Custer was outclassed, but that's not what the paying public want to be shown.
You are right about Hollywood re-writing history for dramatic effect . The History channel did have a program called HISTORY vs HOLLYWOOD It was canceled so Hollywood must have won.

Another History Channel show that is very good and is very historically accuracy, is Battlefield Detectives .
Archeology of the Battle of the Little Bighorn

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/sitb-next/0233050833/103-8698488-9181433?redirect=true
 
#20
sawdusty:

I could of sworn it was Missouri... the show me State!
http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/history/slogan.asp

The Special Forces branch insignia was authorized in 1987 for wear by personnel in the Special Forces branch. It was previously authorized in 1984 for wear by enlisted personnel in Career Management Field 18 (Special Operations). Originally (from 1890 to 1926), crossed arrows were prescribed for wear by Indian Scouts. During World War II, the crossed arrows were worn as collar insignia by officers and enlisted personnel assigned to the First Special Service Force.

http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/branches/Special Forces.htm

BTW: The Special Forces Regiment has no comparison to the 75th Ranger Regiment, they have VERY different missions. The Rangers are really an elite light airborne infantry unit.

BTW: Indian Scouts were enlisted into the US Army, they were not on civilain contracts like some of the White scouts:

http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq61-3.htm

http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq61-1.htm

http://rebelcherokee.labdiva.com/indianscoutsvets.html
 

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