Phony Special Forces Soldier

I knew a guy who claimed to be part of the US Army Special Forces. I believe, just by listening to him talk and everything, that he was a fake and never served in the army special forces. Especially because he was a reservists. Is it even possible to be in the army reserves, and also in the special forces? Is there any kind of military penality for acting like this?

Different websites can help. What, exactly, is he claiming to be?

Also, there are reserve and guard components that are considered special forces.

There are currently no Army Reserve Special Forces units. However, there are in fact two National Guard Special Forces Groups. The 19th and the 20th Groups. That’s just semantics though, sense NG and reserve is almost the same thing.

Any state west of the Mississippi with an SF Company is part of the 19th group. 20th Group covers the East. 20th Group, whose headquarters is in Alabama, is now soley responsible for the Caribbean. They used to be attached to 7th Group and jointly responsible for all of Central and South America. But now they have their own Area. 19th Group is still attached to an active duty group. Maybe if they get their shit squared away, they’ll get their own AOR as well. ; )

With that said… what is this guy claiming? What years was he in SF. What was his position. Things have changed for Green Berets over the years. Including training, policies and such. Prior to 1989(?) they were not even a seperate branch in the Army. But now they have their own branch, along with an 18 series identifier. If he claims to have served in the 90s. Ask him what his MOS was.
18A is an officer- the group leader. 18B is the weapons geek. 18C is the demo and construction guy. 18D is the coolest most awesome stud on the team. The medic. A medic with trauma surgery training and experience. And 18E is the communications guy. There is also an 18F (intel) and 180A (warrant officer XO).

Ask him what years he served. Where he served. What Company and Group he was with. What his MOS was. And how long the Q Course was.

Oh… then ask him what USAJFKSWCS stands for. If he was in SF in the last 15 years, I see no reason why he could not answer that question!!!

The answer of course, is United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. They run the SF Q course in Fort Bragg.

Also, I am not sure how old SFAS (Special Forces Assessment and Selection) has been around. But I believe it’s been around since the early 80s. So ask him what his SFAS class number was. And then ask him some questions about what it was like. My SFAS class number was 03-03. Which means it was the third class in FY 2003. It was Jan-Feb and cold as shit!! If hell ever froze over, that’s Camp MacKall in January. Oh… and ask him about Campa MacKall. Or at least ask him the name of the Camp where SF training is conducted. He should answer Campa MacKall. NO ONE could ever forget Camp MacKall.

Also, is he really claiming to be a Green Beret? It is possible he was in an SF unit but had a support job. Special Forces units need paper pushers, cooks, and riggers, just like everyone else. But that does not make them Green Berets. Ask him if he actually earned an SF Tab.

  • CPL NENNO
    A Company, 3BN 20th SFG(A)

Phony vet link 1 - Special Forces Wannabes

Phony vet link 2 - POW Network

Phony vet link 3

Thanks for the info CPL NENNO. Well I really don’t talk to the man much anymore, but he said when he was with his SF team he was in the psychological operations team. I asked him what he did when he went to reservists duty and he said he was a secretary. I also saw his army uniform and I never saw any SF tab or anything to indicate it. He just had some patch on his barat, which was black, and he said that was what separated him from other soldiers. Either way, I am fairly certain he is a fake. Congrats on your achievements in SF and thanks for the information!

Psychological Operations?

Well, my guess is he was only slightly distorting the truth.

First of all, there is Special Forces (with a capital S and F) and there is special forces. US Army Special Forces are Green Berets who operate in 12 man (ideally) teams. There major duties are foreign internal defense, counter terrorism, counter proliferation and a myriad of others. Foreign internal defense is the classic primary job of a Green Beret.
But special forces- non proper noun- can refer to Army Rangers, 160th SOAR, Air Force PJs, Navy Seals, Marine Recon… and admittedly, even psychological operations.

I’m pretty sure Psychological Operations are conducted by Civil Affairs units. There is a huge Civil Affairs presence in the Army Reserve. In fact, I believe there are more reserve Civil Affairs units than active duty ones. Coincidentally, Psyop training is also done at USAJFKSWCS.

But here’s the thing. A black beret does not seperate you from shit. Every soldier in the Army gets a black beret nowadays. If you’re in an Airborne unit, you wear a maroon beret. If you’re in a Ranger unit, you wear a tan beret. If you are on a Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha (an A-Team), you wear a Green Beret. There are also many civil affairs soldiers allowed to wear a green beret. But only those who actually wear a special forces tab and were once on an SF team.

If he was a secretary when he went to the reserves, Im guessing he was a secretary on active duty and never actually on an SF team.
BTW, every SF team has a 3-4 digit identifier. Always ask a person what ODA he was on. It should be something like 357, 1068, 2052… something like that. The first digit (first two if it is four digits) represents the SF Group. The next two represent the company and team, but that takes a little more decyphering. The group number should be 19 or 20 if he was national guard. If he was on an active duty team, it should be 3,7,10 or 1. God help me if I left one out.
Also, the training teams are always 9th Group. So like when you’re at Robin Sage or ANCOC or some training excersise at SWCS then you form a fake ODA with the ficticious 9th Group. So you and your 11 teammates will make up ODA 926 or something like that.
So when someone is bragging about being SF, first ask him what ODA he was on, then tell him your best friend was on ODA 926 and fought in Grenada… see if he comments on that!

There are dedicated PSYOP units, like the 4th Psychological Operations Group, the only remaining active component in PSYOP.

PSYOP, together with Civil Affairs, falls under USACAPOC, which is under USASOC.