ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, Va. — A Soldier walks slowly with precision towards a target, his blue dress pants tucked neatly into his jump boots reflecting the bright sun, his chest heavy with glistening awards, a green beret sits atop his pristine haircut, his hands clutched tightly onto the item intended for the target.
On Oct. 19, a wreath was laid at President John F. Kennedy’s gravesite in Arlington Cemetery by Patrick A. Murphy, under secretary of the U.S. Army, Brig. Gen. Edwin Deedrick, deputy commanding general, 1st Special Forces Command, Dr. William Kennedy, nephew of Kennedy, and Alexandra Pender, great niece to Kennedy.
The wreath was placed to commemorate Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, who is a legend throughout the Army Special Forces community for his uncompromising support of them and authorizing the wearing of the green beret.
“The challenge of this old but new form of operations is a real one and I know that you and the members of your command will carry on for us and the free world in a manner which is both worthy and inspiring. I am sure that the Green Beret will be a mark of distinction in the trying times ahead,” said Kennedy.
Even though these words were said 55 years ago, they still ring true.
“JFK gave us a vision of service for our nation and told us there would be a different type of warfare that he needed a force that was capable of executing,” said Deedrick. “We have to remember our legacy — that is one of the most important things we can do.”
U.S. Army Special Forces, are deployed worldwide. In the last decade, Green Berets have deployed into 135 of the 195 recognized countries in the world.