SF Tab and Patch

A tribute to and mini-history of the

11th Special Forces Group (Abn)

from a Headquarters, Headquarters Detachment, 3rd Bn perspective

The Quiet Professionals

The Special Forces motto: "De Oppresso Liber" - to free the oppressed

Beret with 11th Flash

11th Group HQ History

Activated 1 March 1961

Army Reserves Boston, Massachusetts

22 March 1963 Relocated to Staten Island, New York

1 August 1970 Relocated to Tappan, New York

31 March 1973 Relocated to Fort Meade, Maryland

15 September 1995 Inactivated

11th Group Battalions

1st Battalion HHD - Tappan, NY

     Co A - Fort Devens, MA
     Co B - Newburgh, NY
     Co C - Fort Dix, NJ

2nd Battalion HHD - Columbus, OH

     Co A - A. P. Hill, VA
     Co B - Youngstown, OH
     Co C - Jamestown, OH

3rd Battalion HHD - Miami, FL

     Co A - Tampa, FL
     Co B - Columbus, GA
     Co C - Winston-Salem, NC

The 11th Group’s big sister was the 10th Group back in the Ft. Devens days.

Missions were almost always aligned with those of the 10th Group (active duty SF).

The AO was Central and Eastern Europe and the training reflected that tasking, especially during the ‘80s with the emphasis on cold weather training.

With the end of the Cold War and the Soviet threat in Europe, a drawdown was inevitable.

The elimination of the 11th and 12th Groups from the Army Reserves was political buffoonery at it’s very best.

After Desert Storm in 1991 and with the advent of the Clinton administration, the military budget was under pressure and faced certain reductions, Colin Powell was determined that cuts would be from both the active and reserve components, not entirely from active units.  So a deal was struck. Combat Arms Units were to be concentrated in the National Guard and support units were to be in the Reserves under direct Army control.

Didn’t work out exactly that way in reality, but the plan went forward.

Today (2008) there are more active duty groups than there were at the time of the Reserves “purge”, with only the two ARNG groups remaining. 

11th Group Coin

Inactivation History

The Army Reserve's 11th Special Forces Group (Airborne) was attached to the 97th Army Reserve Command at Fort Meade. For a number of years in the late 60's, Miller Field was home to the headquarters of the Army's 11th Special Forces Group. In the U.S. military, the tradition of military "challenge" coins goes back to the early 1960s. A member of the 11th Special Forces Group took old coins, had them over stamped with a different emblem, then presented them to unit members.

In November 1990 the Department of Defense developed budget guidance that directed the deactivation of three Army National Guard and three Army Reserve Special Forces battalions.

The Department subsequently rescinded the deactivation plans for the three Army Reserve battalions pending the results of the Command's joint mission analysis. Conferees for the 1993 Department of Defense Appropriations Act included in their report the expectation that the Army Special Operations Command would maintain existing Army National Guard Special Operations units through fiscal year 1993 and rejected any plan or initiative to expand the active component special operations forces to replace these National Guard units.

The conferees further noted that in the fiscal year 1992 Defense Appropriations Act, Congress had limited any conversion of National Guard missions to the active components. The Command's analysis validated the need to deactivate the six battalions, in the 11th (reserves) and 19th Special Forces Groups.

Instead, the 11th and 12th Special Forces Group (Airborne), both US Army Reserve units, were inactivated on 15 September 1995.

from Globalsecurity.org

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©2008-2014 Chuck Joslin - SFC - 18E4O
USAR (prior to purge of SF from Reserves)