Thursday, November 6, 2014

New Distinguished Members of the Regiment

Eight people who made repeated contributions to Army special operations were honored Friday on Fort Bragg, joining a small fraternity that officials said represents the best of the community.

Three Vietnam-era Special Forces soldiers were honored as Distinguished Members of the Regiment, including a recent Medal of Honor recipient, an Army officer who helped create the Special Forces Branch and a soldier who later served in the CIA and helped reconnoiter proposed landing strips for an attempted rescue of hostages in Iran in 1980.

The Psychological Operations Regiment added four new members to its list of Distinguished Members, including two members of the Office of Strategic Services in World War II, a longtime civilian employee for U.S. Army Psychological Operations units and a psychological operations veteran who has served in a number of leadership posts as a Department of Defense civilian since retiring in 2004.

The eighth honoree, a career Department of Defense civilian employee, was named an honorary member of the regiment.

Maj. Gen. Eric P. Wendt, commanding general of the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, hosted the ceremony in Kennedy Hall on Ardennes Street.

Wendt said each of the honorees made "overwhelmingly significant contributions" to their respective regiments.

"The inductees we honor here today clearly stand out for this recognition," he said. "The individuals being inducted today are people who run to the sound of the guns and who willingly put their lives at stake to protect our country and our freedoms."

The newest Distinguished Members of the Special Forces and Psychological Operations Regiment are:

Special Forces Distinguished Members of the Regiment

Retired Col. John H. "Scotty" Crerar, who joined Special Forces in 1963.

Crerar helped shape Army doctrine on Special Forces and was instrumental in creating the Special Forces career field, adding warrant officers to Special Forces and creating the Special Forces Branch.

He continues to mentor special operations leaders, officials said, and routinely writes for special operations publications.

Crerar said the honor was unexpected.

He said it took a year's worth of fighting to make Special Forces its own branch.

"A lot of people in the Army did not want it to happen," he said.

Retired Capt. Claude O. "Bud" McBroom, who joined special forces in 1962 and deployed repeatedly to Latin America and Vietnam.

After retiring in 1978, McBroom joined the Central Intelligence Agency and flew as a copilot during reconnaissance missions to scout proposed landing strips for C-130s to use during the attempted rescue of U.S. hostages in Iran.

For that mission, McBroom earned the Distinguished Intelligence Cross, the highest award given by the CIA. 

Retired Sgt. 1st Class Melvin Morris, who joined Special Forces in 1961 and deployed twice to Vietnam.

On one of the deployments, Morris led soldiers across enemy lines to retrieve a fallen comrade, repeatedly braving enemy fire and overcoming his own wounds to help casualties to safety.

He was awarded the Medal of Honor for those actions earlier this year.

Psychological Operations Distinguished Members of the Regiment

Robert Asti, a former Army captain, was a propaganda officer in World War II and later helped create the Psychological Warfare School at Fort Riley, Kansas, the predecessor to the Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg.

Asti had a successful legal career following his service. He died in 2005.

Alfred J. de Grazia, a former Army captain, conducted psychological operations under the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to U.S. Special Forces, during World War II.

De Grazia, who died earlier this year, conducted operations in North Africa, Italy, France and Germany and later wrote manuals on psychological warfare for the Department of Defense and CIA during the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Doug Elwell is a retired Army civilian who worked with Army psychological operations units for more than 28 years.

As a civilian, he repeatedly deployed with psychological operations troops from Fort Bragg and served as a subject matter expert.

Officials said Elwell's addition to the group took special permission, as he never served on active duty in psychological operations.

Before the ceremony, Elwell said he was surprised and honored to be a part of the group.

"That's the top," he said. "It is a very high honor to just be recognized as part of the regiment to begin with."

Retired Master Sgt. Timothy L. Hill served 22 years on active duty, working for psychological operations and repeatedly deploying throughout Latin America.

After retiring in 2004, he served as a contractor in Afghanistan before joining U.S. Special Operations Command as a civilian.

He has since served in several positions within USSOCOM and recently became vice chief of staff of the 1st Special Forces Command at Fort Bragg.

Caryn Bain, who became an honorary member of the Psychological Operations Regiment, retired earlier this year from USSOCOM at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

Bain started her career as a clerk at U.S. Naval Warfare Center China Lake, California, and held numerous posts in special operations units, serving as manager of several psychological operations programs.

Article from the Fayetteville Observer

No comments:

Post a Comment

Enter your Comments below. Keep it clean.