General Norman Schwartzkopf was Special Forces
November 16, 2008
To the Editor:
May I submit this response to Mr. Hamilton’s Article, Split personality: The U.S. military, dated Nov.11.
For the most part I agree with Mr. Hamilton’s conclusion that our nation’s military has a split personality. It is by design that we organize both a conventional and non-conventional force, in order to counter the wide range of threats that confront our nation.
May I offer a rebuttal that “General Norman Schwartzkopf detested Green Berets or any kind of “special forces.” General Schwartzkoft, himself, was a member of the Special Forces. (see the picture of him in his beret in Vietnam). I also offer the following quotes from General Schwartzkoft in which he describes Special Operations Forces as the “eyes and ears” of conventional forces and as the “glue that held coalition forces together.”
May I also offer that General Peter Schoomaker, a recent Chief of Staff of the Army and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was himself a Special Operations Force Soldier (note the Special Operations and Ranger Tabs sewn on the left sleeve of General Schoomaker’s uniform), served as the commanding general of the Joint Special Operations Command, and commanded the United States Army Special Operations Command .
While serving as a member of the Army Operations Center in the basement of the Pentagon, I had the distinct privilege to work alongside Special Operations Soldiers, some of the most professional military personnel with whom I have ever served.
Non-conventional Force representatives of the Rangers, Green Beret, SEALS, Delta Force, and Air Force Special Operations had a seat at our Conventional Force Conference Table.
Terrell W. Mathews
Colonel, USA, retired