Special Forces Green Beret  Special Forces History


Early Roots
Cold War
Site Map


This website is an Amazon Associate and earns money for qualifying purchases.

Special Forces Berlin
by James Stejskal

8th Special Forces Group 

Home > Groups > 8th SFGA

The 8th Special Forces Group was established in 1963. In May 1962 an element of 7th Special Forces Group traveled from Fort Bragg, North Carolina to Fort Gulick, Panama Canal Zone to be the nucleus of the soon to be formed 8th Special Forces Group. On April 12, 1963 the 8th SFGA was formed. Special Force would maintain a presence in Panama for many years.

Map of Panama

The 8th Group consisted of two (possibly three) "C" teams - company sized elements commanded by a LTC. Each "C" team had three "B" teams; each "B" team had five "A" teams. There were a total of 30 (or 45) "A" teams in the 8th Special Forces Group. 1.

Counterinsurgency Training Mission. One of the primary missions of the 8th SFGA was to conduct COIN training for the armies of Latin America. Some of the training was performed in conjunction with the School of the Americas - also located at Fort Gulick.

Special Action Force (SAF) Latin America. The 8th SFGA formed the nucleaus of the Special Action Force that conducted operations throughout Central and South America. The SAF consisted of the 8th SFGA, an MI detachment, engineer detachment, medical detachment, 550th Military Police Detachment 3., Civil Affairs (CA), Army Security Agency (ASA) detachment, and a Psychological Operations element (9th Psy War Co or Bn?.). 2.

Jungle Operations Training Center (JOTC). The JOTC, formerly called the Jungle Warfare School, was heavily staffed by members of 8th SFGA.

Capture of Che Gueverra. Members of 8th SFGA were involved in the training of the Bolivian battalion that captured the Cuban communist revolutionary. In June to September of 1967 sixteen members of 8th SFGA trained the Bolivian 2nd Ranger Battalion. Within a month of the completion of training the 2nd Ranger Battalion captured Che Guevara.

"Soccer War". In 1969 war broke out between Honduras and El Salvador for a few weeks. A small group of Green Berets from the 8th SFGA was sent to Honduras to patrol the border as a peace keeping force working for the Organization of American States (OAS). 4.

8th SFGA Dis-established. In 1972 the 8th SFGA was disbanded as part of the drawdown in the Army during the last years of the Vietnam War and it was re-formed as 3rd Battalion 7th Special Forces Group.

Websites about 8th Special Forces Group

8th Special Forces Group by Wikipedia

8th Special Forces Group by Special Forces Search Engine

8th Special Forces Group Page by Military.com

Chapter 7 Special Forces Association.

8th Group by Professional Soldiers

8th Special Forces Group - QuickiWiki


1. Some sources state there were two "C" teams while others indicate there were three "C" teams. A "C" team was a battalion sized unit.

2. The unit designations of the various elements of the Special Action Group are listed in the Professional Soldiers forum at the link below. These include 9th Psychological Battalion, 401st Army Security Agency Detachment, 146th Engineer Detachment, 610th Military Intelligence Detachment, 255th Medical Detachment, and the 550th Military Police Detachment.

3. See Special Forces Military Police: the 550th Military Police Detachment.

4. Read the personal history of Gerald Kelly, a Green Beret sent to Honduras during the "Soccer War" border operation.


"History of the 8th Special Forces Group", SOFREP, by John Friberg, July 9, 2016.

8th Special Forces Group, by Charles H. Briscoe, PhD, Veritas, Vol. 4, No.1, 2008. Office of the Command Historian, United States Special Operations Command.



Books about Special Forces

Books about Special Forces


We are an affiliate of Bookshop.org and will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

 If you wish to contribute content, stories, photos, or sketches please contact us.
To add information, correct inaccuracies, or report broken links please email:
john @ north-point.org
 © Copyright 2014 - 2024