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Special Forces Berlin
by James Stejskal



Reserve Component Special Forces Groups - (RC SF) 

Home > Groups > Reserve Component Special Forces Groups

On April 15, 1960 four reserve component Special Forces Groups were activated - the 11th, 12th, 19th, and 20th SFG(A)s.

HQ, 11th SFG (USAR) relocated on March 1, 1961 to Boston, Massachusetts. HQ, 12th SFG (USAR) relocated on March 24, 1964 to Chicago, Illinois.

The 19th SFG was withdrawn from the Regular Army and allotted to the Utah Army National Guard on May 1, 1961. The 20th SFG was withdrawn from the Regular Army and allotted to the Alabama Army National Guard.

Currently there are only two Reserve Component (RC) Special Forces Groups - both are in the U.S. Army National Guard (ARNG). The 19th Special Forces Group is headquartered in Utah with subordinate units located across the United States - most of them west of the Mississippi River. The 20th Special Forces Group is headquartered in Alabama with its subordinate units being located east of the Mississippi River.

In March 1955, the 300th Special Forces Operational Detachment, US Army Reserve (USAR) was established in the Fayetteville, NC, the first Special Forces unit in the Reserve component.  With 3 subordinate detachments being authorized later in 1956: 3011st SFOD in Boise Idaho, 302nd SFOD in Chicago, IL and 303rd SFOD in Kearny, NJ. In early 1959, Special Forces Detachments were authorized in the US Army National Guard (ARNG) in 5 states; West Virgina, Utah, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Alabama.

In late 1959 the USAR and ARNG Special Forces detachments went through several reorganizations. In early 1960, the USAR and ARNG along with their Active-Duty Special Forces components were reorganized under the CARs System into Groups. In the USAR: 2nd SFG, 9th SFG, 11th SFG, 12th SFG, 13th SFG, 17th SFG and 24th SFG were authorized. In the ARNG: 16th SFG, 19th SFG, 20th SFG and 21st SFG were authorized. Many of these groups were not fully filled with personnel - some containing only a company.

In the 1960s, the Reserve Components were directed to reorganize and reconsolidate the Special Forces units. The Reserve Components deactivated the 2nd, 9th, 13th, 16th, 21st, and 24th SFGs. This left the Army Reserves with the 11th and 12th SFGs and the ARNG with the 19th and 20th SFGs. The two USAR SF groups were inactivated on September 15, 1994 with several companies transferring to the 19th and 20th Special Forces Groups.

Army Reserve Special Forces Groups

300th FD Operational Detachment - Fayetteville, Norht Carolina (1955)

301st FD Operational Detachment - Boise, Idaho (1956)

302nd FD Operational Detachment - Chicago, Illinois (1956)

303rd FD Operational Detachment - Kearny, New Jersey (1956)

2nd Special Forces Group

9th Special Forces Group

11th Special Forces Group

12th Special Forces Group

13th Special Forces Group

17th Special Forces Group

24th Special Forces Group

Army National Guard Special Forces Units

101st Special Forces Operational Detachment (FC)

102nd Special Forces Operational Detachment (FB)

16th Special Forces Group [1]

19th Special Forces Group

20th Special Forces Group

21st Special Forces Group

4th Special Forces Group

14th Special Forces Group

15th Special Forces Group

18th Special Forces Group

22nd Special Forces Group

23rd Special Forces Group


[1] Based on a post by Chapter 68 of the Special Forces Association (West Virginia) the 16th Special Forces Group HQs was located in West Virginia.



Forker, Jeff, "25 Special Forces Groups", The Drop, pages 32-36,Summer 2020

Kane, Michael A., A Partial History of ARNG Special Forces, SCRIBD, November 1, 2009.

RAND Corporation, National Guard Special Forces: Enhancing the Contributions of Reserve Component Army Special Operations Forces, Technical Report, 2012, PDF, 87 pages. Page 49 provides a brief history of the early reserve component Special Forces groups.

GAO, Special Operations Forces: Force Structure and Readiness Issues, Government Accountability Office, March 24, 1994, PDF, 58 pages.

USAJFKSWCS, "Reserve Component Special Operations Forces", Special Warfare Magazine, March 1992.

Morgan, LTC Wayne, USA, Reserve Component Special Forces Integration and Employment Models for the Operational Continuum, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, PA, 1992, PDF, 59 pages.

Dorn, Matthew. Provided information contained in the above paragraphs.



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