Story by Sgt. Arcadia Hammack, 58th EMIB, April 1, 2021.
“We’ve gone through a very extensive selection process with significant amounts of stress, sleep deprivation, and food deprivation,” said a weapons sergeant with B. Company, 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Maryland Army National Guard based in Glen Arm, Maryland. “The majority of individuals that make it through special forces training are people that deal well with stress and ambiguous environments, and COVID-19 falls under that.” [Special Forces Soldiers will not be named in order to conceal their identities.]
Many Marylanders may not even know that the Maryland Army National Guard has a SF asset… let alone how they have both a federal and state mission to accomplish on a daily basis.
Members of B. Co. 2-20th SFG are awaiting mobilization for a subsequent overseas deployment to relieve other Soldiers who are currently there on duty, but COVID-19 is changing the timeline of events making it unclear as to when the unit will deploy.
Special Forces Soldiers are trained to perform counter-insurgency operations, unconventional warfare, direct action missions, foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, support of information operations, counter terrorism, and security force assistance.
From deployments overseas to working in their own neighborhoods delivering food during COVID-19, Soldiers from B. Co. 2-20th SFG find a way to serve their community and country, despite the circumstances. “It all goes back to adaptability, teamwork, intelligence, cultural awareness, language proficiency, mental toughness, and physical fitness,” said a communications sergeant with B. Co. 2-20th SFG. “Everyone here has the internal ability to be a leader.”
The Special Forces Group falls under the, recently returned from deployment, 58th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade, which is one of four of the Maryland Army National Guard’s major subordinate commands. While the 58th EMIB was deployed, Task Force 291 provided administrative and logistics support of the 58th EMIB’s subordinate units.
“We are proud in Maryland to call them our own, knowing the challenging qualifications these Soldiers must endure to become a Green Beret,” says U.S. Army Col. Kristine Henry, commander of TF 291 based in Towson, Maryland.
Facing the unknown head-on despite uncertainty is one of many qualities that members of B. Co. 2-20th SFG show. Known as ‘quiet professionals,’ these Special Forces Soldiers are tested in every type of hazardous environment and operate confidentially. Their efforts and perseverance have led them to be an invaluable asset to the Maryland Army National Guard and the United States Army Special Operations Command.
Photo – Paratroopers with the Maryland Army National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne) jump from a CH-47 Chinook helicopter during an airborne training operation at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Nov. 7, 2020. The 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne) plans, prepares for, and conducts Special Operations within the worldwide area of responsibility in support of Inter-agency and Foreign Nation Partners’ objectives as directed by U.S. Army Special Forces Command (USASFC). They also assist in the State of Maryland as directed by the Governor and The Adjutant General. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Arcadia Hammack)
This story, Quiet Professionals of Special Forces, by Sgt. Arcadia Hammack of the 58th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade was originally published on April 1, 2021 on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service. DVIDS content is published in the public domain.