U.S. ARMY 1ST SPECIAL FORCES GROUP (AIRBORNE) FLASH AND OVAL

Soldiers authorized to wear green (Special Forces), maroon (Airborne), or tan (Rangers) berets may wear an organizational flash in lieu of the standard Army flash. Ovals, officially referred to as “background trimming,” can only be worn by Soldiers serving in organizations that are designated as Airborne or Air Assault by Headquarters, Department of the Army. Worn beneath any authorized Parachutist or Air Assault badge, background trimmings acquired the “oval” designation because they were originally shaped like a true oval rather than the stadium shape (a rectangle with semi-circles on opposite sides) used today.
 
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While the unit designated the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) was constituted in 1957, the organization can point to 1942 and the constitution and activation of the First Special Service Force (FSSF) at Fort William Henry Harrison as its true point of origin. By the time it was disbanded in December 1944, the FSSF had taken part in five named campaigns and is recognized as the forefather of Special Forces in both the U.S. and Canadian military.
 
It was reconstituted in 1960 and consolidated with the 1st Special Forces Group; following a ten-year period of inactivation, the Group was reactivated in 1984, with Battalions added that same year; a Group Support Battalion was added in 2006, followed by the activation of the 4th Battalion in 2011.
 
Today, the 1st Special Forces Group is headquartered at Joint Base Lewis-McChord along with its 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and Group Support Battalions. The Group’s 1st Battalion is stationed at U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa in Japan.
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