U.S. ARMY SPECIAL FORCES OFFICER'S CEREMONIAL BELT

Special Forces ceremonial belts are authorized for wear by officers with the Army Service Uniform. Manufactured in the Special Forces branch color of Jungle Green, the belts feature a golden border and a buckle with the Coat of Arms of the United States, which is taken from the obverse of the Great Seal of the United States.
 

The phrase “A-Team” is universally recognized as a reference to an assemblage of an organization’s finest talent. But not many people are aware that the sobriquet was inspired by the name that United States Army Special Forces Command assigned to the 12-man Special Forces team that form the backbone of its operational capabilities: Operational Detachment Alpha, or ODA.

While each of the dozen members of an ODA has been cross-trained in a variety of disciplines, an A-Team draws upon each of the Special Forces Military Occupational Specialties in the 18 Career Management Field to provide a high level of expertise in five different areas: Communications, Engineering, Weapons, Medical, and Operations and Intelligence. All these Specialties require Soldiers to reach a minimum grade of E-5 (Sergeant).

Each ODA team is unique, but a typical “A Team” is led by an officer (Captain) serving as the Detachment Commander. The Commander is assisted by a Special Forces Warrant Officer (WOMOS 180A) who is authorized to take command if the Captain is incapacitated or the team is required to split up. A Senior Sergeant (MOS 18Z) is the senior enlisted member of the team and is responsible for the team’s organization and operations. Working closely with the Senior Sergeant is an Operations and Intelligence Sergeant, tasked with outfitting the team with appropriate gear and providing intelligence on the different variables that might be faced during a mission. Rounding out a standard ODA is a pair of Sergeants from each of the remaining Special Forces specialties: Weapons, Engineers, Medical, and Communications.

Some ODA teams have been trained to operate in unique environments that require highly specialized skills. These include Military Free-Fall (HALO/HAHO parachute operations), Combat Divers / SCUBA, Mountain, and Mounted (equipped with modified Humvees). All ODA teams, however, must have at least three members who have qualified as Jumpmasters, two who’ve qualified as Snipers, and two who have passed the Advanced Special Operations Techniques (Level III) course. At least one of the ODA’s officers will have been qualified as an Air Movement Officer, and at least one of the Soldiers will have been trained in handling Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT).
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