The legacy of the Horse Soldiers comes from the fire, pain, and ash of the attacks on 9/11. Detached from the grey scenery and dead silence at that time, Special Operations were fashioning their own immediate and deadly response. This response came in the form of a select group of operators composed of Army Special Forces and Air Force Special Operations to take the fight to the Taliban threat.
A joint effort of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Army Special Operations Recruiting Battalion and the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) the unique presentation of "12 Strong" was offered at no charge to promote the collaborative theme of the movie and to highlight what it means to be a part of Special Operations.
Inside the theater, Col. Will Beaurpere, the 1st SFG (A) commander, had an opportunity to explain to the audience the significance of the mission behind the movie and to pay homage to those that it represented.
"What you will see here tonight is an accurate portrayal of the service and sacrifice of our teams and their families," said Beaurpere. "It gives a glimpse into what that experience truly was like as our operators are standing side by side with our partner forces and sister services to combat a genuine and dangerous threat."
Outside of Cary Theater, Green Berets from 1st SFG (A) displayed for the more than 900 in attendance an array of specialized equipment to include weapons and tactical vehicles. They used this opportunity to engage the audience and answer questions about life in Special Forces.
"My grandfather served three tours in Vietnam, and I think it is great to be able to see Soldiers and their equipment first hand," said Michael Strum, a 15-year-old grandson of an Army veteran. "It makes me proud to know that we have men like these out there fighting for us."
In conjunction with the Green Berets, Special Operations Recruiting Battalion recruiters answered questions for those interested in pursuing a path in the Special Operations career fields.
"This event is significant to our mission at the SORB. It is going to help individuals better understand the actual duties of a Special Operations team, and the integration of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment," said Sgt.1st Class Shawn Kroeck, recruiter and Assistant Station Commander.
Kroeck added, "Many people are under the impression that all Special Forces is capable of is blow down doors, and kill people. When truthfully, that is only a small part of the SOF capabilities. This movie and event is a great testament to that and was a great platform to educate and inform people on what it means to be in special operation."
Beaurpere shed light on what it means to be a Special Forces Soldier.
"As Green Berets are often the first in, we fully understand that it is a team effort. We create time and space for conventional forces to accomplish their mission, while simultaneously integrating their skillsets into our overall scheme of maneuver," he said.
"What makes Special Operation Forces so unique is because of the approach is taken to accomplish their given mission. Special Operations community takes the indigenous approach," said Beaurpere. "We partner with our allies to help them accomplish their objectives with specialized training in language, weapons, medical, communication, and engineering."