Then and Now: History of the 10th Special Forces Group Badge

By Emily Sussman, ParaglideMarch 30, 2018

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10th Special Forces Group, born in June 1952 at Fort Bragg, adopted the Trojan Horse Badge in 1955 and began adorning their Green Berets with them in 1956. Capt. Roger M Pezzelle designed the Trojan Horse Badge.

Pezzelle, an assistant S-3 and "A" team leader serving with the 10th SFG in Bad Toelz, Germany, found inspiration for his design from a French parachutist badge. Pezzelle created the Trojan Horse Badge and engaged a local jeweler Eichmann in crafting it. While Pezzelle worked on the badge, 10th SFG Soldier, Capt. Herbert R. Brucker, commissioned Mutze Muller, a German haberdasher to create Green Berets for 10th SFG. Worn on the beret, the Trojan Horse Badge could be found above an SF Soldier's left temple.

"(SF Soldiers) loved it. It was a great morale builder," said Capt. Carl M. Bergstrom.

The badge was worn until 1962 when it was replaced by the SF distinctive Unit Insignia and beret flash, a shield-shaped embroidered cloth or metallic insignia attached to the stiffener backing of a military beret.


10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) berets now don a green flash with the SF crest. The crest insignia was adopted in1960 and approved as the Special Forces regimental designator in 1984.

The United States Army Special Forces Command website traces the symbolic crossed arrows depicted on the crest to 1890 when it was worn as the uniform insignia for the U.S. Army Indian Scouts, who served in the American west from 1860 through 1939. During World War II, a joint U.S./Canadian special operations unit, First Special Service Force, was established to conduct operations behind enemy lines and also wore the historic crossed arrows.

The intersecting dagger on the crest is representative of the V-42 dagger, a stiletto and fighting knife, issued to members of SF. Below the crest, a scroll bears the SF motto "De oppresso liber," which translated from Latin states, "to free the oppressed." This crest is the same for all SF groups; it is the flash that designates the specific group.

(Editor's Note: Information for this article was sourced from "The Trojan Horse Badge: Distinctive identity for the 10th Special Forces Group," by Dr. Troy J. Sacquety, Veritas Magazine, Journal of United States Army Special Operations History, Vol. 5, No. 4, 2009, and the USASOC website. The Trojan Horse Badge pictured is on display at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum.)