JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Washington - The 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) Soldiers, distinguished visitors and Gold Star Families gathered for the annual Menton Week Memorial Ceremony at the 1st SFG (A) headquarters, Dec. 3.
The group honored Soldiers from both the 1st SFG (A) family and their Canadian Special Operations Regiment brothers who, since 9/11, paid the ultimate sacrifice. The families of Sgt. 1st Class Reymund Transfiguracion and Spc. Jeremy Allen, two members from the 1st SFG (A) who died in 2018, were in attendance for the unveiling of their Soldier's names on the 1st SFG (A) Memorial Wall.
"This week is a celebration but also a reminder and reflection of our culture and values, as our forbearers in the First Special Service Force and the Office of Strategic Services," said Col. Owen Ray, the 1st SFG (A) Commander. "We are and remain relentless, professional and seek excellence in all we do."
The ceremony marked the commemoration of the First Special Service Force deactivation in Menton, France on Dec. 5, 1944. The elite American and Canadian unit earned the name "The Black Devils" from their Nazi enemies due to their cunning tactics and night raids.
To celebrate their Menton lineage and continue to grow their legacy, the Soldiers will compete in team events to test their muscular strength and combat focused endurance through weight lifting, obstacle courses, and an 11-mile ruck march. The 1st SFG (A) Soldiers and their partner forces will also conduct airborne operations, demonstrating both military free fall and static line techniques in front of friends and family.
The 1st SFG (A) will host a mixed martial arts combative tournament, the Gladiator Challenge, where Soldiers will pit their hand-to-hand fighting skills against each other. Families will also have the opportunity to become familiar with weapons and tactical equipment unique to Special Forces.