An Honorary Green Beret induction ceremony was held at the U.S. Army Special Operations Command Headquarters, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, honoring the service and sacrifice of two 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) Soldiers, July 20.
Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah Johnson, a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear specialist, and Sgt. LaDavid Johnson, a wheeled vehicle mechanic, both assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group (Aiborne), were welcomed into the ranks of the Special Forces family and were posthumously awarded an honorary Green Beret in a private ceremony hosted by Lt. Gen. Francis Beaudette, USASOC commanding general.
“Today, we honor two national heroes, exceptional American warrior patriots and special operators who made the ultimate sacrifice along with their teammates, [SSG] Dustin Wright and [SSG] Bryan Black,” Beaudette said.
“These men represent the very finest our nation has ever produced, stalwart in their dedication to duty, selfless in every aspect of act and of deed, valorous in the face of overwhelming odds and danger, and committed to freeing the oppressed,” he said.
Recognizing the service and bond the two Soldiers had with the Special Forces Regiment, Beaudette said, “They lived on an ODA, they fought with their ODA and they gave their lives on an ODA.”
The Soldiers were honored for their valiant acts during the tragic events in Niger, Oct. 4, 2017. The two were killed in action alongside two of their Special Forces teammates, when their formation was overwhelmed by enemy contact.
Sgt. LaDavid Johnson was posthumously awarded the Silver Star and Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah Johnson was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with “V” device.
At the private ceremony, the families of each Soldier were each presented with a certificate describing their honorary induction into the Special Forces Regiment as well as a shadow box containing their honorary Green Berets. Also in attendance were members of SSG Wright and SSG Black families.
“We strive to honor Soldiers’ achievements in ways commensurate with their service,” said Beaudette. “This is a tangible and important recognition of the dedication and exemplary service of both Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah Johnson and Sgt. LaDavid Johnson.”
The Green Beret is the distinctive headgear of U.S. Army Special Forces. The uniform piece is worn by those serving as special forces soldiers and is generally awarding after passing the Special Operations assessment and selection.