By Dave Chace, SWCS Public Affairs OfficeAugust 6, 2012
FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Media representatives and members of the public are invited to attend the graduation ceremony for more than 100 Soldiers from the 270th Special Forces Qualification Course at 3:30 p.m., Aug. 9 at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville.
The SFQC, which is run and managed by the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, focuses on core tactical competencies, specialty skills, survival and regional language and culture skills necessary for Soldiers serving in the Army's active-duty or National Guard Special Forces groups.
Depending on each Soldier's designated specialty, the SFQC may take anywhere from 52 to 92 weeks to complete. These students are broken into groups in order to become Special Forces detachment commanders, weapons sergeants, engineers, medics or communications specialists.
The SFQC graduation ceremony marks the formal induction of each Soldier into the Special Forces regiment, where they may first wear the Special Forces tab and green beret before their Family members, peers and friends.
Brig. Gen. Darsie Rogers, the 4th Infantry Division's Deputy Commanding General for Support, will be the guest speaker at the ceremony. Rogers, who came up through the ranks as a Special Forces officer, last served as commander of the Joint Forces Special Operations Component Command-Iraq in Baghdad during Operation New Dawn. Rogers is also former commander of the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne).
Three Special Forces veterans -- Col. Edwin W. "Andy" Anderson, Jr., Col. Charles Beckwith and 1st Sgt. Charles L. Gray -- will be inducted as distinguished members of the Special Forces regiment during the ceremony.
Anderson, who retired in 2005 after 30 years of active-duty Special Forces service, oversaw the SFQC and other SWCS courses as commander of the 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne). His last active-duty assignment was as the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Operations Officer in Djibouti. Since his retirement, Anderson has gone on to serve the Army and special-operations communities through his participation and numerous benevolent organizations.
Beckwith, who will be inducted posthumously, is known for forming the 1st Special Forces operational Detachment-Delta in 1977 and subsequently serving as the counterterrorist unit's first commander. A veteran of the Vietnam War, Beckwith retired from active-duty service in 1981. He passed away on June 13, 1994.
Gray, another Vietnam War veteran, joined the U.S. Army Special Forces regiment as a Special Forces weapons sergeant in 1965. Throughout his career, Gray was instrumental in establishing and managing combat-dive training programs. He retired from active-duty service in 1981, and has gone on to serve as a lifetime member of the Special Forces Association.
Distinguished SFQC graduates and student leaders will also be recognized during the ceremony.
Media interested in covering the event should contact the SWCS public affairs office at (910) 396-9394, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.