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., Sept. 20 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.
Col. Patrick B. Roberson, the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) Commander, will be the guest speaker at the ceremony. Roberson, who has deployed to Iraq several times with the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), recently assumed command of 3rd SFG(A) on July 13.
Two Special Forces veterans -- Col. Jerry M. King and Sgt. Brian L. Buker -- will be inducted as distinguished members of the Special Forces regiment during the ceremony.
King, who retired in 1987 after 32 years of active service, last served as the first commander of Special Operations Command-Central, the first stand-alone special-operations command and subordinate unified command.
Buker will be inducted posthumously. After joining the Army at the age of 17 in 1968, Buker deployed to Vietnam and served with 5th SFG(A) as a platoon advisor for a Vietnamese mobile strike force company. While leading his platoon while under heavy fire, Buker was mortally wounded while destroying an enemy bunker to ensure the safety of his men and success of their mission. On April 5, 1970, Buker was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
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.