VN139-KC Green Beret Colonel in Tiger-Stripes
A second version of the officer, this time wearing the ‘Tiger-Stripe’ camouflage uniform. The origins of this design are unknown but it is believed to have been developed in an Asian country and was first worn in Vietnam by the South Vietnamese Marines.
It gained increasing popularity after it was featured in the John Wayne movie ‘The Green Berets’ (1968).
Although some examples of this camo pattern combat uniform were manufactured in South Vietnam most Special Forces uniforms were purchased in Thailand, Taiwan, Okinawa and South Korea. Consequently colours, patterns and fabrics varied greatly.
The war in Vietnam was to become the U.S. Special Forces most complex and controversial mission, beginning as early as 1957 and finally ending in 1973.
During those years the U.S. Special Forces, mostly ‘Green Berets’, fulfilled a wide variety of operations and missions covering all of South Vietnam and also, clandestinely, into neighboring countries. Among their many duties were setting up and leading camp strike forces… mobile strike forces… special reconnaissance tasks… training indigenous units and headquarters support.
The Special Forces soldiers who carried out these missions and operations were a special breed of soldier… All of them were Regular Army volunteers with years of experience and knowledge behind them. They were well-trained in a variety of different military skills and able to work alone or in small specialist teams to lead and advise regular and irregular South Vietnamese forces as well as local civilians and natives in some of the most distant and inhospitable areas of South Vietnam.
The typical Special Forces trooper and officer was of higher than average intelligence, physically fitter than many of his military contemporaries and well able to think on his feet and be more adaptable to changing situations and variable conditions.
The ‘Green Berets’ that most of them proudly wore was earned by plenty of blood, sweat and tears in training and in the jungles, mountains and paddy fields of South Vietnam.