Special Forces Soldiers honored in Ocala

Written by  //  August 24, 2012  //  News

OCALA, Fla. (August 24, 2012) – Approximately 80 Soldiers from the Florida National Guard’s Company A, 3rd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group were honored with a ceremony Friday morning prior to an upcoming deployment to Central America.

Special Forces Soldiers from Company A, 3rd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group stand ready in formation behind their company guidon during a deployment ceremony at the National Guard Armory in Ocala, Fla., Aug. 24, 2012. Special Forces Soldiers are experts trained in unconventional warfare, direct action, special reconnaissance and other special activities. Company A, 3-20th SFG is deploying to the Central America region with the mission of deterring transnational organized crime by training and advising partner nation security forces. Photo by Spc. N. Bobby Ballard, 107th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

“Over the last 10 years, no other battalion has deployed their Soldiers, their teams, their companies more often than this battalion has,” said Maj. Gen. Don Tyre, Commander of the Florida Army National Guard.

During the deployment, the Soldiers will help to train partner nation forces in the fight against drug trafficking and transnational organized crime in Central America.

“This is a very different mission for 3-20th and for the Florida National Guard,” said Capt. Coates, the company commander. “We will now transition from operations focused on combat operations to more traditional operations focused on training and advising foreign nations.”

Soldiers from Company A have conducted missions of unconventional warfare, direct action, special reconnaissance and other special activities in more than a dozen countries since the start of the Global War on Terrorism.

“Alpha company has proven itself in combat with multiple rotations in both Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Calhoun, commander of the 83rd Troop Command. “The company played a critical role in both theaters by selflessly and relentlessly pursuing our enemies and building capacity in our partners.”

The Soldiers of 3-20th complete specialized training that sets them apart from the rest in order to earn the right to be called “Green Berets,” the U.S. Army’s elite special forces.

“We are deploying what we call ‘quiet professionals,’” said Calhoun. “Their motto is to liberate the oppressed. I’m sure they’ll accomplish their mission and set the goals and standards that no one else will be able to accomplish.”