As we move into the 16th year of the Global War on Terrorism, it is no secret that not only have our Special Forces “Green Beret” soldiers carried a very heavy burden but their families have too -a burden that no one in American history has experienced for this length of time. With our unique experiences, unique situations and obstacles have been presented. The Green Beret Foundation has always taken an unconventional and holistic approach to the care of those that serve in the US Army Special Forces Regiment. Part of that care includes ensuring the Green Beret has a strong support system back home.
We have realized over many years that just as “special” as Green Berets are so are their wives, moms, daughters and sisters. They share similar characteristics with their Green Berets more often than not and are just as committed to the Special Forces’ mission as their Green Beret. They are required to operate alone 90% of the time their Green Berets are on active duty.
We also have come to learn that our families are distinct because of the mere nature of the mission their Green Berets carry out. This requires these men to be in over 110 countries at any given time whether in peace time or in war and when they are not deployed they are in training preparing for the next deployment. This operational tempo results in a disproportionately high rate of casualties (60% of all SOF casualties); extended training even when they are not deployed out of the continental US; and an overall heavier strain on the family unity. Their families are required to also bear the burden of a high level of social confidentiality that a common citizen generally would not be able to empathize with. Because of these special circumstances, many times, they are isolated from not only civilians but also the conventional military at large.
This requires these women to lean heavily on their peers for support. This is why the Steel Mags sorority was founded.