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7th Special Forces Group Airborne Green Beret
National Museum of American History, Behring Center

7th Special Forces Group Airborne Green Beret

Catalog #: 69608M    Accession #: 270587
Credit: Division of Military History and Diplomacy, National Museum of American History


Bancroft Military Caps (Manufacturer)

The Bancroft family started their cap business in 1901 in Worcester, Massachusetts. In 1967 they built a plant in Cabot, Arkansas. Bancroft's proud service to the military became legendary when President John F. Kennedy donned the company's now famous "Green Beret" at an official white house ceremony.

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 3.5" H x 10" W x 10" D

Physical Description

Green beret of rifle green wool, with a black leather sweat band. Lined with yellow cloth and marked: "Bancroft/Military Caps/Framingham Mass." The crown bears the insignia of the 7th Special Forces Group, a red felt shield and a pin of black and silver and black crossed arrows over a sword with the motto, "De Oppresso Liber" or "to free the oppressed".

Specific History

United States 7th Special Forces Group green beret, worn by SP/5C R.J. Schmidt in Vietnam in 1964.

General History

The US Army Special Forces are commonly known as the Green Berets, from their distinctive headgear. They are comprised of small groups of highly trained officers and non-commissioned officers, whose mission is to conduct "behind-the-lines" operations in enemy territory, reconnaissance, target acquisition and damage assessment, and precision strikes on strategic targets. Special Forces units have another unique mission, which is to train and operate insurgency and counter-insurgency units in the field, a mission they performed admirably in Vietnam. They are very well-schooled in foreign languages and customs, and are the units of choice when a training mission is done in another nation.

The 7th Special Forces Group was first formed as the 1st Company, First Battalion, 1st Special Service Force in July 1942 at Camp William Harrison in Montana. They were disbanded after World War II but reactivated at Fort Bragg in 1953 as the 77th Special Forces Group. In 1960, the 77th Special Forces Group was designated as the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), as they are still known today. Under President Kennedy the 7th served as the cadre and building block for the formation of other special forces units. In 1961 the 7th was sent to Vietnam to advise the South Vietnamese Army and was also involved in Laos and Thailand. The first Medal of Honor earned in Vietnam was awarded to Captain Roger Donlon, a member of the 7th.


Countries: United States, Vietnam
State: Arkansas
War: Vietnam conflict
Service: Army
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