Green Beret Demolition Training


58 years ago, 3 December 1962, I was a Private E-2. I had been in Special Forces Training Group (Provisional), in Fort Bragg NC, for a little over two months, waiting to begin training to be a “Green Beret” demolition (explosives) expert. I was assigned to Company B, Special Forces Training Group (Provisional).
I was scheduled to begin demolition training on 3 December. The 3rd of December came, with no training cycle listed on the bulletin board. Instead, a bunch of us went to the field. We had been told on Friday to prepare for going to the field on Monday, returning the following Friday. We were also told that we would be acting the part of a “Pineland” guerrilla band, to undergo training by a trainee Special Forces A-team.
Our instructors would be soon-to-be (or, at least, hopefully so) Special Forces Training Group Branch Training graduates. It was their final exercise, to prove their ability, and worthiness, to be a “Green Beret.” We were told that our uniform would be our most rag-tag civvies, since they were bound to get wear and tear, and dirty.
I packed two pairs of jeans, and warm shirts since we were going to be in the mountains of North Carolina in the winter. We departed early Monday morning on deuce-and-a-half trucks. We arrived in the hills of North Carolina, in a fictitious country known then, and still, as “Pineland,” about 75 miles west of Ft. Bragg. I made my own little hooch out of a couple of ponchos and some branches. I got very cold, and wet, but learned a lot. It rained Monday night through Tuesday afternoon, and again on Wednesday night.
Thursday morning, we awoke to snow on the ground, and snow still falling. When I awoke, I had to pee. As cold as it was, as much as I needed to pee, as far away from my hooch as the pisser was, and as few clothes as I had on, I didn’t pee at the authorized pisser, using a nearby tree instead. Hey, trees need water too. And, if dogs can pee on them, why couldn’t I.
We were there to act as indigenous guerrilla warfare troops, being advised by Special Forces trainees. They were there to teach us, and advising us, how to fight the invaders, and take back our country. It was part of their final test for finishing their advanced training, before graduating, and being assigned to a Special Forces unit. They were there to “mold us into a fighting unit,” give us training, and take us out on operations.
A few months later, I would be in those same woods, but acting the part of a Special Forces advisor, training a group of indigenous guerrilla fighters. It would be my graduation test. This time in Pineland helped me understand what I would be expected to do when it came time for me to be tested. It was great training for me.
Every Green Beret goes through the “Pineland” scenario, even to this day. It is the final test before graduating and earning the “Green Beret.” Upon returning from the field on the 7th, I checked the company bulletin board. Surprise, surprise, out of nowhere, demolition training was to begin for me that following Tuesday, 11 December.
From my Book #1, of my four-book set of SLURP SENDS! Book #1 (“SLURP SENDS! On Becoming a Green Beret Book 1”), #2 (“SLURP SENDS! Experiences of an A-Team Green Beret Book 2”), #3 (“SLURP SENDS! Experiences of a Green Beret In Vietnam Book 3”) and #4 (“SLURP SENDS! A Green Beret’s Experiences In Vietnam Book 4”) are all available on Amazon or from me.
PHOTO: Special Forces DUI / My copy of FM 5-25 “Explosives and Demolitions” used during my demolition training.


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