Murphy's Law: April 10, 2001

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Thirty years after the top secret Special Operations Group (SOG) stopped making recon patrols deep into Communist rear areas in Southeast Asia, the organization was finally honored with a Presidential Unit Citation. In it's eight years of operations, 7,800 men served in SOG. Ten of them won the Medal of Honor, and 2,000 won lesser awards for heroism. There were never more than 2,000 men in SOG at any one time. The units operations were top secret because many of their missions were into areas of Laos and Cambodia controlled by the North Vietnamese. But Laos and Cambodia were not officially involved in the war, and North Vietnam and the US had signed an agreement to keep troops out of Laos. North Vietnam began building the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos shortly after the treaty was signed and a few years later, SOG was formed to look into the matter. About half the SOG personnel were tribal mercenaries from Central Vietnam. The American members were all volunteers and suffered over 50 percent casualties. The most common SOG operation was a 8-10 man patrol going deep into communist territory via helicopter, patrolling on foot for several days, and then leaving again by helicopter. The communists feared the SOG more than any other Allied troops. And for good reason, for the SOG were formidable fighters, and would also bring in artillery fire or air strikes once they found enemy facilities. SOG was the most decorated unit of the Vietnam war.

 


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