FirstSpear TV

Posts Tagged ‘1st SFAB’

US Army Releases Beret and Insignia for 1st SFAB

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

Late last year, images appeared online showing a beret, unit Shoulder Sleeve Insignia and Combat Advisor Tab for the US Army’s 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade. The 1st SFAB is the first of six planned advisor units which will assist friendly armed forces.


The original beret color (above) was intended to be Olive but came across more green than intended, which caused some consternation among the Army’s Special Forces due to their unique Rifle Green Beret, awarded by President John F Kennedy over 60 years ago. Additionally, the unit patch used in arrowhead design like the SF SSI and the Combat Advisor tab seemed a little too close to the coveted Special Forces tab.

Consequently, the Army’s chief of staff, GEN Milley, clarified the beret color as a Brown shade and sent them back to the drawing board for some refinement. Earlier, today the Army released the new beret color, Distinctive Unit Insignia (commonly known as a unit crest), SSI and tab.

Beret with Flash and DUI


SSI and Advisor Tab


It is now more similar to the Vietnam-era Military Assistance Command Vietnam SSI than the original SFAB patch and tab, seen below.




INVISIO to equip US Army’s new Security Force Assistance Brigades with communication and hearing protection systems

Friday, December 29th, 2017

Stockholm, December 28, 2017

INVISIO has received an order concerning deliveries to the US Army’s new specialized unit Security Force Assistance Brigades (SFAB). The order is valued SEK 10 million and connects to the previous order of SEK 20 million announced on December 4, 2017, amounting to a total order value of about SEK 30 million. Deliveries will take place during the first half of 2018.

The order includes communications system with control units and headsets for use with a radio. By ensuring a good hearing protection while the wearer can communicate and maintain situational awareness, the INVISIO systems address the Army’s modernization initiatives and provides Soldiers with the tactical advantage necessary to achieve mission success.

“We are proud to deliver our advanced communication systems to new units within the US Armed Forces. INVISIO’s systems are world leading in its segment and with this order we are strengthening our position further,” said Lars Højgård Hansen, CEO of INVISIO.

The Security Force Assistance Brigades are specialized units whose core mission is to conduct advise-and-assist operations with allied and partner nations. Soldiers in SFABs are highly trained and will help brigade combat teams build readiness by freeing them from advisory missions.

1st SFAB To Be Equipped With Harris Radios

Monday, December 11th, 2017

As we’ve told you in the past, the Army’s newest Brigade is getting the latest and greatest hardware. Harris Communications recently announced a contract to supply radios to Fort Benning’s 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade.


They are receiving the Falcon III AN/PRC-152A wideband networking handheld radios, AN/PRC-117G multi-band networking manpack radios and AN/PRC-160 high-frequency manpack radios, equipped with Soldier Radio Waveform and the Adaptive Networking Wideband Waveform.


Recently, 1st SFAB’s Combat Advisors were issued Crye Precision Adaptive Vest System armor vests. They are also next up for fielding the Army’s new M17 Modular Handgun System.

1st SFAB Issued Crye Precision’s Adaptive Vest System

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

The Army’s newest Brigade was recently issued the Adaptive Vest System by Crye Precision.


The US Army photo above, is of CPT Jay Beeman, a Combat Advisor team leader in Bravo Company, 5th Battalion, 1st SFAB.

Crye developed AVS as a fully scalable armor/load carrying system which offers everything from a low-vis rig to a fully armored load-bearing vest. It has been in use with USSOCOM since 2012.


Above is the full range of AVS components. Below, you can see AVS in Plate Carrier and Assaulter configurations.



Despite the recent controversy over unit motto and beret, the 1st SFAB is definitely a unit to watch. Chief of Staff of the Army, GEN Mark Milley cleared the air on the beret color and proposed motto, and the unit is busy recruiting experienced NCOs to fill their ranks. Once candidates complete their assessment and training program which includes language and SERE instruction, they will receive a $5000 assignment bonus.

1st SFAB’s Combat Advisors will also use some of the latest individual equipment. In addition to the AVS, 1st SFAB is slated to be one of the first units to receive the new M17 Modular Handgun System. Additionally, they are on track to issue the Ops-Core FAST MT helmet also used by SOCOM.

The genesis of this SOF equipment crosswalk is a visit GEN Milley made last year to the 75th Ranger Regiment. He saw the equipment being used by the Rangers and directed PEO Soldier to acquire it for select Army units. Since then, PEO Soldier has been working with USSOCOM’s PM-SSES at Natick, as well as industry to procure a variety of SOF unique systems for their use. AVS is one of the first items fielded under this arrangement.

1st SFAB Responds To Concerns Over Adoption Of Green Beret And ‘Legion’ Nickname

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017


Last week, photos of an Olive Drab beret intended for wear by the US Army’s newly minted 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade surfaced. They set off an internet firestorm that has culminated with the unit issuing this statement on Facebook.


It says:

The 1st SFAB has great respect for U.S. Army Special Forces, their many accomplishments and their singularly distinguished history. We also respect the concerns associated with the heraldry of the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade.

The 1st SFAB is not a Special Forces organization. We are a conventional force purposefully built to partner with other conventional forces. SFABs will support Army readiness by allowing brigade combat teams to focus on building their readiness for large scale contingencies instead of on the train, advise and assist missions.

In accordance with Army guidance, we will select a new unit name. The Army has also decided the SFABs will wear a Brown Infantry Beret like those worn by many armies. Our new name and photos of the beret will be published once the final decisions are approved.

Thank you for your support as we establish the identity and culture of the #1SFAB.

U.S. Army U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) XVIII Airborne Corps

The Olive Green color of the 1st SFAB’s new beret was a bit too close for comfort for the US Army Special Forces, who were awarded the Green Beret by a Presidential Memorandum issued by President Kennedy, well over 50 years ago.


While the shades of Green are different, the President didn’t say “Rifle Green” Beret and the issue item has a tendency to fade to a much lighter shade over time. It’s always been referred to simply as a ‘Green Beret’. What’s more, popular culture refers to SF by that term thanks to a popular song and book turned movie. ‘Green Beret’ is part of the national lexicon.


When the Olive Drab beret was combined with an arrowhead-shaped Shoulder Sleeve Insignia complete with tab ala SF and USASOC as well as the self-appointed nickname of “The Legion” (the actual nickname for the 5th SFG(A)), it all added up to appear that Big Green was attempting to steal SF’s lineage for this new unit. To make matters worse, the 1st SFAB was stood up to conduct a mission long accomplished by SF. The similarities were uncanny, even to the most reasonable observor.


In protest, numerous articles were written, memes were created, and supporters of the SF heritage even created a petition.

On Monday, Army Chief of Staff, GEN Mark Milley, himself SF qualified and a veteran of 5th Group, responded to concerns in a phone interview with Army Times.

Bottom line, GEN Milley has taken responsibility for the situation, explained that it was unintentional and directed the 1st SFAB to find a new nickname. Finally, he referred to the beret as an Olive Brown color, patterned after a British Army Beret but acknowldeged that the shade may appear Green. Based on the 1st SFAB’s statement, it looks like they’ll be adopting a much richer Infantry Brown.

Although not common knowledge, there was a move to adopt a Brown Beret for the US Army in the late 1990s. Then Sergeant Major of the Army Gene McKinney, was the lead on the initiative, but when he was relieved from his duty position and court martialled, the project was stopped.

Instead, in 2000, former CSA Shinseki awarded the Black Beret worn for decades by the 75th Ranger Regt, to the Army as a standard headgear, and issued the Tan Beret to the Rangers instead, complete with a contrived backstory. Soldier and Rangers alike still grumble over that fiasco.

At least this time the Army leadership has reacted before it is too late. Unfortunately, it took the collective voice of the internet to point it out rather than realizing it was a poorly hatched plan from the beginning.

Ask SSD – “Is There A New SF Group?”

Thursday, October 26th, 2017


Earlier today, several readers sent us this photo of a Green Beret with a new flash. Naturally, they came with the question of whether there was a new Special Forces Group. Considering that in the US Army, the Green Beret is worn by Special Forces qualified personnel, it’s a good question.

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t good. The Army has stood up the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB), which has a mission to, “integrates with foreign partner forces, assists and advises local security operations to build partner security capacity and capability and achieve regional security in support of US National Interests.”

The 1st SFAB’s self-appointed nickname is “The Legion” and above you can see their patch, complete with tab. For some time, we’ve been hearing that they were going to wear an Olive Green Beret. Looks like it’s true as we understand this is their beret and flash.

It looks very similar to the Army’s Special Forces, which wears a darker, Rifle Green Beret. Additionally, their arrow-shaped Shoulder Sleeve Insignia is as iconic as their Beret. Considering the 5th SFG(A) has been named “The Legion” for decades, one must wonder if host nation forces won’t mistake members of the 1st SFAB and its future five sister Brigades for SF Soldiers.

UPDATE: Last night we heard that the 1st SFAB’s SSI tab has been changed from “Advise – Assist” to “Combat Advisor”. This image was posted to Instagram verifying that information.