All posts by DetASnake

MG James Guest Presents Silver Star to MSG Robert Charest 55 Years Later

Special Forces Association Chapter 363, hosted a speaking engagement at the Poinsett Club in Greenville SC on 19 July 2022. Guest Speakers were Major General Jim Guest and MSG Bob Charest.  Chapter President Todd Carpenter officiated the event.

A special honor was bestowed on Bob Charest, former member of Detachment “A” and MACV/SOG, as he was presented the Silver Star by Major General James Guest, 55 years after his actions in September of 1967.

Fox Carolina’s Anna Arinda covered the event. Here is a link to the story.

Assignment: Kabul, Afghanistan 2003-2004

Former Detachment “A” member Georg Moskaluk created and produced this video while on assignment in Afghanistan. 

Georg  Moskaluk, was a former Detachment “A” member having served in Berlin. He also served as the Command Sergeant Major of the 10th Special Forces Group (A).  Additionally, Georg served in the 5th Special Forces Group (A), 6th Special Forces Group (A), and MACV SOG.

This video production contains material in whole from audio and video materials supplied by (GMVP) Georg Moskaluk Video Production, and is protected by copyright and trademark laws. No material (including but not limited to the text, images, audio and/or video) can be reproduced for profit.

Non-profit duplication and exhibition is permitted. Modification of this video production or use of the materials for any other purpose is a violation of GMVP, and other sources’ copyright, trademark and other proprietary rights.

Ode on Detachment “A”

Written by Chris Feudo former member of Detachment “A”

‘These are the men of the Green Beret, and more so, men of Detachment A
These are men, America’s best – the epitome of the American fighting man
100 Strong they stood and glared, deep within Cold War Berlin
Ready to fight to defend against, the awaited threated Red Menace’

These are the men of Detachment A, one of the top six covert units in the USA
They spoke and looked like any of their foes, with however,
The training and weapons more lethal than all
Involved with some of the most sensitive actions of the cold war

They did things that others would never do
Could never do, mentally, emotionally or physically
They did things that men could dream only of
Things that require a commitment found nowhere else

These were exceptional men, bred from warriors’ blood
Men of integrity, of honor and truth, duty bound
Masters of their profession, full trust and confidence of their Brothers in Arms
Theirs is more than a job or an occupation, it is the very way of life

They have been awake in Berlin, clandestine and known, since 1956
Never exceeding 100, but targeted by 10,000 and the Stasi alike
For they thought that we were thousands, instead of the robust force multiplier 100
Deactivated in ‘84, the 39th Special Forces’, covert name Detachment A, its colors retired

Their missions, always classified, still remain unknown and absent from historical annals
Many have survived, others have passed on, with names inscribed at Arlington
On the black granite walls at the Vietnam Memorial, or local cemeteries, most important
They will be remembered within our very essence

They will always be alive within our heart and soul, forever cherished as human cohort
Their memories, their feats, their friendships, and their very legacy will forever not be lost
They have sacrificed all in their service to our beloved country, For Freedom is NEVER Free
Must be fought for, protected, and then handed on to the next generation to do the same

‘These are the men of the Green Beret, and more so, men of Detachment A
These are men, America’s best – the epitome of the American fighting man
100 Strong they stood and glared, deep within Cold War Berlin
Ready to fight to defend against the awaited threated Red Menace’

Click to see interview with Chris Feudo

Recollections of Det-A Wife Marie von Haas

A few recollections of my time (1978-1979) as a Det-A wife

by Marie von Haas

The women who were in West Berlin with the men of Det-A were integral to the mission of the Det. We were almost always a welcome sight when an assignment allowed them to return “home.” Where was home? Wives and children offered a bit of normalcy to their lives. Also, we were great at keeping secrets. Actually, that wasn’t difficult to do because we didn’t know much about what our guys were doing.

We lived in government quarters like all other Americans assigned to West Berlin, an island of freedom surrounded by communism. But our husbands were not like other Americans. I had a neighbor who lived upstairs from us who thought that Bruno was a “German Interpreter.” This was believable since she never saw him in official military attire. Bruno looked like a German, he smelled like a German, and he spoke like a German.

Living in West Berlin meant that we could go to the Post Exchange and Commissary like all other Americans. We could also visit and spend our money in the local German shops. We could drive our own automobiles around West Berlin, or we could ride the U-bahn.
I recall the many shopping sprees into East Berlin. In order to pass through Checkpoint Charlie, we had to make sure to get permission from the proper authorities. Our automobiles were also properly registered to pass through the frontier. God help us if we didn’t return after a day of shopping. On one spree I met Bruno in East Berlin. I left him there to return in the same way that he got there.
As Bruno’s wife I was also a member of the Officer’s Wives Club. I remember playing bridge with Amika Olchovik and other officer’s wives regularly.

A few of us, women of Det-A, played volleyball against other American women. I don’t recall having a team name. The champion team at that time was made up of Army women. They were in much better shape and practiced more than we did. We practiced whenever our coaches were in town. I recall Steve Santoya and Frank Closen yelling at us to “jump higher” to spike the ball. Their idea of volleyball I think was called “Jungle Volleyball.” Our children were often our cheerleaders.


Baseball

Back left corner: Rich Herpers Right corner: Frank Closen
Back l-r: Steve Santoya, Stewart O’Neill, Ron Braughton, Frank Wallace, Bruno von Haas, Jimmy Reeves, Candy Santoya, Becky Closen, Marie von Haas, Mrs. Wallace, Bilha  Herpers
Below left: Mrs. Braughton Below right: Mrs. Reeves circa 1978-79


Back row l-r: Johnnie Moore, Barb Moore, Mrs. Reeves, Jimmy Reeves, Ron Braughton, Frank Closen, Becky Closen
Front row l-r: Rich Herpers, Bilha Herpers, Marie von Haas, Bruno von Haas, Steve Santoya, Candy Santoya, Robbie Robinson, Mrs. Braughton
Far left: John Liner, unknown woman circa 1978-79


Around the table l-r: Holly Closen, Becky Closen, Heather Closen, Frank Closen, Bruno von Haas, Marie von Haas, Ron Braughton, Mrs. Braughton, Candy Santoya, (back of Steve Santoya head) circa 1979


Det-A Wives


In our spare time we created a cookbook. The women and men of Det-A shared their culinary talents by publishing “Detachment Delights” (1979). It contains 142 recipes.

I have submitted a copy to Bob Charest for the Det-A website and click on the pot below to view the cookbook.


DETACHMENT DELIGHTS Recipe Book
Det “A” Berlin 1979
Adams, Mrs. Shirley
Benjamin, Marcia
Bennett, Mary
Betterton, Marilyn
Briggs, lrmie
Chartier, Ursula
Ellis, Terri
Ferguson, Donna
Feudo, Paula
Herpers, Bilha
Krieger, Linda
Lemke, Mai Thi
Lusterman, Kathy
McGinnis, Irmgard
Norman, Ann
Offutt, Jean
0 lchovik, Amika
Olchovik, Stanley LTC
Piusz, Chris
Probart, Judy
Santoya, Candy
Schenkelberger, Betty
Thomas, Ann
von Haas, Marie (Cover Design)
Williams, Marilyn

The women and men of Det-A shared their culinary talents
by publishing a cookbook (1979). It contains 142 recipes.


About the Author

The author, Marie von Haas, has been married to Bruno for 52 years. She is presently completing her PhD in History at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

1975-1978 Bruno served with the 10th SF Group (Abn), Bad Tölz, Germany before becoming commander of Team 6, S.F. Detachment “A” Berlin, Germany at LTC Stanley Olchovik’s request. He took the place of Lt. Powell in 1978.

With sadness we left Germany in December 1979 so that Bruno could fulfill his Infantry Officer obligation, IOAC, at Ft. Benning, Georgia.

DETACHMENT-A: HOW SPECIAL FORCES SOLDIERS OPERATED UNDERCOVER IN COLD WAR BERLIN

Detachment-A Berlin
Detachment-A Team 2 in Garmisch, Germany, for “ski training.” Pictured: Peter Gould, Kevin Monahan, and others. Photo courtesy of detachment-a.org.

DETACHMENT-A: HOW SPECIAL FORCES SOLDIERS OPERATED UNDERCOVER IN COLD WAR BERLIN

By Matt Fratus | January 25, 2022

In September 1969, Bob Charest arrived in Cold War Berlin and reported to Detachment-A, a classified and clandestine US Army Special Forces unit that didn’t officially exist.

The senior communications sergeant would spend nearly all of the 1970s operating undercover and awaiting activation. Charest, a veteran of cross-border operations with MACV-SOG who spoke both German and Russian, understood the stakes at play. If Russia, one of the four divisional powers in Germany, launched an invasion to overtake all of Berlin, Charest and other Detachment-A members would activate and conduct “stay-behind” sabotage missions against strategic infrastructure and vital targets. Without an escape and evasion plan, the team hoped to stall Soviet advances long enough until NATO reinforcements arrived.

Continue Reading

HOW IMMIGRANTS BECAME SOME OF THE FIRST GREEN BERETS

A good part of “Detachment A” in Berlin was initially composed of Lodge Act soldiers who passed on their invaluable, myriad European skills, culture and languages needed to accomplish the mission.

This article was written by  Matt Fratus  on April 09, 2019 of Coffee or Die Magazine.

On this date 32 years ago, the U.S. Army Special Forces — commonly referred to as “Green Berets” — were officially established as a basic branch of the U.S. Army. But their history began much earlier.

From the days when the 10th Special Forces Group was commanded by “the father of Army Special Forces” Colonel Aaron Bank and numbers barely ticked double digits to Green Berets today serving in 149 countries across the globe — the battlefields may change, but the principles remain the same.

One of the pillars of Army Special Forces (SF) is their language and cultural capabilities.  Continue reading

Hermann Adler – DMOR Ceremony

On 22 October 2014, Major(Ret) Hermann Adler was inducted into the Distinguished Member of the Special Forces Regiment at a small private ceremony held at his home.  LTG Charles T. Cleveland, former Commanding General, US Army Special Operations and his staff performed the ceremony with LTG Cleveland performing the induction.