President Obama To Receive Honorary Green Beret, Induction Into Special Forces Association
FORT BRAGG, NC – The White House Press Office announced today that President Obama will soon be inducted into the Special Forces Association and receive an honorary Green Beret.
Officials have said the honor will be bestowed in an upcoming September 11th ceremony at Fort Bragg.
The honorary beret comes in recognition of the President's decisive role in covert operations throughout the world during his term -- including the killing of Osama bin Laden last year in Pakistan, and his combat action in Afghanistan months ago.
Army Public Affairs has confirmed that Lieutenant General Charles Cleveland will personally present Obama with his beret and a specially engraved Fairbairn-Sykes combat knife.
The knife, traditionally used by elite soldiers world-wide since the beginning of the 20th century, will have the President's name stamped on the blade, along with the names of deceased Special Forces Medal of Honor recipients Randall Shugart and Gary Gordon, immortalized in the novel and film Black Hawk Down.
The presentation will be in a small but highly anticipated ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center.
The White House released a statement saying that the President is proud to be recognized for his accomplishments and role in ridding the world of dangerous enemy actors, and restated his firm determination to "continue doing his best to keep the country safe from those that would do her harm."
Obama also stated that although he had never seen the Black Hawk Down film, or read the book, he was still proud to be counted among the ranks of the most elite Special Operations soldiers.
During a late afternoon briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney fielded questions, including one about the possibility of the President also receiving a Navy SEAL trident.
"The President has in fact already received his Trident from the SEAL community," said Carney. "He was honored to accept the insignia during a private ceremony in California, a week after his gutsy call where he singlehandedly took out bin Laden."
When Carney was asked who had initiated the calls for President Obama to be given the illustrious honors, he hesitated before replying, "we'll dig into it."
Pentagon officials, taking note of the President's extensive knowledge and experiences in special operations throughout the world, is also exploring the possibility of making him an honorary member of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, the Air Force 24th Special Tactics Squadron, and Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance Company.