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Line of Sight: Vietnam

You are a member of the Army Special Forces (better known as “The Green Berets”), attached to the covert Studies and Observation Group (SOG) at the height of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

The Studies and Observation Group (SOG) was a joint armed forces organization consisting of primarily Army Special Forces, but including assets from the Air Force, Marine Force Recon and Navy SEALs. Missions for SOG were planned and approved at the highest military and civilian levels which included the top five military commanders in South Vietnam, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, The Pentagon and even the White House. SOG was responsible for covert cross-border operations into South Vietnam’s neighbors: Laos, Cambodia and North Vietnam — areas where conventional American military ground units were restricted from entering. The activities of SOG are shrouded in secrecy, many of which are still considered highly classified today.

What is known about SOG operations is that they consisted of (but were not limited to) reconnaissance, sabotage, raids and ambushes, prisoner snatches, and rescues of downed pilots and POWs. Due to the high risk involved in these covert operations, all SOG teams were considered “deniable assets.” If an SOG team was captured, the American military and government would deny any knowledge of the team or its actions. The weapons, uniforms and equipment used by SOG recon teams were “sterilized” and could not be traced back to the American military or government by the enemy. Many recon teams wore bits and pieces of captured enemy uniforms or used enemy weapons in order to confuse the enemy if a direct encounter occurred — giving the SOG recon teams a few precious seconds that might be the difference between living and dying.

Line of Sight: Vietnam at a Glance