John Singlaub, American commando and chief, dies at 100

Main Normal (Retired) John Singlaub, a legendary commando who left his affect on the U.S. particular operations neighborhood, handed away aged 100.

The American commando died peacefully surrounded by his loving spouse Joan and his kids at 0700 on Saturday.

Singlaub’s passing marks an finish of an period because the commando was one of many few particular operators who had fought in World Struggle Two, Korea, and Vietnam.

A Particular Operations Legend

Singlaub joined the Military as a second lieutenant within the infantry instantly upon graduating from the College of California, Los Angeles, in 1943.

He shortly stood out by his vitality and toughness and was chosen for service within the elite Workplace of Strategic Companies (OSS), a army and intelligence unit that specialised in particular operations; the OSS is the direct precursor of the Military Particular Forces—nicked named the “Inexperienced Berets”—and the Central Intelligence Company (CIA).


Singlaub as a younger OSS commando throughout the Second World Struggle (USASOC).

He fought behind enemy strains in Europe and distinguished himself repeatedly together with his grit and management. He was a part of the Allied commandos who facilitated the breakout of Allied forces from Normandy in the summertime of 1944 after the D-Day landings.

As soon as the warfare in Europe led to Could 1945, Singlaub sought extra motion within the Pacific in opposition to Imperial Japan. He led a group behind enemy strains in Japanese-occupied China to find and rescue Allied prisoners of warfare.

With the warfare’s finish, Singlaub was one of many only a few OSS commandos who was chosen to proceed to serve within the Strategic Companies Unit (SSU), a small group that changed the OSS and was absorbed by the CIA in 1952.

“Maj. Gen. Singlaub is a legend amongst SOF warriors, a forefather of the trendy day Inexperienced Beret, and has had a protracted and distinguished profession and historical past in Particular Operations. He served within the workplace of strategic providers (OSS) in WWII in each France and China,” Main Normal Miguel Correa had mentioned throughout the first presentation of the Maj. Gen. Singlaub Award.

When the Korean Struggle broke out, Singlaub went into motion as soon as once more, serving with the secretive Joint Advisory Fee, Korea (JACK) and conducting covert motion operations in opposition to North Korea and China. Throughout his two fight excursions in Korea, he additionally commanded an infantry battalion.

However his biggest problem lay forward within the jungles of Southeast Asia.

Chief SOG

Whereas Military squaddies and Marine grunts have been combating the North Vietnamese and Vietcong within the jungles and rice patties of South Vietnam, the innocuous-sounding Army Help Command Vietnam-Research and Observations Group (MACV-SOG) was taking the struggle to the enemy.

Established in 1964 and approved to conduct covert cross-border operations in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and North Vietnam—the place U.S. troops weren’t imagined to be—SOG was a extremely categorized group, its actions covert.

Recon Group Idaho, a SOG group, taking an image. John Stryker Meyer standing tall within the again (Courtesy image).

Composed of Military Particular Forces operators, Navy SEALs, and Air Commandos, SOG particular operators fought alongside a devoted group of native mercenaries, conducting strategic reconnaissance, direct motion, and unconventional warfare operations behind enemy strains. They primarily focused the Ho Chi Minh Path, a posh stretching for a whole bunch of miles above floor and underground, from North Vietnam by means of Laos and Cambodia into South Vietnam.


In 1966, Singlaub was picked to steer the covert group Chief SOG.

“Through the eight-year secret warfare, there have been 5 OICs [officers-in-charge] for MACV-SOG, dubbed Chief SOG. Jack served as Chief SOG from 1966 till early August 1968, changed by Col. Stephen Cavanaugh. As Chief SOG Jack fought the paperwork to get shut air help for SOG groups. He fought with the State Dept. to have our groups higher armed in Cambodia within the early days of the operation,” John Stryker Meyer, a legendary Inexperienced Beret, informed Sandboxx Information.

There are lots of traits that make a very good chief: Imaginative and prescient and ethical braveness are some. However a very good chief isn’t essentially beloved by his or her males. These leaders that earn each the love and respect of their males are a uncommon breed certainly. One trait that they possess is empathy and sympathy for his or her males. They really care about them and their well-being. They perceive {that a} true chief is there to serve his males and never the opposite means round. Singlaub was such a pacesetter.

Main Normal John Singlaub retired in 1978 (

“He all the time cared deeply in regards to the males who served beneath him. For instance, Doug ‘the Frenchman’ LeTourneau and I had lunch with Jack, his spouse Joan and Debra, Joan’s daughter. Joan informed Jack that Doug was battling Stage 4 bone marrow most cancers and was having some points with the VA on the time.  Jack pulled out his mobile phone, dialed a rare-cancer physician in Houston who specialised in that most cancers. The physician took Jack’s name and following Jack’s request, he examined Doug 4 instances and monitored his situation till he died from warmth exposure-related causes July 26, 2019,” Meyer informed Sandboxx Information.

Meyer has written extensively about his experiences with SOG in Southeast Asia. His books Throughout the Fence: The Secret Struggle in Vietnam,” “On The Floor: The Secret Struggle in Vietnam,” “SOG Chronicles,” supply a uncommon and thrilling perception into the warfare these American commandos fought in opposition to all odds. Throughout SOG operations, it wasn’t unusual for the small recon groups to be dodging a whole bunch and hundreds of enemy troops.

John Stryker Meyer and Singlaub final summer season when the overall turned 100 (Courtesy image).

“Jack can be remembered as a troublesome, fearless operator. Extremely revered by all. His guide paperwork how he combatted communism all through his army profession, the place as a scholar at UCLA earlier than the beginning of WW II he bumped into and disliked/distrusted communists he met there. Throughout WW II in France, behind enemy strains he had critical issues about them, ditto Korea, as Chief SOG, and through his time combating communism in Central and South America. He’s a task mannequin for all of us,” Meyer added.


Singlaub was a real chief, all the time main from the entrance. When SOG was testing the Skyhook exfiltration technique, throughout which a C-130 plane flying at 500ft pulled a commando or agent from the bottom, Singlaub insisted that he was the primary to attempt the extremely harmful method.

Throughout his illustrious profession, Singlaub earned the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, the Legion of Benefit, the Air Medal, and Bronze Star. He performed a key half within the institution of the Ranger Coaching Heart. Honoring his legacy and contribution to the U.S. particular operations neighborhood, in 2016, america Military Particular Operations Command (USASOC) established the MG John Ok. Singlaub/Jedburgh Award with a view to acknowledge distinctive members of the Military commando neighborhood.  

A century on earth is a very long time. Singlaub made the very best out of it.

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