The 19th Special Forces Group is one of two National Guard groups of the United States Army Special Forces. Headquartered in Draper, Utah, with detachments in Washington, West Virginia, Ohio, Rhode Island, Colorado, California and Texas, the 19th SFG shares responsibility over Southwest Asia with the 5th Special Forces Group, and the Pacific with the 1st Special Forces Group.
The parent unit was constituted on 5 July 1942 in the Army of the United States as the 1st Company, 1st Battalion, Third Regiment, 1st Special Service Force, a combined Canadian-American organization. This unit was activated on 9 July 1942 at Fort William Henry Harrison, Montana, then disbanded on 6 January 1945 in France.
19th Group was constituted on 15 April 1960 in the Regular Army as Headquarters, 19th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces. One year later, on 1 May 1961, the unit was allotted to the Army National Guard; 19th Group was concurrently organized from existing units in Utah with headquarters at Fort Douglas. Continuous reorganization developed over the next three decades, and by 1 September 1996, the unit consisted of elements from the Utah, California, Colorado, Ohio, Rhode Island, Washington, and West Virginia Army National Guards.
During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, a company element from the 19th SFG was attached to TF Dagger as were several regular and National Guard infantry companies to provide FOB security and to act as a QRF. As the prospect of war grew A company, 1st Battalion, 19th SFG, were tasked with liaison roles supporting conventional forces: ODA 911 and ODA 913 were to support the I MEF; ODA 914 was divided into two elements, one supporting the 3rd Infantry Division with ODA 916 and the other supporting British Forces; ODA 915 was attached to the 101st Airborne Division; and ODA 912 was tasked with providing PSD for General Harrell, the commander of CFSOCC (Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command). p.89
On 1 October 2005, 1st Special Forces was redesignated as the 1st Special Forces Regiment. Today's unit designation - Headquarters, 19th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces Regiment - was then established.
19th Group operators attend the same special operations training as their active duty counterparts. The unit deploys elements to conduct special, irregular, and counterterrorist operations in various places around the world. Their official motto is De Oppresso Liber (Latin: "To Liberate the Oppressed"), a reference to one of their primary missions to train and assist foreign indigenous forces.
In September 2014, the Huffington post reported that members of the 19th SFG were deployed to Camp Ram Ram in Morocco to take part in Operation Enduring Freedom – Trans Sahara.
Green Berets from the 19th SFG took part in the War in Afghanistan (2015–present); A Company, 1st BTN, 19th SFG was deployed to Afghanistan in July 2015 and several members were decorated for their actions during December 2015 and January 2016. On 5 January 2016, during a major operation assisting Afghan forces reclaiming territory held by the Taliban SSG Matthew McClintock of A Company, 1st BTN, 19th SFG was killed by small arms fire during an hours long battle in the Marjah district, Helmand Province.
On 13 November 2001, the following units of the 19th SFG were called to active duty:A Company, 1st Bn/19th SFG—Fort Lewis, Washington
B Company, C Company, and Support Company 1st Bn/19th SFG—Utah
A Company, 2nd Bn/19th SFG—Rhode Island
B Company, 2nd Bn/19th SFG—Ohio
C Company and Support Company, 2nd Bn/19th SFG—Kenova, West Virginia
A Company, B Company, C Company and Support Company from the 5th Bn/19th SFG—Colorado
In April 2007, the 5th Battalion of 19th SFG and troops from the 2nd Battalion were called to Operation Iraqi Freedom.A Company (California National Guard)
B Company (Colorado National Guard)
5th Bn/19th SFG Headquarters and Support Company, 5/19th
The unit came home with no deaths and very few minor injuries.
In April 2007, the following units of the 19ths SFG were called to active duty (Operation Iraqi Freedom V)HHC, 19th SFG(A)—Utah
On September 2008, the following units of the 19ths SFG were called to active duty (Operation Enduring Freedom XIII)A Company, 2nd Bn/19th SFG—Rhode Island
B Company, 2nd Bn/19th SFG—Ohio
C Company, 2nd Bn/19th SFG—Camp Dawson West Virginia
Support Company and HHC 2nd Bn/19th SFG—Kenova West Virginia