Warrior: Meet Charlie Beckwith, Sigma Chi who Founded Delta Force

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Delta Force is the most elite fighting force in the World. It recruits from the best SEALS, Rangers, Green Berets and other top tier service men in the Armed Forces. Its only rival is the British SAS.

Charlie Beckwith was born in 1929. He never planned on being a career Army officer. He was an All-State football player from Henry Grady High School, in Atlanta, Ga. He enrolled at the University of Georgia and lettered in Football for the Bulldogs. He pledged Sigma Chi and joined ROTC. At graduation time he was offered a chance to play in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers. He turned it down and accepted a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Army.

Brother Charlie served as a platoon leader in the Korean War and then returned to Fort Bragg and served as a company commander in the 82nd Airborne Division. Two years later he completed Ranger School and joined Special Forces. He was deployed to Vietnam as a military adviser.

He then served as an exchange officer with the Brithish SAS. He went through and passed the grueling SAS selection course, which includes an event called “Entrails”. Entrails is a maze of trenches filled with sheep guts and is designed to desensitize a man to crawling among blood and carnage.  Charlie submitted a detailed report to the U.S. Army explaining why America needed an elite counter terrorist unit.

Beckwith returned to Vietnam and was shot in the stomach by a .50 caliber bullet. He was expected to die. Not only did he recover, he went on to restructure the Florida phase of Ranger school and made it tougher.

He volunteered for Vietnam once more and commanded an Airborne battalion.

Finally, in 1977 The Army listened to him and put him in charge of creating what is now known as Delta Force.


He retired from the Army as a full bird Colonel and started his own consulting firm and wrote a book about the founding of Delta Force.He  died at his home in 1994 of natural causes. He is buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

Other books about Special Forces 

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