Charles Alvin Beckwith

Topics: United States Army, Special Air Service, Vietnam War Pages: 2 (588 words) Published: April 23, 2013
Charles Alvin Beckwith was a United States Army officer as well as a Vietnam veteran who attained the rank of Colonel before his retirement. Beckwith was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January twenty-second, nineteen-ninety-two and died in Austin, Texas at the age of sixty-five on June thirteenth, nineteen-ninety-four of natural causes. He was an all-state football player for his high school team. He enrolled in the University of Georgia, where he played football for the Bulldogs. He joined the University’s ARMY Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program and was therefore commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in nineteen-fifty-two. When he graduated from college he was selected to be drafted by the Green Bay Packers, but turned down their offer to instead serve in the Army. He also married a woman named Katherine Beckwith, and they had three daughters. Colonel Beckwith revolutionized the army’s process of training its Special Forces units. He completed Ranger school in nineteen-fifty-seven and then joined the Special Forces. Beckwith served as an exchange officer with the British Special Air Service (SAS) in nineteen-sixty-two, where he picked up many of their training techniques and capabilities. He conducted war-time guerilla operations with the SAS in Southeast Asia during the Malayan Emergency. While he was in the jungle however, he contracted leptospirosis to such a severe degree that doctors did not expect him to survive. Despite this, he made a full recovery within months. When he arrived back home, Beckwith presented a detailed report outlining the Army’s vulnerability in not having an SAS-type unit of its own. He submitted and re-submitted his report for several years, but was repeatedly thwarted in his efforts. The Colonel then turned his attention to reforming Green Beret training. He instituted practical training standards that would lend themselves to the birth of the modern Q-course. In nineteen-sixty-six, while commanding a Special Forces unit in...
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