USA: Naval Special Warfare Group Two Hosts 50th Anniversary Ceremony
Naval Special Warfare Group Two hosted a 50th anniversary ceremony Jan. 27, at the Navy SEAL Heritage Center aboard Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, to honor and celebrate the rich history and heritage of the Navy SEAL community.
The ceremony commemorated 50 years of service by generations of SEALs, since President John F. Kennedy established the program Jan. 1, 1962. Special warfare personnel, past and present, support technicians and distinguished guests gathered to listen to a host of speakers discuss the various phases of development in Naval Special Warfare.
Rudy Boesch, a guest speaker and retired master chief Navy SEAL with 44 years of service, spoke about the establishment of the SEAL program in 1962.
“I was an Underwater Demolition Team member operating off the coast of Casa Blanca when I got orders to report to SEAL TEAM 2 in December 1961; and it was 50 years ago today that we held our first team muster,” said Boesch.
Although Navy SEALs trace their roots back to 1962, the Naval Special Warfare community’s origins date back to 1942, with the establishment of Navy Scouts and Raiders, and later with the onset of the UDT frogmen.
“We can trace our roots from Vietnam to Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and some other places unknown to the rest of the world. However, we can go back even further to the Scouts and Raiders of WWII,” said Captain Tim Szymanski, commander, Naval Special Warfare Group 2. “These frogmen established the foundation of our success as SEALs.”
During the ceremony, five active duty Navy SEALs recited the SEAL Creed, and plank owners from SEAL Team 2 were recognized. The ceremony concluded with a moment of silence to honor the fallen SEALs, Special Warfare Combatant-craft crewmen, and Naval Special Warfare support Sailors who were killed in action and training during the past 50 years.
In his closing remarks, Szymanski referred to a SEAL painting that hangs prominently over the SEAL Heritage Center atrium.
“Look at the images of those SEALs and the gear they are wearing,” he said. “Strip down the gear, take away the capabilities, and you are left with the original frog man, which is the essence of our success, the essence of our evolution, the essence of our future relevancy and it’s the essence of you. This is a celebration for the entire Naval Special Warfare community, past and present, and here’s to 50 more years.”
Naval Today Staff , January 30, 2012; Image: navy