Task Force Dagger
5th Special Forces Group - The Legion
Thirty-nine days after 9/11, teams from 5th Special Forces Group deployed to the mountainous region of Afghanistan, along the Hindu Kush. The weather was atrocious — sandstorms, black clouds of hail, snow and ice — changing from mile to mile, elevation to elevation. Yet they persevered together, carrying the hopes of the American people, and were victorious.
“Strength and Honor” is the mantra of 5th Special Forces Group. We honor their legacy.
Fleece jackets were worn as part of their kit by the first U.S.troops deployed to Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. So, where did they come from?
After the loss of life when the towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed, the attack on the Pentagon, and the loss of United Airlines Flight 93 in Pennsylvania the decision was made by the National Command Authority, the president and all of his advisors, that there needed to be an immediate response to this attack on the United States. Based on this decision, they chose the U.S. Army 5th Special Forces Group (5th SFG) because they were the best prepared military organization that was ready and available to deploy. That’s what they train for, their operational area of the world is the Middle East and they practice over and over for deployments and operations in that environment. Their teams had been in the Middle East multiple times on exercises and operations, so the 5th SFG deployed to Uzbekistan.
The teams were then inserted into Afghanistan. If you’ve never been to Afghanistan you can’t imagine how bitterly cold it gets. When the wind blows and the sleet comes down, it cuts right through you - to the bone. So they were trying to come up with something that the guys could wear that would keep them warmer than what currently existed in the Army inventory. They needed something quickly and the quickest way to do this was to purchase fleece jackets that were already on the shelf at most sporting goods stores across America. And that’s where they came from and what those soldiers wore in Afghanistan.
The Mission that sent the original three teams to Afghanistan was called Task Force Dagger. Their mission was for these special operators to link up with assets from the CIA and local warlords and resistance fighters, collectively known as the Northern Alliance. They would train the Afghans, supply them and coordinate between the U.S and the various ethnic groups. “Their job was to get teams on the ground and kick somebody’s ass.”
Our Task Force Dagger jacket pays homage to the jackets that were worn by those Special Forces Units 20 years ago, and even uses the same Polartec 300 weight fleece. In 1981, Polartec® changed the game for cold weather performance apparel with the invention of polar synthetic fleece. With greater resiliency, lightweight warmth and fast dry times, it remains the industry standard for outerwear performance.