Fort Bragg is probably best known as headquarters of the famed 82nd Airborne Division. But it’s one of several major combat commands on post. They include U.S. Army Forces Command, Army Reserve Command, 18th Airborne Corps, Army Special Forces Command, the Army Special Operations Command, Joint Special Operations Command, John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, 95th Civil Affairs Brigade, 528th Sustainment Brigade (Airborne) and the 4th Military Information Support Group (Airborne). An estimated three dozen general officers, including a four-star and half a dozen three-star generals, are stationed at Pentagon South, as Fort Bragg is colloquially known.
A veteran of the 75th Ranger Regiment is on his way to Fort Bragg to become senior NCO of the secretive Joint Special Operations Command. Command Sgt. Maj. Craig Bishop is currently the senior non-commissioned officer of the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas. He was named to replace JSOC Command Sgt. Maj. David Blake, according to a Pentagon press release.
JSOC oversees elite special operations strike forces, including the Navy’s SEAL Team six, the Air Force’s 24th Special Tactics Squadron and the Army’s Delta Force, officially designated the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment. JSOC is also responsible for studying special operations requirements, ensuring equipment standardization and developing joint tactics among special operations forces.
Bishop enlisted in the Army in September 1992 from Sweetwater, Tennessee. Over the course of his Army career, he has performed all NCO leadership positions, from team leader to command sergeant major for the 75th Ranger Regiment. Bishop has been through all levels of the NCO education system, including Special Operations Command Summit course and the Joint Special Operations Forces Senior Enlisted Academy.
Bishop will serve under Air Force Lt. Gen. Scott Howell, JSOC commander and the first Air Force general to lead the legendary unit that was born out of the Iran hostage crisis in 1980.
Since 9/11, few elements of the U.S. military have been more involved in the fight against terrorism than soldiers of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, or USASOC. Established at Fort Bragg on Dec. 1, 1989, to enhance the readiness of Army Special Operations Forces, USASOC also functions as the Army component of the U.S. Special Operations Command, which is located at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. In Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and numerous other hotspots around the world, USASOC soldiers have been among the first forces to deploy in support of U.S. and coalition force objectives.
Many of these soldiers, most of them having served in numerous combat rotations, remain deployed to those locations along with conventional forces and multinational partners to help ensure the success of all GWOT operations, whether in a frontline combat role or a humanitarian assistance function. Green berets ordinarily serve shorter deployments than traditional forces but are sent into combat more often.
Photo: Command Sgt. Maj. Craig Bishop