Green Berets: The Quiet Professionals

Lara Logan Reports On The Process Of Readying Afghans To Fight On Their Own

One of the president's most significant goals in Afghanistan is to train Afghan soldiers to take over the country's security, and the Army's Green Berets are leading that effort. Few people realize that the Green Berets traditional role is to train foreign armies - the only arm of the military designed especially for this purpose.

They're known as the "quiet professionals" because they work mostly in secret, unnoticed and unrecognized, among the best soldiers America has.

Right now across Afghanistan, Green Beret teams are trying to turn Afghan commandos into the country's best fighters so they can eventually do it on their own.

But they still have a long way to go. How far? "60 Minutes" traveled to Afghanistan to find out.

"60 Minutes" was given unprecedented access to a team of Green Berets, "ODA 7215." For two and a half months, our team lived with them, trained with them and went to battle with them.

For the most part, these "quiet professionals" are camera shy Joes who let their expertise do their talking.

""We're definitely not Rambo, you know? He was a Green Beret. That's not us at all," a Green Beret named Martin told us.

Martin is 6'1" and 220 pounds. He can bench-press almost twice his body weight. And there are eleven other guys just like him on this Special Forces team, tasked with tracking down enemy leaders all across southern Afghanistan.

To film them, we had to agree to only use first names and help conceal their identities with sunglasses.

"Soldiers often say, 'I'm doing my job.' Is that what this is to you, is it a job?" correspondent Lara Logan asked.

"There are miserable times where you kinda look at yourself and you're like, 'What?' You know. 'Why am I running towards the gunfire?' But then there are times where I just couldn't see myself doing anything else," Martin explained.

"Is it who you are?" she asked.

"I think so," Martin replied. "Just as much as people find their calling as artists or musicians or lawyers."

Unlike regular soldiers, these men are allowed to grow beards, a mark of respect amongst the locals. Their uniforms, without name tags or rank, tell you as little as possible about who they are. And they like it that way.

When they're not fighting, their focus is transforming foreign soldiers into a formidable fighting force.

The team's job is to leave Afghanistan with a corps of their own Special Operations Forces - the best of the best.

But the Green Berets are starting from zero: many of these Afghan soldiers can't even read or write. About 100 of them pass through the base every six weeks.

  • CBSNews

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