Ballad of the Green Berets


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Ballad of the Green Berets m'boy.

Fighting soldiers from the sky
Fearless men who jump and die
Men who mean just what they say
These brave men of the Green Beret

CHORUS: Silver wings upon their chest
These are men, America's best
One hundred men will test today
But only three win the Green Beret

Trained to live off nature's land
Trained in combat, hand-to-hand
Men who fight by night and day
Courage peak from the Green Berets


Back at home a young wife waits
Her Green Beret has met his fate
He has died for those oppressed
Leaving her his last request

"Put silver wings on my son's chest
Make him one of America's best
He'll be a man they test one day
Have him win the Green Beret"
-Ballad of the Green Beret by SSgt. Barry Sadler
ha ha good song yes the "candian"(heack who knows where glory glory version my way came from mabey scotland or britain) used to be sung during the long marches to breakfast at the summer training program, until some one complained. but oh well as long as one of my supervisers aren't any where I let the cadets sing it all they want.
Sadler was the sole author of the song. My Dad worked with him when he was on book tours with his Casca books. I even have one autographed. I'll post a scan of it later. Sadler was a nice man and didn't deserve what happened to him.
From :
"On September 8, 1988, he was a passenger in a taxi in Guatemala, returning home after a day of drinking and carousing. He was travelling along the Antigua highway when a bullet fired from an unknown marksman struck him in the head. The other passenger in the taxi, a woman, claimed Sadler's own handgun was in his hand when he had been hit. The driver had run off by the time the police arrived, but the woman was arrested. Barry Sadler was taken to Guatemala City hospital and then after 72 hours was flown to the Veterans Administration hospital in Nashville, where he lay for months until his death."

If I recall correctly, at the time he was shot he was selling various weapons systems to the Contra's and other groups. The catalyst for his death was a business deal that turned sour. As a result he was killed. There was an article published about this in GQ back in April 1990 I think that I have around here somewhere, that I'll dig up and provide more information from. Here is a scan of the cover I found:

Although Robin Moore's name is listed in the credits for the song, and Sadler is shown on the cover of his book, I remember clearly Barry saying that HE wrote it.
Barry Sadler's 'Casca' series was about a Roman soldier who speared Jesus on the cross and was cursed as a result to immortality. Sadler wrote the first book in the series, 'Eternal Mercenary' in the late 70s and went on to write or have attributed to him another 21 books before his untimely death. The last of these books, 'The Mongol', was published postumously after they found an almost complete version while removing his belongings from his home in Guatemala. It was finished by a friend and published in 1990.

After his death there was a ten year legal issue over his estate and at the end of it the series resumed with new writers, carrying on the legacy Sadler left. Each book is now entitled 'Barry Sadler's The Eternal Mercenary' with the book title beneath. The latest in the series, Casca 34: Devil's Horseman, was published on 7 October 2010. You can see all 34 book details plus a potted history of Barry Sadler's life story and other features on the character he created at