Chapter 7 History

Chapter 7 of the Special Forces Association has a long and treasured history of serving the men and families of those who served “south of the border” over the last several decades. With its beginnings on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal Zone with the men and families of the 8th Special Forces Group and later the 3d Bn, 7th Special Forces Group, the Chapter moved with the unit over the years and continues to do so to this day.

The origins of the Chapter lie in France Field outside of Colon, Panama, and later at Ft. Gulick. After the signing of the Panama Canal Treaty, 3/7 moved from Ft. Gulick to Ft. Davis in 1984, but the Chapter remained on Ft. Gulick for two years before following the Battalion to Ft. Davis in 1986. In 1990, the majority of the battalion returned to Ft. Bragg, but the Chapter stayed in support of those that remained in Panama from C/3/7 and the SF Soldiers assigned to the Jungle Operations Training Center at Ft. Sherman. For those that were with the Chapter for the many years on the Atlantic side, the memories of Devil’s Beach, jumping on Gatun and White DZs, fiestas at the Aquativity Center, fishing on Gatun Lake, adventures in Colon, and the unique brotherhood that we enjoyed in Panama will endure forever.

In 1995, C/3/7 again moved, this time to the Pacific side of the Canal and Ft. Clayton. The Association followed, and with the support of the Command Team of MAJ Bob Louis and SGM Frank Browski, established operations on the 2d floor of Building 207, the same building where the unit resided. Joined by the SF Soldiers and their families assigned to SOCSOUTH, the Chapter continued to thrive and serve as the focal point for the small SF community remaining in Panama.

As US forces left Panama in 1999, so did the SF units, moving to Roosevelt Roads Naval Station in Puerto Rico. Again, Chapter 7 moved with the unit continuing to be the focal point of camaraderie for the SF Soldiers of C/3/7 and SOCSOUTH and their families. After a stay of four years in Puerto Rico, the SF units returned to the United States in 2003, with C/3/7 returning to Ft. Bragg and SOCSOUTH to Homestead AFB, FL. Sadly, Chapter 7 was closed down upon return the Bragg, and all of the property and mementos of the years in Panama and Puerto Rico stored in the new C/3/7 company area.

With the BRAC move to Eglin Air Force base looming on the horizon, Chapter 7 was revived on 10 Aug 2010 with 15 charter members forming the core of the new Chapter. The new Chapter officers immediately went to work building membership, raising funds, and supporting the men and families of the Chapter and the 7th Group. The first major

event ran by the Chapter was the Jingle Bell Jog, an event traditionally run by the former 7th Group Association. It was a resounding success. The Chapter was able to donate $5000 to the families of the 10th SF Group who lost their household goods in a fire before Christmas, and continues to provide support the Group families. The 7th Special Forces Group moved to Eglin Air Force Base in the Spring of 2011 again the Chapter and all its possessions moved with the Group standing ready to support the Soldiers and Families wherever needed. A new web site was designed in 2011 (www.sfa7.com), and many lost souls from the “South of the Border” Chapter began to learn of the revival of their old chapter and home.

Upon arrival at Eglin the Chapter set up shop in the Alpha Company roll-up storage building within the 3rd Battalion 7th Special Forces Group motor pool. Many of our Special Forces Brothers from the past began to attend the Chapters monthly meetings and the membership began to grow. The motor pool served the Chapter well until July of 2013 at which time the Command Sergeants Major and Commander of the 3rd Battalion loaned an air-conditioned room to the Chapter for its last and final move prior to establishing a permanent structure in the future.

The Chapter is proud to be a community member within the tri-county area of Okaloosa, Walton, and Escambia Counties. Many friendships within the community have been formed and will continue to grow as our roots grow deeper at our new home.

“We are the keeper of the flame, the Guardians of tradition, Active and Retired, who will never stack arms…
We are dedicated to the principles and ideals of the Special Forces Regiment.
We are the Special Forces Association Chapter VII”

Chapter VII Presidents
Steve Tuttle (2012-Present)
Rolando Ramon (2010-2012)
Amil Alvarez (2002-2003)
Loland Weems (2001-2002)
Joel Dawson (2000-2001)
Chuck Brune (1998-2000)
Kevin Staley (1997-1998)
Deams Smith (1996-1997)
Bruce Parkman (1993-1994)
John McCollough (1991-1993)
Kevin Morano (1990-1991)
Jeff Dahlby (1989-1990)
Ken McMullin (1987-1989)
Ken Wimmer (1986-1987)
Sidney Jenson (1984-1986)
“Bo” Bollenbach (1981-1984)
Joseph J.D. Callahan (1980-1981)
Robert Helton (1979-1980)
Ken Lanzalaco (1978-1979)
Charles Telfair (1976-1978)
Bruce Wicks (1975-1976)
Roberto Rivera (1974-1975)
Larry Throneburg (1973-1974)
Ed Lesesne (1972-1973)

© Copyright 1997-2015, Special Forces Association Chapter VII. All rights reserved.