The Greek army raiders can trace their lineage to the World War II Sacred Band, a group of free Greek soldiers who served with the British Special Air Service (SAS) in the Aegean. Members of the Sacred Band became highly skilled at raids on airfields, ports and supply dumps. During the liberation of Greece, the Sacred Band was used to raid German facilities on the Greek islands and mainland. Once Greece was liberated and the Greek army was reconstituted, the Sacred Band served as the nucleus for future Greek special operations forces. The current Greek 1st Raider/Paratrooper Brigade insignia harkens to the Sacred Band’s service with the SAS, retaining, in Greek, the SAS motto “Who Dares, Wins” on its shoulder sleeve insignia.
Shortly after the liberation of Greece, a civil war broke out between the Greek army and communist-backed forces. Special units were formed and trained to operate in Greece’s mountainous terrain while other units carried out counterinsurgency operations throughout the country. In 1949, these forces were consolidated into two raider squadrons: Gamma and Alpha. In 1975, the raider forces were reformed and placed under the Greek Special Forces Command. In 1996, the raider forces were incorporated along with Greek airborne forces into the current 1st Raider/Paratrooper Brigade.
1st Raider Regiment:
Today, the Brigade is organized into the 1st Raider Regiment (comprised of the Beta Raider Squadron, Delta Raider Squadron, Epsilon Raider Squadron and 14th Signal Company); the 2nd Paratrooper Regiment (comprised of the 1st Paratrooper Squadron, 2nd Paratrooper Squadron and 18th Signal Company); the 13th Special Operations Command “Sacred Company” (comprised of the Alpha Amphibious Raider Squadron…