November 5, 2014 marked an historic event, as 97 year-old Atlantic Shores Retirement Community resident Doris Baker was inducted as an Honorary Member of the Special Forces Regiment — one of only nine other distinguished individuals worldwide to ever receive this designation, recognizing her 20 years of service with the 1/10th Special Forces Group (Green Berets). This honor was bestowed in a Regimental Induction Ceremony at Atlantic Shores Retirement Community, presented by the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, the U.S. Army’s Special Forces Center of Excellence.
Doris was also presented with a certificate of recognition stating that she was the first USDESEA, (now Department of Defense Education Activity – DoDEA) employee ever to have been given Honorary Membership in the Regiment. She was also given a coveted Silver Honorary Life Membership certificate from Special Forces Chapter 65 (Bad Tolz Germany, Flint Kaserne Chapter).
This amazing woman has made a national and global impact as an educator, leader, prolific author and photographer. From 1950 to 1979, she served the Department of Defense with great distinction as teacher and principal of the U.S. Army Elementary and Junior High Schools in Flint Kaserne, Bad Tolz, Germany, the first overseas assignment base for the 1/10th Special Forces Group Airborne (Green Berets) — located near one of the largest SS training camps.
During her tenure in Bad Toelz, she led efforts to deliver a high quality school program, in a remote location under unique circumstances. Her outreach, mentorship, counseling and friendship to students, parents, the command, and the entire Army community benefitted thousands who passed through the gates of Flint Kaserne. For more than 30 years, Doris adopted the Green Berets as her own, calling them “her lads.”
The original 10th Special Forces Group continued to remain in Doris’ heart throughout her life, and she later assisted in the acquisition and preservation of archives, photos and memorabilia for the Airborne & Special Operations Museum Foundation at Fayetteville, North Carolina. In order to keep the legacy of the 10th alive, she also has spoken to various military groups, and incoming commanders and their spouses on the topic of Special Forces history.
Her experiences of living among the first Special Forces Group in Europe served as the basis for Doris’ book “The Originals” — the only book about the Green Berets ever written by a woman — which chronicles an American woman caught in the dangerous lives and fortunes of these extraordinary men.
Attended by almost 100 friends and admirers, both past and present, the special ceremony also included a presentation by the Green Beret Foundation, and the reading of an official proclamation designating November 5 as Doris C. Baker Day in the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia.