1974- 2020: 46 years of SFA.  Our Chapter formation was not without some drama. It was a difficult process to find ten current dues-paying members to qualify for applying to become a chapter.  The post-Vietnam drawdown led to our loss of the Reserve 40th SF “Det B” and subordinate “A Dets.” While many  unit members were assigned to non-airborne units, an informal “SF” group had already become established. This core provided the ten names qualified to establish Chapter VIII. They were: James R. Bolan, Earl Kalani (Dec), Joseph B.W. Smith (Dec), Robert Silva, William Ferguson, Paul Tracy (Dec), Vernon Broad (Dec), Nelson Ahina,  John Cavalho, and  James Roach.

The drawdown  resulted in many SF qualified SNCOs being assigned to various Hawaii -based HQs and the 25th ID. Bill Coombs, a recruiting wizard, was instrumental in enticing many of them into the Chapter VIII  ranks or other chapters being formed on the mainland. Chapter  membership grew to nearly 300 and led to the robust initiation of community activities and  interaction , many of which continue today.

 The Chapter has always been a strong supporter of Hawaii’s Senior and Junior ROTC programs and formed the catalyst to resist post-Vietnam political pressure in eliminating some units.  Many Chapter members supported the build-up of units in the islands. All these activities were funded by an annual raffle coupled with a “Luau” which drew three to four hundred guests, a tradition that continued well into the 1980s. It was during this period, in 1978, that the Chapter sponsored a very successful SFA Convention.  Today,  we hold  a much reduced fund raiser in the form of a games day “Summer Bash”.  An annual tradition since 1977,  the Chapter’s  participation in the Armed Forces Annual Veterans Day Parade  ended  in 2013. Age and reduced membership has forced a re-prioritizing of energies and  activities that can be sustained.

All these 40+ years, Chapter VIII has held a monthly meeting and published a newsletter, the “Coconut Wireless.” While the meeting place migrated over the years, It appears we have a permanent “home” at the Oahu Veterans Center (OVC). We recently added video teleconference meetings via Zoom for those who can not make it to the meeting.

We believe Chapter  VIII to be the oldest,  continuous active chapter in SFA and even sponsored the formation of Chapter 43, on the island of Hawaii (Big Island) to accommodate the many members residing there. Due to re-settlement over the years, Chapter 43 now has a world-wide footprint.

Reduced in numbers by father time, Chapter VIII is faced by a lack of organic SF units from which to recruit and US Army Hawaii residents are not returning due to high housing costs and lack of job opportunities. A large pool that we leverage are the Green Berets that are assigned to Special Operations Command, Pacific (SOCPAC) at Camp Smith. The Chapter proudly carries on with as many traditional activities as possible. Membership meetings, chapter newsletter, annual college scholarship, ROTC program awards, as well as many civil and military ceremonies are supported by a still vibrant but, sadly, aging membership. We always welcome  visitors to our monthly meetings on the 1st Sunday of each  month. If planning to attend, it helps immensely if we know  in advance of your itinerary and accommodations.  ALOHA from the Islands!

The background about our Chapter VIII Logo: Emanating from our common bonds as highly skilled warriors with deep roots in Hawaii our new logo speaks to this history.
    Successful societies have always developed highly trained warriors with skills that require years of devoted training to master. These Special Forces principles have been at work in the Hawaiian culture since the time of Kings and territories.
    Our Chapter VIII namesake MSG Earl Kalani is retained as we celebrate and honor the service and sacrifice of another great warrior who has gone before us. 

    Our Hawaiian Warrior logo was made to capture the common origins with the Special Forces. Both the Koa Warriors and the Green Berets have operated as the tip of the spear in battle while retaining peace through strength. Even in ancient times the Koa (Kings most skilled and devoted warrior class) were keyed up in battle first to try to avoid a greater conflict. The Special Forces in constant training with indigenous peoples around the globe have devoted our lives to earning the hearts and minds of our foreign brothers thus remaining the tip of the spear in order to avoid conflicts of a greater scale. If diplomacy fails we operate as the tip of the spear fighting alongside the highly trained indigenous peoples with whom we have forged true alliances.

     Our Ancient Hawaiian Warrior helmet acts as a recognizable symbol which connects our Green Beret to the Hawaiian heritage and the ancient warrior ethos. The Koa warriors were diligent and devoted in their training and were well versed in “Lua” the ancient Hawaiian martial art, which like our Special Forces had made them fierce in close order combat. 

     The shark tooth axe made of Koa wood was a weapon of Hawaiian warriors and from the strength of the Koa wood originated the moniker of the elite warriors in ancient Hawaii. Our use of indigenous weaponry, tools, and equipment in the Special Forces today is reflected in our replacing our dagger and arrows with these native Hawaiian battle axes. 

     The tapa cloth borders are used to represent the Hawaiian culture which we all love and share.The sea blue border is a representation of the islands surrounded by the life giving ocean and harkens to the training of our elite forces which teaches us to live well and survive in indigenous regions making use of nature and our surroundings. Our magnificent pacific ocean provides so much of the lifeblood for our lives in Hawaii.The hibiscus which represents the beauty and peace of the islands remains a symbol of the true purpose that  the Koa Warriors and the Special Forces share which is to retain peace through strength by remaining the most highly trained, highly skilled and most fiercely dedicated soldiers in the world today.  

De Oppresso Liber