Category: General History

US Army Delta Force

From what is known, the force is divided into three squadrons – Squadron, A, B and C.  Each squadron is made up of three troops – one recon / sniper troop and two direct action / assault groups.  Delta Force falls under the command of the Joint Special Operations Command.


The selection process for the US Army Delta Force is rigid with most of the recruits coming from the Special Forces Groups and the 75th Ranger Regiment.   The recruits must undergo a number of physically challenging tests which increase in difficulty throughout this portion of the program.  Next they will undergo a series of mental challenges. It is only then a recruit is told whether he has been selected to enter into the 6-month Operator Training Course.

This intense phase of training consists of a number of courses.  Students are first trained to be excellent marksman first with stationery targets and then moving targets.  Once they have become proficient, they are challenged in what is known as a “shooting house” where they are assigned to clear the rooms inside of all enemy targets.  Students are challenged individually and then perform the task again and again, each time adding a team member (up to a total of four).  Once the group(s) has successfully cleared the house, hostages are added among the enemy targets.

Students are also taught to break various types of locks and how to build bombs from easily accessed common materials.  They are also taught espionage skills and specialized driving techniques using advanced driving courses and a variety of vehicles.  They are further instructed on how to use the vehicle(s) as both a defensive and an offensive weapon.

Delta Force units  cross-train with similar units from other Allied countries.  They have also assisted in the training of other US counter-terrorism groups such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Hostage Rescue Team.  The US Army Delta Force is an extremely versatile organization and is said to remain on standby in order for immediate response to any terrorist threat situation.

Five Parts of the Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence is divided up into five parts:

  • Introduction
  • Preamble
  • Body – Section 1
  • Body – Section 2
  • Conclusion

Introduction – In the introduction of the Declaration of Independence, declares the reasons the American colonies wish to leave the British Empire.  It is further noted that their independence is not only necessary, but unavoidable.

Preamble – The preamble to the Declaration of Independence lists principles that were already known as being “self-evident” by the majority of Englishmen of the 18th Century.  It continues to state that when such a situation arises in government (as that being experienced by the British governing of the 13 colonies), it is not only their desire, but it is their right and their duty to throw off such a Government and to provide the foundation for a new government to ensure their future security.

Body – Section 1 – In this part of the Declaration of Independence, the grievances against England and King George III are listed.

 Body – Section 2 – Section two of the body of the Declaration of Independence clearly states that the colonist’s efforts to appeal some of the decisions of King George III were met in vain.

Conclusion – The conclusion of the Declaration of Independence notes that having listed the grievances, under which British North American lived, they – the United Colonies – were declaring their right to be free and independent from any and all allegiance to the British Crown.  It further stated that any political connection between the two is to be dissolved.


A great amount of courage and strength was exhibited by each member of the Continental Congress in adaptingand signing this historical document.   The thought that went into writing and editing each of the five parts of the Declaration of Independence exhibited the pride of the newly established colonies and their desire to be free.

World War II Pearl Harbor Exhibit

Pearl Harbor Ships WS copyAfter leaving the WWI Trench Exhibit, visitors at the Armed Forces History Museum enter the World War II Pearl Harbor Exhibit dedicated to the infamous day in American history – December 7, 1941 – when the United States was attacked by the Japanese on their own soil.  This large room houses a number of incredible Japanese artifacts.  At the center of the room (appearing to be at sea) are large scale models of Japanese ships, actually used in the filming of the movie Tora! Tora! Tora!  The 20 ft. theater screen in the background shows continuous authentic film footage of the actual bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Akagi WSAlso included in this exhibit is a large replica of the deck of the Japanese aircraft carrier Akagi, designed and built at the AFHM using the ships original plans acquired from the Japanese.  The members of the Japanese navy aboard the Akagi are wearing uniforms that were also used in the filming of Tora! Tora! Tora!

In addition to these two impressive displays, the WWII Pearl Harbor exhibit boasts of seven cases of authentic Japanese memorabilia housing a number of incredible items.  Uniforms, books, weapons, personal items such as a Samurai sword, Japanese Saki pitchers, Japanese money, a Cavalry saddle and saddlebag are just a few of the pieces which make up an incredible collection difficult to find anyplace else.

Japanese Weapons Case WSAnother display case in the WWII Pearl Harbor exhibit showcases a number of rare authentic Japanese weapons including a Nambu pistol, a Japanese Type 92 Hotchkiss Heavy Machine Gun, a Type 96 Light Machine Gun as well as its training model and a WWII Knee Mortar Grenade.  Many other pieces round out this impressive collection of firearms and ordnance.

A replica of a Japanese lookout post is also part of the Pearl Harbor exhibit.   Two Japanese soldiers stand watch from the tower above, while below, visitors are awed at the two chairs Japanese Post and Displays WSon display which once belonged to Admiral Yamamoto, the gentleman who gave the order to bomb Pearl Harbor.

Large scale model planes fly overhead as part of this detailed exhibit.  Even the walls in this sizable gallery are covered in murals completing the incredible feel of this area.  The museum went to great lengths to heighten the experience of the visitors with these murals and others throughout the museum which enhances the overall authentic effect of their exhibits.


Read about the other outstanding exhibits at the Armed Forces History Museum by clicking on the links below:

  • Salute to Service Exhibit
  • Firearms/Ordnance and Mines/Grenades Exhibit
  • World War I Trench Exhibit
  • World War II Pearl Harbor Exhibit
  • USMC South Pacific Exhibit
  • WWII US Navy Exhibit
  • WWII Normandy and French Village Exhibit
  • WWII German Farmhouse Exhibit
  • WWII Communications Room Exhibit
  • Korean War Inchon Landing Exhibit
  • Korean War MASH Unit Exhibit
  • POW/MIA Exhibit
  • Rosie’s Bar Exhibit
  • Korean War Frozen Chosin Exhibit
  • Vietnam Ho Chi Minh Trail Exhibit
  • Vietnam Firebase Exhibit
  • Saddam Hussein and Gulf War Exhibit
  • Additional Exhibits
  • Outdoor Exhibits

The Story of Military Patches

Prior to WWI, the only military patches on record were sleeve patches used to depict ranking during the Civil War. Additional identification (or insignia) used by Civil War Union soldiers were corps, division or brigade identification which they would place on their caps.

First Patch Is Introduced

The first official military patch surfaced in May of 1918 – a patch which represented the US Army’s 81st Division.  Army officials were encouraged to use the patch to informally acknowledge the division and to encourage esprit de corps – morale.  Eventually all divisions were ordered to wear a patch and the custom eventually extended to the corps and brigades.

Longest Surviving Patch

The longest surviving military patch dates back to 1918 – the Big Red 1 – the patch (insignia) attached to the 1st Infantry Division of the US Army who has been active since May 24, 1917.  The division officially received their patch on October 31, 1918.  The Big Red 1 remains one of the most highly recognizable patches of all the insignia used in the US military.

World War II – Patches Expand

The use of military patches greatly expanded between WWI and WWII.  In fact, by the start of WWII, all corps, divisions and brigades were being issued insignia patches.  Each military patch is a unique representation of each division.  Various eras, such as the Vietnam War and the Gulf War, also have slight color variations to better match the camouflage of the battlefield uniforms.

Collecting Military Patches

Collecting military patches has evolved into a lucrative industry.  Veterans and civilians trade, buy and sell military patches.  Overall, prices are relatively low unless seeking patches from the WWII or Vietnam era, which command a bit more money.  A collector can be as specific or general as he’d like when it comes to collecting US military patches.  With each branch in the service now using patches, the possibilities are endless.  One can focus on a single branch, a single division or a particular era.

The story of military patches has progressed immensely since its meager beginning and has opened up an immense field of possibilities for the avid collector of military memorabilia.

History of the Military Salute

No definitive beginning can be traced to the history of the military salute.  Most sources speculate the roots to this time honored tradition date as far back as the Roman times when assassins were common.  It is believed the raising of the right hand was a gesture to show they were not shielding any type of weapon.  Also, knights were said to raise their visors with their right hand upon greeting a comrade or superior.

The gesture eventually evolved as a show of respect and would sometimes include removing the hat.  By 1820, the gesture was officially modified to the current version still used in the military today – the touching of the hat.  Hand salute, palm down is believed to be an influence of the British Navy, as deck hands were often dirty and to expose the dirty palm was regarded as disrespectful.

Salute Protocol

A salute is a privileged gesture which shows a sign of trust and respect among soldiers.  In the military, the subordinate always salutes first.  A soldier’s salute reflects his pride in himself, his unit and shows confidence in his ability as a soldier.  When saluting, the eyes and head should face the person (or flag) being saluted.  Military salutes are not required if the conditions are inappropriate or impractical, such as an airport, inside a public place (theater, restaurant, etc.) or when driving.

Individuals Entitled to a Salute

Protocol requires a salute to the following:

  • President of the US
  • Commissioned and Warrant Officers
  • All Medal of Honor Recipients
  • Officers of Allied Foreign Countries

A salute is always rendered for the following:

  • US National Anthem, “To the Color”, “Hail to the Chief”, or the playing of any foreign national anthem
  • When national colors are uncased outdoors
  • Ceremonial occasions,
  • Ceremonial reveille and retreat
  • Raising and lowering of the flag
  • When honors are sounded
  • Pledge of Allegiance – outdoors
  • When rendering reports
  • When turning over control of formations

Long gone are the days of the Roman soldiers and the medieval knights, but the mark they left on history regarding the military salute has continued to live on.

Take a Once in a Lifetime Ride on an Authentic WWII M8 Reconnaissance Vehicle

 It’s not just a ride, it’s an adventure!!

Get upclose and personal when you experience a ride on AFHMs WWII M8 Reconnaissance Vehicle.  This ride is unique, fun and exciting for children and adults of all ages

Check out videos from a few of our recent rides:  WWII M8 Rides

For additional information on pricing and time/date availability, please call the museum at (727)539-8371.  Rides are available during most museum hours, (with the exception of Sundays)  and reservations are encouraged in order to accommodate your visit.

What’s more fun than a day at the Armed Forces History Museum?  The answer is easy – a day at the Armed Forces History Museum AND a ride on a fully restored, World War II M8 Greyhound.  Viewing the museum is an experience in and of itself, but add a ride on this M8 armored car, and you have taken your visit to a whole new level.

While often mistaken for a tank, due to its large size turret with a 37 mm cannon, the M-8 is actually considered a 6 x 6 armored reconnaissance vehicle.  The museum’s M8 Greyhound is complete with a Browning .30 cal machine gun (de-milled of course) and other accessories used in WWII.  Your ride is sure to become the main topic of conversation as you convey this incredible experience as part of your museum visit.  A ride on this vehicle leaves a lasting impression for years to come.  Where else can a civilian go and ride on a military vehicle?

Don’t Miss Out

This is a “once in a lifetime opportunity” and is only available here at the museum.  Take the ride of your life as the M-8 takes you “off road” behind our museum.  Planning ahead will be well worth it.

What is Red Friday – Support Our Troops?

The Armed Forces History Museum in Largo, FL is proud to support this Red Friday – Support Our Troops movement.

Red Friday is a movement that has been underway to show support for our troops who are overseas.  While these troops are often in the spotlight, those who actually support the troops are often referred to as a silent majority – let’s break this silence.  The wars of present day do not seem to carry the same “across the board” open support that once existed.  All one has to do is look back at World War II when patriotism and support for the troops was a part of everyday life and center of conversation in every home.  Young men lined up to sign up for military service, often lying about their age in order to serve.

While times have changed, the support for our troops should never waiver.   Attend a local college football game, and the stadium will be filled with the team colors.  The same should hold true on any given Friday in the United States.  Participation requires nothing more than saving a red shirt, sweater, jacket, etc. to be worn on Friday.  However, red is a common color for clothing, so in order to make this a truly notable statement, an overwhelming majority would need to participate.  Our country should look like a “Sea of Red” every Friday.

Granted, this is not the only way that one can show support for the troops.  Along with yellow ribbons in the form of a car magnet to denote the safe return of our troops overseas, many programs are in place which allows people to donate books, supplies, send greeting cards and even write letters.  All of these are excellent means to show our troops their actions touch us on a very deep and personal level.

If you don’t think your one red item on Friday will make a difference, ask a soldier who has served, or is home on leave, what he feels would be the best gift any one person-  (or ) the people of the United States – could give him?  Certainly, support and prayers would be a common response.

The Red Friday movement began back in 2006 and, while the impact still isn’t as huge as it should be, almost six years later, the movement hasn’t died either.  Here at The Armed Forces History Museum in Largo, FL, we encourage the Red Friday – Support Our Troops to our staff and our visitors.  Help spread the word so this Red Friday movement can show dignified solidarity to the troops who put their lives on the line for us every single day.  Purchase a Red Friday t-shirt on-line or at The Armed Forces History Museum in Largo, FL in the museum store.

May 17th – Red, White and Craft Brews Fest


Back by Popular Demand – Join the Armed Forces History Museum for their 3rd Annual Red, White and Craft Brews Fest being held at the museum on Saturday, May 17th from 5 PM to 9 PM.  More than 70 craft brews will be on hand for this event.  Cost for the event is only $25/person.

“Red, White and Craft Brewfest was excellent!  Better than Brews by the Bay”…Nicole & Ken T

Enjoyed by all last year, the evening is an adventure into the culinary world of microbrews, crafts and more.   Visitors sample an array of beers, experiencing the balance and characteristics of each.  Learn first-hand from the craftsman about their particular style and technique.  Free refreshments for everyone compliments of Florida Restaurant Purchasing Group and a souvenir cup will be given to the first 300 in attendance.  Come tour our critically-acclaimed, award-winning museum and sample craft brews from around the world.  The $25 admission also includes touring the museum.
Great event, great venue.  I look forward to this ‘Red, White and Brew’ becoming an annual or semi-annual event”…Joseph Z.

l service fee applies to all on-line orders and phone orders.)

Join our Red, White and Craft Brews Facebook page and learn about some of the craft brews that will be featured at this event and to win tickets.

Like the Event on Facebook

AFHM would like to remind everyone to please drink responsibly.  No-one under 21 years old will be permitted at this event. There are no exceptions.  Must have ID.


Red, White and Craft Brews Fest is presented in part by JJ Taylor Distributors, Cigar City Brewing, tbt* and Florida Restaurant Purchasing Group.

May 26th – Memorial Day Family Fun Fest

Join the Armed Forces History Museum for their 6th Annual Memorial Day Family FunFest on Monday, May 26, 2014 – from 10 AM to 3 PM.  Admission to this family-friendly event is just $10 for adults and $5 for youths 4-12.

 (Tickets can also be purchased at the museum, or by calling the museum at 727-539-8371. Please note: A small service fee applies to all on-line orders and phone orders.)

As in previous years, enjoy rock wall climbing, a bounce house, power bungee jumping, face painting, military dress up, photo opportunities, and more (not all activities are included in the admission cost).  The Fun Fest also has a number of great presentations lined up for the day:

  • 10:00AM – Meet Sandy O’Hara Miss Armed Forces Pin Up – Vietnam 1971
  • 10:30AM – WWII re-enactors from the 1st Infantry Division conduct drills and presentations.
  • 11:15AM – Martial Arts Fitness provides martial arts demonstrations.
  • 11:45AM – Clearwater High School’s JROTC will showcase a color guard, a drill exhibition and cadet duels.
  • 12:15PM – Swing dancers from Swing Gang teach you how to swing dance.
  • 1:15PM – WWII re-enactors will once again conduct drills and presentations.
  • 2:00PM – Meet the Bomber Girls

Florida Blood Bank will also be on hand and all who donate will receive 2 MOVIE TICKETS, a $5.00 Outback Coupon and a chance to SAVE 3 LIVES!!!

It’s a great line-up added to a great day of fun for the whole family.  Food, drinks and snacks will on hand for purchase.  In season’s past, this event has drawn a rollicking crowd looking to celebrate the long weekend.  Make Memorial Day a memorable event this year – Don’t miss out!  

 (Please note: A small service fee applies to all on-line orders and phone orders.)

MEM Re-enactorsThe Armed Forces History Museum is located just off of Ulmerton on 34th Way N (between Belcher and Starkey) in Largo, FL.  Turn at the Citgo Gas Station.  Click on the link below for driving directions.

Driving Directions to AFHM

Memorial Day Family FunFest is presented in part by Q105, ReMax and Swing Dance USA.


The Vietnam War

The Armed Forces History Museum in Largo, FL has a section of the museum dedicated to the Vietnam War.  The dioramas include the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the Vietnam Firebase.  Memorabilia from this era are also on display in the Vietnam War area of the museum.

A Look at the Vietnam War

The Vietnam War took place during the Cold War era, begining in November of 1955.  The two opposing sides consisted of the communist Allies who supported North Vietnam and the United States, along with other countries who were against communists and supported South Vietnam.

The United States became involved in the war in an effort to ward off a communistic overthrow of South Vietnam.  U.S. involvement during the war escalated in the early 60s.  The first combat units were deployed in 1965 within a year of the North Vietnamese firing on two U.S. naval ships located in international waters.  The United States relied highly on their air superiority and immense amount of available firepower when conducting their search and destroy missions in Vietnam.  These missions not only involved ground forces, but also heavy artillery and airstrikes.

Aircraft dispensing agent orange

Aircraft dispensing agent orange

Great controversy surrounded the Vietnam War and the United States’ involvement in it.   Many U.S. citizens were in opposition of this conflict, feeling there was no way to win.  Other controversy has since focused on the widespread use of chemicals.  Their use was implemented to defoliate large areas of the countryside to expose otherwise, well hidden enemy camps.  No one knew the long term implications to applying the chemicals, which to this day, contribute to an ever changing landscape and is at the base of many of the diseases and birth defects being experienced by those who were exposed to them.

The Vietnam War came on an end on April 30, 1975, but not before a high number of casualties were inflicted on both sides.  The United States troops lost over 58,000 soldiers during the Vietnam War with an additional estimate of 1,700 still MIA.  In all, anti-communist forces lost over 315,000 military and over 2 million South civilians.  The Communist forces suffered over one million losses and also an estimated 2 million civilians.  To this day, the Vietnam War serves as a reminder for the United States in what “not-to-do” when engaging in foreign conflicts.