Green Berets' 50th Birthday: Five Best Pop-Culture Moments

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One hundred men we'll test today, but only three win the Green Beret.
The Green Berets, at least the unit everyone thinks of when they think of the Green Berets, are 50 years old tomorrow. President Kennedy, on one of his romantic James Bond flights of fancy, approved activating the U.S. Army's 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, and okayed their distinctive headgear.

Since then the Green Berets have been a mainstay of pop culture, not to mention special ops.

Here are five of the best -- or worst, you decide -- instances.

5. "Ballad of the Green Berets"
Five fun facts about "The Ballad of the Green Berets," By SSGT Barry Sadler and Robin Moore:

5. Robin Moore went on to write The French Connection and co-authored The Happy Hooker.

4. SSGT Barry Sadler went on to write, ummm, a series of books about, as wiki says, "Casca Rufio Longinius (a sort of combination of Saint Longinus and The Wandering Jew)."

3. It was the Number One song in the U.S. in 1966, beating out "Reach Out I'll Be There," "96 Tears" and anything by the Beatles or Stones.

2. Sadler served 21 days for killing a romantic rival after the song became a hit.

1. He died in 1989 of a gunshot wound he received a year earlier in Guatemala under very mysterious circumstances, with explanations ranging from suicide to retaliation for arming contras. His flight to an American hospital was paid for by Soldier of Fortune magazine.

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Green Beret GI Joe seems to be packing two rather large errrrm...novelty items as texas law requires us to label them.

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