Hidden from the media and the public, hundreds of US elite soldiers under the wraps of "top secret" were on missions carried out across the fence in Laos, Cambodia and North Vietnam. To military insiders, it was the "secret war." Mission authority was carried out under the aegis of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam's top secret Studies and Observations Group. SOG's chain of command for after-action reports extended to the White House and Joint Chiefs of Staff. When the secret war ended eight years later in 1972, most SOG military records were destroyed. The cloak of secrecy remained over SOG for 29 years until April 14, 2001, when a Presidential Unit Citation--the military equivalent of the Distinguished Service Cross, our nation's second highest award for valor--was awarded to SOG and its support units.--Publisher description.