This year marks the 30th anniversary of SOG Specialty Knives. For three decades, SOG has created some of the most innovative knives on the market. Considering the sheer amount of competition and knives that have come out since 1986, that’s saying something.
Let’s take a deeper look at the brand and what they have in store for their 30th anniversary.
The History of SOG
The origins of SOG date back to the Vietnam War when members of a highly classified U.S. special ops unit carried a unique combat knife on covert missions. At one point, the U.S. Government denied the existence of the group, which was known as the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG).
Here’s more about the group from an article by Leroy Thompson published in 1986.
Separate from “conventional,” unconventional operations of the 5th Special Forces Group were the clandestine operations of Military Assistance Command Vietnam/Studies and Observations Group (MACV/SOG). The Studies and Observation Group (SOG) was a cover name to disguise SOG’s real function, and the name “Special Operations Group,” as it was sometimes called, described its real mission more accurately. Activated in January of 1964, SOG was a joint services unit composed of members from all four branches of the armed forces, including Navy SEALs, Marine Recons, Air Force Special Operations pilots of the 90th Special Operations Wing, but predominantly Army Special Forces.
MACV/SOG’s missions included: cross border operations into Cambodia, Laos and North Vietnam to carry out intelligence gathering or raiding missions on the enemy’s ‘home ground’; gathering intelligence about POWs and carrying out rescue missions when possible; rescuing downed aircrews in enemy territory (“Bright Light” missions); training, inserting, and controlling agents in North Vietnam to gather intelligence or form resistance groups; carrying out ‘black’ Psy Ops such as operating fake broadcasting stations inside North Vietnam; kidnapping or assassinating key enemy personnel; retrieving sensitive document so equipment lost in enemy territory or in enemy hands; and inserting rigged mortar rounds or other booby-trapped ordnance in enemy arms caches (OPERATION ELDEST SON).
Needless to say, this group of heroes was no joke.
Years later, the group and its legendary knife were so influential to a young designer named Spencer Frazer that he decided to found a company called SOG Specialty Knives. The mission of the company was to recreate the original SOG Bowie as an homage to the special unit.
Since then, the company has expanded its line of knives to include many different designs, including fixed blades and folders, for all types of people. The brand is still a choice for many Navy SEALs but also for casual knife enthusiasts.
SOG 30-Year Anniversary Editions
To celebrate the 30th anniversary, the company is issuing commemorative editions of two of its most iconic models: the Tech Bowie and the Trident.
The commemorative version of the Tech Bowie is similar to the regular version. It has a 6.4-inch fixed blade with an awesomely designed clip point blade. It’s made of AUS8 stainless steel and features a Kraton rubber handle.
The major difference is the TigerStripe-like design with “30 Years 1986-2016” emblazoned on the blade. This knife is reminiscent of the original SOG that the company was founded on. It retails for $280.
The second is the Trident. Again, it’s very similar to the original, which includes an Arc-Actuator Lock, SOG Assisted Technology, Digi-Grip, and clip point. It also uses AUS8 stainless steel on the 3.75-inch blade and has a seatbelt cutter built in. The anniversary edition features the TigerStripe-like design with an anniversary logo and engraving.
Both of these knives come in limited quantities (300 each to be exact) and include a wood display box, commemorative patch, challenge coin, and certificate signed by SOG founder Spencer Frazer.
We’ll be celebrating 30 years of SOG throughout the year with our own promotions and articles, so stay tuned.