Written by Barry Sadler in 1966, Sadller was an American military veteran, author, actor, and singer-songwriter. Sadler served as a Green Beret combat medic with the rank of Staff Sergeant of the United States Army during the Vietnam War.
A ballad is a famous story, it can be a poem, a short story, or in this case a song. And as a part of soldiers uniform, they wore green berets.
The song came out in 1966 right in the middle of the Vietnam war, Which was no mistake since many American soldiers were disrespected for fighting in the war, and the goal was to write and sing a song that supported the war.
Sadler also wrote other songs, none of which are famous, All of them however were all about the Military and war.
In the first stanza Sadler is trying to say how honorable men like him and men fighting in the war are, he wants respect. In the second he continues with the respect aspect and says how important and valuable the green beret is. In the third he is getting a point across that these soldiers go through a lot preparing for the war and obviously in the war. In the fourth stanza Sadler wants the listeners to be empathetic towards soldiers and their families. And finally in the last stanza he talks about this tradition continuing on from generation to generation and letting America know we can't hate our soldiers forever, and we never should.
Like I said before many people were against the war in Vietnam, that being said many people sometimes would take it out on American Soldiers, and Sadler is trying to turn the country away from that and gain respect and empathy for these men.
The Vietnam war was the cause of this song, and in the 60's the war was a major topic that most people if not everyone talked about. So the fact that the song was about the war makes sense that it was so popular.
The whole idea of this song was for a support for the war in Vietnam. He also wanted the reputation for Soldiers would go way up since his lyrics were entirely about how honorable these men are and how hard they work.