United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)
USSOCOM plans, directs, and executes special operations in the conduct
of the War on Terrorism in order to disrupt, defeat, and destroy
terrorist networks that threaten the United States, its citizens and
interests worldwide. USSOCOM organizes, trains, and equips special
operations forces provided to Geographic Combatant Commanders, American
Ambassadors and their country teams.
HQUSSOCOM is located at
MacDill AFB, Tampa Florida and is a warfighting headquarters with
Operational Control of critical operations worldwide aimed at disrupting
and destroying terrorist networks, their infrastructure, and those that
harbor and support them. USSOCOM is a Joint Command with special
rapid-acquisition powers and plays a unique role as a Combatant Command
responsible for operations spanning the globe.
In the next century, the spread of information, the development of and
access to new technologies, and an increasing recognition of global
problems will present vast opportunities for economic growth, regional
integration, and global political cooperation. Yet for all of this
promise, the world remains a complex, dynamic, and dangerous place. It
will continue to be an uncertain security environment, one for which
U.S. special operations forces (SOF) are uniquely suited, offering the
capabilities to avert emerging threats and providing unprecedented
opportunities to address the challenges in ways that advance U.S.
USSOCOM is comprised of five
Component Commands of Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), US
Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), Naval Special Warfare Command
(NAVSPECWARCOM), Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC), and Joint
Special Operations Command (JSOC).
Operations Forces (SOF) Roles and Missions
Direct Action. In
pursuit of important targets located within hostile or denied territory,
SOF units may employ raid, ambush, or direct assault tactics.
(SR). SR complements national and theater intelligence collection
systems by obtaining specific, well-defined, and time-sensitive
information of strategic or operational significance.
(UW). UW involves SOF working with assistance from indigenous forces
in the interrelated fields of guerrilla warfare, subversion, sabotage,
intelligence collection, escape and evasion, and other low visibility,
covert, or clandestine operations behind enemy lines or in politically
Foreign Internal Defense.
SOF train, advise, and assist host nation military, paramilitary, and on
occasion, civilian forces in support of programs designed to free and
protect a society from subversion, lawlessness, and insurgency.
Civil Affairs (CA).
CA involve coordinating U.S. military activities with foreign civilian
officials; U.S. government civilian agencies; and international,
nongovernmental, and private volunteer organizations.
Psychological Operations (PSYOP). PSYOP activities are intended to
influence the attitudes and behavior of foreign audiences.
primary mission of SOF in this interagency activity is to apply highly
specialized capabilities to preempt or resolve terrorist incidents
Humanitarian Assistance. To
carry out worldwide humanitarian and disaster relief programs consistent
with U.S. foreign policy.
Theater Search and Rescue.
Employment of specialized SOF aircraft and uniquely qualified SOF crews
for the rescue of personnel from enemy territory or denied areas
whenever conventional combat search and rescue techniques and
capabilities are inadequate.
Collateral Mission Areas.
SOF's additional collateral activities missions are security assistance,
counterdrug activities, peacekeeping, personnel recovery, special
activities, coalition warfare, and antiterrorist and other security
activities including measures to protect individuals and property from
terrorist attack. In these areas, SOF share responsibility with other
forces as directed by the geographic combatant commanders.
Naval Special Warfare
Command, NAVSPECWARCOM based in Coronado, California, was
commissioned on April 16, 1987. It is the component of the U.S. Navy to
the United States Special Operations Command that is headquartered in
Tampa, Florida. The mission of NSW is to develop maritime special
operations strategy, tactics and doctrine and carry out missions. It has
operational control over all U.S. based Naval Special Warfare training
and equipment and provides ready forces to combat commanders. The
teams, universally recognized as SEALs, deploy in the Sea, Air and Land
for the United States Navy. They are the main special operations force
of the Navy, the NSW and the maritime section of the U.S. Special
U.S. Army Special Forces Command, USASOC (Airborne) has evolved through a
spirited heritage - spanning three centuries and threading itself
through numerous organizations. Its soldiers trace their lineage to the
1st Special Service Force (Devil 's Brigade) and derive their heritage
from elements of the Office of Strategic Services (Jedburghs,
Operational Groups and Detachment IO 1).
Special Operations Forces Truths
Humans are more important
Quality is better than
Special Operations Forces
cannot be mass produced.
Competent Special Operations
Forces cannot be created after emergencies occur.
These truths have been
reaffirmed by the awe-inspiring performance of our special operations
forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, Colombia, the Philippines, and many other
countries around the world," he said. "I hope one day we may be able to
fully reveal their story.
With the shift from SOF being postured for reactive, regional
contingencies to being a global, proactive and pre-emptive force," he
continued, "we are witnessing a key evolution in how we must conduct our
security affairs in the future and address those 'safe havens,' and
build capacity to deal with those who would harm our country.
The Army's grueling Special
Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) has a historical attrition rate
that hovers around 70 percent--with another 10-15 percent lost in the
ensuing Special Forces Qualification Course. This is not attrition for
attrition's sake; in fact, Special Forces candidates are not harassed,
hazed, or otherwise coerced into quitting at any time. Rather, the
physical and mental rigors of the training cull out those who do not
possess the necessary attributes for service in SOF. The end result is a
soldier who is tough, self-reliant, innovative, and flexible. We have
witnessed the true value of this process in recent operations around the
world SOF has proven to be a decisive element and the force of choice in
our struggle against terrorism.
The Joint definition of Irregular
… a violent struggle among state and non-state actors for legitimacy and
influence over the relevant population(s). Irregular warfare favors
and asymmetric approaches, though it may employ the full range of
military and other capacities, in order to erode an adversary‘s power,
influence, and will. (United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, 2008, p. 282)
Special Forces soldiers have
earned the title of "Quiet Professional." They have been involved in
peacetime operations and armed conflicts around the world over the past
five decades. In addition to service in Vietnam, Special Forces were
recently employed in Panama during Operation Just Cause and during
Operations Desert Shield and Storm. Desert Storm Commander, Gen. H.
Norman Schwarzkopf, described Special Forces as the "eyes and ears" of
conventional forces and as the "glue that held coalition forces
Special Forces soldiers continue to serve at home and abroad providing
humanitarian assistance and assisting with foreign internal defense in
friendly foreign nations. Recent humanitarian assistance missions
include Promote Liberty, Provide Comfort, Sea Angel, Guantanamo, Cuba,
Hurricane Andrew, and Restore Hope. They continue to willingly undertake
difficult missions in order to help those who are less fortunate.
are quiet professionals, living by their motto "De Oppresso Liber" - To
Free the Oppressed.
On November 27, 1990, the U.S. Army 1st Special Operations Command was
redesignated the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne). Its
mission: to train, validate, and prepare Special Forces units to deploy
and execute operational requirements for the war-fighting
commanders-in-chief. Special Forces Command exercises command and
control over five active component groups. Additionally, it exercises
training oversight of two Army National Guards groups. Each Special
Forces Group is regionally oriented to support one of the war fighting
commanders-in-chief (CINCs). Special Forces soldiers routinely deploy in
support of the CINCs of U.S. European Command, U.S. Atlantic Command,
U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Southern Command and the U.S. Central Command
Special Forces Recruiting
THE BEST OF THE BEST
All U.S. soldiers are special. But, Special Forces (SF) soldiers
represent the Army's cutting edge. The training they receive is the most
rigorous, intensive and challenging the Army offers. You've got to be
good, because training builds on what you already know.
As a member of a Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha (or "A
Team"), you'll be part of a dynamic 12-man force with a real world
mission. You'll be in a tight-knit unit with men of the highest physical
and mental caliber who can be counted on to be inventive and
self-reliant under the most adverse conditions.
"A Teams" are made up of highly skilled specialists trained in guerrilla
warfare, sabotage, counterinsurgency and reconnaissance. You'll operate
in urban, desert, jungle, mountain, maritime and arctic environment
where you might have to survive behind enemy lines for months at a time.
You'll also be called upon to teach these skills in foreign languages to
people all over the world. In fact, a primary mission is to teach, and
SF soldiers consider themselves to be "the world's greatest
You're an adventurer and sleuth, innovative and independent. You will
join a world-class brotherhood. You will be among the best in the world,
a "GREEN BERET"..
DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES?
Special Forces candidates must be mature and self-motivated; open and
humble, particularly with other races and cultures; and better
conditioned physically and emotionally than the average soldier. We are
looking for Individuals who are a little more aggressive and
independent, but able to work well within a small, cohesive team.
Want to challenge yourself? Check out the most hardcore physical
Workout and the
Deploying soon? Check out our
Afghanistan Special Forces Gear
List and prepare for your deployment in support of Operation
SPECIFICALLY, EVERY CANDIDATE:
Must be a male soldier, pay grade O-2, O-3, or E3 to E7 , a high school
graduate or have a GED, and have a GT score of 100 or higher.
Must be Airborne-qualified or volunteer for Airborne training.
Must score a minimum of 229 points on the Army Physical Fitness Test and
be eligible for a SECRET security clearance prior to attending the
Check out our new section on
Air Force Special
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Under Armour Tactical
Four US Navy SEALS departed one clear night in June, 2005 for the
mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a reconnaissance mission.
Their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader rumored to
have a small army in a Taliban stronghold. Five days later, only one of
those Navy SEALS made it out alive. On June 28th, 2005, one of the MH-47
Chinook helicopters sent with a Quick Reaction Force to rescue the SEAL
ground team was shot down by Taliban forces in the Kunar Valley
resulting in the highest single-day loss of life for US forces in
This is the story of the only survivor of Operation Redwing, US Navy
SEAL Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell, and the extraordinary firefight that
led to the largest loss of life in American Navy SEAL history. Lt.
Michael P. Murphy led the team of PO2 Luttrell, PO2 Dietz and PO2 Axelso.
fought valiantly beside his teammates until he was the only one left alive,
blasted by an RPG into a place where his pursuers could not find him.
Over the next four days, terribly injured and presumed dead, Luttrell
crawled for miles through the mountains and was taken in by sympathetic
villagers who risked their lives to keep him safe from surrounding
The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have given the U.S. Army's Special
Forces, also known as the Green Berets, a central role in American
military action like never before. Several hundred U.S. Special Forces
operators helped a motley band of Afghan rebels orchestrate a stunning
rout when they overthrew the Taliban after 9/11. In Iraq, as journalist
Linda Robinson explains in Masters of Chaos: The Secret History of the
Special Forces, Special Forces units were the main U.S. elements on the
ground in the northern and western regions of the country, where they
defeated government forces that outnumbered them many times over.
Robinson tells the story of the Special Forces through the eyes of a few
of its more colorful personalities, men with call signs like Rawhide and
Killer. She follows them around the world from Panama and El Salvador to
Somalia, Kosovo, and, finally, Afghanistan and Iraq. Surprisingly,
however, she devotes only a few pages to the Green Beret-led victory in
Afghanistan, even though it was arguably their greatest achievement
since they were created after World War II.
Operations in Iraq
This sensational book reveals the true and compelling story of the
Special Force units of the Coalition, such as the SAS, SBS and Delta
Force who worked in the shadows, often unseen, unheard and unsung. It
describes their missions behind the lines from the early days, well
before hostilities opened formally. It was an open secret that groups
were deployed probably operating in the western desert against Saddam's
forces and the Scud missile threat. What was actually going on is
revealed here and until now their roles and actions have not been
described in any detail.
These are thrilling tales of incredible daring and endurance told by men
whose courage and military skills are inspiring. The book also covers
operations such as the spectacular rescue of POW Private Lynch and the
secret operations to target Saddam and other leaders of his regime of
Warriors in Iraq
Join Big Hungry, Kentucky Rife, Serpico and Jedi Knight for a harrowing
journey into the heart of the Iraqi insurgency. A former Marine
infantryman, Tucker follows the warriors of the 101st Airborne Division
in Mosul and the 82nd Airborne and 10th Mountain Divisions in Fallujah
during 19 weeks of urban warfare in late 2003 and early 2004. In
declaratives one might describe as debased Hemingway on speed, Tucker
tags along for counter-IED (improvised explosive devices) patrols and
zero-dark-30 (predawn) raids, capturing the adrenaline-laced urgency of
urban combat against a hidden enemy. His conversations with troopers are
refreshingly authentic; his analysis of the politics of Iraq tends
toward open advocacy for the Kurds and a separate state of Kurdistan.
(Tucker is the author of Hell Is Over: Voices of the Kurds After
Saddam.) But his gritty firsthand account is packed with detail: from
the slow ballet of "scoping roof tops and alley corners," the
excruciating tension of disarming IEDs and the frenetic choreography of
urban combat to the children who are never far away and are always quick
with a smile, a wave and an enthusiastic "Amerikee!" Several impressive
accounts of the second Iraq War have appeared already from embedded
journalists, but few are as personal and edgy as Tucker's.