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United States special operations forces

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United States special operations forces (SOF) are the active and reserve component forces of the United States Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force within the US military, as designated by the Secretary of Defense and specifically organized, trained, and equipped to conduct and support special operations.[1][2] All active and reserve special operations forces are assigned to the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).[2][3]


Component commands
★★★ Represents a unit led by a lieutenant general or vice admiral
★★ Represents a unit led by a major general or rear admiral (upper half)
★ Represents a unit led by a brigadier general or rear admiral (lower half)

Joint Special Operations Command[edit]

Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) ★★★[7]

  • 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (Airborne) (1st SFOD-D) (A) (USA)
    • A Squadron (Assault)
    • B Squadron (Assault)
    • C Squadron (Assault)
    • D Squadron (Assault)
    • E Squadron (Aviation)[8]
    • G Squadron (Intelligence, Reconnaissance, & Surveillance)
    • Combat Support Squadron
    • Signal Squadron
  • Naval Special Warfare Development Group (USN)
    • Blue Squadron (Assault)
    • Gold Squadron (Assault)
    • Red Squadron (Assault)
    • Silver Squadron (Assault)
    • Black Squadron (Intelligence, Reconnaissance, & Surveillance)
    • White Squadron (EOD Tactics Development & Evaluation Squadron)
    • Gray Squadron (Mobility Teams, Transportation/Divers)
    • Green Squadron (Selection/Training)
    • X Squadron (Experimental, R&D, technical innovations)
    • Combat Support Squadron
    • Technical Support Squadron (Tactical Cryptologic Support, Tactical Information Operations)
  • Regimental Reconnaissance Company (RRC) (USA)
    • RRD Team 1
    • RRD Team 2
    • RRD Team 3
  • 24th Special Tactics Squadron (24th STS) (USAF)
    • Black Team
    • Blue Team
    • Gold Team
    • Gray Team
    • Silver Team
    • Integrated Survey Program Team
    • Green Team (OTC – Assessment, Selection, Training)
  • Joint Communications Unit[9] (Joint Service)
    • A Squadron
    • B Squadron
    • C Squadron
    • D Squadron
    • Quick Reaction Team (QRT)
    • Special Mission Troop (SMT)
    • Executive Communications Detachment
  • Joint Cyber Operations Group (JCOG) (Formerly Joint Communications Integration Element/JCIE)(Joint Service)
  • Joint Special Operations Command Intelligence Brigade (JSOCIB)
    • Joint Exploitation Squadron (JES)
    • Joint GEOINT Squadron
    • Joint Processing, Exploitation and Dissemination (JPED) Squadron
      • Geospatial Exploitation Troop (GET)
      • Joint Exploitation Troop
    • Joint Targeting Squadron (JTS)
      • Joint SIGINT Targeting and Exploitation Troop (JSTET)
      • Joint Publicly Available Information (PAI) Troop
      • Interrogation and Exploitation Troop
  • 427th Special Operations Squadron[8] (USAF)
  • Intelligence Support Activity (USA)

United States Army[edit]

1-10th Special Forces Group secure their weapons after a day of training at the Panzer Range Complex, Boeblingen, Germany, 8 Nov. 2016.
Army Rangers during a training operation.

United States Marine Corps[edit]

Marine Raiders fine-tune Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) skills.

United States Navy[edit]

Navy SEALs during night operation in Afghanistan.
SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team (SDV) 2 conduct diving lock out
SWCC from Special Boat Team 22 operating a SOC-R
  • Naval Special Warfare Command (NAVSPECWARCOM) ★★[7]
    • Naval Special Warfare Group ONE[7]
    • Naval Special Warfare Group TWO[7]
      • SEAL Team 2[7]
      • SEAL Team 4[7]
      • SEAL Team 8[7]
      • SEAL Team 10[7]
      • Logistics Support Unit 2[7]
      • Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Unit 2[7]
      • Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Unit 4[7]
      • Naval Special Warfare Unit (NSW) 10[7]
    • Naval Special Warfare Group FOUR[7]
      • Special Boat Team 12 (SBT-12)[7]
      • Special Boat Team 20 (SBT-20)[7]
      • Special Boat Team 22 (SBT-22)[7]
      • Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School (NAVSCIATTS)[7]
    • Naval Special Warfare Group EIGHT[10][11]
      • SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1 (SDVT-1)[7]
      • SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 2 (SDVT-2);[12] was reactivated on 8 March 2019[13]
      • Logistics Support Unit 3[7]
      • Special Reconnaissance Team 1[14]
      • Special Reconnaissance Team 2[14]
      • Training Detachment 3[14]
      • Mission Support Center[7]
    • Naval Special Warfare Group ELEVEN[7]
    • Naval Special Warfare Center[7]
      • Basic Training Command[7]
      • Advanced Training Command[7]

United States Air Force[edit]

Air Force Special Tactics Commandos training in Jordan

SOF career fields[edit]

United States Army[edit]

Army Special Forces (Green Berets) during breach and clear training near al-Tanf, Syria
  • Special Forces
  • Rangers
  • Psychological Operations (Military Information Support Operators)
  • Civil Affairs Soldiers
  • Army Special Operations Aviators
  • Military Intelligence and other Special Operations/Support with enlisted Special Qualification (SQI) Identifier "S" or "K9" for Officers.

United States Marine Corps[edit]

United States Navy[edit]

Special Boat Team 20 navigates a rigid-hull inflatable boat while a SEAL team boards a yacht

United States Air Force[edit]

* Not all PJs/CROs are assigned to AFSOC; many are assigned to Rescue Squadrons within ACC, PACAF, and USAFE. There is no difference in training or selection between Rescue and Special Tactics assignments.[23]

** TACP-O/TACP Airmen must undergo additional selection and training to be assigned to AFSOC Special Tactics Squadrons. Most are assigned to ACC and support conventional Army Units.[24]

U.S. special operations centers, schools, and courses[edit]

Deployable Specialized Forces U.S. Coast Guard operators fire Mk18 rifles while instructors supervise during the Advanced Tactical Operations Course at Special Missions Training Center

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Joint Chiefs of Staff (16 July 2014). Special Operations (PDF). Joint Publication 3-05. Washington, DC: Department of Defense. pp. I-3–I-4, GL-11. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 December 2016.
  2. ^ a b "10 U.S. Code § 167 - Unified combatant command for special operations forces". Legal Information Institute. Cornell Law School. Retrieved 3 November 2023.
  3. ^ Joint Chiefs of Staff 2014, p. I-3.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "SOCOM 2014 Factbook" (PDF). 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 December 2013. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  5. ^ Special Operations Command South
  6. ^ U.S. Special Operations Command, North (Provisional Command) > U.S. Northern Command > Article View. Northcom.mil (16 May 2013). Retrieved on 2014-05-24.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg SOCOM Public Affairs (2015). SOCOM Fact Book 2015 (PDF). SOCOM Public Affairs.
  8. ^ a b Trevithick, Joseph. "Shedding Some Light on the Pentagon's Most Shadowy Aviation Units". The Drive. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  9. ^ "Joint Communications Unit | JCU | Fort Bragg, NC". jcu.mil. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  10. ^ "U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command Establishes Group Eight, Disestablishes Groups Three and Ten". DVIDSHUB. 25 August 2021. Archived from the original on 29 August 2021. Retrieved 21 July 2022.
  11. ^ Atlamazoglou, Stavros (15 September 2021). "To take on Russia and China, the US Navy is standing up a new unit to do the missions that only SEALs can do". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 7 July 2022. Retrieved 21 July 2022.
  12. ^ NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE (PDF) (Report). Naval Special Warfare Center. May 2013. NWP 3-05. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  13. ^ Faram, Mark D. (25 February 2019). "SEALs revive stealthy submarine delivery team in Virginia". Navy Times. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  14. ^ a b c "Fact Book 2022" (PDF). SOCOM. 2022. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 July 2022. Retrieved 21 July 2022.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h "1st Special Operations Group fact sheet". 1 July 2015.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i "24th Special Operations Wing fact sheet". 1 July 2015.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "27th Special Operations Wing fact sheet". 1 July 2015.
  18. ^ "Fact Book 2022" (PDF). SOCOM. 2022. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 July 2022. Retrieved 21 July 2022.
  19. ^ a b c d "919th Special Operations Wing fact sheet". 1 July 2015.
  20. ^ a b c "352d Special Operations Wing fact sheet". 1 July 2015.
  21. ^ a b c d "353rd Special Operations Group fact sheet". 1 July 2015.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g "Air Force Special Operations Air Warfare Center". 1 July 2015. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  23. ^ "Unit Info". 19 January 2015. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  24. ^ "Policy changes allow Airmen to retrain into special ops". U.S. Air Force. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  25. ^ WULLENJOHN, CHUCK. "Air Force becomes newest YPG tenant". Yuma Sun. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  26. ^ "Enlisted heroes receive graduate-level education at Weapons School". 6 February 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013.

External links[edit]