April 18, 2013

The Men of Covert Operations

In the world of special operations there exist two distinct worlds – clandestine and covert. Most of us have heard these words spoken before, and the majority of people think they are interchangeable.

They absolutely are not.

The world of clandestine operations is that of the typical special operations arena, JSOC included. A clandestine operation simply means something is going to go down pretty soon and all preparation and forewarning of the operation must be in complete secrecy, but it’s okay to say that we did it after the task was completed.

Good examples of this are most SOF raids against high value targets that go down overseas – it is not good combat etiquette to release a press release the night before stating “A Joint U.S. Special Operations task force will launch an operation on the night of June 15th, 2013 to the home of Abu Hamza, a known al-Qaeda financier.” As you can tell, this makes no operational sense.


or Log In


To comment on this article please join/login. Here's a sample of the comments on this post.

  • TKW406

    "C.I.A. Replaces Clandestine Chief Linked to Detentions": http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/08/us/cia-officer-tied-to-detention-program-is-replaced.html?_r=0

  • RgrDan

    I served with Tyson in A Co. 3rd Plt. He was a stud amongst studs and we all knew he was destined for bigger things. I had not seen him since he left 1st Bn, yet when I heard of his death in Afghanistan almost 20 years later, I felt like I lost a brother. I feel privileged to have served with men like Tyson and I thank him and his family for everything they sacrificed for this country.

  • fubar

    Besides SAD/SOG and JSOC SMUs like The Activity, Delta, and Team 6....are the rest of the covert units just task forces with the CIA and JSOC for government loopholes. Or are there other units out there that I am missing?

  • Glennw79

    Listen, I am thirty three and joined the Army in 1998 before the rise of Facebook, and other social sites. Most of the leadership was from the Vietnam Era, and those who were not were at least trained by Vietnam Era dudes. Cell phones were on the scene but were the size of my arm. When we got clearance we were preached to about OPSEC and how speaking about ops were forbidden and could endanger missions well into the future. This was before even signing those non disclosures SF 312 forms. Please correct me if that has changed. I can understand our Administration telling us Bin Laden was dead. Everyone needed that closure in the Military, and civilians alike. When John Brennan began telling the breakdown of everything on a daily basis in front of national television I was wondering what the fuck. Thinking about all the intel that we gathered and how it needed to be acting on quickly. Robert Gate was quoted as saying Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Brennan that he had a "new strategic communications approach to recommend."  The approach "Shut the Fuck Up" and this was meant for the whole Administration. I saw shit in Kosovo in 1999 I didn't even want to talk about. I know the Seals in the Raid had to be in the shit for awhile. Now everyone is wanting to tell their story. Why? I don't even speak to my wife about shit I have seen or done. I got out in 2010. The military as a whole is completely different. Clandestine, Covert, Black, Green unless being debriefed or speaking among friends that ran missions with you it should not be spoken of.

  • AUNITEDPEOPLE

    Good work! Thanks for the well presented article. RIP to all involved, thoughts and prayers to the families. Much respect!