For decades the U.S. special operations community has had a set of “truths” to guide how it selects and trains commandos and how it fights.

The U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) used hard-earned lessons and failures to create those five “SOF Truths.”

Now, more than 40 years after the formal establishment of a special-operations structure and after 20 years of war in the Middle East, these guiding principles remain essential as the U.S. faces new tests from China and Russia.