Special Forces Combat Divers are a rare breed in an already elite community.

Only a small number of Army Green Berets volunteer for and go through the Special Forces Combat Diver Qualification Course (CDQC), arguably the toughest school in the Army, and ultimately qualify to serve in a dive team.

Special Forces Operational Detachment Alphas (ODAs), 12-man teams of Unconventional Warfare experts, specialize in different insertion methods. There are Military Freefall teams, Mountain teams, Mobility teams, and Dive teams. There are five active duty (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 10th)  and two National Guard (19th and 20th) Special Forces Groups. Each Group has four battalions of three companies each. Every company has six Special Forces Operational Detachment Alphas (ODAs). Only one out of these six is a dive team.

But the state of the Special Forces Combat Diver capability is far from healthy. Indeed, SOFREP has learned that chronic neglect, conflicting operational demands, and an institutional lack of understanding by both the Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) and the 1st Special Forces Command (1st SFC) have brought the capability to a perilous state.