On October 25, 1983, Operation Urgent Fury unfolded when the 1st and 2nd Ranger Battalions, 82nd Airborne Division, Marine Corps 8th Marine Regiment, U.S. Army Delta Force, and Navy SEALs invaded the island nation of Grenada. 

The military operation, conducted along with members of the Jamaican forces and troops from the Regional Security System, overwhelmed the Grenadian and Cuban forces in the country in a matter of days.

However, despite Operation Urgent Fury being a cakewalk for the U.S. forces, it brought to the forefront several flaws in the U.S. warfighting machine. The inability to communicate between the services and the lack of joint interoperability and coordination would bring sweeping changes to the way Americans go to war. This would lead to the Goldwater-Nichols Act and soon the creation of the Special Operations Command (SOCOM).

The Background to the Invasion

Grenada, a small island, located about 100 miles north of Venezuela, was granted its independence from the U.K. in 1974. Maurice Bishop, the leader of the Marxist-Leninist New Jewel Movement seized power in 1979. However, Bishop was relatively a moderate in foreign policy which upset the more hard-line members of the military. So, on October 19, 1983, the military staged a coup. It arrested and executed Bishop, his partner, three cabinet ministers, and two union leaders. It appointed Hudson Austin as the new head of government.