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.