Also known as Green Berets, because of their distinctive headwear, Special Forces soldiers operate in 12-man teams, known as the Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha (SFODA). ODAs most often work with a partner force, which can either be a guerilla group or a government. Each ODA focuses on a different insertion method (Military Freefall, Combat Diver, Mobility, and Mountain). Green Berets are cultural experts in the assigned geographical region and speak local languages, which is key when working with a partner force.
There are five active-duty (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 10th) and two National Guard (19th and 20th) Special Forces Groups that specialize in different geographical areas.
From the history of the iconic Green Beret to weapons and famous engagements, this is the complete Special Forces guide as written by former SOCOM members.
ARTICLES FROM SOFREP
The Waterborne Infiltration Course, the Special Forces Version of Ranger School
The Waterborne Infiltrations Course (WIC) was grueling. It included every waterborne surface oper...
The Difference Between Rangers and Special Forces
The difference between Special Forces and Army Rangers is best exemplified in this ambush exercis...
Strange Days in the Green Berets: Of Pipes and Dogs
“You men have been bringing your dogs to work lately! I have been seeing dog shit around my com...
The Time Special Forces Combat Divers Recovered 26 Americans From the Floor of the Pacific Ocean
One of the first-ever Special Forces underwater operations wasn’t targeted against an enemy...
What Special Forces Means to the Real First Female Green Beret
Captain Katie Wilder was the Army’s first female Green Beret. In this exclusive interview, ...
Swim or Die: The conclusion of the Special Forces swim from hell
(You can read Part I here, and Part II here.) “Fuck you.” Fuck me?? Yeah, that was t...
Special Operations hand-to-hand combat: Post-Vietnam
Special operations continued to develop and improve its hand-to-hand combat systems, from LINE to...
Women & standards in Special Operations and Special Mission units
SOFREP recently published an exclusive piece covering the journey of the first female candidate s...
Operation Tailwind: Special Forces operators aid CIA op deep inside Laos
Thus the stage was set for the launching of Operation Tailwind on Sept. 11, 1970, after several w...
China’s Foreign Policy Is To Bully the US, Our Policy Is To Take It.
Read this Translation of an Interview with General Kryvonos of Ukraine’s Special Forces
Is the Ukraine War About To Spill into Kosovo and Serbia?
India Will Move Away From Russian Weapons, Grounds All Their MiG-21s Following Fatal Crash
Russia and Ukraine Blame Each Other for Deadly Attack on POW Prison