what’s the difference between Army Rangers, Green Berets, Delta Force, Navy SEALs, SEAL Team Six and Marine Raiders

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Is that even all of them? Why do you guys have so many different types of special forces?

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Anonymous 0 Comments

Different specialty missions.

Green Beret – work with local military and/or resistance/militia groups to either stabilize or destabilize a country.

Delta – Experts at small team combat, hostage rescue, close quarters battle.

SEAL teams (Six is just one of the SEAL teams) – Underwater demolition, naval special warfare (doing spooky stuff on ships, from ships, to ships, or close to shore)

Marine Raiders – No idea, pretty sure they just disbanded them? Or maybe that was their Recon.

USAF – Pararescue and JTACs. Pararescue to rescue downed pilots behind enemy lines, JTACs to call in and coordinate close air support with other indirect and direct fire methods in support of Army units.

Army Rangers – Really good light infantry, kind of quasi-special forces given their size.

I’m sure there are even more that I don’t know. You could also say EOD is special forces kind of, given their focus on one task no matter what their branch of service is.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The US military has multiple special forces groups because each group specializes in a specific area of responsibility. Special operations forces are used for high-risk missions that require discretion and finesse, such as hostage rescue, assassination, and counter-terrorism. Special operations units have historically worked in small units and carried out elite missions that only service members with specialized training can complete. 

Anonymous 0 Comments

The missions they were designed for, and the history.  For the most part each one of them was set up at a certain point in time to do a specific type of job – like the Green Berets for guerrilla and counterinsurgency training and the SEALs for scouting beaches and removing mines.  Fast forward to modern times where certain kinds of work, like raids on terrorist compounds, become really common and it can seem like the units are redundant.  The truth is there is/was plenty of work to go around.

Part of it is inter-service politics.  The Marines famously didn’t want to have a special operations unit.  “There are no elite Marines, for the Marine Corps itself is elite” was their thinking.  But that tune changed rather quickly when they found themselves left out of those missions and the funding that came with them.

Anonymous 0 Comments

You forgot to mention Air Force Pararescue: the baddest ass of the bad asses. The Fat Electrician does a pretty awesome video on them, and it’s only like three mins.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Special Forces (“Green Berets”) and SEAL are the Special Operations Commands of the Army and Navy, respectively, and are considered Tier 2 Special Operations.

Special Forces Operations Detachment – Delta (“Delta Force”) and Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU, or “SEAL Team 6”), are the most elite of these two groups, and are Tier 1 Special Operations.

Marine Raiders are the relatively recent re-designation for MARSOC, Marine Special Operations Command and are also Tier 2 SOC, like SF and SEAL.

Army Rangers, while they are technically considered Tier 2 SOC, are much more like elite Infantry than a Special Operations unit.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Rangers, if we are talking about specialty missions, train for parachute insertion (airborne) to seize airports/airfields, among others.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Just like any organization, the bigger you are the more you can specialized your people. It’s useful to have different culture, training and ways of doing things when doing different jobs, especially if what you are doing is as important as special forces. Even smaller country need to divide their special forces. Poland have 6 different special group. As for what each of them do :

Navy Seals recruit, specialize and train within the Navy. Anything that have to do with the water, but also the aircraft, ships and operation that the Navy is doing.

Green Berets is for the army and they specialize in training, organizing, supporting and leading local people for unconventional warfare. For example, in Iraq they worked with the Kurdish people to form a Northern Front during the Invasion.

Army Rangers is a light infantry unit. Contrary to most other SF, they rarely do their job in small team, but rather as more traditional military unit like company and battalion. They will do operation like parachuting to secure a airfield deep into enemy territory, or they will provide security for another SF unit to do their job.

Force Recon is a bit like the Ranger for the Marines in the sense that they work in larger unit. One company is assigned to each Marine Expeditionary Forces, where they provide two main capability to the commander of the force. One is deep reconnaissance, the other is direct action.

Marine Raiders is a more traditional unit of SF for the marine, the Marine Corps send them where they are needed, they are not a unit under control of the local Marine Commander.

TACP, CCT and PJ are specialist of the Air Force. Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) are small team assigned to Army unit or Special Force to provide air support control. Basically they are specialist to link the unit on the ground and assets of the Air Force. Combat Control Team are combat air traffic controllers, they can go in an area to step up an air field, run a air traffic tower, direct the aircraft, etc. Very useful when you take over the airfield of the enemy. Pararescue (PJs) are specialist in combat search and rescue, basically if someone is in trouble in an inconvenient place, they can go find him, fix him up if needed and evacuate him to safety.

DEVGRU (AKA Seal Team 6), Delta Force and 24th Special Tactics Squadron are called Tier 1 Special Mission Unit. Typically DEVGRU will recruit from the Navy Seal, Delta Force will recruit for the Green Berets and the 24th will recruit from the TACP, CCT or PJs. They are the higher quality of special forces, very secretive, take care of high-profile mission and are more of a strategical assets for the whole military.

There is a couple more that are less known or smaller in size. The ISA (CIA), SWCC (River Boats), SR (Air Attack behind enemy lines), etc

Anonymous 0 Comments

They do a lot of things, some overlap a bit. There is their “official” duties as noted by others but doesn’t always give real life examples that might help you understand. Over the years they have been in the news for their activities some of which includes:

AFSOC: airforce special ops were some of the first in Afghanistan before ground troop were deployed. They helped the anti Taliban “Northern Alliance” over throw the Taliban. There was a news article quite a while back about the AFSOC interacting with the NA in the beginning. The NA thought these guys were going to bring in massive carpet bombing. AFSOC guys with NA over looking the Taliban positions and equipment basically said “watch”. One by one each vehicle, position etc. got destroyed from the air. AFSOC was there to help direct those smart bombs. The NA was pretty impressed as one by one everything they were observing went “boom” without any massive carpet bombing.

Green Berets: If you hear of U.S. special forces helping train, say the Ukraine military, often it was these guys.

SEALS: Specialize in Navel special ops but that is not all they do. They also have a counter terrorism role and where in Afghanistan which is pretty far from the Navy. These guys are the ones that got bin Ladin in Pakistan, or at least were a big part of that raid. For a while the U.S. went with a tactic of knocking out the Taliban leadership by hunting them down in particular. SEALS were involved with this. Also you may have heard a while ago four pirates off the Somali coast were holding some boat captain hostage on a small pirate boat. The SEALS did four, simultaneous, sniper shots from the deck of a rolling ship killing the four pirates at the same time. Recently it was in the news 2 SEALS were lost recently. They were boarding ships that were smuggling Iranian weapons to Yemen. Seal Team 6 specifically I believe has the counter terrorism role in particular. There are other SEAL teams and I believe they have their own areas of focus.

Of course if there is any naval spec ops happening at sea, it will be these guys.

Delta: This group is a really shadowy group. If there are U.S. special operator’s in Ukraine right now, that would be these guys typically. From what I can tell these guys act much more covertly than the others. So if the U.S. spec ops working without detection in very risky, sensitive, dangerous situations it may be these guys. The U.S. when not a war may want guys in the war zone without “officially” having any troops there. These guys may be giving the U.S. president the real scoop on the ground, or involved in some covert military related activities, but are not actually doing the shooting… at least not at the front line. You may have heard the U.S. provides weapons to Ukraine. Fine, but Ukraine is a war zone and you just can’t FedEx these things there, and Russia would try to destroy these weapons before they even get used. This task is not an easy one although it “sounds” easy since weapons have been going into Ukraine. Quite possibly these guys with the CIA are involved in making that happen. Note it would not just be the U.S. doing this, spec ops from Britain are said to be there etc. and they would work together on behalf of NATO. Some how, some way the U.S. spec ops and intelligence services, along with other NATO countries spec ops, have managed to get a large amount of weapons into Ukraine without them being destroyed at the border.

Army Rangers: In a war, if you need to take an air port in enemy territory to use against the enemy it will be these guys. I believe the long ago U.S. overthrow of Noreiga in Panama involved a lot of Rangers, although not exclusively. That is an “infantry” type operation, and these guys are the specialists at difficult infantry operations.

Marine Raiders: Less familiar with these guys but I believe these are your elite recon guys during war. For example if China suddenly invaded Taiwan, and actually were on the ground in Taiwan, these guys may be the first there to get the status and locations of Chinese forces for when the U.S. comes in with lots of things that go boom and any troops, marines specifically, these guys would help lay out the path to do so.

Various people from these groups may work in a paramilitary fashion if needed. It will surprise people to learn the CIA does not assassinate people. But they are involved in helping making some people dead. The guys who are legally authorized to shoot guns on behalf of the U.S. of A in foreign countries is the military, not the CIA. So what is the CIA to do? Works in a team with spec ops people. The ones pulling the trigger are military, working with the CIA, assuming the U.S. wants someone covertly dead vs. full on military attacks. Even then, the U.S. does not assassinate people. But when you dig into this you see there is a lot of grey with terrorism going on. Killing terrorists is not “assassination”, it is part of the U.S. military operations against an enemy at “war” with us but don’t have their own country. You might think that certainly sounds like assassination but there are very real legal aspects for who the U.S. does a “military” strike against that looks like an assassination. In contrast, say you want some dictator, who the U.S. is not attacking militarily in warfare, dead. Legally the U.S. cannot kill that dictator. Gives you an idea of the distinction. If guns and bombs are being shot between the U.S. and said dictators military, that is different. He was at war with the U.S. so the U.S. can drop a bomb on him legally.

And of course a lot of these spec ops groups work together on teams so it may not be one or the other alone, it may be a mix working together.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The Army Rangers, Green Berets, Delta Force, Navy SEALs, SEAL Team Six, and Marine Raiders are all elite special operations forces within the U.S. military. While they share some similarities, each unit has its own distinct roles, missions, and areas of expertise:

1. **Army Rangers**: Rangers are specialized light infantry units trained for direct-action missions, including raids, ambushes, and airfield seizure. They are known for their exceptional physical fitness, small unit tactics, and proficiency in airborne and air assault operations. Rangers are primarily tasked with conducting rapid, light infantry operations behind enemy lines.
2. **Green Berets (U.S. Army Special Forces)**: Green Berets are highly trained unconventional warfare specialists who specialize in foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, direct action, and counterterrorism. They work closely with indigenous forces in various parts of the world to build relationships, train, and advise local military and paramilitary units. Green Berets are also skilled in languages and cultural understanding.
3. **Delta Force (1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta)**: Delta Force is a secretive counterterrorism and hostage rescue unit within the U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC). It specializes in high-risk missions, such as hostage rescue, counterterrorism, and reconnaissance. Delta Force operators are recruited from various branches of the military and undergo rigorous selection and training.
4. **Navy SEALs (Sea, Air, and Land)**: SEALs are maritime special operations forces trained for a variety of missions, including direct action, special reconnaissance, unconventional warfare, and counterterrorism. They are known for their amphibious capabilities and proficiency in operating in water, air, and land environments. SEALs are primarily tasked with conducting maritime-based missions, but they can also operate on land.
5. **SEAL Team Six (Naval Special Warfare Development Group, DEVGRU)**: SEAL Team Six is a specialized unit within the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC) responsible for counterterrorism and hostage rescue operations. It is one of the most elite units in the U.S. military and is often tasked with high-profile and sensitive missions, including the capture or elimination of high-value targets.
6. **Marine Raiders (Marine Special Operations Regiment)**: Marine Raiders are the special operations forces of the United States Marine Corps. They specialize in direct action, special reconnaissance, unconventional warfare, and foreign internal defense. Marine Raiders are organized into the Marine Raider Regiment and deploy as Marine Special Operations Teams (MSOTs) to conduct missions around the world.

While each of these units is highly trained and capable, they have distinct organizational structures, training pipelines, and mission sets. They often work together and with other allied special operations forces to accomplish complex and demanding missions worldwide.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Special Forces are the Green Berets. Special Operations Forces in general refer to all the different types/units.