How may different Military Special Forces are There?

I've always been somewhat fasinated by the military special opertions forces but after the Pawns bin Laden death I wanted to research them more and find out exactly how many there were and what ones there are. Theirs way mire than I ever thought their were. I know thus list isn't complete but maybe you can help add to it. I have most of these abreviations down as well but their are a couple I do not know so maybe you can help me out with that to. Il put a ? by the ones I'm not sure about. Please just list American special operations forces. Ok here is what I have so far:

Army: Army snipers, Army Sapper school ?, Army special forces green berets, special forces divers, Army rangers 75th, SFOD-D(special forces operation detatatchment-delta), Army ISA (intelligence support activity), Army 4th POG (psychological operations group), army CAG (combat application group), Army 160th SOAR Nightstalkers (special operations aviation regiment), COC ?, Blue Light ? Or something like that

Navy: Navy Combat Divers, Navy SEALS, Navy DEVGRU (development group), Navy swcc (ape oak warfare combat craft crewman), Navy HSC-84(heli sea combat squad 84), Navy EOD?

Marines: Marine scout snipers, Marine MSPF (marine special perpose force), Marine force and division recon, marine MSOB(marine special operations battallion), marine FAST team(fleet antiterrorism security team), marine SRT(special reaction team), marine RTF(recapture tactics team), marine RRT(radio recon team)

Airforce: Airforce para rescue, afsoc air commandos, battlefield airmen, airfield e combat control team, combat divers, special ops dive school

CIA: SAD (special activities division), SOG (special operations group)

FBI: HRT (hostage rescue team)

DEA- fast team

Coast guard: msrt?

Here are a couple ones I'm not sure of: Jtac's, SERE course, COC, HVT,


This first answer was pretty rediculous, he knew what I meant I just left out a word. So I will rephrase the question: How many Special Operations Forces are there. By the way if you would have read I know there is only one special forces, they are called the green berets. Also, you are incorrext about the last part. These are all special ops. They are just different levels and duffernt purposes. There are different tiers if special forces.

Update 2:

I guess I should have left out military when discussing DEA FBI etc. I've read quite abit about the FBI HRT, those guys know there.stuff man. There trained by delta, seals, sas, etc. HK thru a lot of the same trainjng. Also I should have clarified about special forces groups as opposed to special operations training schools like the sniper schools. Everybody in their is special forces even delta and seals go to the army and marine sniper schools. So all of these are either military or civilian special ops or special ops training schools.

Update 3:

I like the second answer I agree with mist but the marines have a few, have you heard of these or are you kust guessing? The fast team is a tier two.

Update 4:

Answer 3 is incorrect as well, I've done a lot of research on the fast team. I'm not quite about the others but you probably mistaken.

Update 5:

:edit: to answer 4: you say their is no such thing as airforcce combat divers? I know a lot if people think their are can you explain why that is. There is only a couple if these that I got off if surviving the cut, wich i know tou can't believe a lot if what you see in tv but what they said about the combat divers I believe is that the combat divers graduate first and then the combat controllers have to stick around for weeks longer for mire specialized training. Also for example a lot of the marine forces i listed you say aren't special ops. If their not regular forces and not special ops what are they? Slit of these are specialized units with special schooling and specialized training that tag aljng with special forces, corrdct?

Update 6:

To wgh: I believe most of what you say and I have respect for your mentor, that's the best special ops team in my limited knoweledge. But you can never get all your info from just one source. You mention seal team 6, they don't even exist anymore do they, they were changed to DEVGRU and now something else wich is suposedly classified, I don't know. Also I was told from many ex military that the CIA SAD pick only the best operators from delta and DEVGRU for under the radar black ops missions, whatever that means. Also you say their are no sniper teams. Don't they send out two man units, a snioer and a spotterr? As far as the marines go, what about all of those I listed, they aren't regular units so what arebthey.

Update 7:

WGH: I had never hears of ISA before, it sounds if they are about as low key as you can get with people still knowing about you. I guess the name ISA stopped in 1989 and before that it was called FOG, also known as grayfox more recently but widely known as taskforce Orange. The most recent name known is OMS. There was also somtging similar called seasplash. This is just stuff I git from Wikipedia but I definitly want to do some research on this.

To Answer your question about joining. No, I missed my window. I grew up with guns and camping, learning survival skills from the old man who was a military nut. I wanted ti wharn I was younger but hit caught up in some bad stuff and now that I'm out of that and helthy in the mind and body again I'm just too old. 32 years.

6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Okay let me break this down for you:

    JSOC Controls only Teir 1 Units: ST6, 24th STS, SFOD-D, and ISA. It is called JOINT Special Opration Command because when the Army needs to use a Air Force plane for whatever reason it is easier to organize because it is commanded by all branches of the military. Col. Charlie Beckwith came up with the idea after the failed Iran hostage rescue attempt.

    U.S. Army Special Operations Command, commands the Special Forces, 160th SOAR, and the 75th Rangers.

    NAVSPECWARCOM or Navy Special Warefare Command is in control of the Navy's Special Operations: SEALs, and SWCC. Those are the ONLY two Special Opration Units for the Navy.

    USAFSOC or United States Navy Special Operations Command is in control of the USAF Special Operations: Twenty-Third Air Force (AFSOC),11th Intelligence Squadron, 18th Flight Test Squadron, 1st Special Operations Wing, 27th Special Operations Wing, 352d Special Operations Group, 353d Special Operations Group, 720th Special Tactics Group, 724th Special Tactics Group, and Air Force Special Operations Weather Team.

    Marines as far as I know only have Recon. I know for a fact Scout snipers are not considered Special Operations.

    C.I.A Paramilitary works in CONJUNCTION with special operations they are not commanded by JSOC or USSOCOM!

    You mentioned Army Snipers and Sappers, to be a Army Sniper you have to already be in the Army, then you sign up for Army Sniper School once completed you get a Sniper Tab and your considered an Army Sniper, there are NO specific Army Sniper teams! Sapper School is the exact same thing only you become a engineer!

    Now when you talk about the DEA and FBI 'Special Operations' they are internal defense and have nothing to do with JSOC, or USSOCOM (United States Special Operations Command

    DEVGRU is Commonly know as ST6 thats why I said that.

    Your right the CIA SAD usually picks from the Special Operations, but the the CIA Paramilitary is'nt quite what you think. They are usually tasked with linking up with local warlords, paying them money to equip a small guerilla 'militia' to take down Al-Queada. The also gather information from locals (Hence the name Central Intelligence Agency) to capture or kill bad guys like Bin Laden. Only the Paramilitary (SAD) are not the ones who kill the high value target, teams like Delta Force or DEVGRU do that, which is why I said the work in conjunction with Special Operations. You asked about Sniper Teams, here is a example: Green Beret Teams are Seperated by Groups like the 3rd or 10th (there are several more) then they are broken down by ODAs Operational Detachment Alphas, the keyword is Detachment, the team leader of that Deyachment usually will pick two men on his team that have Sniper tabs(which they got from sniper school) to go do sniper work, like recon. SEAL Teams do this to... I don't know much about the Marines neither does my mentor so I did some reasearch and I only found Recon to be the only Special Operations Unit.

    Now I read a page on the internet (I will give the URL if you want) and they mentioned that above all the Teir 1 Units there could be a Operational Sub Group O.S.G that consist of operators from DEVGRU, ISA, and Delta that do the real "black-op" stuff. If you google you wont find any reasults detailing this group which I found interesting. All this information is also comming from books that I have read you might be interested in: Kill Bin Laden by Dalton Fury Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton The Only Thing Worth Dying for by Eric Blehm, many many more but if you really want to learn about all the Special Operations units get Killer Elite which gives you information about all of the 'cool' special opration groups.

    I have to ask you, do you plan on becomming a special oprations operator?

    Source(s): My mentor was in the 1stSFOD-D . He is telling me all of this!
  • Wraeth
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Snipers are not SF or SOF. They are just trained marksmen in every combat unit. It is NOT an SOF School.

    Sapper is a Combat Engineer leadership course, it is NOT an SOF School.

    Special Forces wear the green beret, they are not called green berets.

    Special Forces Divers are still just Special Forces, same job, just with an additional skill

    POG is not SF, and only falls under SOCOM because they are attached to SF units

    75th goes before Rangers not after it

    Navy Combat Divers are not SOF

    I have no idea why Navy EOD falls under their SOCOM but they are not really anything special over the other branches EOD, other than they have more schools they go to.

    Nothing you put under the USMC is SOF except for Force Recon when they fall under MARSOC

    Air Commandos don't exist

    Battlefield Airmen dont exist

    The USAF does not have combat divers

    Special Ops Dive School is not USAF, it is either Army/Navy

    Special Operations Forces by Branch


    Special Forces

    75th Ranger Regiment

    SFOD-D (CAG)

    160th SOAR

    4th POG (Technically)

    Air Force:

    Combat Controllers

    Combat Weather


    SOME TACP/JTAC (not all or even most)

    SOME Security Forces (not all or even most)





    EOD (Technically)


    MARSOC (MSOT/Force Recon)

    Special Operations Forces are ONLY in the military. Everything else on the civilian side are law enforcement agencies and not on the same level as SOF.

    Source(s): US Army Scout RECON Scout/Sniper Platoon
  • 4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    How may different Military Special Forces are There?

    I've always been somewhat fasinated by the military special opertions forces but after the Pawns bin Laden death I wanted to research them more and find out exactly how many there were and what ones there are. Theirs way mire than I ever thought their were. I know thus list isn't complete...

    Source(s): military special forces there:
  • 9 years ago

    There is only one Special Forces, U.S. Army Special Forces. What you are talking about is Special Operations Forces. By the way, some of the groups you listed are not SOF.

    EDIT: My answers is not ridiculous. I was specifically referring to Army snipers and sappers, like the other guy said. Also, why include special forces divers? You covered them by saying Special Forces. And why did you say special ops dive school? That would be a school.

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  • Rhonda
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    The Army has more special forces in them, but basic training is easy with the new regulations The Marine Corps has the hardest bootcamp, but only 2 main special forces.

  • lxls
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    Almost that entire list is not Special Operations.

    For Marines:

    Force Recon, MARSOC are special operations; Division Recon, FAST Co., SRT, RTT are not special operations.

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