T Nation

Special Forces


Any where I can get info on the different branches and their specialties?

Yes I know,

"Google mothafucka, do you use it?!"

But I'm just covering all my bases by asking as well.

Any reading material that you can reccommend? I've read some books by this guy named Marcinko, but word is that he's full of bs (entertaining regardless).

Let me know if you can lend any help.

This is one site I really like::



Have you looked at http://www.goarmy.com/special_forces/

There are many others though.

Demo Dick (Marcinko) is a bad ass! I love reading his stuff!


Goarmy.com has a really good chat room that allows you to interact with recruiters to answer your questions. Hope this helps!



Be very careful about those recruiters. And make sure everything is in writing.


look up Older Lifter, he explained the differences between Special Operations forces best in an old post. as far as an update, the army does have an 18X contract that allows certain individuals to go through a shortened pipeline. Unfortunately, the army's current Special Forces recruiting site is down for now. goarmy.com is your best bet. I'll send you a PM to a site that has some good info, as long as you mind your manners and read the STICKIES!


Best quote.


thanks guys


Don't be a pussy, join the Marine Corps.


What, specifically, do you want to know?


Stay away from the Army. They're about 10 years behind everyone else.


The USMC just announced that they will have a special ops command, starting next year, I belive. So maybe that would be worth looking in to.


I don't know much, being as I've never served anywhere but from the comfort of my recliner. But, I was under the impression that SF was par for the course as far as infantry goes. I could be wrong though.


Become a british citizen and join the SAS or SBS. Kick ass old chap.



I need not say more.


Everyone knows in terms of special forces its the Brits and then the rest.


Let's kick some bottoms and then have a spot of tea and scones.


Wow. Supermick you are one funny mate. i was laughing for 5 minutes on that one. Speaking of funny things and special forces, the french spec ops unit, the GIGN is actually considered a top5 in the world, although its laughable considering the rest of france (and the whole of europe, minus england) has turned into a bunch of appeasing (ie. liberal) surrender monkeys.


Give some examples instead of being a smart arse.
Thats a no joke statement.
Plenty of evidence to back it up.


plenty of Australians in the SAS mate. Tea and scones is nice. :wink:


First thanks to all the fuckin idiots who posted their dumbass comments. Way to waste your time and our fellas.

Xen, I'm also trying to decide which Special Ops I'd prefer after college. The most important thing to remember is that each service has different jobs and they are all the best at what they do.

While they each have specialities, they also each get some direct action missions (except for Air Force). I'm sure some units get more though.

Here's a quick summary of the units and their specialties:

Army: Rangers, Special Forces, and 160th SOAR(A)- Rangers specialize in quick reaction and assault forces and airfield seizure (basically light infantry). Special Forces specialize in unconventional warfare (Their training is actually much broader than that but that's what they're most known for). 160th SOAR(A) is the helicopter unit that specializes in covert insertion and extraction. They are badass.

Navy: SEALS. Specializing in water borne activity but with new emphasis on land warfare due to iraq and afghanistan. They're the first to be called when they need someone to insert by water. Many have complained about not getting enough missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Still, if you make it through the initial trianing alone (BUD/S), you are a bad motha fucka. They get to blow up a lot of shit and use just about every weapon possible.

Air Force: SOS unit specializing in infiltration/exfiltration and close air support. STS specializes in combat search and rescue and air traffic control along with close air support. I don't know much about these guys.

Marines: Force Recon - specializing in direct action and special reconnaissance. You must serve in an infantry unit in USMC before you're allowd to join this unit. Haven't heard much about it but I'm sure they're pretty fuckin tough.

With the Army, there's always your shot at making it through Delta Force selection. These guys are probably the best we have in the military. They specialize in anti-terrorism and are the first to be called when there's a high risk situation that needs to be taken care of quickly. Rangers and Special Forces have their shot at Delta.

The Navy has DEVGRU, which chooses its men from the SEALS. This used to be SEAL Team 6 (I think that's the right number, could be wrong) which was created by your man Richard Marcinko. They changed the name basically to update their image that was carried over from Marcinko's legacy. Obviously some bad motha fuckas.

Recommended reading:

"Masters of Chaos" by Linda Robinson. Great book on Army Special Forces with details of their missions and training. I'm finishing it up now and it's worth the read.

"Inside Delta Force" by Lee Haney. I picked it up for cheap at barnes and noble and it was worth reading. Not too detailed (OPSEC) but enough to get an idea of what these guys are doing. For instance, he talks about being sent into various countries for intelligence gathering and sniper missions.

"Down Range" by Dick Couch. Haven't read this one but it's an account of what SEALS are doing in Afghanistan and Iraq. I've read "The Warrior Elite" and "The Finishing School" by Couch, which are both about initial SEAL training, and they were great. Couch is an ex-SEAL who has probably the best access to information on them. Great reads.