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Special Operations Overview

Called upon to perform the toughest duties in the armed forces, Special Operations Forces directly affect the protection of America's freedom.

Army

Army Special Forces
Learn More About the Green Berets

75th Ranger Regiment
Learn More About the Army Rangers

160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment
Learn More About the Night Stalkers

Marines

Marine Force Reconnaissance
Learn More About Marine RECON

Marine Corps Special Operations Command
Learn More About Marine MARSOC

Marine RECON Missions
Learn More About Marine RECON

Air Force

Air Force Special Tactics
Learn More About Special Tactics

Navy Special Warfare Command (NSW)

SWCC crewmen

Naval Special Warfare Command in San Diego, Calif., leads the Navy's special operations force and the maritime component of United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Fla.

NSW Groups command, train, equip and deploy components of NSW Squadrons to meet the exercise, contingency, and wartime requirements of the regional combatant commanders, theater special operations commands and numbered fleets located around the world. Additionally, they receive support from permanently deployed NSW units in Guam, Bahrain and Germany.

NSW Squadrons are built around deployed SEAL Teams and include senior leadership, SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams, Special Boat Teams, and support technicians such as mobile communications teams, tactical cryptologic support and explosive ordnance disposal specialists. Naval Special Warfare Squadrons are among the most responsive, versatile and effective force packages fighting the global war on terrorism today.

Because SEALs are experts in special reconnaissance and direct action missions -- the primary skill sets needed to combat terrorism -- NSW is postured to fight a globally-dispersed enemy, whether ashore or afloat, before they can act. NSW forces can operate in small groups and have a continuous presence overseas with their ability to quickly deploy from Navy ships, submarines and aircraft, overseas bases and forward-based units.  The proven ability of NSW forces to operate across the spectrum of conflict and in operations other than war, and provide real-time, first-hand intelligence offer decision makers immediate and multiple options in the face of rapidly changing crises around the world.

Mission:

Man, Train, Equip, Deploy and Sustain NSW Forces for operations and activities abroad, in support of Combatant Commanders and U.S. National Interests.

Identity:

NSW prepares and deploys individuals, elements and forces with capability across the spectrum of defense, from cooperation to combat.  We are an extreme-environment force, operating deep at sea or high in the mountains.  Direct Action, Special Reconnaissance, and the Sea are our strengths, but we serve and succeed as our Nation needs.  Honor, Courage and Commitment are our Character.  We are THE TEAMS.

Personnel:

Approximately 8,900 total personnel, including more than 2,400 active-duty Special Warfare Operators (SEALs), 700 Special Warfare Boat Operators (also known as Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC)), 700 reserve personnel, 4,100 support personnel and more than 1,100 civilians.

Ethos/Creed:

In times of war or uncertainty there is a special breed of warrior ready to answer our Nation’s call. A common man with uncommon desire to succeed. Forged by adversity, he stands alongside America’s finest special operations forces to serve his country, the American people, and protect their way of life. I am that man.

My Trident is a symbol of honor and heritage. Bestowed upon me by the heroes that have gone before, it embodies the trust of those I have sworn to protect. By wearing the Trident I accept the responsibility of my chosen profession and way of life. It is a privilege that I must earn every day.

My loyalty to Country and Team is beyond reproach. I humbly serve as a guardian to my fellow Americans always ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions. I voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of my profession, placing the welfare and security of others before my own.

I serve with honor on and off the battlefield. The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other men. Uncompromising integrity is my standard. My character and honor are steadfast. My word is my bond.

We expect to lead and be led. In the absence of orders I will take charge, lead my teammates and accomplish the mission. I lead by example in all situations.

I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.

We demand discipline. We expect innovation. The lives of my teammates and the success of our mission depend on me - my technical skill, tactical proficiency, and attention to detail. My training is never complete.

We train for war and fight to win. I stand ready to bring the full spectrum of combat power to bear in order to achieve my mission and the goals established by my country. The execution of my duties will be swift and violent when required yet guided by the very principles that I serve to defend.

Brave men have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold. In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed. I will not fail. 

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