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Special Operations Spotlight

SEAL Team Six: Overview

alleged SEAL Team 6 photo

SEAL Team Six is the original name of the Navy's Counter-terrorism Unit, though its official name is currently the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU). DEVGRU is a group level command within the Naval Special Warfare Command, but is operationally controlled by the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which is a sub-unified command of the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).

DEVGRU was formed largely due to the growing threat of terrorism around the world and the failed rescue attempt of the American hostages in Iran in 1980. SEAL Team Six is the tier-one counter-terrorism maritime component of JSOC. It is charged to study special operations requirements and techniques, ensure interoperability and equipment standardization, plan and conduct special operations exercises and training, and develop joint-special operations tactics.


Recent successes and devastating helicopter crashes have brought light to the formerly secretive unit. In fact, the terms "SEAL Team SIX" and "DEVGRU" were not uttered in the same sentence until recent events placed this highly professional, super-secret, counter-terrorism unit in the media.Here is a list of some of the declassified missions that DEVGRU have been a part of over the past 30 plus years:

Operation Urgent Fury – Grenada invasion to overthrow an illegitimate post-coup leader and regime.

Operation Just Cause - Panama invasion to capture Noriega and protect some 35,000 Americans living in Panama.

Gulf War - Iraq invades Kuwait and the US-led alliance defeats Saddam Hussein and his Army, pushing them back into Iraq. Operation Gothic Serpent  in the Battle for Mogadishu in the hunt for General Aidid.

Operation Enduring Freedom - Within a month of September 11th attacks, members of the Navy SEAL DEVGRU were on the ground in Afghanistan dismantling the Taliban and al-Qaeda leadership.

Operation Iraqi Freedom – DEVGRU were in pursuit of high-value targets, including Saddam Hussein and other members of the Ba'ath Party.

Maersk Alabama hijacking – DEVGRU deployed to rescue Maersk Alabama Captain Phillips being held by Somali pirates.

Operation Neptune Spear – Killing of Osama bin Laden.

How to Join SEAL Team Six:

All operator applicants volunteer and are pulled from the other Navy SEAL Teams. The applicants are Navy SEAL operators with at least five years of experience in the Teams. You must be interviewed by a panel of DEVGRU operators and trainers in order to get invited to the selection team - also known as Green Team.   This selection process takes 6-8 months of training and constant evaluation by the instructors. Usually less than 50% make the cut and allowed to join the operational squadrons within DEVGRU. Those who do not make it go back to their original SEAL teams.

Related Topics

Special Operations Forces Seal Teams Navy Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman (SWCC) Navy SEALs
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