What all US special forces are there and what do they do

Offhand i can think of

Delta force & seal team 6 - hostage rescue and kidnapping/obtainment of high value targets

Green Berets - training insurgents in foreign countries

rangers - missions too dangerous and specialized for normal soldiers, and backup for delta force

virginia boys (supposedly) - espionage. Setting up fake identities in foreign countries and performing espionage.

Navy SEALs - Missions similiar to the rangers i would assume.

I know there are tons of others but i can’t remember their names.

To add to what’s already listed…

USAF Special Operations - Aireal insertion of other services’ special forces, operation of AC-130 gunships and other specialized aircraft for psychological operations, communications, and other missions. Also combat search and rescue. Air Force Pararescue Jumpers (PJ’s) are part of Special Operations Command.

Navy Underwater Demolitions Teams (UDT’s) - AFAIK these teams are still a separate entity from the SEALS.

Marine Expeditionary Units (Special Operations Capable) - technically not special forces, but they are trained and capable of assisting with special missions.

Marine Force Recon - USMC special forces, for lack of a more detailed description.

The Green Berets are more properly known as US Army Special Forces and they do a hell of a lot more than “train insurgents in foreign countries”. Special Forces take on covert missions with minimal support often behind enemy lines. Every special forces trooper is fluent in at least one language in addition to English, and most of them have some kind of medical training. They also find themselves conducting humanitarian missions quite a bit as well. A lot of schools and clinics in the so-called “Third World” were built by our Special Forces troops. They also train indiginous military forces - not “insurgents” most of the time - which are allied with the United States. There is not organization within the US Army known as “The Green Berets” - that is an unofficial nickname which refers only to their headgear.

Wes, I would suggest going to http://www.soc.mil/ (Army Special Operations Command), http://www.sealchallenge.navy.mil/ (Navy SEALS), www.usmc.mil (cound’t find anything more specific on the Marines…so sue me…) and http://www.afsoc.af.mil/ (Air Force Special Operations Command) and poking around a bit to find out more about the various special forces units. Your suppositions, while somewhat accurate, are waaaaaay simplified and a little off-base.

Some missions of the US Army Special Forces: (Capital “S” and “F”)

Unconventional Warfare (UW)
Direct Action (DA) [Commonly Called “Raids”]
Special Reconnaissance (SR)
Foreign Internal Defense (FID) [mentioned in above posts]
Counter terrorism (CT)
Psychological Operations (PSYOP)
Civil Affairs (CA) [To include Construction and Medical aid missions]
Coalition Warfare/Support
Counter Proliferation [recovering stolen or lost nuclear weapons]

“Green Beret” training is the longest initial SOF training in the military. Especially that of the Medical Sergeant. It takes over two years of training to earn the MOS 18D.
SEAL training is pretty long too, but I’m not sure exactly how long. But I recall it is not quite as long as SF Medical Sergeant training. And as far as the actual “medical” portion of their training, SF Medics have twice as much medical training as SEAL Corpmen. (12 months as opposed to 6)

I dont think anyone has mentioned 160th SOAR. The Special Operations Aviation Regiment. These kick ass pilots fly a myriad of geared up helicopters and even some very low-tech but extremely effective Little Birds. Great SOF mission support!

IIRC UDT was folded into SEALS back in the 60’s. At current time there are no seperate UDT units in the US Navy.