Unconventional Warfare Specialists: The Green Berets

1.0 The Green Berets

The United States Army Special Forces, more famously known as the Green Berets, are the leading tier 2 Special Operations Force (SOF) of the US Army. The Green Berets’ primary function is to conduct irregular warfare, more commonly known as unconventional warfare (UW) while on deployment in foreign nations. Unlike many other special forces units, they focus on language training to assist in unconventional warfare and training partner militaries. Since their formation, Army Special Forces have been involved in the Vietnam War, the First Gulf War, Afghanistan, and more recently in the Middle East and Africa. 

2.0 Motto, Symbols, Insignias, and Patches

2.1 Motto

Their motto is ‘De Oppresso Liber’ which loosely translates in Latin as ‘To Free The Oppressed’ 

2.2 Symbol

The Green Berets insignia comprises two golden arrows crossed together. Additionally, the arrow symbolism represents the USA’s Native Americans and their highly skilled warrior training, a metaphor for the SOF groups within the Green Berets. 

2.3 Insignia

Their insignia is a black and silver crest, featuring the crossed arrows in silver with a V-42 Stiletto dagger faced horizontally, symbolising the Green Berets history with the First Special Service Force from World War Two. Moreover, it features their motto ‘De Oppresso Liber’ written at the bottom of the crest. 

2.4 Patches

With several SOF groups under the 1st Special Forces Command, Green Beret patches, or shoulder sleeve insignias are distinguishable and carry meaning behind them. Likewise, arrows commemorate the Native Indian tribes and their combat skills instilled in all SOF groups in the Green Berets. Additionally, the 1st Special Forces Command patch worn by all SOF groups features three lightning strikes, indicating their ability as a rapid reaction force at both land, sea, and air. Finally, the dagger represents their unconventional warfare abilities. 

3.0 History of the Green Berets

The history of the Green Berets dates back to the Second World War, America’s foreign intelligence service, known as the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), assigned army personnel under their command as Operational Groups to help carry out clandestine operations. Additionally, their lineage descends from the Canadian and US First Special Service Force, conducting UW in Norway. Many members of these groups went on to eventually become Green Berets decades later. (Source) (Source)

3.1 The Case of the Beret

The distinctive headgear worn by US Army Special Forces too shares its history with the Second World War. During deployment in Britain, many units such as the ranger regiment trained alongside British Commandos who instigated the distinctive beret, influencing other allied nations such as France. During and after the war, many US troops continued to unofficially wear the headgear and it became a distinct signal of US special forces within the military.

3.2 The Devil’s Brigade

1st Special Service Force, or Devil’s Brigade, nicknamed by intelligence officers in the force, was a joint American-Canadian SOF during the Second World War. In the 21st century, both the Canadian SOF and the Green Berets largely trace their lineage to this group. The Devils Brigade saw extensive action conducting UW across Europe against the Nazis. Originally intended to be used to disrupt German heavy water research in Norway, 1st SSF was directed to Italy in 1943.

During their deployment, they earned the nickname ‘Black Devils’ or ‘Devil’s Brigade’ by their comrades due to the black face paint they used. Their first engagement was seizing Monte la Difensa, given its strategic value to the Allied invasion of Italy. During this engagement, 1st SSF’s skills were demonstrated and their mountain climbing abilities ascended towards Monte la Difensa. Ultimately, the Black Devils were able to overwhelm the German defences, taking them by surprise at the cover of night.

3.2.1 The End of The Line

The following engagements also occurred at Monte Majo and Anzio in 1944. During this period, the Devil’s Brigade began conducting UW on German troops. This included extensive reconnaissance patrols deep into German lines along with night missions. As such, German forces became disoriented over the scale and size of the 1st SSF, believing it to be larger than it was. Their final mission involved Operation Dragoon, the invasion of the South of France by Allied forces, seizing strategically important areas. In 1944, the Devil’s Brigade was officially disbanded, with many Canadians moving into the parachute battalions and US’s paratrooper and ranger battalions. 

3.3 The role of John F. Kennedy

Formed as the 10th Special Forces Group, the Green Berets were conceptualized to be the leading US Army unit in UW. Subsequently, their creation descends from Major Herbert Brucker, known as the godfather of US special forces. Major Brucker initially became involved in OSS and was later tasked after the war by the Pentagon to help continue special forces groups in UW methods. Moreover, the Green Berets achieved proper recognition when John F Kennedy visited Fort Bragg in 1961. Thus, JFK upon his visit, requested all special forces to wear their Green Berets which at the time had not been authorised headgear made official by the military. Instead, it was this visit which changed that, formalising a special relationship between JFK and Green Berets. Such respect was later distinguished upon JFK’s death, in which a green beret was laid to rest at his funeral. (Source)

4.0 Tactical and Operational Capabilities

Formed as an SOF with expertise in unconventional warfare (UW), the Green Berets conduct eight other primary doctrines tailored to their purpose as an SOF. 

  • Counter Terrorism (CT)
  • Counter Insurgency (COIN)
  • Foreign Internal Defense (FID)
  • Direct Action (DA)
  • Security Force Assistance (SFA)
  • Special Reconnaissance (SR)
  • Counter-proliferation of WMD’s
  • Information Operations

Like other SOF groups in the US and NATO, the Green Berets are capable of conducting other secondary missions on behalf of the nations they are deployed to alongside US and foreign forces. However, ultimately answer to their leading US commanders. Further activities include:

  • Humanitarian assistance, involving peacekeeping and demining 
  • Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR)
  • Hostage Rescuing
  • Counter Narcotics

4.1 Training

Green Berets undergo some of the US Army’s most intense and longest training courses. Known as the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) or the ‘Q Course’, serves as one of the longest training programs in the US Army being 46-56 weeks long. Overall, there are six phases in which candidates must train and pass to become a Green Beret. Before starting in your direct training, candidates undergo a six-week Special Forces Preparation Course to test candidates physical attributes. Following this, 24 days of training ensue at Camp Mackall as a part of the Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS). This includes land navigation courses, the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) and the Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB test). The final test is dubbed ‘The Trek’ which sees candidates endure a 32km LRIM. (Source)

4.1.1 Phase 1: Special Forces Orientation Course (7 weeks)

Phase 1 is split into six separate modules and dubbed ‘the orientation and history module’. The course includes educational and most core subjects necessary to be a Green Beret. These include:

  • Module A Introduction to Unconventional Warfare
  • Module B Introduction to Special Forces
  • Module C Airborne Operations and Refresher
  • Module D Special Forces Planning
  • Module E Operational Culture and Analysis

4.1.2 Phase 2: Language and Cultural Course (18-24 weeks) 

Understanding languages and cultures is a time-consuming and difficult process for anyone. As such, phase two is the longest section of the course. The aim behind employing such language skills is to give Green Berets a linguistic advantage in the field. During the phase, the length of time spent on the course is divided between categories 1 and 2 along with 3 and 4, the latter being 24 weeks long. Throughout these weeks, candidates are taught how to speak, listen, and read in their given language. This ends with a final exam where a minimum of 1/1 is achieved. 

4.1.3 Phase 3: SF Individual Training (13 weeks)

The action-packed part of the course, for many, is where they get to hone their skills as a Green Beret. Throughout phase three, candidates will endure small unit tactics training which will involve combat scenarios and critical decision-making skills. Beyond this, candidates will begin to prepare for SERE, a three-week course in survival training and evasion. At the end, candidates will demonstrate their training at the resistance training laboratory to qualify for phase four. 

4.1.4 Phase 4: SF MOS Training (14 weeks)

Within phase four, candidates will have had to pass the previous phases before specialising. SF MOS training showcases five roles for which candidates will endure extensive training. 

  • 18A Special Forces Detachment Officer: trained in problem analysis, leadership qualities, and duties. 
  • 18B Weapons Sergeant: Highly interoperable and trained in weapons systems globally and within the US. Training involves being able to teach others how to field and use certain weapons as a part of UW.
  • 18C Engineer Sergeant: Technical experts, the skills employed by engineers range from demolition to the improvisation of equipment created in the field. 
  • 18D Medical Sergeant: Highly skilled and endure lengthy amounts of training given their role. Medics are highly versed individuals capable of saving lives on the battlefield and assisting in UW operations.
  • 18E Communications Sergeant: the final and equally essential piece into conducting UW. Communication is needed to relay information and intelligence back to the US command structure. This additionally includes the ability to teach and train those in which the Green Berets are assisting on deployment.

4.1.5 Phase 5: SF UW Culmination Stage (4 weeks)

  • In this phase, candidates undergo UW training involving subversion and guerrilla warfare for two weeks. Then, candidates take part in a final exercise, in which all their skills are tested. Lasting two weeks, Robin Sage takes place in the fictional country of Pineland in North Carolina and is held across 15 counties. Candidates will go up against an opposition team (OPFOR) of US forces with locals sometimes participating across the 130,000km squared ‘Pineland’.

4.1.6 Phase 6: Graduation (1 week)

  • Within the final phase, candidates successfully graduate into Green Berets.

4.2 How to Become a Green Beret

To become a Green Beret, you must already serve within the US Army and qualify under the following criteria: (Source) (Source) (Source)

  • Be a US citizen
  • Be 20 years old and no older than 36 
  • Not served for more than 12-14 years and a minimum of 36 months left of service after graduating 
  • The rank of E-3 or above
  • Qualified for Airborne school or ranger-qualified 
  • An ASVAB score above 110
  • Be eligible for security clearances

For Officers:

  • The rank of First Lieutenant or Captain
  • A Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB) score of 85 or above
  • Be eligible for further security clearance such as Top Secret
  • Completed the Officer Basic Course

4.3 Language Capabilities

Green Berets are some of the leading experts in linguistical communication during deployment, aiding in their UW role. The SFG’s history behind this highly valued skill rests with the Allied invasion on D-Day. Known as the Jedburgh teams, members consisted of one American, British, and French national with each member required to speak French. The aim of this was to be able to effectively communicate with both French resistance and civilians in UW attacks against German troops in the build-up of the Allied invasion. (Source)

Currently, Green Berets undergo basic special forces language training at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, covering both written and oral speaking. Overall, language training takes up 24 of the 56 weeks of the Special Forces Qualification Course, being an estimated 45% of the overall Q-Course. (Source) (Source) (Source)

5.0 Organisational Structure and Operations

The Green Berets fall under the command of the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC). In addition to this, USASOC falls under the umbrella of the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM). Referring back to USASOC, five subordinate units fall within this command structure. The Green Berets are under the command of the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) who oversee four other units. These include the 75th Ranger Regiment, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, Special Operations Aviation Command, and lastly the John F Kennedy Special Warfare Centre and School.

Altogether, the Green Berets fall under the 1st Special Forces Command which is the fifth unit under USASOC. Nonetheless, Green Berets consist of several groups, and each SFG group has a distinct region, role, and history. Additionally, the 1st Special Forces Command consists of the 8th and 4th Psychological Operations Group, and two logistics brigades: 95th Civil Affairs Brigade and 528th Sustainment Brigade. 

5.1 1st Special Forces Group

Motto: ‘First in Asia’

Headquarters: Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, USA.

Area of Operations: Pacific / PACOM.

Doctrinal Missions:

  • Unconventional Warfare
  • Direct Action
  • Special Reconnaissance
  • Counter Terrorism 
  • Foreign Internal Defence
  • Information Operations
  • Counter-Proliferation

Regarded as the ‘First in Asia’ and operating in the Pacific positioned at Torii Station, Okinawa, Japan. The 1st Special Forces Group is one of the oldest formed groups dating back to 1955. In continuation, they are tasked with several doctrinal missions across the Indo-Pacific area. Upon the currently active groups’ inception in 1957, the SFG group was deployed to Okinawa and later involved in the Vietnam War as advisors and later involved in UW. Additionally, they assisted in humanitarian missions in the Philippines in 1972. Following the events of 9/11, the 1st SFG was involved in Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan, assisting in UW methods with Afghan and coalition forces. (Source)

Other Notable Missions (Source)

  • 1st SFG provide training on contingency operations overseas for US-CENTCOM and US-PACOM
  • Additionally, they provide training to SOF groups in allied nations on a range of issues, mainly within the PACOM region. 
  • Such training surrounds but is not limited to:
    • intelligence fusion
    • command and control
    • joint operations
    • sustainment
  • In February 2022, 1st SFG conducted an exercise within the Indo-Pacific region (Source)

5.2 3rd Special Forces Group

Motto: ‘From the Rest Comes the Best’ (Source)

Headquarters: Fort Liberty, North Carolina, USA. 

Area of Operations: Sub-Saharan Africa / AFRICOM.

Doctrinal Missions

  • Unconventional Warfare
  • Direct Action
  • Special Reconnaissance
  • Counter Terrorism 
  • Foreign Internal Defence
  • Information Operations
  • Counter-Proliferation


Reactivated in 1990, the 3rd SFG operates primarily in the Caribbean and Africa. Their most prominent missions include providing humanitarian assistance to Haiti in 1994 following a military coup in 1991 and was the most prominent SOF at the time. Additionally, the 3rd SFG deployed to Afghanistan and was the first unit to aid in building up the Afghan National Army, specialising in the development of their special forces and tactical police units. (Source) (Source)

Other Notable Missions

  • In April 2022, the 3rd SFG conducted exercises at Fort Polk with the 82nd Airborne Division as a part of the Joint Readiness Training Center Rotation. (Source)
  • In October 2017, four servicemen with the 3rd SFG were killed in an ambush in Niger by the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.
  • 3rd SFG provided training to the 10th Mountain Division in May 2023 on battle operations and reconnaissance. (Source)

5.3 5th Special Forces Group

Motto: ‘Strength and Honour’

Headquarters: Fort Campbell, Kentucky, USA.

Area of Operations: Middle East / CENTCOM.

Doctrinal Missions

  • Unconventional Warfare
  • Direct Action
  • Special Reconnaissance
  • Counter Terrorism 
  • Foreign Internal Defence
  • Counter Insurgency
  • Information Operations
  • Counter-Proliferation
  • Security Force Assistance

Legionnaires in their cohort, the 5th Special Forces Group are the most highly decorated active group amongst the Green Berets. They primarily saw combat during the Vietnam War, aiding in developing the South Vietnamese Civilian Irregular Defence Groups. Overall, their presence was across all four military districts and saw the most combat at this time. Furthermore, the 5th SFG were deployed to the Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and Shield, assisting primarily with Saudi forces in Foreign Internal Defence. (Source)

Other Notable Missions

  • In October 2001, the 5th SFG was deployed to northern Afghanistan to assist Northern Alliance commanders and conduct UW against the Taliban. 
  • In December 2022, the 5th SFG trained alongside Saudi Arabia’s 6 and 7th SOF at Fort Campbell. Both sides trained in counter-terrorism and conducted night raids to improve their interoperability with CENTCOM. (Source)
  • In 2001, the 5th SFG conducted intelligence gathering and reconnaissance also known as sensitive site exploitation (SSE) in Afghanistan. The aim was to assist coalition forces in counter-terrorism efforts and provide actionable intel on Al-Qaeda. (Source)

5.4 7th Special Forces Group

Motto: ‘Whatever, Whenever, Wherever’

Headquarters: Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, USA. 

Area of Operations: North and Central America / USNORTHCOM.

Doctrinal Missions

  • Unconventional Warfare
  • Direct Action
  • Special Reconnaissance
  • Counter Terrorism 
  • Foreign Internal Defence
  • Counter Insurgency
  • Information Operations
  • Counter-Proliferation
  • Security Force Assistance

Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea, and the 7th Special Forces Group are orientated within the western hemisphere, operating in the Caribbean, North, Central, and South America. Nicknamed the ‘Devil Brigade’, the 7th SFG originally conducted UW in Norway under the First Special Service Force and was trained for Arctic conditions. Reactivated in 1960 under the 7th SGF, their most prominent missions during the Cold War involved conducting COIN in El Salvador in 1987, along with participating in Operation Just Cause, Panama in 1989. After 9/11, the 7th SFG played a key role in UW throughout Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Freedom Sentinel in Afghanistan. (Source)

Other Notable Missions:

  • 7 SFG acted as advisors for the El Salvador military throughout the 1980’s. Quickly, the armed forces grew from a small untrained contingent to a successful military able to conduct COIN. 
  • Additionally, 7 SFG has been involved with the Joint Task Force Safe Borders as an observer between Peru and Ecuador border disputes in 1995. (Source)
  • Operation Urgent Fury saw 7 SFG participate in the invasion of Grenada in 1983. (Source)

5.5 10th Special Forces Group

Motto: ‘De Oppresso Liber’ 

Headquarters: Fort Carson, Colorado, USA.

Area of Operations: Europe / EUCOM.

Doctrinal Missions

  • Unconventional Warfare
  • Direct Action
  • Special Reconnaissance
  • Counter Terrorism 
  • Foreign Internal Defence
  • Counter Insurgency
  • Information Operations
  • Counter-Proliferation
  • Security Force Assistance

The 10th Special Forces Group, is the elite SFG amongst the Green Berets, acting as the longest and oldest activated force under the 1st Special Forces Command since 1952. Based in Europe, the 10th SFG was created to serve as a stay-behind group in the event the Soviet Union invaded Europe to conduct UW and assist with European allies. Additionally, throughout the Cold War, the 10th SFG actively recruited foreign nationals across Eastern Europe under communist rule to help develop their UW methods and knowledge in the event of invasion. Moreover, they provided training to nations in the Middle East throughout the Vietnam era, never deploying to the country. (Source)

Other Notable Missions

  • 10th SFG deployed to Iraq before the initial invasion in 2003 with the CIA’s Special Activities Centre. Conducting UW, they coordinated the Kurdish Peshmerga in attacking Ansar al-Islam (Source)
  • In 1995, 10 SFG deployed to Bosnia to assist the 1st Armoured Division in peacekeeping operations. Later, in 1999, 10 SFG became one of the first US military units to deploy to Kosovo focusing on COIN. (Source)

5.5.1 10th SFG Arctic capabilities

In 2022, the 10th SFG conducted further training exercises in the Arctic in conjunction with SOCNORTH, USNORTHCOM, and allied partners in the exercise of Arctic Edge. Additionally, the aim for placing the Green Berets in such conditions is coined by SOCNORTH as the ‘Northern Approach’, this plan will see 10th SFG and others hone their Arctic capabilities making them elite units within such conditions and developing their readiness. The deeper purpose behind such training is the relative strategic importance the Arctic is playing in North American defence due to foreign encroachment and climate change making the area easier to access. (Source)

Additionally in March 2023, the 10th SFG conducted further Arctic exercises with Finland’s SOF Utii Jaeger under exercise Talvikotta. The aim behind the exercise was to further develop the 10th SFG in their Arctic training and winter warfare capabilities. Ultimately, such training demonstrates the 10th SFG’s preparedness to become a Green Beret specifically prepared for future UW, reconnaissance and direct action in Arctic conditions, matching the ongoing geopolitical circumstances in the Arctic Circle. (Source)

5.6 19th Special Forces Group

Motto: ‘Anything, Anyplace, Anytime’

Headquarters: Draper, Utah, USA.

Area of Operations: USA National Guard.

Doctrinal Missions 

  • Unconventional Warfare
  • Direct Action
  • Special Reconnaissance
  • Counter Terrorism 
  • Foreign Internal Defence
  • Counter Insurgency
  • Information Operations
  • Counter-Proliferation
  • Security Force Assistance

One of the two SFG national guard units, the 19th SFG are based at Camp Williams, Utah and follows the same functions as other active SFGs. Subsequently, during Operation Enduring Freedom, the 19th SFG were deployed to Morocco in 2014 to assist in joint exercise and training of local forces. Additionally, they were deployed to Afghanistan under the same pretence. (Source) (Source) (Source)

Other Notable Missions

  • 19th SFG shares its area of operations in a reserve role with the 1st SFG in the Pacific along with the 5th SFG in Southwest Asia. 
  • In June 2020, the 19th SFG were deployed through the National Guard to Washington D.C in protection of the White House during the George Floyd Protests. (Source)
  • In December 2019, the 19th SFG trained with Polish Special Forces in airborne operations in conjunction with the US Air Force 352nd Special Operations Wing. The aim of the training was to improve upon SOF procedure and allied relations. (Source)

5.7 20th Special Forces Group

Motto: ‘De Oppresso Liber’

Headquarters: Birmingham, Alabama, USA. 

Area of Operations: USA National Guard.

Doctrinal Missions

  • Unconventional Warfare
  • Direct Action
  • Special Reconnaissance
  • Counter Terrorism 
  • Foreign Internal Defence
  • Counter Insurgency
  • Information Operations
  • Counter-Proliferation
  • Security Force Assistance

In addition to being the second unit of the SFG National Guard, the 20th SFG are orientated to Central America and the Caribbean along with the 7th SFG. Headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, they have been actively deployed on missions in Afghanistan as well as more recently during Operation Inherent Resolve against ISIS. (Source) (Source)

Other Notable Missions

  • Being primarily a National Guard unit, 20 SFG saw their first large-scale activation during the first Gulf War. 
  • In 1995, during Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti, 20 SFG saw several rotations in the country. Peacekeeping missions ensued in conjunction with 3 SFG who originally deployed at the start of the conflict. (Source)
  • In addition to other SFG units, 20 SFG have been involved in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom acting as support elements. 

5.8 4th and 8th Psychological Operations Group

Mottos: ‘Verbum Vincet’ and ‘Decisive Influence’

Headquarters: Fort Liberty, North Carolina, USA. 

Acting as a support group, the 4th and 8th PSYOP Group provides operational assistance to deployed SFG groups in the form of intelligence. Overall, PSYOP uses clandestine and deceptive methods in psychological warfare capabilities. Furthermore, the 4th PSYOP Group is oriented towards media production and dissemination whilst the 8th PSYOP group handles more tactical scenarios. Moreover, both groups are the only two active groups in the US Army. (Source) (Source)

5.9 95th Civil Affairs Brigade

Motto: ‘Advise Support Stabilise’

Headquarters: Fort Liberty, North Carolina, USA. 

One of the two logistical units under the 1st Special Forces Command, 95th members act alongside SFG and the US Department of State to assist foreign nations during war and peacetime on humanitarian and development issues. The role in which UW applies to the group is they can either assist in establishing governance within a target nation or group or bring total counter-governance capabilities. (Source) (Source)

5.10 528th Sustainment Brigade

Motto: ‘We Support To The Utmost’

Headquarters: Fort Liberty, North Carolina, USA. 


The main logistical brigade for the 1st Special Forces Command and SFG provides logistical supplies to units on deployment. Additionally, 528th is one of the only sustainment brigades to be placed on constant situational global awareness. Subsequently, being an airborne unit like the rest of the Green Berets, they can deploy rapidly in support of SFGs in the field. (Source) (Source)

6.0 Equipment

The SOF groups within the Green Berets have access to a large arsenal of weapons, equipment, and vehicles within the US military. In addition, they are highly skilled with nonstandard weapons and vehicles that they may need to use when training and assisting partner militaries. (Source)

6.1 Weapons

Armaments used by Green Berets vary based on their function as a UW group, ranging from sniper rifles to assault rifles, explosive devices and unique weapons. Below is a non-exhaustive list of known weapons. (Source) (Source)

Assault Rifles

  • SCAR platform (MK-16 and MK-17)
  • MK-13 CQBR
  • M4A1

Sub Machine Guns

  • MP5

Pistols

  • M9 Beretta
  • Colt M45
  • P228

Shotguns

  • Mossberg Model 590
  • M1013

Machine Guns

  • MK-46
  • MK-48
  • M240
  • M249 SAW

Sniper Rifles / Rifleman 

  • M24 SWS
  • SR-25
  • Navy Mark 12 Special Purpose Rifle
  • Mk 14 EBR
  • TAC-338
  • HK-G28
  • M110 SASS
  • Barrett M107
  • Remington MSR

Launchers

  • M32 MGL
  • FGM-148 Javelin
  • AT4

6.2 Vehicles

Due to their highly skilled training in unconventional warfare and designation as SOF, Green Berets typically use a high variety of vehicles. Due to their mission profile in UW and skill as an SOF, Green Berets are trained on a variety of platforms and adaptability when entering into combat via transport. (Source) (Source)

Ground vehicles

  • Ground Mobility Vehicles (GMV), such as the Humvee and the General Dynamics M1228 GMV 1.1 variant.
  • Mine Resistant Protect Ambush Protected Terrain Vehicles (M-ATV) and other variations along with the MRAP.
  • Non-standard technical Vehicles (NSTV), commonly seen in conflict zones abroad such as across Afghanistan and Iraq 
  • Ranger Special Operations Vehicles (SOVS)
  • Light Medium Tactical Vehicles (LMTV)
  • All Terrain Vehicles (ATVS)
  • Armoured Ground Mobility Systems (AGMS)

Aircraft

  •  Mi-8 and Mi-17 variations of helicopters in the initial stages of Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan. 
  • MH-60 Blackhawk Helicopters
  • CV-22 Ospreys
  • MH-47 Chinooks

Watercraft

  • Mark V Spec Ops Craft (MK V SOC), is a carrier capable of transporting equipment and SOF groups at sea.
  • Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC), Zodiac-based platforms capable of carrying 10 or so men. 
  • Special Ops Craft–Riverine (SOC-R), a smaller craft capable of traversing along riverways.
  • Diver Propulsion Devices (DPD), is an underwater system capable of transporting two divers at a distance of seven miles. 

6.3 Kit and Gear

Like other SOF groups, Green Beret SFG optimise their kit and gear to be as lightweight as possible whilst providing ample protection. Additionally, Loadouts are tailored specifically to the designated role or MOS ranging from medical sergeant to weapons sergeant. Overall, typical loadouts and kit will range from a couple of magazines, plate carriers, assault packs and their designated weapon. (Source)

7.0 The Future

Although the Green Berets are a distinguishable and highly trained force, since the end of the war in Afghanistan and subsequent withdrawal, the future of the group is largely speculatory based on global conflicts the US is actively involved in. For instance, the 10th SFG were deployed in an advisory role to Ukraine in February 2022 to train in UW in the event of a full Russian annexation of the eastern part of the country. Finally, as for funding, the US Army is planning to cut over 10% of financing which would lead to a job loss of over 3000 personnel amongst their Special Operations Forces. (Source) (Source)

8.0 Conclusion 

Overall, the Green Berets are perhaps one of the most unique units within the US Army Special Forces, if not the military as a whole. Altogether, they are highly skilled in unconventional warfare, their use of clandestine tactics and focus on language and foreign SOF development make them a force to not be reckoned with. 

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