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SOF History

Home > SOF > History

U.S. special operations forces (SOF) history can be traced back to the French and Indian War.


World War II SOF

U.S. Army Rangers. There were a number of Army Ranger battalions formed during World War II. Many of the Ranger battalions saw service in the European theater. However, some were employed in the Pacific theater. The 6th Ranger Battalion was part of a combined force (including the Alamo Scouts and Philippine guerrillas) that rescued over 500 POWs from the Cabanatuan POW camp on January 30, 1945.

Merrill's Marauders. On October 3, 1993, the 5307 Composite Group was established. The unit, also known as Merrill's Marauders, conducted deep range combat operations against Japanese forces in the Pacific theater.


News Articles about SOF History

October 20, 2023, "How War in Grenada Built U.S. SOCOM", by Forrest L. Marion, National Interest. In the aftermath of Iran-Grenada, several congressional leaders took the initiative to reorganize the Pentagonís special operations forces, culminating in the creation of U.S. Special Operations Command in 1987.

February 12, 2023, "SEASPRAY: Clandestine Air Operations and Covert Activity", by Alec Smith, Grey Dynamics.

January 6, 2021. "Anniversary of the deactivation of the 6th Ranger Battalion", USASOC History Office.


Psychological Operations

"Special Operatons Force Structure: Strategic Calculus or Organizational Power", by Cole Livieratos and Ken Gleiman, War on the Rocks, February 6, 2024. The authors describe the long history of PSYOP over the past several decades since World War II.

 

 

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