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Home > SOF > U.S. SOF

U.S. Special
Operations Forces

Special Operations Forces have seen significant growth in many of the militaries around the world. SOF forces were instrumental during World War II; however the terrorist attacks experienced in the 1970s saw a significant growth of special operations capabilities - especially among the European nations.

The United States can trace the use of special operations type forces back to the French and Indian War. Throughout time there have been instances of special operations forces engaged in almost all of the conflicts and wars the U.S. has participated in.

U.S. SOF Commands

Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC)

Naval Special Warfare (NSW)

Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC)

Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC)

SOF Topics

ASD Special Operations / Low Intensity Conflict (SO/LIC)

Armed Overwatch Program


CRS, U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Considerations for Congress, Congressional Research Service, CRS RS21048, updated February 9, 2024, PDF, 13 pages.

"SOCOM: United States Special Operations Command", by George Englehart, Grey Dynamics, October 31, 2023. The history, operations, organization, and mission of USSOCOM is outlined in this article.

"MARSOC, Navy SEALs, and Army Rangers: SOF by the numbers", by Joshua Skovlund, Task & Purpose, December 20, 2023.



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