America’s Secret, but Deadly Warriors


Ian Wang, Journalist

Special forces have been an essential part of modern warfare that dates from the days of the revolutionary to the modern fighting in Afghanistan. They are a highly trained, elite military unit that is trained for special operations. These soldiers undergo intense physical training such that only the best of the best can pass. They undertake counter-terrorist, covert and other special operations.

U.S Army Rangers trace their origins back to the revolution days of 1775. 10 companies were created, made up of the most expert and hardcore marksman in the nation. These men used a modern rifle instead of the traditional musket. These men, also known as Morgan’s Rangers, had several requirements to join the elite force, such as being able to take down a target from over 300 meters. Led by the legendary General Daniel Morgan, this force would terrorize the British, taking the lives of several key British officers. This was the first incarnation of the U.S. Army Ranger Corps. 

Rangers were later trained for action in WW2. They fought on many fronts, from the beaches of Arzew, Algeria to the dust of the Tunsian desert. They also scaled the sharp cliffs at Pointe Du Hoc to take a German artillery piece. Army Rangers got their motto: Rangers lead the way during D-Day. The 29th Infantry Division and 5th Ranger Battalion was pinned down at Omaha Beach. General Norman Cota, who would be the most senior officer on the beach, went down. He asked an officer what outfit this was, and he replied 5th Rangers, sir. General Cota then said, Rangers, lead the way! Army rangers have been in combat for decades, from the streets of Gerenda to the sand dunes of Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. Another such famous battle took place in Mogadishu, 1991. Rangers that were part of Task Force Ranger drove through Mogadishu to arrest a Somalian commander.

Another special forces detachment in the army is the Green Berets. They were based on the Devil’s Brigade. In 1952,  the 10th special forces group was created. They worked as a counter-insurgency during the Cold War. John F. Kennedy authorized Green Berets to wear their distinctive headgear during his visit to Fort Bragg.

Since 1970, the most efficient counter-terrorism force has been silenty protecting America. In 1977, the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D) commonly known as Delta Force was created by General Charles Beckworth. Basing it off the British Special Air Service, he mainly focused on creating the most effective warriors America could offer. This unit has always been a secret. Despite the fact that Delta Force members participated in numerous medal ceremonies, the Pentagon has never acknowledged their existence. Their first combat assignment was part of Operation Desert Shield. They protected several top high ranking personnel in Saudi Arabia and in the front lines such as General Norman Schwarzkopf. They are headquartered at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. One of their most top profile mission was to hunt down the tyrant Saddam Hussein. 


In this top secret mission, the tyrant who invaded the innocent Kuwait has finally been brought to justice. This was one of history’s largest manhunts. Numerous attacks including 2,00 lb laser-guided bombs could not kill the Butcher of Baghadad. This man has been known as High Value Target 1 (HVT-1) or Blacklist 1 (BL-1). On December 5, 2003, the operation was reality. The forces split themselves into two groups, called Wolverine 1 and Wolverine 2. This is a reference to the movie Red Dawn. Delta Force operators crept down a farm path towards a farmhouse that Saddam Hussein was supposed to be in. Searching the area, they found no sign of Hussein. One operator kicked aside a stone, revealing the old Tyrant. Saddam Hussein offered no resistance, and he offered to negotiate. His reign of terror was finally over.


Date: October 3, 1993 Location: Mogadishu

A black hawk carrying special forces hovers above the hostile streets of Mogadishu. A gunman fires a rocket propelled grenade, making the aircraft uncontrollably spin through the air and ultimately crash to the ground. Instantly, a 15 man pararescue team is dispatched to the crash area. This was one of the many acts of valor by U.S PJs, or pararescue. The first PJ combat operation was conducted in 1943 in the Burma Theater. Donald Flickinger jumped into the thick jungles of Burma to rescue the crew of a Curtiss C-46 Commando. Over the course of a month, he led them until help could arrive. His heroic actions helped save 20 lives.

Today, PJs operate under the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC). They are the one and only unit in the U.S. Department of Defense to have the one specific task of recovering the nation’s lost warriors. They use and have multiple ways of getting to the recovery site, using helicopters, HALO jumping, using snowmobiles. Their large variety of vehicles will always allow them to rescue the lost men. One known mission was conducted during Operation Desert Storm. The 20th Special Operations Squadron sent a MH-53 Pave Low to rescue the pilot of a downed F-14 Tomcat. There are close to 500 of them today operating in various squads nationwide. The official motto of PJs is: These things we do, That others may live.

Navy SEALs are perhaps the most famous and secretive special forces unit. The acronym SEAL means SEa, Air and Land. Today’s modern day SEALs trace their heritage back to six WW2 groups made up of the finest men. They are the Army Scouts (Alamo Scouts), Navy Raiders, Naval Combat Demolition Units (NCDU)s, OSS operational swimmers, Navy Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT)s and Motor Torpedo Boat squadrons. The skills of these pastime units create the tactics of modern day Navy SEALs. 

In 1963, at the beginning of the Vietnam War, President John F Kennedy took the best men from Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT)to serve in the newly created Seal Team 1 and 2. They went on covert missions deep into enemy territory using special forces boats, rallying and training South Vietnam commandos to fight the communist invaders. Vietnam was the first time Navy SEALs developed hit-and-run air-assault tactics using Navy and Army helicopters. The last Navy SEAL advisors left Vietnam in March 1973. They terrorized the North Vietnamese so much that they got the nickname: The men with green faces.

These are the brave special forces that have fought for the United States in years of conflicts. They have fought on many fronts during many many different wars, from the hot, humid jungles of vietnam to the dusty, sand dunes of Iraq. These special forces have gone through hours of exhausting training. They are the best of the best.

Soure: Newsweek special edition: spec ops