U.S. Army
Special Operations

About U.S. Army Special Operations

U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC)

The Department of the Army established USASOC on 1 December 1989 at Fort Bragg, NC as an Army Service Component Command (ASCC) to enhance the readiness of Army SOF (ARSOF). As an ASCC, USASOC reports to the Department of the Army for service guidance. The command conducts a total of 64 courses and trains over 16,000 students per year. Courses range from combat skills courses such as sniper, military free fall and combat diver to language and warrant officer professional development courses.

Four Factors for Successful Special Operations

  1. Clear national and theater strategic objectives
  2. Effective command, control, communications,
        computers, and intelligence support at the operational level
  3. Competent tactical planning and execution
  4. A force trained, equipped, and organized to conduct
        special operations

The SOF Truths

  1. Humans are more important than hardware.
  2. Quality is better than quantity.
  3. Special Operations Forces cannot be mass produced.
  4. Competent Special Operations Forces cannot be created
        after emergencies occur.
  5. Most special operations require non-SOF support.

Women in SOF

USASOC’s ability to effectively recruit, train, retain and promote talented ARSOF Operators remains unmatched. Since 1989, this Command has recognized the relevance in the first two SOF Truths – “Humans are more important than hardware, and Quality is better than quantity.” – and has invested significant resources to grow and develop our talent. USASOC continues to implement a merit-based system for evaluating performance and potential for all ARSOF personnel regardless of gender.

On 3 December 2015, Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) Carter announced the repeal of a longtime ban on women serving in ground combat assignments, citing if women can meet all requirements for a job, they should be allowed to do so and they could in fact boost combat effectiveness. As a result, USASOC developed an implementation plan for integrating women into SOF.

Characteristics of Special Operations

  1. Special operations normally require operator-level
         planning and detailed intelligence.
  2. Special operations require knowledge of the culture(s)
         and language(s) of the geographical area in which the
         mission is to be conducted.
  3. Special operations require rigorous training and mission
         rehearsals. These are integral to mission success.
  4. Special operations are often conducted at great distances
         from the supporting operational bases.
  5. Special operations may employ sophisticated
         communications systems.
  6. Special operations frequently require discriminate
        and precise use of force.This often requires development,
        acquisition, and employment of equipment that are not
        standard for other Department of Defense (DOD) forces.

ARSOF Ethics and Culture - The Quiet Professionals

The simple, but time-tested, phrase "Quiet Professionals" best describes our SOF ethic and culture - the principles we live by and the behaviors and beliefs we exhibit every day. We are a values-based organization - always mindful that our personal and professional conduct reflects not only on ourselves but on our Nation. We are focused on contributing to the mission at hand and being a well integrated part of the team - unconcerned with who gets the credit and recognizing that much of what we do will remain in the shadows. We support the Geographic Combatant Commanders (GCCs) - if they are successful, we are successful; if they fail, we fail.