What differentiates SEAL Team Six/DEVGRU from “regular” SEALS?

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DEVGRU Gold Squadron after a muddy operation (Photo: Reddit)

The telling difference is that SEAL Team Six (aka DEVGRU) is not a team – it is a separate command under JSOC. Regular SEAL teams are actual teams and are under SOCOM. Their selection, training, budget and missions are different.

What differentiates SEAL Team Six/DEVGRU from “regular” SEALS?

In order to join SEAL Team 6, you need to graduate BUDs and serve in one of the SEAL teams for at least 5 years. Once those five years have been completed, the SEAL can apply to go to assessment and selection with Green Team. The basic layout of how a SEAL goes from a regular team into DEVGRU

Selection: regular SEALs select candidates out of BUD/S and SQT – most come from the street or Big Navy. DEVGRU selects from the most outstanding SEALs that have at least 5 years of operational experience.

Training: regular SEAL training focuses on their main mission – direct action. DEVGRU training has a wider scope and includes counter-terrorism (tremendous focus on CQB).

Budget: there are many fewer members of DEVGRU than regular SEALs and the JSOC budget is a lot more generous than that of SOCOM. Hence, DEVGRU personnel can use additional (often, expensive) training from world-renowned experts in a wide range of subjects: from breaching to hand-to-hand combat to precision shooting.

DEVGRU Red Squadron - What differentiates SEAL Team Six/DEVGRU from "regular" SEALS?
DEVGRU‘s Red Squadron

Mission: SEALs are often organized into Task Forces and work for the combatant commanders in a particular area. Their main focus would be Special Reconnaissance and Direct Action. DEVGRU personnel often work more independently and focus on the global scale when it comes to counter-terrorism. This is why they are used in denied areas, such as Yemen and Somalia, to attack HVT (High-Value Targets), such as major terrorists.

DEVGRU has more experienced, better trained and equipped, carefully selected SEAL operators that focus on the most daring global counter-terrorism missions.

So basically you pass BUDs, join a SEAL team, go through the PST, get selected through an interview to continue into A and S, pass A and S, and then boom, you’re a member of SEAL team 6.

Sounds easy huh?