Are Army Special Forces (Green Berets) Tier 1 unit?

Author: Eric Sof


No, the Army Special Forces (Green Berets) are not Tier 1 unit. I might be wrong, but from what I understand only the Tier 1 unit is entrusted with executing the most delicate missions. Then come the Tier 2 units, which are also very highly capable, but their task is to provide support for the Tier 1 units – the 24 SOS, the ISA, the Ranger Recon Company, etc.

Tier 3 is the special operations unit within the special operations commands of the different services – Green Berets, SEALs, Marine Raiders, Air Force CSAR, etc. When a Tier 3 unit is attached to JSOC to provide support for a mission (for example if Pandur APCs from the 75th Rangers or helicopters from the 160th SOAR are needed) then for the duration of the mission this unit is reclassified from Tier 3 to Tier 2.

Are Army Special Forces (Green Berets) Tier 1 unit?
U.S. Army Green Berets, assigned to 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), prepare to assault an objective during pre-deployment training on Fort Carson, CO., June 22, 2017. Soldiers from 10th SFG (A) routinely train for situations found in combat operations. (Photo: U.S. Army)

In fact, special mission units are Tier 1 units and are commanded and controlled by Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) of U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). In addition to performing highly classified activities, the special mission units are also tasked with “special missions”, sometimes referring to unconventional warfare, counter-terrorist activities, direct action, Special Reconnaissance, and/or black operations.

US Military Tier 1 Components

So far, only four SMUs have been publicly disclosed:

Some people love to say that Tier 1, in fact, refers to the amount of government spending on the Special Operations units classified as “Tier 1.” And really, these units receive much more funding than conventional units and “White” SOF Units.

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3 thoughts on “Are Army Special Forces (Green Berets) Tier 1 unit?”

  1. This is incorrect. The 75th Ranger Regiment is NOT Tier-1. Its considered
    Tier-2 along with the Army’s 160th SOAR, USMC Raiders (aka MARSOC), Navy SEALs (ie Teams 1, 3, 7, 11, 13), USAF 21st STS, and the Army’s SFGs (ie 1, 3, 5, 7, 10 etc) known as “Green Berets.”

    There are only 3 Tier-1 units (not including the CIA’s SOG:
    1. DEVGRU (form. known as SEAL Team 6)
    2. Army’s 1st SFOD-Delta (DELTA FORCE)
    3. USAF’s 24th STS (Special Tactics Squad)

    There are apparently Tier-3 units, though I don’t know much about it.

    It’s wrong to assume that higher budgets are why one tier is higher than another. However, a Tier-1 unit will absolutely have higher budgets than Tier-2 units…but it’s the intense training, operational capacity, specialization, secrecy, and competitive exclusivity, and organizational integration into USSOCOM & JSOC that help determine the tiers.

  2. He didn’t say the 75th Ranger Regiment is considered Tier 1, he said the 75th Ranger Regiment’s Regimental Reconnaissance Company is considered Tier 1.

    Detail. It’s all in the detail.

  3. All this Tier 1 level talk going around! I’ll take the SF “Gren Berets” such as (ODA) 595 Horse Soldiers and put them up with any Tier 1 Unit lmao..