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

DEVGRU / SEAL Team 6 operators posing for photo during training
US Navy SEAL Team 6 operators at undisclosed location and at unknown mission (Photo: Unknown author)

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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