What is the difference between Delta Force and Green Berets?

Author: Eric Sof


The difference between Delta Force and Green Berets is obvious, not only in the matter of tactics but in overall look too. Delta Force is a unit to this day the US Government will not confirm their existence and it is considered that CAG (Delta Force) is part of Tier 1 special operations forces.

Different Geographical Locations

The difference between Delta Force and Green Berets is also present in the area of operations. While the Green Berets are divided into smaller units, deployed around the world. Delta Force operators are able to strike anywhere in the world. There are different types of Special Forces units that serve in different geographical locations. While I was serving with 5th Special Forces Group we were assigned to CENTCOM (Central Command) located mainly in the Middle East but we deployed also to Western Asia & North Africa.

Green Berets in Africa (Niger)
Nigerien Armed Forces conduct a convoy movement, Flintlock 18 exercise in Niger alongside Green Berets on April 15, 2018 (Photo: U.S. Army)

Other Special Forces (SF) Groups will have their own geographical areas they monitor, watch & are deployed to, i.e. Central & South America, Africa, etc. These units are dispatched in usually a 12 man group called an ODA (Operational Detachment Alpha).

The Delta Force is the army’s primary quick strike organization operating in the same vein as the SEALs do for the Navy. Special Forces troops often called Green Berets are primarily teachers, assisting allied forces in training friendly, indigenous forces to become effective tactical forces within their home country. Both groups train daily to maintain a high degree of weapons and tactical proficiency.

Tactics and overall look

Delta Force operates everywhere and is referred to as ‘The Unit’ within the Special Forces ranks. They do have a unit they are assigned & work under but I will not disclose their info in a public forum, while the Green Berets are more public exposed part of the U.S. Army  Delta operates in small teams referred to as ODD ( Operational Detachment DELTA). I’ll put it like this, once a Special Forces soldier joins Delta, by either being recruited or showing enough skill to receive an invite, that day will be the last day they will wear any identifying uniform.

Green Berets: De Oppresso Liber — To Liberate the Oppressed 4
Although they look the same when geared up, there is a slight difference between Delta Force and Green Berets operators (Photo: Pinterest)

They grow their hair and beards out so they will ‘fit in’ to any area they are dispatched to at the time. You have likely in your lifetime walked pass a Delta Unit member never knowing or suspecting they were members of any military unit. Delta Force normally does not mix with other Special Forces Units and its members are made up of other U.S. Army specialized units. They recruit from the Rangers, Green Berets, and other U.S. Army branches including MARSOC.

They also may be engaged in the mission operating alongside SEALs, Army Special Forces, Marine MARSOC, Air Force ParaRescue & foreign SF soldiers also. Friendly & super highly skilled foreign members from that country’s top Special Forces.

Top Secret missions

Delta Force simply put is a mix of some of the deadliest individuals that walk our great earth. You will NEVER hear of Delta battle victories and should they become POW’s it’s most likely the US will deny their existence as members of our US Military. Sounds like a bum wrap but trust me, Delta Force operators are fully aware of this possibility and accepts the responsibility to ensure any team members still stuck in the country can have a fair chance of exfiltration knowing their captured brother will keep his mouth shut and their location quiet.

The news media will never report on this unit, the White House will never report on this unit. They are truly the ‘Quiet Professionals’.

Operation that took out al-Baghdadi, raid carried out by Delta Force and Army Rangers
This image from video released by the Department of Defense on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, and displayed at a Pentagon briefing, shows members of the CAG (Delta Force) and U.S. Army Rangers, figures at lower right, moving toward compound of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. (Department of Defense via AP)

Funding Priority

Their difference between Delta Force and Green Berets can be described also in mission set and scheduling (i.e. funding priority). Green Berets are “Soldier diplomats trained to build consensus with indigenous populations and wage war from behind enemy lines.

CAG is a higher funding tier and one of three primary direct action teams in the country. The others being DEVGRU and FBI HRT for domestic affairs. CAG generally has a vastly wider mission set than Development Group (DEVGRU), who are almost entirely tactical. CAG is rumored to include strategic and clandestine as well as covert operations and tactical operations.

SF unit operations are not kept as quiet but they still also operate under a tight veil of secrecy.

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