What differentiates SEAL Team 6 from other SEAL Teams?

Why was DEVGRU chosen over Delta Force for the Operation Neptune Spear? SEAL Team 6 Gold Squadron
Seal Team 6 (DEVGRU) Gold Squadron after a muddy operation (Photo: Reddit)

In the secretive world of Special Operations Forces, Seal Team 6 is considered one of the most capable world’s fighting forces.

The telling difference is that SEAL Team 6 (DEVGRU, Development Group) is not a team – it is a separate command under JSOC, considered a Tier 1 unit. In contrast, the regular SEAL teams are actual teams and are under the SOCOM command, and they are considered Tier 2 units. Their selection, training, budget, and missions are different.

To join Seal Team 6, you need to graduate BUD/s and serve in one of the SEAL teams for at least five 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 Seal Team 6.

Navy SEALs during the BUD/s with a wood
What differentiates SEAL Team 6 from other SEAL Teams? (Photo: XY)

SEAL Team 6 vs. SEAL Teams


Regular SEALs select candidates out of BUD/w and SQT – most come from the street or Big Navy. DEVGRU selects from the most outstanding SEALs with five years of operational experience.


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


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
SEAL TEAM 6 – DEVGRU’s Red Squadron (Photo: Pinterest)


Navy 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 a global scale regarding counter-terrorism. They are used in denied areas, such as Yemen and Somalia, to attack HVT (High-Value Targets), such as major terrorists.


Seal Team 6 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?

  1. I have a friend who served on ST6 twice with about 2 years in between where he served as an instructor according to his service record, which he showed me. He’s been out since 2005, but was asked to be a consultant for various contractors. What would any of that training regarding international relations, say training Afghan police, get him toward any college credit? Has any other Tier 1 member been able to use specialized experience towards a college degree?

  2. Firstly, I do admire the members of these special groups, but they do have their faults. I have both studied (CGSC) and have 1st hand experience with SOFs (Baghdad, medical…cleaning up their mistakes). It’s ashamed to say that there have been many operational errors such as: positioning an antenna outside an Iraq spider hole and being discovered by shepherd girl (Iraq “war”, 1991), forgetting secure satellite radio and regular radio batteries (Grenada, 1983), attacking an Iraqi residence without sufficient recon (Baghdad, 2004), Pat Tillman’s (Army Ranger) death and cover-up (Afghanistan, 2004). There are many more examples. With all the special selection process, special equipment, special training, huge budgets they still make rookie level mistakes.

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