There are some solid answers to the most secretive military unit and some not-so-solid answers. To not drone on, sounding like a broken record – NO. Seal Team 6, aka DEVGRU, is not the most secretive. I wouldn’t necessarily agree that CAG (Delta Force, etc.) is the most secretive in general. Due to plenty of interviews from former members, movies, literature, and all that good stuff.
According to public thoughts, the most secretive military unit is by far and away from the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta – “Delta Force,” “The Unit,” “D-Boys.” Nowadays, operating under the US Army Combat Applications Group. CAG has the most security on it, much more than any other unit in the entirety of USSOCOM, except maybe the CIA SAC/Grey Fox.
SEAL Team 6 and Delta Force
Despite many former members talking about the unit, their training, and similar, it is still far more secretive than DEVGRU. And it is always far more attractive to the public because of some things.
As an example, CAG has no official uniform. The Pentagon forbids it. Delta operators do not get labeled such in the Army ID and do not wear distinguishing identification in their Army ID photos. They are usually listed as Rangers or Special Forces, sometimes their original units, though this last one is probably rarer unless it’s from the 82nd.
Nobody knows how OTC- the Operator Training Course – (also why CAG personnel are technically the only “operators” in SOCOM) is conducted, except (former) CAG operators themselves, in contrast to DEVGRU. Seriously, everyone knows Green Team, Red Squadron, Gold Squadron, even Black Squadron at this point. It’s not a secret at all.
They (used to?) tell people they were telephone operators. Seriously. Colonel Beckwith had his original Delta guys feed people- even their families- this line. (Didn’t go so great when one fed that line to Colonel Beckwith’s daughter at a bar, but that’s another [tragic] story.)
CIA’s barely confirmed the existence of their Special Activities Center (SAC). CIA is already the most discreet organization in the United States. Because of that, their Special Forces would get equipment not usually provided to regular soldiers and have access to unrestricted areas. CIA’s Special Activities Center is also made up of retired DEVGRU and Delta Force Operators. They are trained to conduct missions such as:
- personnel and material retrieval
- bomb damage assessment
- hostage rescue
And that is mostly what is available about them. No HQ, no commander, no publicly known former operatives, no confirmed mission they took part in it, and so on.
Secrecy is one of the best currencies in war, so it’s sometimes best for commanders to keep their best assets hidden from the enemy and the public. While the military has admitted that most of the units on this list existed at some point, a lot of their missions were classified for decades before being disclosed to the public.
America still only gets glimpses into their activities for the units that are still operating. But to conclude this article, a Seal Team 6 (DEVGRU) is most definitely NOT the most classified unit in the US Armed Forces and the United States overall. Neither is the Delta Force, CAG, The Unit, or whatever you want to call it.
From my perspective, currently, the most secretive military unit is CIA’s SAC, of course, from the list of the units ever mentioned. I cannot speak about units or task forces that are not disclosed to the public, and their existence is never confirmed.
Further, even the secret service has “special operators.” There are special groups within special groups. And none of them are public knowledge. Seal Team 6 was a completely black book when formed. For decades no one admitted the group’s existence. Decades. And that was decades ago. So one can only imagine what our Military and or Government have now.