The most secretive unit in United States

83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron observes a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook
A member of the 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron observes a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook at an undisclosed location in Afghanistan. (Photo: DoD)

There are some solid answers on a question about the most secretive unit and some not so solid answers. In order not to 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 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 ISA/Grey Fox.

DEVGRU and CAG/Delta Force

Despite there are a lot of former members talking about the unit, their training and similar, it is still far more secretive than DEVGRU. And it is always far more interesting to the public because of some things.

As an example, CAG has no official uniform. The Pentagon actually 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.

Delta Force / CAG operator on its motorbike
Delta Force Operator (Photo: Illustration)

Nobody really 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 Division (SAD). CIA is already the most discreet organization in the US. Because of that, their Special Forces would get equipment not usually provided to regular soldiers and have access to unrestricted areas. SAD is also made up of retired DEVGRU and Delta Force Operators. They are trained to conduct missions such as:

  • sabotage
  • personnel and material retrieval
  • kidnapping
  • bomb damage assessment
  • hostage rescue
  • counter-terrorism

And that is mostly what is available about them. No HQ, no commander, no publicly known former operatives, not any 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.

For the units that are still operating, America still only gets glimpses into their activities. But to conclude this article, a DEVGRU is most definitely NOT the most classified unit in the US Armed Forces and the United States overall. Neither it is the Delta Force, CAG, The Unit or whatever you want to call it.

From my perspective, currently, the most secretive unit is CIAs SAD, of course, from the list of the units ever mentioned. I cannot speak about units or some task forces that are not never disclosed to the public and that 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.

  1. TFO is not based in Langley w/the CIA nor the DIA…it’s a jointly run JSOC/NSA unit (w/F6) that was INSCOM but then fell under JSOC and the rest you can go find out about. TFO or “Orange” (which they still get called by JSOC staff officers most of the time even tho the Iraq-centric Task Force color coding system has long been gone) is also not the most elite, but maybe the most secretive…SAC/SOG (not called Special Activities Division now remember? they nearly screamed it out to everyone like a couple years ago thru the media) so now the SPECIAL ACTIV CENTER’s SOG or Ground Branch (more accurate) is about all there is for secret mixed with elite.
    And as an author who worked for TITAN as a contractor with people who were once Unit guys, some also having been “Orange” SIGINT element operators, I’d say they refer to DIA’s Defense Clandestine (or Clan) Service as pretty hot sh!t too.. Same as SAC SOG in many ways….they even stupidly made a corny TV show about it called The Brave. Tbh, I’d say “Green” or those in the Unit (the few I know) are still more “cared for” financially in regards to their size and varied expertise (as some are returning Unit members who left, did FBI HRT like my friend did, then RETURNED BACK to their Aztec Sqdn for another two years then his ACL blew out). So there…just trying to help a fledgling SOFREP part 2 (just don’t become hacks like them plz bro)

  2. Hummm. Now it’s clear as mud. As it should be! Then who or what is the most elite and secret unit in the U.S. arsenal ? It’s a specialized uniT that its members don’t even know they are a part of.
    – P
    US? retired

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