At 7/15/10 10:55 AM, sinfulwolf wrote:
Groups like the Rangers and Airborne are on a lower tier than the SEALs and Delta Force. Yes Rangers are elite, and have more training, but they still don't stack up against higher tier groups like the SEALs. Not that I know much about Ranger and SEAL training, but I'm assuming it's much like the Canadian CSOR and JTF2 groups.
As a former Ranger, I resent this post, but I think I can provide some information for you guys to clear this up. The way the U.S. Army works is Infantry < Airborne Infantry < Ranger Infantry < Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha < Special Forces Operational Detachment Delta. Infantry and Airborne Infantry are your run of the mill soldiers. They go on year long deployments once every couple years and spend the time doing various forms of Military Police work. Patrols, low level raids, things of that nature. The only real difference between an Airborne and a leg (non-airborne) unit is that they are qualified to jump out of planes. This tactic died out a long time ago and is more of a title now than anything, so the work of the units is virtually the same.
The next step up is Ranger Infantry. Yes, they are the lowest tier of the SOCOM community, but they are the initial stepping stone to higher levels of special forces. They are comparable to the Marine Corps Force Recon. Other than highly specialized deployments like Somalia and Panama, where a large number of extremely well trained troops were needed, Ranger Battalion mostly handles outer cordons for Delta Force raids and providing elite support for Infantry and POG patrols.
This is the only SOCOM unit you can join at the age of 18, so if you're looking to get into SF fresh out of high school, going to R.I.P. (Ranger Indoctrination Program) to get into the unit is a must. SF never pulls out of standard line units like Airborne and leg infantry. You're still eligible to try out to go to the Q course, but typically you'll get peered out if you pass. At the end of the course, everyone has to vote for people that they think don't deserve to be in the unit. Needless to say, the less experienced, more policeman like soldiers are the first to go.
Then there is SFOD-A. This is the "Green Berets" you hear about. This force was primarily started during Vietnam to recruit and train the indigenous mountain tribes to fight, that way the U.S. could use propaganda to garner public support around their local people instead of foreign soldiers who invaded. Worked like a charm, and that is primarily their job in Afghanistan and Iraq to this day. It's not guns a-blazin, raid every day, break all the laws you want because you're untouchable type thing that it's made out to be.
SEALS are below this level in my eyes. They're tough dudes, don't get me wrong. I met a few trainees in Airborne School. But as a part of the Navy, the Admirals and fellow officers in charge of them really don't know how to use them that well. They're kind of like men amongst boys. They've also got a big ego problem. There was a fight during the invasion of Afghanistan called Operation Anaconda where the Taliban were imbedded in tunnels in a mountain called Takur Ghar. When the bombs would drop, they'd dig in, suffer few casualties, then pop back out and fire at the ascending forces. They were well covered in the surrounding area as well.
The Air Force Commander in charge of the seal teams wanted to send them to the top of a nearby mountain to set up an observation point, despite predator drones and even an AC-130 in the airspace. There was no tactical use in the seals going there. Army Rangers and Special Forces warned the seals that the valley they wished to fly through was a prime RPG spot and they shouldn't go. But they went anyways, and upon landing were lit up by RPG fire, and two of the guys on the team who were far too Rambo to be wearing seat belts fell out of the bird as it flew away. Then they left the mess for the army to clean up. Rangers and SF went in to try and find the guys, losing several soldiers and removing men from the heart of the fight looking for someone who shouldn't even be out there. There's a ton of instances like this out there. I've got respect for what seals go through, but I don't have respect for what they do.
Then what SFOD-D, or Delta Force does is anyones guess. You're unlikely to find out unless you're a member of it. The government still does not acknowledge they exist. They're the true badasses.