What do Chuck Norris, Sylvester Stallone, Charlie Sheen, Demi Moore and Steven Seagal all have in common?
At one time or another they have all portrayed special forces soldiers on the big screen and satiated the public’s love of action movies that involve elite military forces. In the world of the military, perhaps no one group fascinates us or takes hold of our imagination more than the special-forces.
On top of the ‘regular’ military forces, most nations have an elite group of service personnel who are held to a higher standard of requirements and training. Some of these groups are well publicized and have been covered in the media recently. Others aren’t as well-known with only allegations or myths surfacing over the years to provide any clue of their existence.
Whether emerging from the water to silently take out guards, storming a plane to rescue the hostages and eliminate the hostage-takers or slipping through the lines to sabotage enemy bridges and roads, special-forces take on some of the hardest missions and live some of the most secret lives in the military world.
Who is the best? It’s a difficult and near-impossible question to tackle as each nation’s special-forces are built to do different jobs, including counter-terrorism and hostage rescue to reconnaissance and assault missions.
That said, the requirements to get into the force in question, past operations and reputation can all help assess who some of the more deadly special-forces around the world are.
The following list looks at 18 of the top special-forces currently deployed in the world. Unfortunately it can only have 18, although there are many that should be on this list. The big names are all here and a few may surprise you.
However, don’t let popularity in the media fool you. Just because you haven’t heard of them or recognize them from movies or video games, doesn’t mean the forces listed below are not elite and deserving of a place on this list. In any event, we guarantee you wouldn’t want to be on the wrong end of any of these groups.
1. ROC TAIWANESE SPECIAL FORCES
2. RUSSIAN SPECIAL FORCES
3. CANADIAN SPECIAL FORCES GROUP JTF2
4. DUTCH SPECIAL FORCES
5. PERUVIAN SPECIAL FORCES
6. GERMAN SPECIAL FORCES COMBAT SWIMMER
7. GERMAN ARMY SPECIAL FORCES
8. NORWEGIAN MJK
9. US ARMY SPECIAL FORCES SNIPER
10. FRENCH SPECIAL FORCES
11. HUNTSMAN CORPS: DANISH SPECIAL FORCES
12. SERBIAN GENDARMERIE
13. IRAQUI SPECIAL FORCES
14. MARSOC UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMAND
15. IRISH ARMY RANGERS
16. US NAVY SEALS
17. SOUTH KOREAN SPECIAL FORCES
18. S.A.S Special Forces (UK)
The Special Air Service (S.A.S) is trained to perform equally well in all the fields listed for the SEALs, but is also trained by MI-5 and MI-6 for in-depth counter-espionage, more so than the SEALs. Physical competency must be of equal stature to the SEALs, to the degree that both special forces work closely together when necessary (Iraq and Afghanistan) and have good camaraderie.
They wear a tan beret, just as the U. S. Army Rangers, and both the SAS and SEALs are trained in knife fighting by experts in Apache Indian knife techniques, as well as Sayoc Kali, Krav Maga, Jeet Kune Do, and for the last 3 years or so, the Keysi Fighting Method, made famous by the Chris Nolan “Batman” films.
They have the distinction of being the model on which almost all national commando units are based today, including every other entry on this list.