Special Forces vs. Spec Ops

Ask anyone in either the special forces or spec ops what the most annoying thing is and they’d most likely tell you it’s how people get the two of them confused with one another. In the media especially, you’ll see them calling a spec op a “Special Forces” soldier. Let’s put an end to that right now.


Special Operations

Spec ops or Special Operations Forces (SOF) are any operatives affiliated with the United States Special Operations Command, or SOCOM. SOCOM is a global network of US special soldiers. What makes them so “special” is that they do the job no other soldier could (nor is even allowed to).

Spec ops training

It’s popular to say that Spec Op training is 10% physical and 90% mental—a strong statement considering the level of fitness that precludes spec op bootcamp. What you have to realize is that the 90% mental is in a great deal physical as well. What we mean by that is that the training is so excruciating and intense, it tests your psyche as well as your body. Bodybuilders, pro athletes and fitness gurus have tried the spec op training… and failed.

Special Forces

Special Forces is a branch of the US Army, a specific group in the Army in fact. Also known as a “Green Beret,” a Special Forces soldier duty is to take on any unusual or intensely difficult task the regular Army couldn’t tackle. A lot of what they do involves going behind enemy lines in secret covert missions. Most of what they do is top secret info and is never disclosed to the public, but we do know that they were responsible for taking out the Taliban in a matter of weeks.

Special forces training

Soldiers joining up with the Special Forces have to endure nine weeks of ultra-intense physical and mental conditioning. This is just the initial training, though. Afterward, soldiers will attend the Advanced Individual Training for four weeks.

After their Advanced Individual Training, soldiers are required to take Basic Airborne School for three weeks, and from then on, spec ops prep, assessment and qualification courses are required.

The whole process takes over a year—if you can handle it.

In Summary

As it turns out, Special Forces is just another branch of the very broad group of Special Operations. In any case, training for a special anything in the military challenges you to your very limits: physically and mentally.
You can get a very basic Spec Op Weapons Training course here in Las Vegas. It will test your marksmanship as you use weapons similar to those used by special operatives. It’s the closest you can get to the real thing, so sign up today and have some fun with it!

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Dianna Wyson