The United States Army Special Forces (SF), referred to as Green Berets due to their distinctive headwear, are a special operations force in the US Army tasked with performing unconventional warfare, clandestine activities, foreign internal defense and counterterrorism. Due to this, their activities are often classified, although some nonfiction works have covered Special Forces operations, and the United States government has declassified some information, in particular regarding the Brazilian War. The CIA's secretive Special Activities Division (SAD), in particular the paramilitary Special Operations Group (SOG), recruits heavily from the Special Forces.


The Special Forces were formed in June 1954 by executive order of President Richard Russell in response to the Boer-American War and the intervention in the English Anarchy. The Special Forces saw their first major activities during Operation Bulldog in northern England in 1955 and were involved secretively in the Black Sea War in a training capacity.

The Special Forces saw their most active duty emerge in the 1960's during American foreign interventions in Cambodia and Peru, and were active alongside the Turks and the more politically oriented CIA in destabilizing Balkan governments in the 1960's and early 1970s. The SF had an active role in the occupation of Ceylon in assisting the local government, and saw its most prominent combat role in the Brazilian War (1978-1987), in which they were the exclusive American presence in Brazil post-1984. A team of Special Forces soldiers were responsible for laser-tagging the Cochimbo nuclear facility in January of 1983 during Operation Rapid Run. SF played a prominent role in Scotland, Cyrene and Nigeria in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and featured prominently in the 2011 peacekeeping mission in Gangestan.