The U.S. military is full of rough and ready soldiers. But within the ranks are special operations -- the most elite warriors whose specialties are impressive, to say the least.
Among the most famous: The United States Army Special Forces, also known as the Green Berets. In the 1960's President Kennedy requested they wear the distinctive head gear that they are named for.
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The Night Stalkers
Better known as the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), these Army folks are known for providing the choppers used in Operation Neptune Spear, which involved killing a guy named Osama bin Laden.
Credit: Sgt. Christopher Prows/U.S. Army
The Marine Corps' Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team, part of its Security Force Regiment, guards sensitive naval installations -- the kind that involve nukes -- and other high-value locations. A FAST team was sent to Libya in response to the 2012 U.S. Consulate attack in Benghazi.
Credit: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter Lewis/U.S. Navy
75th Ranger Regiment
These infantry warriors were involved in the infamous Black Hawk Down incident in Mogadishu; they also were among the first U.S. forces on Afghan soil during Operation Enduring Freedom.
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This group includes Team Six, which took down Osama bin Laden. The Navy SEALs seen here are working with a Belgian Malinois, the same kind of dog that accompanied Team Six during its crucial mission in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
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This highly secretive Army group, also known as 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, is based in Fort Bragg, NC. Photos of the group are hard to come by, and with good reason: Their missions are often clandestine, and, to conceal their identities, they rarely wear a uniform.
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These Marines are known for gathering intel behind enemy lines, particularly via scout swimming or other water-based operations. They're trained in high altitude techniques, skiing and amphibious techniques, including working with SCUBA gear.
Credit: Cpl. Christopher Q. Stone/U.S. Marine Corps
The Special Operations Command umbrella group comprises several elite elements within the U.S. Marines; they played big roles in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Credit: Senior Airman Nicholas Pilch/U.S. Air Force
Maritime Safety and Security Teams
These Coast Guard troops specialize in anti-terror, specifically, protecting our country's maritime assets from the enemy. They even know how to arrest a submerged diver.
Credit: PA3 Nathan Henise/USCG
Air Force Pararescue
The "PJs" are so versatile that they not only rescue people in combat missions; they also support NASA astronauts after water landings. One PJ, Master Sergeant Scott Fales, got the Silver Star for his heroic action in the Battle of Mogadishu.
Credit: Airman 1st Class Daniel Hughes/U.S. Air Force
Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen
The Navy's "Swick" force maintains a fleet of small craft to support missions, particularly those spearheaded by the Navy SEALs. They focus not only on weapons tactics, but also infiltration and exfiltration; they've served in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Credit: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michelle Kapica/U.S. Navy
Get this: Weather forecasters. With combat training. Yep: The job of these Air Force soldiers is to interpret meteorological data, often in hostile territory, and deliver the intel to air and ground forces. Their motto: Eyes Forward.
Credit: U.S. Air Force
These Marines are into long-range firepower and know how to deliver it, anytime, anywhere. No wonder their motto is, "Lightning from the Sky, Thunder from the Sea."
Credit: U.S. Marines
Air Force Combat Controllers
All the skills of a soldier in peak condition, combined with top-flight air traffic control training. They're flexible enough to support other special forces, such as Navy SEALs, during tricky missions.