Special Operations Command (SOCOM)
The United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) was activated in April 1987 to provide command, control and training for all special operations forces (SOF) in the United States.
SOCOM headquarters is at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. Its components include the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C.; the Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla; the Naval Special Warfare Command, Coronado, Calif., and the Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg. The John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, the U.S. Air Force Special Operations School, and the Naval Special Warfare Center are also assigned to the command.
Special operations are those conducted against strategic and tactical targets in pursuit of national military, political, economic or psychological objectives, by personnel specially trained, equipped, and organized to do so.
SOCOM's primary mission is to provide combat-ready forces for rapid reinforcement of the other unified commands worldwide. To carry out this mission, SOCOM:
In short, U.S. Special Operations Command prepares assigned forces to carry out special operations, psychological operations and civil affairs missions as required. Also, the command plans for and conducts special operations if directed by the president or the secretary of Defense. These operations may be conducted in peacetime or during hostilities. SOF have been employed in more than 95 percent of the military contingencies accomplished since the Vietnam War.
- Develops doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures for all special operations;
- Conducts specialized courses of instruction for all SOF;
- Trains assigned forces and ensures interoperability of equipment and forces;
- Monitors the preparedness of its forces assigned to other unified commands; and
- Develops and acquires unique SOF equipment, material, supplies and services.
- Comprehensive Review of SOF culture and ethics, US SOCOM, January 23, 2020
- Special Operations Forces: Additional Actions Are Needed to Effectively Expand Management Oversight, Government Accountability Office report GAO-19-386, May 2019
- Review and Assessment of US Special Operations Forces and US Special Operations Command, DoD report to Congress, May 2014
- Special Operations Forces: Opportunities Exist to Improve Transparency of Funding and Assess Potential to Lessen Some Deployments, Government Accountability Office report GAO-15-571, July 2015
- Special Operations Forces Reference Manual, 4th edition, June 2015
- US SOCOM Posture Statement 2012, March 2012
- Presidential Notification of Special Forces Operation, communication to Congress, January 27, 2012. "At my direction, on January 24, 2012, U.S. Special Operations Forces conducted an operation in Somalia to rescue Ms. Jessica Buchanan, a U.S. citizen. The operation was successfully completed."
- U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service
- Fact Book 2012: U.S. Special Operations Command, October 2011
- Fact Book: U.S. Special Operations Command, November 2010
- Fact Book: U.S. Special Operations Command, October 2009
- US SOCOM History, 6th edition, March 2008 (20 MB PDF)
- Fact Book: U.S. Special Operations Command, February 2009
- US SOCOM Posture Statement 2008, April 2007
- Defense Acquisitions: An Analysis of the Special Operations Command's Management of Weapon System Programs, U.S. Government Accountability Office [GAO-07-620], June 2007
- US SOCOM Posture Statement 2007, April 2007
- US SOCOM, 1987-2007, 20th anniversary history (33 MB PDF)
- Capstone Concept for Special Operations 2006
- US SOCOM Posture Statement 2006, February 2006
- Special Operations Forces (SOF) and CIA Paramilitary Operations: Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service
- United States Special Operations Command
- SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES Reference Manual
Maintained by Steven Aftergood
Created by John Pike