Top 10 Special Forces in the World

The definitions of a special force are different around the world. Some countries label them as the most elite soldiers in their armed forces. On the other hand, some countries consider them as forces that perform some special tasks assigned to them. Whatever be the definition, it is true that the finest soldiers from all over the country are recruited in these forces.

Almost every country in the world has at least one special force in its armed forces. There are many factors that impact the efficiency of these forces like equipment used by them, experience, etc.  In today’s post, we are going to discuss the top 10 special forces in the world in 2022.

10 Best Special Forces in the world 2022

Here is our list of the top 10 special forces in the world. We have considered a large number of factors while creating this list.

  1. Gruppo di intervento special, Italy (GIS, Italy)

  • Country – Italy
  • Size – at least 100 commandos
  • Headquarters – Livorno
  • Popular Engagements – Operation Alba, Kosovo war, War in Afghanistan, Years of Lead
  • Motto – Nei secoli fedele (“Faithful through the centuries”), Silenziosi come la notte veloci come la folgore (“As silent as the night, as fast as the lighting”)
  • Current Commander – Colonel Gianluca Feroce
  • Overview – The Gruppo di Intervento Speciale (GIS) is the special force of the Italian armed forces. They are responsible for both military and civil operations. The unit is famed for its counter terrorism operations and VIP, executive and dignitary protection security services. In addition to this,  the unit has also participated in several wars including  Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Horn of Africa, etc.
  1. Alpha Group, Russia

  • Country – Russia
  • Size – Around 250 to 300 commandos
  • Type  – Spetsnaz
  • Popular Engagements – First Chechen War, Second Chechen War, Moscow theatre hostage crisis, Beslan School hostage crisis
  • Role – Special operations, Counter terrorism, Hostage rescue, Law enforcement, Special reconnaissance
  • Current Commander – Col. Valery Kanakin
  • Overview – The official name of the Alpha Group special force from Russia is Directorate “A” of the FSB Special Purpose Center (TsSN FSB). This force is dedicated to counter-terrorism which prevents and responds to violent acts in public transportation and buildings. As of 2018, nine officers of Alpha have been awarded the title Hero of the Russian Federation. The unit has already performed some crucial tasks for the government of the Russian Federation.
  1. British Special Air Service Group (SAS), Britain

  • Country – United Kingdom
  • Size – Three regiments
  • Headquarters –RHQ, Stirling Lines, Hereford, United Kingdom
  • Popular Engagements – Operation Husky, Operation Crusader, Operation Avalanche, Operation Candytuff.
  • Motto – Who dares wins
  • Commander – Field Marshal The Lord Guthrie
  • Overview – The Special Air Service (SAS) is a special forces unit of the British Army. Established way back in the year 1941, the unit played an instrumental role in the 2nd world war. Even now, the unit plays an important role in the security of the United Kingdom. There are many roles that are played by this commando unit such as counter-terrorism, hostage rescue, direct action and covert reconnaissance.
  1. Joint Force Task 2 (JTF 2), Canada

  • Country – Canada
  • Size – Classified
  • Headquarters – Ottawa
  • Popular Engagements – Kosovo War, War in Afghanistan, Operation Impact
  • Motto – ‘deeds not words’
  • Current Commander – Michael Rouleau
  • Overview – Joint Task Force 2 is an elite special operations force of the Canadian Armed Forces, serving under the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command. The unit has already participated in many counter terrorism operations both in the country and abroad. The Government of Canada doesn’t declassify much of the details about this force. But, it is true that Joint Force Task 2 or JTF 2 is playing an important role in securing the interest of Canada.
  1. Special Service Group (SSG), Pakistan

  • Country – Pakistan
  • Size – Classified
  • Headquarters – Ghazi Base, Tarbela, Attock-Punjab
  • Popular Engagements – Kashmir Conflict, Siachen Conflict, Soviet Afghan war, etc.
  • Motto – I am Vailant
  • Current Commander – Major Adil Rehmani
  • Overview – Special Service Group or SSG is the special force unit of the Pakistan Army. They are also known by the name “Maroon Berets”. The force got this name due to the headgears of its commando. Strategic Forces Command (ASFC) of the Pakistan Army has the responsibility of managing the SSG. The Pakistan Army and government do not provide much information about the activities of SSG. Apart from Kashmir conflict, the Unit has also played important roles in operations like Afghanistan Conflict, Soviet Afghan War, Sectarian Conflicts in Pakistan, etc.
  1. National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN), France

  • Country – France
  • Size – Approx. 1000
  • Headquarters – Satory, Yvelines, France
  • Popular Engagements – 2015 Île-de-France attacks (2015), Air France Flight 8969 hijacking (1994), Ouvéa cave hostage recovery (1988), Grand Mosque seizure (1979)
  • Motto – A commitment for life
  • Current Commander – Ghislain Réty
  • Overview –  GIGN, France was made in the year 1973 in the wake of Munich massacre. This unit of French Armed Force plays a vital role in counter-terrorism,  hostage rescue, protection of government officials, and targeting organized crime.
  1. Sayeret Matkal, Israel

  • Country – Israel
  • Size – Classified
  • Headquarters – Southern Israel
  • Popular Engagements – Yom Kippur War, Operation Entebbe, South Entebbe, First Intifada
  • Motto – Who Dares Win
  • Current Commander –  NA
  • Overview – The official name of Sayeret Matkel is General Staff Reconnaissance Unit 269. It is the prime special force unit of the IDF (Israel Defense Force). It is equivalent to the U.S. Army’s 1st SFOD-D (Delta Force) and it is directly subordinate to the Special Operations Branch of the IDF’s Directorate of Military Intelligence. According to many experts, this unit of Sayeret Matkal is modeled after the British Army’s Special Air Service (SAS).
  1. Special Forces, USA

  • Country – USA
  • Size – Exact Numbers not known
  • Headquarters – MacDill AFB, Florida, USA
  • Popular Engagements – Operation Earnest Will, Invasion of Panama, Gulf War, Unified Task Force, Operation Gothic Serpent
  • Role – Functional Combatant Command
  • Current Commander – General Richard D. Clarke, USA
  • Overview –  United States Special Operations Forces (SOF) are the special forces of the United States of America (USA). It works under the United States Department of Defense’s United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) within the United States Armed Forces. Unlike other special forces, the number of members in this special force is very high. This unit is involved in many important tasks such as direct action, special reconnaissance, counter-terrorism, foreign internal defense, unconventional warfare, psychological warfare, civil affairs, and counter-narcotics operations.
  1. Navy Seals, USA

  • Country – United States of America
  • Size – Not Known
  • Headquarters – Naval Amphibious Base Coronado
  • Popular Engagements – Operation Just Cause, Operation Nifty Package, Somali Civil War, Operation Red Wing, Operation Desert Storm,
  • Motto – “The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday” “It Pays To Be A Winner”. “Never Out of the Fight”.
  • Current Commander – Eric T. Olson
  • Overview – “Navy Seals” is one of the finest special force units in the world. This unit gained a lot of fame in the year 2011 when they killed Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad. Seals are trained to conduct small-unit special operation missions in maritime, jungle, urban, arctic, mountainous, and desert environments. Typically, Seals deal with capturing or eliminating high level targets or gathering intelligence behind enemy lines.
  1. MARCOS, India 

  • Country – India
  • Size – Around 2000 (exact number remains classified)
  • Headquarters – INS Karna, Vishakapatnam, India
  • Popular Engagements – Operation Cactus, Operation Leech, Operation Pawan, Kargil War, Operation Black Tornado, Operation Cyclone, Counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir
  • Motto – The Few, The Fearless
  • Nicknames – Magarmach (The Crocodiles), Dadhiwala Fauj (The bearded army)
  • Overview – Officially named the “Marine Commando Force” (MCF) is popularly known as MARCOS. Founded in the year 1987, the force has already participated in specialized operations like operation cactus, operation leech, Kargil war, Operation Black Tornado, etc. Specialized in Maritime operation, Marcos is capable of undertaking operations in all types of terrain. The force regularly takes part in joint exercises.

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