Top 10 Special Forces in the World 2024

SOF USA, Navy Seals, MARCOS, Sayeret Matkal, GIGN are among the top 10 special forces in the world 2024.

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 article, we are going to discuss the top 10 special forces in the world.

10 Best Special Forces in the world 2024

Here is our list of the best special forces in the world. We have considered a large number of factors while creating this list of most dangerous force in the world such as their operations, size among others.

10. 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.

9. 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.

8. 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.

7. 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.

6. 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 General 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.

Also check: best intelligence agency in the world

5. 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 – Général de Division 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.

4. 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).

3. 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.

2. 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. United States Special Operations Forces (SOF) (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.

Check: Intelligence agencies of all countries


Which are the most elite military units in the world?

SOF United States, Navy Seals USA, MARCOS, JTF 2 among others.

When was Alpha Group, Russia founded?

28 July 1974

Who are the most popular commanders of Alpha Group?

Gen. Gennady Zaitsev, Gen. Viktor Karpukhin, Gen. Viktor Karpukhin

When was United States Navy SEALs founded?

It has been active since 1 January 1962.

34 thoughts on “Top 10 Special Forces in the World 2024”

  1. U forgot national security guards(NSG)
    It is indian army the best in the world bharat mata ki jai 🇮🇳💪💗

  2. The Afghanistan forces (Badri313) are in the first number that succeeded against the USA special forces,that they are at first positin.No force of world can beat them they are the heroes of Isalam and Afghanistan.It is true!☝🏻

    • I take it that’s a joke!? Don’t get me wrong the Pontoon fighters the bloodline run strong and deep in the Hindu Kush region can’t go into much detail but there was 12 special forces operators dropped into Afghanistan to meet up with the Northern alliance. Made up of a 12-man team and one or two maybe three analyst that were not military. We can take it how you want but crosshairs were on Osama bin laden about six different times before the coalition forces invaded Afghanistan it’s above my pay grade to ask why the shot wasn’t given a all clear to engage? I’ll just leave it at that it was just here to say anyway. Your job as a special forces Green Beret and let me correct for anyone out there that thinks Navy seals rangers MARSOC all fall under special forces. That is incorrect there’s only one tab and that showed on to the United States army Green berets uniform. They work in the Oda operation detachment alpha made up of two very highly skilled skill sets weapons demo engineering communications etc they work behind enemy lines to try to train up their resistance fighters don’t get me wrong I’ve seen very loyal Afghani fighters. But I must say the majority will drop their weapons and run. We have something called did you need a convention rules of engagement you know how many times I’ve seen candles bringing in massive amounts of explosives for IEDs but we could not engage because no one was armed or carrying a weapon. I know there has been a few times and accidental discharge has hit the cash on the camel’s back making a big boom. Once you learn how to do jumping jacks and March left right left right come back and talk to me.. yes praise be to all of the god of Abraham but praise be to the Messiah the Lord Jesus Christ who reigns there’s so much power in his name and there’s only one way into heaven and that’s through Jesus Christ he didn’t fly in on a donkey he didn’t hang out with the Pharisees. Before he was crucified Pontius Pilate said are you the son of God are you the messiah? And he says I am! No other way putting it I am. So there’s no room to say he was a human being that was a good person or a good profit he was either a liar or he was who he says he was praise be to the almighty Jesus Christ my Lord my savior..

  3. Marcos commando the name of death thiis is a dangerous deadlist commondo on this present time it will be so far and ssg commando 😂😂😂😂😂🥲

    • They weren’t even recognized or admitted that even existed until the early ’90s late ’80s is first group special forces detachment Delta also known as Delta Force AKA keg aka the unit. They are a tier one operating. Cover ops Black ops snatching grabs VIP hostage raids you just don’t hear about their missions because they don’t go around writing books bragging about who took the shot that killed this person or that person Navy seals are a bunch of cocky different breed. Go swim around with your dolphins looking for underwater mines from world war II. We have our own scuba classes in key key West. De Oppressor Libre.. to free the oppressed

  4. May God not make these commandos combat with Turkish commandos;)

    There would no commandos left to make any list:)

    • Turkish commondos can get the milestone if the take help from SSG Pakistan. And the other thing is that no one can measure the bravery of Turk and Pak commondos.

  5. The most elite US force is not even on this list! It’s the PJs—United States Air Force Pararescue. They’re trained in every other American Special Operations school (Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers) as well as Royal Air Force SERE (Survive, Evade, Resist, Escape) and American Medical Corpsman.

  6. Lookat the exercises between us brits and the USA. Who has won the most? The USA brag about their successful ops. Alot ofthe time it’s British successes claimed by the USA. The Brits don’t brag about their successes. they keep their ops secret,especially the black ones.The Brits help train the American special forces, sometimes by our reserve (TA) forces. Grow up.Look at our training to yours

    • Definitely. The British SAS
      They are the leaders in commando warfare
      and train all of the best .
      They even go to the jungles of Malaysia to
      acclimatise to the terrain .


Leave a Comment