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Difference Between Navy SEALs and Delta Force

Anup Patwardhan
Both units, the Navy SEALs and the Delta Force consist of elite soldiers. Hence, Navy SEALs vs. Delta Force is no easy comparison.

'SEAL' the Deal

It was the SEAL Team Six that took down one of the most-dreaded terrorists in the world, Osama Bin Laden, in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
It is one of the greatest honors that one can be bestowed with to defend one's country, and no, we don't say this just to romanticize the idea. We say this owing to the fact that it is a most courageous and brave decision to take. Besides, the satisfaction that the soldiers get from serving their country and fellow countrymen can never be overestimated.
There is, though, a certain degree of uncertainty as to what the future has to offer. So if you are ready to stretch yourself for the nation and face the dangers, this is certainly your calling.
The Navy SEALs and 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment's Delta Unit, also known as the Delta Force, receive special training for honing their combat skills as well as endurance levels, on and off the battlefield. Let's take a look at two branches of the defense services that have some of the most elite and trained soldiers.

Navy SEALs

The roots of the Navy SEALs go back to the second World War. This division is a branch of the United States Naval Forces. A golden eagle holding a Navy anchor, a trident and a flintlock-style pistol form their insignia.
They are known as the SEALs as they carry out operations in the 'SE'a, in the 'A'ir, and on 'L'and. Alternatively, they are also known as the 'Frogmen' and 'The Team'. Their mottoes are 'The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday' and 'It Pays to be a Winner'.

Selection Process

Those interested to be a part of this division should have an high school equivalent level of education and they will have to clear the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). If the age of the applicant is 17 years, then parental consent is necessary. Candidates within the age range of 18-28 years of age can volunteer.
The upper limit on the age restriction can be waived for applicants who are 29 or 30 years old. This, however, is not the same for everyone and is done on a case-by-case basis. The eye vision of the candidates must be in the range of 20/40 to 20/70.
Those willing to volunteer must then get in touch with their local navy recruiter who does a thorough background verification. Help will be provided with training for the physical screening test as well as the ASVAB. Once the background verification is cleared, the local navy recruiter will put you in touch with the regional coordinator.
Potential recruits will then have to undertake the ASVAB and they are eligible to join the naval forces on clearing this exam. There is a SEALs physical screening test to be cleared, post which the candidates will begin their training to become a part of the SEALs.

Mission and Duties

The SEALs are specialized in unconventional warfare, reconnaissance missions, counter-drug operations and counter-terrorism. They also have to look into maritime operations where large ships and submarines have restrictions on their navigation capabilities owing to the size. They also have to carry out hostage rescue, personnel recovery, and direct action.


Few of the many operations that have been carried out by the SEALs include,
◙ Achille Lauro hijacking
◙ Maersk Alabama hijacking
◙ Operation Desert Shield and Storm
◙ Operation Enduring Freedom
◙ Vietnam War

Delta Force

Delta Force is a division of the United States Armed Forces and was formed during the '70s. Their insignia has an arrowhead with a saber and three lightning bolts.
They are known as 'Green Barets', courtesy of their headgears, other alternative names being 'Soldier-Diplomats' and 'Snake Eaters'. Their motto is 'De oppresso liber' (To Liberate the Oppressed). It is a special operations force.

Selection Process

Only the candidates who have been in the services for at least 4 years can qualify for the selection process. They must also have a minimum of 2.5 years remaining on their contract. They must hold a rank from E-4 through E-8. The minimum age bar set is of 22 years. Those eligible will have to undergo a selection course first, duration of which is one month.
This is followed by a commander's review board or an interview and, on clearing it, an Operator Training Course (OTC) that lasts for six months. Though only experienced personnel are eligible, the drop rate during selection process is high. After OTC, candidates undergo one final test and on clearing it they can join.

Mission and Duties

They, similar to the naval elites, are a special operations force that specializes in unconventional warfare. They are also responsible for counter-proliferation and intelligence operations as well as to run counter-drug and counter-terrorism operations along with reconnaissance missions.


Some of the operations that were carried out by the Delta Force include,
◙ Iraq War
◙ Battle for Tora Bora
◙ War in Afghanistan
◙ Persian Gulf War
◙ Operation Eagle Claw
These two branches consists of only the crème de la crème from the servicemen. Their toughness would vary with the level of readiness and patience of the applicants to endure the tough processes.