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Top 50 Best Special Forces In The World (2024)

The best Special Forces in the world are the elite fighting units of the armies of those countries. These are the men who undergo the most rigorous physical and mental training to turn them into special killing machines.

The movies always show super soldiers who perform superhuman feats. While those movies are exaggerated, Special Forces are the closest thing to real super soldiers.

The information below is gathered from scattered sources, this is because no nation will deliberately give out such information which is paramount to national security.

Top 50 Best Special Forces In The World

1. Alpha Group

Russia’s Alpha Group is one of the best-known Special Forces in the world; the sheer nature of the training they undergo makes them fierce in nature. Among the unbelievable feats they must perform to get inducted into this elite unit is running through a rugged landscape, and beating other trainees in combat all in freezing conditions.

When they come out from that training, they become apex predators; wired for the kill. As apex predators, their primary concern is neutralizing the threat and they do this sometimes with condemn-able force and brutality.

For example, when a theater was taken by terrorists, and the audience was held hostage, the Alpha Group went in full breach and dislodged the terrorists by using a gas on the audience to make them sleep, while engaging the terrorists with gun fire.

The result was a victory for the Alpha Group, but at the cost of over 100 innocent civilians. Such is their brutality; but at the same time, they sent a clear message-once the Alpha Group is sent in, they will stop at nothing.

2. Delta Force (1st SFOD-D)

The Delta Force is a special operations unit of the US military, it is the basis upon which many other Special Forces units in the world are built. These are some of the best trained and best coordinated soldiers in the world, they are selected from some of the finest fighting men in the US Army.

This Special Forces unit is only brought in when the fight is hardest; and their success rate speaks for them as a very effective military asset; one that completes the mission, regardless of how difficult it is.

To prove that assertion that they always complete the mission, in 2019 this unit killed a high ranking terrorist in Syria. They arrived at the location in the dead of night, blasted a hole in the fence, and exchanged fire with the guards. The target tried to flee with 2 retainers through a tunnel which meant that the soldiers had to deal with the guards quickly, or else the target would get away.

They accomplished all these and chased the target down the tunnels, cornering him until he detonated explosives in a vest he had under his clothing.

3. Special Air Service (SAS)

The Special Air Service is the elite fighting unit of the British Army, it is one of the best known Special Forces in the world, upon which many armies of the world base their elite units. In the areas of tactical training and coordination there is hardly any military unit to surpass it.

But morale is boosted by the antecedents of an army: new inductees will try to live up to the standards set by their seniors. In this respect, The SAS has lived up to expectations.

A glowing example of this gallantry is what happened in Operation Nimrod, when they stormed the building of the Iranian embassy in London, which had been overrun with terrorists. They engaged the terrorists in a gun fight, killing all terrorists except one and rescuing hostages.

Interestingly, National TV directly broadcasted the operation, therefore enhancing the global reputation of the unit. Before that they had previously displayed extra ordinary gallantry during the allied invasion of Iraq as part of the War on Terror.

4. US Navy SEALs

The US Navy SEALs is no doubt the most famous elite fighting squad in the world; they have the best fighting record, the best training, and the best equipment. This is the unit sent in when the job has to be done quickly and quietly, with little margin for error.

Low margin for error usually means that there are civilians in or around the scene of the action, and great care has to be taken to avoid collateral damage. This is the best Special Forces in the world when it comes to saving civilians from terrorists, they have a long track record of success.

An example is Operation Neptune Spear in 2011 when they eliminated the most wanted terrorist in the world, Osama Bin Laden who is reported to have planned and coordinated 9/11. They landed in his compound through air, and engaged his soldiers in an exchange of gunfire. After overcoming the terrorists they proceeded to search the house until finding him, and killing him. There were many civilians present in the engagement, but no report of any of them getting harmed.

To achieve this kind of success takes hard mental and physical training; just to show ones’ fitness, one is required to do  42 push-ups in two minutes, 50 sit-ups in two minutes, and run 1.5 miles in 11 minutes. Thereafter, one is taken to camp for some real punishment.

5. Special Boat Service (SBS)

Closely following their land based cousins, the SBS is the sea equivalent of the SAS. This is the UK equivalents of the US Navy SEALS; an elite fighting unit which is trained to do battle both on land, and especially in the water which is where they have the edge.

As one would expect, the training regimen which one must surpass to be accepted into this elite unit is challenging at best. It involves a grueling endurance test, jungle training, and swimming and diving in ways that test the human body. The very high failure rate for most people who attempt this training proves that the SBS is indeed special; it is not meant for everyone.

6. Sayeret Matkal

Sayeret Matkal is the elite fighting force of Israel’s army. Anyone who knows anything about military matters can attest to the fact that Israel is one of the most capable military powers in Western Asia, and the world.

Israel has already proven itself to be a nation to be feared; its military successes since the 1950’s speak for it. Well, if the Israeli Defense Force is the sword; the Sayeret Matkal is the edge of that sword.

Sayeret Matkal are trained to go in behind enemy lines, and then carry out strategic missions in combat situations. This often involves search and destroy, intelligence gathering, and counter terrorism operations. There was such a successful mission in 2003 when an Israeli taxi driver was kidnapped after transporting four Palestinians to Jerusalem in his cab. He was rescued without a scratch by Sayeret Matkal; it goes without saying that his kidnappers got what they deserved.

7. National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN)

The National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN) is a specially trained group of French fighting men whose principal job is counter terrorism. This is a unit that has specific training in the area of hostage situations; they number some 200 operatives, and are trained in tactics, use of firearms, and hand to hand combat.

Whenever there is a touch hostage situation which borders on terrorism, they are called to action. This group has already rescued around 600 people from 40 hostage situations; which is a very high success rate.

8. Polish JW GROM

Poland is a very peaceful country in Eastern Europe; but it has some very hostile neighbors which is why the country is always on the alert, with well trained and equipped fighters protecting its borders and citizens.

One of those fighting forces is the Polish JW GROM; which is the elite unit of the Polish Armed Forces. This taskforce is mostly involved in counter terrorism engagements, but if the situation demands it they can quickly switch to search and destroy, or intelligence gathering duties.

9. Unidad de Operaciones Especiales

Unidad de Operaciones Especiales, or the Naval Special Warfare Force is the premier fighting force of Spain. The purpose of this unit is to perform special duties to diffuse tense situations so as to avoid the need for sending in the full force of the army.

To do this they need to be able to sneak in undetected and carry specific orders behind enemy lines or right in enemy camps. They have hand to hand combat training, weapons training, and nerves of steel to undertake any mission without fear.

Members of this elite unit are selected from the Spanish army; and the failure rate of candidates averaged between 70% and 80%, which means this is a very hard unit to join.

10. The Special Service Group (SSG)

The Special Services Group is the special unit of the army of Pakistan. Pakistan is a powerful country; and one that is in a constant state of flux over territory with India its larger neighbor. Pakistan does not have the numbers, but it makes up for that with training and equipment; as well as the willingness to lay down their lives for the fight.

This unit has seen several engagements over the years; they have fought both within the country and outside it. This is one of the most feared and respected fighting units in the whole of Asia; and one that terrorists will not like to engage.

The following is a more extensive list of the top Special Forces in the world.

Rank Special Forces Country
1 Alpha Group Russia
2 Delta Force United states
3 Special Air Service (SAS) Britain
4 US Navy SEALs United states
5 Special Boat Service (SBS) Britain
6 Sayeret Matkal Israel
7 National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN) France
8 Polish JW GROM Polish
9 Unidad de Operaciones Especiales Spain
10 People’s Liberation Army Special Operations Forces China
11 The Special Service Group (SSG) Pakistan
12 Special Operations Command Australia
13 Airborne Rescue Squadron Brazil
14 Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2) Canada
15 Korean People’s Army Special Operation Force North Korea
16 Canadian Special Operations Regiment Canada
17 Sa’ka Forces (Thunderbolt Forces) Egypt
18 Kampfretter Germany
19 Specialized Army Forces with Expanded Capabilities (EGB Forces) Germany
20 Jagdkommando Austria
21 Special Forces Command (KSK) Germany
22 Special Forces Group Australia
23 Special Frontier Force India
24 Garud Commando Force India
25 Algerian Navy (AN) Algeria
26 Special Forces Brigade South Africa
27 Tontaipur – Army combat reconnaissance platoon Indonesia
28 Kopasgat – Air force special forces command Indonesia
29 Quds Force Iran
30 Navy Special Action Regiment (RASM) Algeria
31 3rd Special Purpose Regiment Ukraine
32 Sepah Navy Special Force Iran
33 9th Parachute Assault Regiment Italy
34 Army Special Forces Command Italy
35 Republic of Korea Naval Special Warfare Flotilla Korea
36 707th Special Mission Group Korea
37 PASKAU Malaysia
38 PASKAL Malaysia
39 Amphibious Special Forces Group Mexico
40 Special Reaction Force Mexico
41 Special Operations Task Group (SOG) Sweden
42 Norrland Dragoon Regiment Sweden
43 193rd Ranger Battalion Sweden
44 101st Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion Taiwan
45 Republic of China Military Police Special Services Company Taiwan
46 Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Japan
47 Special Boarding Unit Japan
48 Special Task Unit Taiwan
49 8th Special Purpose Regiment Ukraine
50 1st Special Operations Brigade Vietnam



The world’s best Special Forces are the edge of the knife when it comes to these countries’ ability to defend themselves. They are the bravest fighters, as well as the most efficient options to neutralize threats, and gain strategic advantage over the enemy, which is key to keeping the country safe.

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