One of the many things that separated Special Forces troops
from conventional troops was the specialized uniforms, weapons
and equipment they used in their missions. Some of this
equipment would later be adopted for use by conventional forces
but it was usually the SF units that tested them out and
employed them first.
Many of the unique pieces of equipment that the Special
Forces community uses for its operations and training is later
adopted for use by the conventional Army. So there is a lot of
commonality found in the equipment used by SF and conventional
Army units. Learn more about Army
All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs). The Special Force community uses
ATVs for patrolling remote areas, conducting infiltration and
exfiltration, and as a utility vehicle on COPs and FOBs. In
March 2015 Polaris Industries was
awarded a contract by USSOCOM for 2,000 ATVs.
Non-Standard Vehicles. Army SF has used a variety of
non-standard vehicles for greater mobility and in order to blend
in with the local populace. These trucks can be modified with
armor plating and other add-ons to adapt them to the SF mission.
Jungle Boots. These specialized boots were designed for the
jungle fighting in Vietnam. They had steel soles built into the
boot to protect the Soldier from spikes found in foot traps and
also had drain holes just above the soles for water to drain out
after slogging across streams and through swamps.
Winter Boots. Specialized SF teams that are geared for Winter
Warfare missions (as in those of 10th Special Forces) will be
issued winter boots for very cold weather environments. Read
more in "Cold
Meals Ready to Eat (MRE). An army travels on its stomach. The
U.S. Army field ration is the
Meal Ready to Eat or MRE.
Motion Sensors. The U.S. Army has used a wide range of motion
detection sensors - most of them are ground sensors detecting
vibration. U.S. Special Forces have unique requirements and the
SF units used some advanced motion sensors for their missions.
PEO Soldier. Some equipment programs are SOF centric and are
managed by various offices at USSOCOM and USASOC while other
equipment programs are run by PEO Soldier.
V-42 Knife. The First Special Service Force (FSSF) was a
joint Canadian-American elite fighting unit formed up in World
War II. This specialized unit adopted its own knife - the V-42.
Learn more in
"V-42: The Original Special Forces Knife", Soldier of
Fortune Magazine, August 27, 2016.
1. For more information on the Jungel
Boot see Throwback Thursday: Jungle Boots by The
Loadout Room dated April 10, 2014.
"SOCOM asks for tripwire motion sensors", C4ISR &
Networks, February 13, 2015.
3. Visit the Program Executive Officer
Soldier website at
www.peosoldier.army.mil and view a 264 slide presentation on
the programs and equipment managed by PEO Soldier at
4. For more on SF using non-standard
vehicles read "There Is Nothing Special About the Special Forces
Newest Truck", Jalopnik.com, March 31, 2015.