The men and women of these specialized units from around the world should require little introduction, as they've been saving our butts for years; but, just in case you haven't met them... allow me to introduce you.

The Austria Jagdkommando

Located in Austria's northeast town of Wiener Neustadt, the Jagdkommando are known as the Austrian Armed Forces Special Operations Unit.

The name Jagdkommando translates to "Manhunt Command" originated from a small WWI assault squad from within Austria's K.u.K Army.

Austrian Special Operations were formed in the 1960s after two Austrian officers attended U.S. Army Ranger School. Since then, Jagdkommando's have continued to adopt and develop Special Operations tactics organically.

Canada's Special Operations Regiment (CSOR)

Every September, the Canadian Special Operations (CSOR) hosts a recruitment drive that is open to both male and female applicants from within their Army, Navy, or Air Force. Upon successful completion of a demanding two-day evaluation, successful recruits may be selected to begin the Regiment's training.

Beginning in WWII, Canada's 1st Special Service Force, "The Devils Brigade", has evolved into a battalion-sized unit, which is part of the highly secretive organization known as Joint Task Force 2. Today, the battalion consists of three specialized and elite units.

Croatian SOF

The Special Operations Battalion is Croatia's premier SOF unit. On September 8, 2000, both the 1st Croatian Guard Corps and members of the Special Combat Skills Training Center were melded together to form a new "super" unit consisting of hardened combat veterans and expert instructors in all forms of special warfare.

The Special Operations Battalion of Croatia conducts a full spectrum of SOF duties to include: special reconnaissance and surveillance (SR), military assistance (MA) and direct action (DA), along with additional tasks such as counterterrorism (CT) and providing specialized aid to the civilian population in times of crisis. It also provides specialized training to other units and individuals within the Croatian Armed Forces.

Denmark's Fromandskorpset (Frogman Corps)

Modeled after British Special Boat Squadron (SBS), Denmark's Fromandskorpset are known as the "Frogman Corps", an amphibious Special Operations unit developed by Danish officers after attending U.S. Military dive training.

Much like the U.S. SEAL Teams, these operators serve as both combat swimmers and assault units. Capable of long range reconnaissance, direct action and counterterrorism operations, these Danish Frogmen are not to be trifled with.

An interesting collateral duty includes supporting the Danish police during certain types of investigations – something we don't see much of in the U.S.

Germany's Kommando Spezialkrafte (KSK)

What happens when you absorb the counterterrorism duties of the GSG-9, take on the long range reconnaissance mission of the German Army's Ferspaher unit, develop the maritime capabilities of the German Navy's Kampfschwimmers (Combat Swimmers) and accept the direct action missions of the Sonderwaffenbegleitkompanien (Special Weapons Escort Companies)? You end up with Germany's elite KSK unit.

Consolidated in 1996, Kommando Spezialkrafte (Special Forces Command, or KSK) became Germany's premier Special Operations unit.

The KSK entry requirements are as impressive as their mission scope. A unique access point, which allows civilians to apply, requires a candidate to endure an 18-month Long Range Surveillance training cycle before selection for the unit even begins.

Norway's Forsvarets Spesialkommando

To protect Norwegian interests, including the oil platforms of the North Sea, from increased terrorist activity, the Norwegian Ministry of Defence (yes that's spelled correctly) formed the FSK (Forsvarets Spesialkommando).

Since 1982, the FSK has been conducting Special Operations missions in support of the Global War on Terror. The FSK is another SOF unit also tasked with the unique charge of supporting their local law enforcement units in support of hostage rescue and counter aircraft hijacking operations.

Poland's 1st Special Forces Regiment, Special Forces Group, Commando Military Unit

Cloaked in secrecy, Poland's 1st Special Forces Regiment spent many of their early years hidden within more conventional ranks.

In 1951, two subunits were formed to conduct Unconventional Warfare (UW) with a focus on sabotage and subversion. These secret units also conducted Direct Action (DA) and Special Reconnaissance missions (SR), but were only known to the unwitting as a "Reconnaissance" unit.

Years later, fully operational elite teams were formed and concealed among the conscripts of the Polish Military. Many years of cloaked training and specialized operations occurred before Poland's 1st Special Forces Regiment, Special Forces Group, Commando Military Unit was formed and became known for their missions conducted in homeland and enemy urban environments.

They're among us

Many extremely specialized units, both in and out of the military, have evolved or have been formed during the past 20 years. There are many we can't know about, but there are many that we just haven't met yet.

If you know about any other unique units or organizations, we'd love to hear about them. Hit me up in the comment section.


About Eric Davis

Eric Davis served our country as a U.S. Navy SEAL and decorated veteran of the Global War on Terror. Eric has been recognized as one of the premier sniper instructors in the U.S. military and has served as a Master Training Specialist at the SEAL sniper school. Davis is also the host of The Loadout Room, author at SOFREP, a GovX "Insider" and founder of the human performance company Average Frog. Follow him, and all his exploits, on Twitter @EricDavis215

Leave a comment:

James F.

3/24/2014 12:03 PM

Great intro Eric! Thanks!

Eric D.

4/2/2014 7:08 AM

My pleasure! It was amazing to learn more about these professionals.

Nick V.

3/24/2014 8:10 PM

Black/secret Army, Langley..... Hand picked, no tattoos identifying you're American, IE (no Ranger tab tattoos, jump wing tattoos, etc) Out.

Eric D.

4/2/2014 7:09 AM

Nice... I'll check them out ( to the extent they will allow) and see what I can find.

Geoffrey K.

4/2/2014 1:36 PM

Eric, there is a couple units like that out there. Most of the personnel in those units don't want to be known, but there is some information on them.

James L.

4/8/2014 3:23 PM

Great read. Thank you for taking the time to inform the rest of us, that there are other nations who have men that move in the shadows.

Eric D.

4/9/2014 3:14 PM

For sure... Men and Women. These units are morphing.