What Are the Differences Between a Green Beret Vs. a Navy SEAL?

Although Green Berets and Navy SEALs are both part of special operations forces trained for reconnaissance, fighting terrorism, unconventional warfare and combat search and rescue, the Green Berets are also trained in peacekeeping, diplomacy, counter-drug operations and providing humanitarian assistance. The Green Berets were established in 1952 as the U.S. Army Special Forces, while the SEALS were officially formed in 1962 as the special forces unit of the U.S. Navy.

Many Green Berets have graduate and post-graduate degrees. They first go through a 24-day selection process intended to weed out soldiers not qualified to undergo further training. Besides combat skills, weapons, navigation, skydiving, scuba diving, survival, resistance and escape, they learn the geography, customs, culture, language and traditions of a specific part of the world, and they are assigned to a special forces group within that area of operation.

Navy SEALS train for 30 months before they are ready for deployment. Early in their conditioning training, they undergo a physically grueling ordeal called Hell Week. Later training includes special warfare, underwater demolition, a parachute jump and SEAL qualification training courses. Only a small percentage of candidates manage to complete training and become Navy SEALS. After training, SEALs are stationed with teams in California, Virginia or Hawaii, and can be deployed to any part of the world.