The primary operational element of a Special Forces company, an
A-Team consists of 12 Special Forces Soldiers; two officers, and ten
sergeants. All team members are SF qualified and cross-trained in
different skills. They are also multi-lingual. The A-Team is almost
unlimited in it's capabilities to operate in hostile or denied areas.
A-Teams can infiltrate and exfiltrate their area of operations by air,
land, or sea. An A-Team can operate for an indefinite period of time in
remote locations with little or no outside support. They are truly
independent, self-sustaining "detachments". A-Teams routinely train,
advise and assist other U.S. and allied forces and other agencies while
standing by to perform other special operations as directed by higher
authorities. All detachment members are capable of advising, assisting,
and directing foreign counterparts in their function up through
Capabilities of the highly-versatile A-team include: plan
and conduct SF operations separately or as part of a larger force;
infiltrate and exfiltrate specified operational areas by air, land, or
sea; conduct operations in remote areas and hostile environments for
extended periods of time with a minimum of external direction and
support; develop, organize, equip, train and advise or direct
indigenous forces up to battalion size in special operations; train,
advise and assist other U.S. and allied forces and agencies; plan and
conduct unilateral SF operations; perform other special operations as
directed by higher authority.
In the SF company, one of the six A-teams is trained in
combat diving and one is trained in military free-fall parachuting.
Both are used as methods of infiltration. The detachment can serve as a
manpower pool from which SF commanders organize tailored SF teams to
perform specific missions.
In general, A-teams are equipped with communications, i.e.
tactical satellite communications, high-frequency radios, and global
positioning system. Medical kits include laboratory and dental
instruments and supplies, sterilizer, resuscitator-aspirator,
water-testing kits and veterinary equipment. Other key equipment
includes individual and perimeter defense weapons as well as electric
and non-electric demolitions and night-vision devices.
Equipment distribution may be geared to conform to specific
missions. For underwater or waterborne infiltration, scuba teams are
equipped with open-circuit twin 80s SCUBA tanks, closed-circuit Dragger
(rebreather) Lar-V, Zodiac boat and Klepper kayaks. Military free-fall
parachuting teams use ram-air parachutes and oxygen systems.
ODA "A-Team" Structure
A captain leads the 12-man team. Second in command is a warrant
officer. Two noncommissioned officers, or NCOs, trained in each of the
five SF functional areas: weapons, engineer, medical, communications,
and operations and intelligence comprise the remainder of the team. All
team members are SF qualified and cross-trained in different skills, as
well as being multi-lingual.
(1 per "A Team")
Rank: 0-3, Captain
First In Command. The Detachment Commander is responsible for ensuring
and maintaining the operational readiness and all other aspects of the
A-Team. He may command or advise an indigenous combat force up to
(1 per "A-Team")
Rank: W0-1 & up
commands in the absence of the detachment commander; serves as
technical and tactical authority in all aspects of Special Forces
operations; supervises all staff activities; is the psychological
operations (PSYOPs) and Civil Affairs authority; has cultural,
regional, and linguistic abilities; manages the mid-term and long-term
planning. He can recruit, organize, train, and supervise indigenous
combat forces up to battalion size.
18 Zulu - SPECIAL FORCES OPERATIONS SERGEANT
(1 per "A Team")
Team Sergeant (Rank: E-8, Master Sergeant)
Team Sergeant is the senior enlisted man on the Team. He is responsible
for overseeing all Team operations and managing all enlisted personnel
on the Team. Sometimes known as the "Team Daddy", he is usually the
person who actually runs the Team. He can recruit, organize, train, and
supervise indigenous combat forces up to battalion size.
18 Fox - ASSISTANT OPERATIONS SERGEANT
(1 per "A Team")
O&I Sergeant (Rank: E-7, Sergeant First Class)
Assists the Team Sergeant in operating the Team. Plans, coordinates,
and directs the A-Team's intelligence, collection, analysis, production
and dissemination. He field interrogates and processes enemy prisoners
of war. He briefs and debriefs friendly patrols. He can train, advise,
or lead indigenous combat forces up to company size.
18 Bravo - SPECIAL FORCES WEAPONS SERGEANT
(2 per "A Team")
Weapons Sergeant (Rank: E-7, Sergeant First Class)
Asst. Weapons Sergeant (Rank: E-6, Staff Sergeant)
weapons experts. Capable of firing and employing nearly every small arm
and crew served weapon in the world; such as pistols, rifles, machine
guns, mortars, anti-tank guns, and grenade launchers. They also train
detachment members and indigenous combat forces in the use of these
weapons. The two weapons sergeants employ conventional and
unconventional tactics and techniques as tactical mission leaders. They
are responsible for the tactical security of the A-Team. Each can
train, advise, or lead indigenous combat forces up to company size.
18 Charlie - SPECIAL FORCES ENGINEER SERGEANT
(2 per "A Team)
Engineer Sergeant (Rank: E-7, Sergeant First Class)
Asst. Engineer Sergeant (Rank: E-6, Staff Sergeant)
demolitions experts. He can build as well as destroy almost any
structure. The SF "Demo Man" is capable of constructing everything from
an outhouse to a schoolhouse. A key player in any civic action mission.
Each can train, advise, or lead indigenous combat forces up to company
18 Delta - SPECIAL FORCES MEDICAL SERGEANT
(2 per "A Team")
Medical Sergeant (Rank: E-7, Sergeant First Class)
Asst. Medical Sergeant (Rank: E-6, Staff Sergeant)
life-saver. Not your average "medic". The SF medic employs the latest
in field medical technology and limited surgical procedures. He is
capable of managing any battlefield trauma injury, as well as
administering preventative medicine. The SF Medic is in an integral
part of civic action programs in bringing medical treatment to native
populations. SF medics also become "paramedics" upon completion of
their SF medical training. Their capabilities include: Advanced Trauma
Life Support, limited surgery, dentistry, and even veterinarian
procedures. Each can train, advise, or lead indigenous combat forces up
to company size.
18 Echo - SPECIAL FORCES COMMUNICATIONS SERGEANT
(2 per "A Team")
Communications Sergeant (Rank: E-7, Sergeant First Class)
Asst. Communications Sergeant (Rank: E-6, Staff Sergeant)
The "Commo Guy" - The lifeline. His responsibility is to establish and
maintain communications. He employs the latest FM, multi-channel, and
satellite communications devices (he also carries the heaviest rucksack
on the Team). The SF Commo sergeant is an invaluable and vital part of
all SF missions. Each can train, advise, or lead indigenous combat
forces up to company size.