SOF Core Activ​ities 

Direct ​​Act​​ion​

Short-duration strikes and other small-scale offensive actions employing specialized military capabilities to  seize, destroy, capture, exploit, recover, or damage designated targets.

Special Reconnai​​ssa​​nce

Actions conducted in sensitive environments to collect or verify information of strategic or operational significance.

Unconvention​​al Warfare

Actions to enable a resistance movement or insurgency to coerce, disrupt, or overthrow a government or occupying power.

Foreign Intern​​al Defense​​​

Activities that support an HN's internal defense and development (IDAD) strategy and program designed to protect against subversion, lawlessness, insurgency, terrorism, and other threats to their internal security, and stability, and legitimacy.

Civil Affairs Ope​ration​​s

CAO enhance the relationship between military forces and civilian authorities in localities where military forces are present.


Actions taken directly against terrorist networks and indirectly to influence and render global and regional environments inhospitable to terrorist networks.

Military Informatio​​n Support Operations

MISO are planned to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals in a manner favorable to the originator's objectives.

Counter-proliferation of We​apons of Mass Destruction

Activities to support USG efforts to curtail the conceptualization, development, possession, proliferation, use, and effects of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), related expertise, materials, technologies, and means of delivery by state and non-state actors.

Security Force A​​ssistance​​

Activities based on organizing, training, equipping, rebuilding, and advising various components of Foreign Security Forces.


The blend of civilian and military efforts designed to end insurgent violence and facilitate a return to peaceful political processes.

Hostage Res​​​cue and Recovery

Offensive measures taken to prevent, deter, preempt, and respond to terrorist threats and incidents, including recapture of U.S. facilities, installations, and sensitive material in overseas areas.

Foreign Humanitarian ​​Assistance

The range of DOD humanitarian activities conducted outside the US and its territories to relieve or reduce human suffering, disease, hunger, or privation.​