The United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) was established on 1 December 1989 to ensure the readiness of all Army Special Forces, from the Green Berets to Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations units. Although the Army had conducted successful operations that fall under the “special operations” umbrella since the Revolutionary War, it took two low points in Army special operations—the rushed and poorly planned attempt to rescue the American hostages in Teheran in 1980 and the numerous mistakes and missteps during the invasion of Grenada—to provide the impetus to create a command dedicated solely to the training and deployment of Special Forces Soldiers.

Headquartered at Fort Bragg, USASOC has four subordinate commands: 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne), the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command, and the 75th Ranger Regiment. The 75th is headquartered at Fort Benning in Georgia, while the remaining commands are all based at Fort Bragg.

Two major changes in the structure of USASOC took place in the second decade of the 21st century. In 2011, the Army created the Special Operations Aviation Command to provide a single command tasked with the organization, training, and equipping of Army Special Operation Aviation Units to deliver aviation support for special operations forces. And in 2014 the Army created the 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne), comprising seven Special Forces Groups (two of which are in the National Guard and Army Reserve), a Civil Affairs brigade, a Sustainment Brigade, and two Military Information Support Groups.

The Special Operations Command Shoulder Sleeve Insignia features a Fairbairn Sykes dagger, denoting the type of stealthy actions the Command oversees.It is used commonly on the insignia of various Special Operations units, including those under the authority of the United States Special Operation Command.

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