Delta Force vs SEAL Team Six: Comparison of the Two Elite US Special Forces

Delta Force vs SEAL Team Six

Delta Force and SEAL Team Six are two of the most remarkable and highly skilled Special Operations Forces on the planet, with unparalleled levels of expertise. These exceptional teams are feared by their enemies and respected by their allies. Their ability to accomplish missions with precision and effectiveness is truly awe-inspiring. It’s no surprise that they are considered the elite of the elite in the realm of Special Operations

Delta Force, officially known as the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, is a unit of the U.S. Army, while SEAL Team Six, officially known as the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU), is an elite unit within the U.S. Navy SEALs. Both units are under the operational command of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). 

Today, we will shed light on how these super soldiers are trained, the specialized equipment and tactics they use, and what might happen if they were to face each other head-to-head. There is very little publicly available information about these highly sensitive units. However, we will do our best to uncover the answers to these and many other questions.

Overview of Delta Force and SEAL Team Six

Delta Force is a tier-one special operations force for the U.S. Army, specializing in counter-terrorism, hostage rescue, direct action, and special reconnaissance against high-value targets. The unit, headquartered at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was inspired by the British SAS and has a similar structure. 

While the U.S. government does not officially acknowledge its existence, Delta Force was established in response to the numerous terrorist attacks that occurred in the 1970s. Although candidates can come from other military branches, the majority come from the 75th Ranger Regiment and Green Berets. Delta Force operators are also called “Cine Perry Warriors,” derived from the U.S. Army Special Operations Command motto “Without Equal.”

The origins of SEAL Team Six can be traced back to the Navy SEALs, created by Richard Marcinko in 1980. Marcinko was the first commanding officer of the unit. At the time, there were two SEAL Teams (Team 1 and Team 2). To mislead Soviet intelligence about the actual number of SEAL Teams, Marcinko decided to name the new unit SEAL Team Six. 

In 1987, SEAL Team Six was dissolved and replaced by DEVGRU, which is still commonly referred to as SEAL Team Six. Similar to Delta Force, this tier-one special forces unit specializes in unconventional warfare and counter-terrorism operations on land, air, and sea.

Selection Process

The selection process for Delta operators takes place twice a year and lasts for four weeks at Camp Dawson, West Virginia. Applicants must be male, score high on the military aptitude test, have at least two and a half years remaining on their enlistment, be eligible for a secret-level security clearance, and have a clear disciplinary record.

 The process includes physical tests such as a two-mile run, an inverted crawl, and a 110-yard swim while fully dressed. Candidates also undergo a series of land navigation courses, including 18-mile nighttime navigation with a 40-pound rucksack using only a paper map and compass. 

The final challenge, known as “The Long Walk,” requires completing a 40-mile march over rugged terrain with a 45-pound rucksack. The mental testing involves psychological exams and questions from Delta instructors, psychologists, and the commander. The attrition rate for the selection course is very high, with 90 percent of candidates unable to pass.

On the other hand, candidates for SEAL Team Six undergo a series of physical, psychological, and technical assessments designed to evaluate their suitability for the unit. Candidates must have a minimum of five years of experience in the SEAL team or the Special Boat Service and have completed at least two deployments. They must also meet other requirements, including age, rank, clearance level, and physical fitness standards. 

The selection process includes challenging exercises such as long-distance ocean swims, combat diving, parachuting, and live-fire exercises. Candidates are also evaluated on their ability to work effectively as part of a team and their leadership potential. Only 50 percent of candidates who apply for SEAL Team Six successfully pass the selection process.


Training for Delta Force is one of the most challenging in the world. Those who successfully clear the selection process undergo a six-month rigorous operator training course divided into six blocks. 

The first block focuses on marksmanship, progressing from shooting close-range stationary targets to moving targets and clearing rooms of enemies. The second block focuses on demolition and breaching techniques, including lock picking, IED fabrication, and sniper positions. The third block combines skills learned in the initial two blocks and applies them in direct action, counter-terrorism, and hostage rescue operations. 

The fourth block involves espionage skills taught by CIA instructors, such as dead drops, brief encounters, and surveillance. The fifth block covers executive protection. Trainees then undergo a culmination exercise that assesses their ability to apply the skills they learned.

Similarly, the training program for SEAL Team Six is widely regarded as one of the toughest and most grueling in the world. Those who pass the selection process are referred to as “Green Team” and are required to complete an eight-month training course. 

The first training phase involves close-quarters battles, with high-pressure shooting scenarios presented in pitch-black darkness using night vision goggles. Trainees also undergo advanced skydiving training, emphasizing jumps from high altitudes and opening chutes at various altitudes during the night.

 Trainees learn to fly in formation, known as a stack, where the lead jumper navigates to the target, and others follow behind. Survival, evasion, resistance, and escape skills are also taught to prepare for missions deep behind enemy lines.

Weapons and Conclusion

Both Delta Force and SEAL Team Six use top-of-the-line firearms for their operations. Delta Force is armed with HK416, M4A1 carbines, and M249 machine guns, while SEAL Team Six uses HK416 and Colt M4A1 carbines. Both units are armed with MK46 and MK48 machine guns, MP7 submachine guns, and a variety of sniper rifles. 

These weapons are extensively customized to meet individual preferences, with modifications to stock, grips, sights, and other components. Both units have the latest technology at their disposal, enabling them to obtain critical information and execute precise strikes with exceptional accuracy.

In conclusion, with a better understanding of these units’ selection, training, and weaponry, it’s fascinating to consider how they might compare in a head-to-head competition. If both SEAL Team Six and Delta Force were assigned the same mission, which team would come out on top? In a hypothetical situation, the results would likely be very close. Both units possess outstanding capabilities, and their comparable training allows them to carry out missions efficiently. 

If the competition involves a maritime factor, SEAL Team Six might have an advantage due to their proficiency in underwater demolitions and combat diving. On the other hand, Delta Force might have an edge in a direct battle scenario due to their combat experience on the ground, making them more adaptable to changing conditions and ambushes. 

Both elite units are undoubtedly among the best in the U.S. military and perhaps even in the world. Let’s hope they never clash in reality. So, what do you think? Which unit would come out on top—Delta Force or SEAL Team