Officially known as the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group or DEVGRU, this tier-one unit is one of the most elite and secretive units within the US Navy Seals.
They are also considered the tip of the spear in the Joint Special Operations Command, or JSOC. Composed of highly trained and specialized individuals, SEAL Team Six consists of several distinct squadrons, each with its own unique role and responsibilities.
History of SEAL Team Six
- Inception: In 1980, SEAL Team Six had 76 founding members, referred to as plank owners, led by Richard Marcinko.
- Reason for formation: The failure of Operation Eagle Claw led to the need for a unit capable of direct response to complex threats.
- Naming: The name “SEAL Team Six” was chosen to mislead Russian intelligence about the number of SEAL teams in operation.
SEAL Team 6 Structure
The structure of the SEAL Team 6 or DEVGRU organization is, unlike their missions and their training, mostly known.
As of fiscal year 2014, the Government Accountability Office has released its report on government spending on Special Forces in the US.
This report states that at that time, there were 1,787 people in the SEAL Team 6 Development Group, of which 1,342 were active military personnel, and 445 were civilians. It is likely that this number has either been stable or has been growing throughout these years.
- In DevGru, there are four assault squadrons: red, blue, gold, and silver.
- There’s one intelligence squadron, the black squadron.
- The gray squadron is for operational support and transport, and the green squadron is for training.
These are also called TacDevron, 1 to 5, respectively. TacDevron is an abbreviation that stands for “Tactical Development Squadron.”
- Red Squadron (TacDevron 1)
- Blue Squadron (TacDevron 2)
- Gold Squadron (TacDevron 3)
- Silver Squadron (TacDevron 4)
- Black Squadron (TacDevron 5)
- Gray Squadron
- Green Squadron
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(SEAL Team 6)
DEVGRU Squadron List 2023
Below is a summary list of the DEVGRU Squadrons:
|Operational Support and Transport
DEVGRU Red Squadron
The Red Squadron is one of the four assault squadrons within the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU). This unit is one of the United States military’s premier counter-terrorism units.
Red Squadron, or Red Menas as they are known, were involved with the Maersk Alabama hijacking, and that will ultimately ring a bell for most viewers as that mission has its own movie, Captain Phillips.
Like the other squadrons within DEVGRU, Red Squadron is composed of highly trained and experienced special operations personnel. They are often called upon for the most challenging and sensitive missions.
The Red Squadron has an insignia consisting of a Native American with a red background and two hatchets. These hatchets have a symbolic meaning in the real world, where members of the squadron who have served there for one year will get a handcrafted hatchet.
These hatchets at first had no real place on the bodies of the already covered SOF Operators, but it was found out later on that these hatchets had been used in hand-to-hand combat in Iraq.
They could be seen wearing patches with a red Native American, which is called the Red Men Chewing Tobacco. That doesn’t need any further explanation, I presume.
DEVGRU Blue Squadron
Blue Squadron, known as the Pirates as they use the Jolly Rogers emblem for their Insignia, is one of the four assault squadrons within SEAL Team 6 (DEVGRU).
Like the other squadrons within DEVGRU, the Blue Squadron is composed of highly trained special operations personnel. They are often deployed for challenging and sensitive missions.
The Blue Squadron was part of the two teams during the inception of SEAL Team Six, together with the Gold Squadron. Their most notable deployment was during the Battle of Takur Ghar, also notoriously known as Roberts Ridge.
Unfortunately, this mission has been shrouded in politics, and the most famous person from this unit has become Brett Sablensky, who was awarded the Medal of Honor but has been banned from SEAL Team Six for war crimes.
The Blue Squadron has seen training in public during MOUT training, which stands for Military Operations in Urban Terrain, together with the Night Stalkers of the Special Operations Aviation Regiment in New Orleans. That must have been an insane feeling.
As of 2014, the team comprised 1,787 people, including both military personnel and civilians. The organization has several squadrons:
DEVGRU Gold Squadron
The Gold Squadron is an assault squadron in the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU).
The Gold Squadron, like the Blue Squadron, is part of the units that were founded during the inception of SEAL Team Six. Their insignia is a golden lion with a trident tail, and they are referred to as the Knights or the Crusaders.
They also wear patches with a red background and a black Crusader cross. The Gold Squadron has been most notable during its work with the CIA as part of the Omega program. This was a program specifically designed for capturing high-value targets or kill missions.
Omega consisted of several small teams where the CIA and SEAL Team Six, together with other special units of the US military, worked together with local forces to go after insurgent leaders.
They were also involved in retrieving the kidnapped soldier, Bowe Bergdahl. Their most significant mission was Extortion 17, in which 15 members of the DEVGRU Gold Squadron were killed in a helicopter crash.
DEVGRU Silver Squadron
The Silver Squadron is one of the assault squadrons within DEVGRU, also known as SEAL Team Six. The Silver Squadron was formed around 2008, making it the newest addition to the SEAL Team Six squadron.
The Silver Squadron insignia is composed of all the other insignias from the previously discussed squadrons. Two hatchets, a skull, and a sword can all be found in the Red, Blue, and Gold Squadron’s insignia.
Unfortunately, a botched hostage rescue mission is a big stain on the Silver Squadron’s reputation. They were tasked with the rescue of Scottish aid worker Linda Norgrove, but tragically, the people responsible for taking Linda hostage, as well as Linda herself, were killed by a grenade that was thrown by one of the Squadron’s operators.
In 2017, in their fight against Al Shabaab, which is an Islamist militant group in Somalia and is linked to Al Qaeda, Silver Squadron lost an Operator during one of their fights, and this shows their ongoing fight against terrorism all over the world.
DEVGRU Black Squadron
The Black Squadron is the spying and intelligence squadron of the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU), also known as SEAL Team 6.
While the ranks within the black squadron are dominated by men, women are allowed in this squadron, which is not the case in the other squadrons. This is of tremendous help when blending in certain situations.
A lone foreign man has every characteristic of an operator and does not blend in well these days. This is where man-woman pairs can come in very handy, as it lowers their profile and raises suspicion way less often.
Black Squadron focuses on reconnaissance, intelligence gathering, and sniper operations as its main responsibilities.
It has been rumored that, thanks to the black squadron and other players, the second May 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden was carried out successfully.
It’s also rumored that in order to serve in this unit, you need several years in the other color squadrons, even in a leadership position, presumably.
The Black Squadron’s Insignia is not often seen for obvious reasons, but it features a horsehead, a trident, and a lightning bolt.
DEVGRU Gray Squadron
The Gra Squadron within DeVGru is a support squadron unit with a focus on maritime operations.
- Gray Squadron is like the Black Squadron, a support unit within SEAL Team Six, and works alongside the four assault squadrons.
- Gray Squadron’s focus lies more within the maritime operations,and their Insignia shows.
The Gray Squadron is often referred to as Vikings, and their patch has a Viking with two axes on it. They are most known for their physical retrieval of Captain Phillips and operated as an attachment to the Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen.
Other than that, there is not much known about this squadron.
DEVGRU Green Squadron
Green Squadron, also called Green Team, is the unit responsible for the selection and training of new candidates aspiring to become members of Seal Team Six.
Once you’ve stated your interest, you will first be screened by senior leaders, who will review your records and evaluate your determination.
The Green Squadron operators are experienced veterans who evaluate, mentor and train potential candidates to ensure they can meet the rigorous standards of the unit.
Green Squadron’s role is vital in maintaining the high calibre operators within Dev Group. The Navy’s SEAL training and selection have a very high failure rate in comparison to other military branches, let alone being selected and successfully going through DevGru training.
Once you clear the Green Team, you can be drafted into one of the squadrons, much like the NFL draft. Much is still unknown about that process.
DEVGRU Squadron Patches & Insignia List
The following is a list of the Devgru squadron insignia patches:
|Native American, Red Background, Two Hatchets
|Jolly Rogers Emblem
|Golden Lion, Trident Tail, Crusader Cross
|Combination of Other Squadrons’ Insignia
|Horse Head, Trident, Lightning Bolt
|Viking with Two Axes
SEAL Team 6 Squadron Summary
Role and Symbolism of Each Squadron
- Red Squadron: Known for their involvement in the Maersk Alabama hijacking.
- Blue Squadron: Noted for their deployment during the Battle of Takur Ghar.
- Gold Squadron: Known for their work with the CIA as part of the Omega program.
- Silver Squadron: The newest squadron, formed in 2008.
- Black Squadron: Specializes in reconnaissance, intelligence gathering, and sniper operations.
- Gray Squadron: Supports maritime operations.
- Green Squadron: Responsible for the selection and training of new SEAL Team Six members.
SEAL Team Six has been involved in numerous high-profile missions, including:
- Maersk Alabama hijacking (Red Squadron)
- Battle of Takur Ghar (Blue Squadron)
- Osama Bin Laden raid (Black Squadron)
So, did you know about all of these squadrons and their backgrounds? Have we missed anything? Please let us know in the comments below.