"Crack-troops" redirects here. For the military formation, see Shock troops.
Polish GROM special forces troops at Umm Qasr during the 2003 invasion of Iraq
Special forces and special operations forces are military units trained to conduct special operations.NATO has defined special operations as "military activities conducted by specially designated, organized, trained, and equipped forces, manned with selected personnel, using unconventional tactics, techniques, and modes of employment".
In Russian-speaking countries special forces of any country are typically called spetsnaz, an acronym for "special purpose". In the United States the term special forces often refers specifically to the US Army's Special Forces, while the term special operations forces (SOF) is used more broadly for these types of unit.