When Navy Adm. William H. McRaven took the podium at the University of Texas at Austin to deliver the commencement speech for the graduating class of 2014, few people beyond the military’s close-knit special operations community knew who he was.
U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command photo
America’s most elite special operations units have increasingly found themselves in the spotlight. After the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips from Somali pirates and Operation Neptune Spear, the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, colloquially known as DEVGRU or SEAL Team 6, became the subject of immense public interest. But many outside the military have never heard about the shadowy command that SEAL Team Six, Delta Force, and other special missions units answer to: the Joint Special Operations Command.