Soldiers attending the Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group of the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School Special Forces Combat Diver Qualification Course practice skills needed to perform amphibious infiltration, June 7, 2018, Key West Florida. Green Beret Combat Divers are assigned to U.S. Army Special Forces Operational Detachment - Alphas that specialize in maritime operations. The SFCDQC is a seven-week course taught by the U.S. Army Special Forces Underwater Operations School at Key West, Florida, and is widely recognized as one of the most difficult advanced skills courses for Special Operations Forces. These SOF soldiers from the United States and partner nations graduate the course ready and capable of the elevated skills needed to operate in the multi-domain environment of current operations.

Special Forces Green Berets. Army Rangers. Navy SEALs. Air Force Special Operations. 

Marine Special Operations. 

They’re the military’s elite (badass) special operations units — the ones they make movies about — whose training, qualifications and missions make us glad they’re on OUR side. 

They all spent part of their excruciating maritime training in and around Key West, at the U.S. Army’s Special Warfare Center and School on Fleming Key. 

But did you ever wonder, who’s the best? Are Navy SEALS better combat divers than the Army’s Special Forces Green Berets? Are Marine Special Operations soldiers better than the Army Rangers?

Find out next week.

The inaugural U.S. Army Special Operations Command Best Combat Diver Competition will take place in Key West Sept. 25-27, hosted by the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.

The competition determines the best two-man ‘dive buddy’ team while promoting the Army Special Operations Forces core attributes of Integrity, Courage, Perseverance, Personal Responsibility, Professionalism, Adaptability, Team Player and Capability, according to a military press release.

“The competition tests academic rigor, physical toughness, mental agility, and adaptability while planning for and executing high-risk waterborne operations,” said Maj. Brandon Schwartz, Special Forces Underwater Operations commander. “Competitors from Special Forces Green Berets, Army Rangers, Navy SEALs, Air Force Special Operations, and Marine Special Operations will compete in 10 events, putting their advanced-skill capabilities to the test.”

 The Special Forces Underwater Operations School is the premier institution in generating the expert special operator in underwater and maritime operations, the release states, adding that, “Combat dive operations reflect one of many advanced capabilities of the special operator in integrated deterrence.”

Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.