Binh chủng Đặc công – Bộ Quốc phòng


The Elite Special Forces are a highly skilled combat unit of the Vietnamese People’s Army. They are organized, equipped, and specially trained to conduct flexible, bold, and surprise attacks against vulnerable targets deep within enemy lines, disrupting enemy combat formations, disrupting military campaigns, and targeting enemy rear areas.


Origins and Development

During the Vietnam resistance against French colonialism, the French built a system of fortifications around towns, cities, and important transportation routes in the southern part of the country to isolate and cut off the armed forces of the Vietnamese resistance. Through numerous successful operations, including the decisive battle to destroy the Bà Kiên bridgehead on the night of March 18-19, 1948, a new possibility of attacking well-established enemy positions was opened.

In November 1949, the Headquarters of Military Zone 7 organized a conference on tower defense, attended by officers and soldiers who had participated in tower defense operations. They proposed a new method of tower defense using FT wall-breaking weapons. On the night of March 23, 1950, in the Biên Hòa battlefield, 50 units simultaneously used FT to attack 50 tower positions, causing great confusion for the enemy. From this battle, the Biên Hòa Province Division and the General Staff of Military Zone 7 held a conference to learn from the experience and named this method “cong don dac biet” (special fortification attack), shortened to “dac cong” (special forces).

Since the appearance of the special forces, the South has focused on research and development, constantly improving this unique and lethal method of warfare. It has become an indispensable part of the armed forces. Based on combat missions and the enemy’s objectives, the special forces in the South have experienced new developments, with increasing scale. A relatively complete special forces front has been organized, consisting of three components: infantry special forces, naval special forces, and special operation forces. These forces are organized into teams, units, platoons, and companies, deployed in strategic locations throughout the region.

Specialized Units and Operations

The special forces units are capable of conducting combat operations in various terrains, including flatlands, mountains, and urban areas. The infantry special forces specialize in attacking targets on land, while the naval special forces focus on attacking targets on rivers, seas, and disrupting bridges and ferries. The special operation forces are adept at operating and attacking targets in urban and rural areas, including underwater operations in rural and mountainous regions.


In the northern regions, special tactics and intensive training were combined to eliminate a series of French outposts and strongholds, while special forces were organized to attack enemy ships and boats by means of special operations.

During the final stage of the resistance against French colonialism and the Dien Bien Phu campaign, the special forces developed on various battlefields, gaining experience in joint operations. The special forces conducted operations against the enemy on the main battlefield as well as in the enemy’s rear areas. Some notable battles include the bombing of Phu Tho, the bombing of Tan An ammunition depot, the attack on Cat Bi Airport, and the attack on Gia Lam Airport.

After the signing of the Geneva Accords, the Party and the military chose to send special forces from the northern region to the south to build and fight. In June 1958, the Eastern South Military Command was established, and the armed forces in the Eastern region had a special force company known as Company 60. This was the first special forces company in the South. Company 60, along with special forces teams and groups in various localities, began to launch attacks on enemy fortifications and contingents.

The Role of Special Forces in the Vietnam War

During the Total Offensive and Uprising of Tet Mau Than 1968, the special forces and special operation forces played a crucial role in launching attacks on enemy command centers and important targets in most cities, contributing to the victory of the Tet Offensive and a major turning point in the war against the United States.


Importance and Future Development

To fulfill their combat role in defending the country, the Special Forces need to understand some fundamental aspects of force organization:

  • A deep understanding of the people’s war and the organization of the armed forces in each revolutionary period.
  • Recognizing the importance of the people’s participation and support in conducting operations in the enemy’s rear areas.
  • Ensuring proper political education for special forces personnel, cultivating strong political beliefs, loyalty to the Party and the nation, and unwavering trust in the leadership of the Party.
  • Emphasizing the importance of training in both technical skills and military tactics, including the use of special weapons and conventional weapons, as well as map reading and military command centers.
  • Ensuring appropriate equipment for special forces operations, focusing on lightweight, powerful, accurate, and easily maintained weapons.

The special forces have a unique and vital role in the armed forces of Vietnam. Their development and achievements have marked significant milestones in the art of warfare, especially in deep-penetration and covert operations, aimed at annihilating enemy command centers and war headquarters. The continued growth and advancement of the special forces have opened up new prospects and valuable experiences in the art of offensive operations for the armed forces in future stages of the national liberation struggle.


In conclusion, the special forces, as an elite and highly skilled combat unit, play an irreplaceable role in the defense of Vietnam. They have a rich history, remarkable achievements, and continue to evolve as a crucial component of the Vietnamese People’s Army.

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