The United States Navy SEALs (Sea, Air, Land Teams) are the U.S. Navy's principle special operations force. The SEALs primary duty is to conduct small-unit maritime military operations which originate from, and return to, a river, ocean, swamp, delta or coastline. SEALs can negotiate shallow water areas such as the Persian Gulf coastline, where large ships and submarines are limited due to depth.
All SEALs are male members of the United States Navy. The CIA's highly secretive Special Activities Division (SAD) and more specifically its elite Special Operations Group (SOG) recruits operators from the SEAL Teams. Joint Navy SEAL and CIA operations go back to the famed MACV-SOG during the Vietnam War. This cooperation still exists today and is seen in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Due to their reputation as one of the world's premier special operations forces, SEAL operators routinely serve in allied SOF's including the British Special Air Service, Special Boat Service and Polish GROM.