​ADP 3-05 & ADRP 3-05 Special Operations 
1. Q. What does ADP 3-05 Cover?

A: Special Operations.

2. Q. What ADP covers Special Operations?
A: ADP 3-05.

3. Q. What does ADP 3-05 describe
A: the role of United States Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF). 

4. Q. What does ARSOF stand for?
A: Army Special Operations Forces.

5. Q. What is the mission of ARSOF?
A: to provide in the nation’s defense unequalled Surgical Strike and Special Warfare capabilities.


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​​​​6. Q. What does SOF stand for?
A: Special Operations Forces.

7. Q. What personnel and units are considered Army Special Operations Forces?
A: Civil Affairs, Military Information Support operations, Rangers, Special Forces, Special Mission Units, and Army special operations aviation forces assigned to the United States Army Special Operations Command.

8. Q. What are Special Operations?
A: operations requiring unique modes of employment, tactical techniques, equipment, and training often conducted in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive environments.

9. Q. How are Special Operations usually characterized as?

A: time sensitive, clandestine, low visibility, conducted with and/or through indigenous forces, requiring regional expertise, and/or a high degree of risk.


10. Q. What are the factors for employment of Special Operations forces?

A: national policy, geographic combatant commander, joint force commander, or ambassador requirements; the  character of the operational environment; as well as the nature of the threat.


11. Q. Para 1 What is the percent that the Army’s Special Operations Forces supply to Department of Defense?

A: over 50%.


12. Q. Para 1 What is the total percentage of Special Operations Forces in the Army?

A: about 5%.


13. Q. Para 2 What are two Special Operations critical capabilities?

A: Surgical strike and Special Warfare.


14. Q. Para 2 What does Surgical strike provide?

A: a primarily unilateral, scalable direct action capability that is employed in counterterrorism, counterproliferation, hostage rescue, kill/capture operations against designated targets, and other specialized tasks of strategic importance.


15. Q. Para 2 What does Special Warfare provide?

A: provides a capability that achieves impact largely by working with and through others.


16. Q. Para 2 How is Special Warfare employed?

A: unconventional warfare, counterinsurgency, foreign internal defense, security force assistance, stability operations, and select intelligence activities such as preparation of the environment.


17. Q. Para 3 How are SOF Forces usually deployed?

A: as part of a joint special operations task force whose mission is to achieve desired operational- or strategic-level outcomes.


18. Q. Para 4 What will the employment of Army special operations forces by the joint force commander depend on?

A: the desired outcome, the determination of acceptable risk, the potential opportunities created by the employment of special operations forces.


19. Q. Para 5 Special Operations forces can provide a supporting role in major combat operations by providing what to the Joint Force Commander?

A: a means to identify and engage selected high-payoff targets or conduct sabotage, subversion, influence, or intelligence activities in the enemy’s sanctuary, rear area, or homeland.


20. Q. Para 6 What functions can Special Operations Forces provide outside designated theaters of war?

A: they can shape potential operational environments by working with host nation or friendly indigenous forces.


21. Q. Para 7 What do special operations forces continuously study?

A: the emerging threats and participate in ongoing activities and operations designed to eliminate, mitigate, or shape the threat.


22. Q. Para 7 What will SOF forces do where U.S. interests are most threatened?

A: maintain an enduring presence; and provide a rapid response special operations capability.


23. Q. Para 8 What are ARSOF’s global surgical strike capabilities?

A: to rapidly and precisely strike high-payoff targets, to rescue hostages, or to retrieve special materiel or items of interest—all with a low signature and little collateral damage.


24. Q. Para 9 What do today’s enemies cloak themselves in?

A: the human activity of the modern, increasingly interdependent, and virtually connected world.


25. Q. Para 9 What are key factors to understanding the population within the operational environment?

A: Civil considerations and an understanding of sociocultural factors.


26. Q. Para 10 What are the three lines of effort that guide the development and employment of Special Operations?

A: generating a force with a purpose, sustained engagement, and executing operations across the spectrum of lethality.


27. Q. Para 11 What are the two critical capabilities of SOF?

A: special warfare and surgical strike.


28. Q. Para 11 How does special operations forces’ expertise in special warfare and surgical strike make them invaluable and necessary assets?

A: They are invaluable assets in the planning and execution of unconventional warfare, counterinsurgency, and counterterrorism campaigns.


29. Q. Para 13 Why are Special Operations Forces frequently used in diplomatically sensitive missions?

A: Because special operations can provide a discreet, precise, politically astute, and scalable capability.


30. Q. Para 13 What are the Joint Operations Phases?

A: shape, deter, seize initiative, dominate, stabilize, enable civil authority.


31. Q. Para 14 Which Joint Operational Phases do Special Operational Forces focus on preventing conflict?

A: Shape and Deter.


32. Q. Para 15 During Shape and Deter, what do Army Special Operations Forces focus on?

A: the assessment, shaping, active deterrence, and influence activities.


33. Q. Para 16 In what Phase would SOF conduct disruption operations against threats unilaterally?

A: through a surgical strike capability .


34. Q. Para 16 In what Phase would special operations may be executed against enemy activity in locations where the joint task force threshold is unlikely to be crossed, and yet the enemy must be confronted?

A: In the Deter Phase.


35. Q. Para 17 What is the threshold for major combat operations is indicated by?

A: a decision point that could occur at any time.


36. Q. Para 18 What is the role of SOF when the operational environment is stabilized?

A: to support the conventional force drawdown, assist in the transition of civil activities, support host nation sovereignty, and set conditions to prevent further conflict.


37. Q. Para 19 What can prevent future conflict or mitigate the frequency and duration of a potential future crisis?

A: Managing the optimal relationship between Army special operations forces, Army conventional forces, joint forces, and indigenous security forces and institutions.


38. Q. Para 20 What directly affects U.S. success throughout the range of military operations?

A: Achieving the optimal force composition of Army special operations, conventional forces, and joint forces, and indigenous security assets.


39. Q. Para 23 What is Special Warfare?

A: the execution of activities that involve a combination of lethal and nonlethal actions taken by a specially trained and educated force. 


40. Q. Para 24 What is Unconventional Warfare?

A: activities conducted to enable a resistance movement or insurgency to coerce, disrupt, or overthrow a government.


41. Q. Para 24 What is used to influence the indigenous population to support the resistance movement or insurgency?

A: Army special operations forces activities.


42. Q. Para 25 What is Foreign Internal Defense?

A: participation by civilian and military agencies. to protect its society from subversion, lawlessness, insurgency, terrorism, and other threats to its security.


43. Q. Para 25 What does Foreign internal defense activities shape?

A: the operational environment and prevent or deter conflict. 


44. Q. Para 26 What do SOF focus on for Foreign internal defense and unconventional warfare?

A: they focus on working with indigenous forces in the conduct of unconventional warfare.


45. Q. Para 27 What is Surgical Strike?

A: the execution of activities in a precise manner that employ special operations forces in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive environments.


46. Q. Para 28 What are some of the activities included in a Surgical Strike?

A: actions against critical operational or strategic targets.


47. Q. Para 28 What are Counterproliferation Actions?

A: actions that prevent the threat and/or use of weapons of mass destruction against the United States.


48. Q. Para 28 What are Counterterrorism actions?

A: actions taken directly and indirectly against terrorist networks.


49. Q. Para 28 What are Hostage rescue and recovery operations?

A: operations, which are sensitive crisis response missions.


50. Q. Para 29 How are the unique requirements of both special warfare and surgical strike met?

A: through the conduct of special reconnaissance to collect or verify information of strategic or operational  significance.


51. Q. Para 30 What do the principles of discreet, precise, and scalable operations allow SOF to conduct?

A: a wide range of missions, often high risk and clandestine or low visibility in nature.


52. Q. Para 30 What are Special Operations core principles?

A: discreet, precise, and scalable operations.


53. Q. Para 31 What do the principles of discreet, precise, and scalable operations enhance?

A: the credibility and legitimacy of the indigenous population or host nation that we are working.


54. Q. Para 31 How does the principle of being discreet enhance?

A: by deliberately reducing the signature of U.S. presence or assistance.


55. Q. Para 31 What does the principle of precise enhance?

A: targeting focuses on eliminating collateral damage.


56. Q. Para 31 What does the principle of scalable operations enhance?

A: it is directly associated with the way Army special operations forces are organized, trained, and equipped to carry out operations. 


57. Q. Para 32 What are regional mechanisms?

A: the primary methods through which friendly forces affect indigenous populations, host nations, or the  enemy to establish the conditions needed to safeguard our interests and those of our allies.


58. Q. Para 32 What do Army special operations forces focus on for regional mechanisms?

A: focus on the regional mechanisms of assessment, shaping, active deterrence, influence, and disruption to manage crisis thresholds.


59. Q. Para 34 What do SOF initial and ongoing assessments assist in?

A: planning, preparation, and execution, and ensure efforts and events are linked, progressive, measurable, and effective in support of combatant or joint task force  commanders’ desired effects or outcomes.


60. Q. Para 35 What are Shaping activities?

A: condition-setting activities that facilitate potential future operations or other strategic missions, such as humanitarian assistance and counterterrorism activities.


61. Q. Para 36 What does SOF employ to dissuade adversaries and threats from their contemplated violence?

A: capacity-building activities; foreign internal defense, security force assistance, counterinsurgency, and unconventional warfare .


62. Q. Para 36 What does Active deterrence often involves?

A: lethal and nonlethal activities (including surgical strike).


63. Q. Para 37 How is SOF Influence developed and exercised?

A: through sustained partnerships with host nations, regional partners, and indigenous populations and institutions.


64. Q. Para 38 How do Army special operations degrade the effectiveness of adversaries and threats?

A: By Disrupting their support networks, shadow governments, infrastructure, and financing, through unilateral surgical strike and special warfare.


65. Q. Para 39 What do Soldiers volunteering to become Army special operations force operators undergo?

A: a physically and mentally demanding assessment and selection program.


66. Q. Para 39 Why must Soldiers undergo a demanding assessment and selection program?

A: In order to meet the rigorous intellectual and physical demands of special warfare and surgical strike.


67. Q. Para 39 What are SOF Candidates evaluated to ensure?

A: they have the character, commitment, and intellect to succeed in the rigorous training and education programs that follow.


68. Q. Para 40 What are the four characteristics of Army special operations?

A: 1. Are low-visibility or clandestine.

2. Have a minimal signature.

3. Are used to foster habitual (indigenous) relationships.

4. Are used to employ precise and timely actions and messages.


69. Q. Para 41 What do the characteristics of special operations Soldiers enable them to carry out?

A: special warfare or surgical strike.


70. Q. Para 41 What are the eight tailored operational packages of Army forces, Special Forces, Civil Affairs, and Psychological Operations Soldiers?

A: 1. Language trained.

2. Regionally aligned.

3. Culturally astute.

4. Politically nuanced.

5. Trained in mediation and negotiation.

6. Expected to operate autonomously.

7. Proficient at interorganizational coordination.

8. Proficient with and enabled by application of advanced technologies.


71. Q. Para 42 What are the 12 imperatives which are the foundation for planning and executing special operations that Special Operations Commanders should include in their mission planning and execution?

A: 1. Understand the Operational Environment.

2. Recognize Political Implications.

3. Facilitate Military and Interagency Activities.

4. Engage the Threat Discriminately.

5. Anticipate Long Term Effects.

6. Ensure Legitimacy and Credibility.

7. Anticipate and Control Psychological Effects.

8. Operate with and Through Others.

9. Develop Multiple Options.

10. Support Long Term Engagement.

11. Provide Sufficient Intelligence.

12. Balance Security and Synchronization.


72. Q. Para 43 How do Special operations forces achieve objectives?

A: understanding the political, military, economic, social, information, infrastructure, physical environment, and time variables within the specific operational environment, and develop plans to act within the realities of those operational environments.


73. Q. Para 44 For a SOF Commander, what may take precedence over the achievement of military priorities?

A: the advancement of political objectives.


74. Q. Para 45 How do SOF Commanders ensure efficient use of all available resources and maintain unity of effort?

A: by actively and continuously coordinate their activities with all relevant parties.


75. Q. Par 46 Why must SOF commanders carefully select when, where, and how to employ Army special operations forces?

A: Because Special operations missions often have sensitive political implications.


76. Q. Para 47 Why must SOF Commanders consider the broader political, economic, informational, cultural, demographic, and military effects when faced with dilemmas?

A: because the solutions will have broad, far-reaching effects.


77. Q. Para 47 What must Special operations policies, plans, and operations be consistent with?

A: the national and theater of operations priorities and objectives they support.


78. Q. Para 48 What is the most crucial factor in developing and maintaining internal and international support?

A: Legitimacy.


79. Q. Para 48 What must Commanders at all levels ensure their Soldiers operate in accordance with to maintain Legitimacy and Credibility?

A: the law of war and the rules of engagement.


80. Q. Para 48 How do the people of the host nation and the international community determine legitimacy and credibility?

A: based on popular perceptions of the cause and methods.


81. Q. Para 48 What must Army special operations forces have to receive the level of indigenous support that is essential to success?

A: legitimacy and credibility.


82. Q. Para 49 How are SOF psychological effects often amplified?

A: by an increasingly pervasive electronic media environment and the growing influence of social media.


83. Q. Para 50 What do supported non-U.S. forces serve as?

A: they are force multipliers in the pursuit of mutual security objectives with minimum U.S. visibility, risk, and cost.


84. Q. Para 50 What does The long-term selfsufficiency of the foreign forces and entities requires them to assume?

A: primary authority and accept responsibility for the success or failure of the mission.


85. Q. Para 52 What must the SOF Commander invest in to retain the ability to remain engaged with foreign forces and entities directly facilitating shaping?

A: special operations forces invest the intellectual capital, the operational assistance, and the cultural affinity.


86. Q. Para 53 What is minimized through the application of intelligence operations and procedures?

A: Success for special operations missions that dictate uncertainty associated with the threat and other aspects of the operational environment.


87. Q. Para 53 What is often the primary intelligence discipline for satisfying special operations forces critical intelligence requirements, whether from overt or controlled sources?

A: Human Intelligence.


88. Q. Para 53 What is the key to effective intelligence support?

A: for special operations to fully leverage the entire intelligence support system and architecture.


89. Q. Para 53 How do Army special operations forces units also provide information and intelligence?

A: through area assessments, special reconnaissance, and post-operational debriefing of units.


90. Q. Para 54 What can exclude key special operations forces and conventional forces personnel from the planning cycle?

A: Over Compartmentalization.


91. Q. Para 54 For a SOF Commander, what may Insufficient or excessive security compromise?

A: A Mission .


​92. Q. Para 55 What will Interdependence between special operations forces and conventional forces increase?

A: the effectiveness of shaping activities and improve execution of counterterrorism and irregular warfare.


93. Q. Para 55 What will a more cohesive special operations and conventional force effort improve?

A: the Army’s ability to execute decisive action by combining the capability advantages of each force.


94. Q. Para 56 How do Army special operations forces support the combatant commander? 

A: By maintaining alliances, building partner capacity, influencing selected foreign target audiences, developing friendly indigenous capabilities, or conducting unilateral special operations.


95. Q. Para 57 What did ADP 3-05 update?

A: earlier doctrine to reflect the current conditions of the operational environment.


96. Q. Para 57 What does ADP 3-05 lay out for Commanders?

A: the basic foundation for commanders and civilian leaders alike on how special operations provide discreet, precise, and scalable operations in the pursuit of national objectives.


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