Growing up in a Navy family, the SEALs have always been my favorite spec op group, and SEAL Team 6 (their top counter-terrorist unit) would eventually be broken off and elevated to Tier One Special Forces status as the US Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU). There are three other Tier One groups (Delta Force, ISA, and the 24th STS), all are under JSOC control, and specialize in "non-conventional military operations," meaning counter-terrorist activities and black operations.
After recent events (the Osama mission as well as the Somalia pirate rescue 2 years ago), I figure they should get an appreciation thread.
For those familiar with the arduous testing and screening needed to join the SEALs, it's even harder to get into ST6. Consider that pretty much all applicants already had passed SEAL training - those who pass the selection process attend a 7 month training course where at least on average half the class will fail. Serious injury and death are not uncommon during training operations as they try to make the exercises as realistic as possible. Many of those in ST6 would move on to the CIA's Special Operations Group.
ST6's official mission is classified, but is thought to include preemptive, pro-active counterterrorist operations, counter-proliferation, and assassination or recovery of high-value targets from unfriendly nations. They are one of only a handful of US units authorized to use preemptive actions against terrorists.
So hats off to the boys of ST6, you'll never have to buy a drink at a military base again. And keep in mind, this sort of mission is what they do on a regular basis - it just so happens that there was a high-profile target on this one.