Its funny how wrong 99?f you are.
For one, Special Forces is the name of an actual unit, like what you would call Navy SEALs. They are United States Army Special Forces, yes, they are a part of the Army. And most people know them by their nickname, the 'Green Berets'. If you are talking about all the Black ops units from all the branches, the term you are looking for my friend is "Special Operations Forces".
Now, I'm going to debunk what the others said, and then properly answer your question.
For one, "Infantry fight the real war."
I'm a 0311 Combat Rifleman Marine, and even I will admit that we aren't the only ones "fighting the real war". Engineers, mechanics in the Air Force, everyone in our Military is fighting a real war. Got it?
Two, "You have to be Infantry to get into Special Forces."
That's false, you can enlist directly into Army Special Forces, its an 18x Contract. Upon selection, you then work towards getting your job in Special Forces. I'm going to point that in Army Special Forces, not ONE of the jobs is called "Infantry". There is SF Weapons Sergeant, SF Medical Sergeant, SF Comm Sergeant, and SF Engineer Sergeant. And then NCO's that lead the ODA.
Three, Special Forces "Choose you". Literally every special operations branch on the planet, not just American, you can try out for and attempt to make it through selection. Yes, SAS, Delta, Navy SEALs, ect. If you pass selection, you receive years of training that will make you competent. And if you pass selection, you are already competent enough for the job.
Now, to actually answer your question.
Infantry are what we call "conventional forces", for example, I'm Infantry, what we do is pretty much the front line, we are the brunt of our forces, we go in, and we put on a front and f**k shit up. We go in in large groups most of the time, to take cities, tactical points, run patrols, ect ect.
Now, Special Forces/Special Operation Forces (Which is probably what you're talking about), they wage what's called Unconventional warfare. They go in BEHIND the front lines, they go in behind enemy lines, collect intelligence, perform special reconnaissance, perform special Direct Action missions, usually relating to the rescue of a VIP, or to capture an enemy of important. They also go way behind enemy lines, go into enemy villages, and try and create rebel groups in the village, train them, equip them, and lead them into combat. Special Forces do everything we don't, while we hit the main structure of the enemy, the Special Forces/Special Operations Forces try and tactically hit weak points, to make the infrastructure topple from behind. Get it? Its really simple.
Another thing, Special Forces/Special Operation Forces are always extremely highly trained, more-so trained than most Infantry. Some of us in Infantry received extremely high scores throughout initial training phases, so we were allowed to take additional courses, but we enjoy Infantry, I am one of those people. I have attended BRC, SST, ect, but I still continue on in an Infantry unit.
The amount of Military mis communication and misinformation on the internet is extremely disturbing.
Don't listen to these Yahoo's.
Except for Alexander. He put it very frankly. That's how it is. He's right.
Answered By: Kable Devidus - 10/22/2011