© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Typical Day

Chuck Chokehold is an Operator and proud to be one. He pops out of bed before sunrise to immediately do 100 pushups and 50 pullups. This is a light workout for him, just enough to get his blood pumping and keep his body prepared to react immediately upon waking.

Unlike many military members, Chuck has his own place not located on the base. After a shower and a hearty breakfast (six eggs, bacon, cheese, toast, juice, and coffee—Delta Force members are constantly in motion and so have to consume a high number of calories everyday just to maintain their already trim bodyweight), Chuck drives to the base at Fort Bragg, kind of an arrogant fort.

There's a new MP (Military Police) on duty and he doesn't recognize Chuck.

"Here." Chuck smiles and shows the MP his ID.

The MP looks at the ID, looks at Chuck, and looks at the ID again. "Ummm...I better call this in."

Chuck sighs. He's used to this. Unlike other members of the armed forces, the Delta Force is granted a lot of freedom in how they live and what they look like. This freedom serves two purposes: It allows the agents to decompress when on their own and it prevents them from being singled out as Operators while on mission or in public. In Chuck's case, he's let his hair grow long and has a short beard. He also dresses more like someone on his way to a bar than on his way to training. Delta Force operatives don't typically wear a uniform and, even when they do, the nature of that uniform is classified and no one outside of the Unit would be able to recognize it.

The MP hangs up the phone. He hands Chuck back his ID. "Sorry, sir."

"No worries." Chuck smiles. He enjoys encounters like this. They remind him that he's the closest thing to Batman in existence.

Once on the base, Chuck heads to his office, which requires him to go through another security checkpoint. He throws his things in a locker and sits down to review his email. A typical day at the office for a member of Squadron B. There are three combat squadrons—A, B, and C—along with a support squadron, signal squadron, aviation platoon, and what they call a "funny platoon"—the intelligence-gathering outfit of the Delta Force. The "funny platoon" is the only part of Delta Force that recruits women. Who said women can't be "funny?"

An hour later, he changes into fatigues and hits the gym. After what he considers a real workout (pushups, situps, pullups, inverted crawling, a two-mile run, a swim, wall climbing, weightlifting, and other assorted activities), Chuck hits the mat with his fellow team members.

"What's up, wusses?"

They laugh. One of them, a large man named Kevin Killshot, shoves Chuck. "How you feeling today, Chuck Boy?"

Chuck grins. "Good enough to lay you out."

Kevin swings at him. These friendly exchanges are common place with Operators. To an outsider it can seem like macho posturing. But Operators recognize how important the smack talking is to reinforcing the bonds of the Unit. They're a family, a big group of brothers, and act like it in more ways than one.

They have trained in hand to hand combat for years now and no longer need to spend much time drilling specific maneuvers. Instead they glove up and fight. Delta Force has a reputation for being the best in the world at close-quarter combat. Contrary to popular belief, close-quarter combat mostly still involves firearms. Not too many confrontations are settled with a roundhouse kick to the jaw. As far as the Unit is concerned, if you have to fight hand to hand then something has gone horribly wrong. But they have to be prepared for these scenarios and so keep their skills as sharp as possible. Dental insurance is included in their employment packages, by the way.

Chuck finally manages to get Kevin in a knee bar, which is about as nasty as it sounds. Kevin taps out. Sucking wind, they both sit up.

"Next time, you're dead," Kevin says.

"Bring it on." Chuck helps Kevin up. They laugh and embrace. But in a totally manly way.

At lunch, they pack in another giant meal before heading to the range to practice their marksmanship. Chuck has always been an excellent shot, even when compared to other Delta Force members. All recruits must achieve 100% accuracy when firing at a target at 600 yards and 90% accuracy when firing at 1,000 yards. And these are those little circular targets with the red dot, too. Chuck has been able to maintain his Squadron record of 97% accuracy at 1,000 yards. So, rather than more firearms training, he instead opts to return to his office where a private tutor is waiting to help him improve his Farsi.

Currently, Chuck is fluent in four languages and can casually speak an additional three. This lesson isn't unusual for Chuck. As an Operator, he's constantly increasing his skill base.

After the lesson, he meets back up with the rest of the Unit to be tested on their proficiency at capturing cell phone conversations. They have small laptops connected to some state-of-art classified receivers that can capture a cell phone conversation within a mile radius.

Ooh-la-la. Someone on the base is currently talking dirty to his girlfriend.

Chuck recognizes the voice. It's an Army Ranger he knows and has been encouraging to try out for the Unit. While capturing the private call isn't entirely legal, the moral implications of eavesdropping, even for a non-operational purpose, don'[t bother Chuck. His job revolves around bending the rules. The Unit has a certain amount of leeway to circumvent laws that other military branches or law enforcement units aren’t allowed to circumvent. It kind of comes with the whole "trained to kill from a 1,000 yards" thing. Chuck will record the conversation and tease his friend with it later, however....

Chuck himself is single, a rarity for Special Forces members. In fact, the Unit prefers married soldiers as they have a more stable home life and less chance of being compromised by a female unfriendly. (They prefer soldiers to have their own female unfriendly back home.) Chuck had to work extra hard to overcome his single lifestyle and, when he does date, is pretty sure that someone somewhere is running a background check on the girl. After all, they ran a background check on Chuck's parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, neighbors, friends, and even the guy who runs the local 7-11 where Chuck sometimes buys his Muscle Milk.

After acing the test, which also required Chuck and his teammates to record the call, encrypt it, and transfer it via a secure backdoor connection to a satellite and then bounce it back to a target computer at the base, the Operators are supposed to practice a Night Drop. The Night Drop involves a helicopter taking them out into the middle of forest and leaving them, blindfolded and with no maps or compasses, to find their way home. “May the odds be ever in your favor....”

Instead, the Deputy Director of the FBI has a meeting with the Unit. There is a group of heavily armed militia members who have taken a church in Wyoming hostage. Thirty-seven members of the church’s congregation are being held inside, including one of Wyoming's Senators. Given the bad press that the FBI has received for its handling of similar circumstances in the past, and because Chuck Norris isn't answering his phone, they have decided that Delta Force should handle the situation.

This turn of events isn't uncommon. Technically, Delta Force doesn't fit into the standard military hierarchy and isn't a part of any branch of the military. They are a force unto themselves. Mark Bowden, author of the book Blackhawk Down, said of Delta Force: "They are professional soldiers who hate the Army." As the best of the best, Delta Force may get loaned out to any branch of the military, the FBI, CIA, DEA, the Crossing Guards union, or other law enforcement agencies.

The Deputy Director of the FBI likely had to jump through several hoops to get this operation sanctioned as, officially, Delta Force doesn’t exist. Chuck has always found this situation amusing as most of the American public has heard of Delta Force, yet as far as official paperwork goes, there is no such thing. He loves the idea. It makes him feel like a burger-eatin' ninja.

For the next 12 hours, the team reviews all of the relevant data and puts together a plan of attack. They have to coordinate with the United States Marine Corp to make use of Marine helicopters and helicopter pilots. They initiate taps of the phone lines and Internet usage going into and out of the facility. They run extensive background checks on the militia and its known members as well as known hostages. They also prepare to create a fire as distraction for any media that may arrive at the church so that they can make their way in undetected.

While getting their initial plan together, non-operational members use blueprints of the church to remodel the Unit’s "kill house," a hollowed out building equipped with plywood flats that can be repositioned to mimic any building's structure. The kill house is only one part of the "House of Horrors" but it's where this particular scenario takes place. Once this work has been completed, the team drills their plan through the kill house several times before taking a short nap and doing it all again.

Working on his orangu-tan.

Chuck had a date scheduled for tonight but isn't allowed to call her to cancel. He's on the clock and, while engaged in a mission, no outside contact can be made. Which stinks because he’d been trying to get a date with this particular "exotic dancer" all week. She danced at like the Harvard of exotic dance places. But oh well.

The next morning, they take a commercial airline to Cheyenne, Wyoming. They sleep on the flight, knowing that this may be the last time they sleep for days. They are picked up by Marine officers in civilian clothes who drive them two hours into the middle of the wilderness where three Marine helicopters are waiting for them. It's here that they don their Operational uniforms (pitch black outfits designed for night operations) and are given their weapons.

It’s only when given their firearms that they realize that this is a drill. Their firearms are "plugged" with yellow plastic, designating that there will be no live rounds involved in this "mission." This doesn't affect Chuck at all, except that it causes him to doubly regret missing his date. He learned when he first joined Delta that these surprise drills were necessary to keep them at a high state of readiness and that he should operate as though it were a real mission. Not all training operations involve plugged firearms. In 1999, the Delta Force made local news in Texas when black helicopters flew in and dropped off members for a live fire exercise at an abandoned building inside of a neighborhood. By the time residents heard the gunshots and called the police, the helicopters had returned and extracted the Operators.

Once at the church, their plan is initiated and plays out without fault. If live fire had been involved, Chuck is confident that they would have killed every terrorist there quickly and without the loss of a single hostage. The Delta Force, in fact, invented the infamous "two tap" to ensure that hostiles have been dealt with. Online gamers have been using it ever since.

As expert marksmen, Operators never worry about hitting hostages. Chuck remembers one of their infamous initiation rites, where he had to sit in a room surrounded by dozens of targets as Operators rushed in and shot the targets with live fire. The exercise served the purpose of testing Chuck’s nerves but also showed just how skilled he was going to become. And it ruined that particular pair of underwear. Not that he would ever tell his teammates....

After the drill has completed, Chuck and the rest of the Operators are called together outside the church by their CO (Commanding Officer), where the training exercise is reviewed.