MACV-SOG was entrusted with carrying out a number of unconventional warfare missions, such as reconnaissance and rescue operations, psychological operations, and the capture of enemy detainees.
On January 24, 1964, the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group was created. It included members of the most elite branches of the US military, including Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Air Force commandos, CIA agents, and former Marine Corps scouting teams. The Special Assistant for Counterinsurgency and Special Activities at the Department of Defense oversaw MACV-SOG operations in Vietnam since it allowed them to carry out missions outside of South Vietnam. MACV-SOG often carried an AK-47 or CAR-15 as well as M79 grenade launchers, all of which were untraceable due to the removal of their serial numbers.