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FM 31-20: Special Forces Operational Techniques

Field manual 31-20 discusses operational techniques in consonance with doctrine outlined in FM 31-21 which may be used by Special Forces. These methods are applicable to both nuclear and nonnuclear warfare in either unconventional warfare (UW) or counterinsurgency operations. This manual describes intelligence, psychological considerations, infiltration, air operations, amphibious operations, communications, logistics, demolitions, Special Forces field maneuvers, medical aspects and other techniques.


  • 2001-06-20: Superseded by FM 3-05.20.
  • 1990-04-20: Doctrine for Special Forces Operations
  • 1977-09-30: Special Forces Operations
  • 1971-02-12:
  • 1965-12-30:
    • FM 31-20A
  • 1962-02-13: Change No. 2
  • 1962-02-13: Change No. 1
  • 1961-10-16: Special Forces Operational Techniques


  • "Framework for Counterguerrilla Tactical Doctrine: A Theoretical Approach" [pdf]