"SEAL" is always capitalized in reference to members of the Naval Special Warfare community. The acronym is derived from their capacity to operate at sea, in the air, and on land. In the War on Terror, SEALs have been utilized almost exclusively for land-based operations, including Direct Action, Hostage Rescue, Counter Terrorism, Special Reconnaissance, unconventional warfare and foreign internal defense operations. SEALs are male members of the United States Navy. An exchange program with the Coast Guard, which graduated three Coast Guardsmen as SEALs, was suspended in 2011.
The CIA's highly secretive Special Activities Division (SAD) and more specifically its elite Special Operations Group (SOG) recruits operators from the SEAL Teams. Joint Navy SEALs and CIA operations go back to the famed MACV-SOG during the Vietnam War. This cooperation still exists today and is seen in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in the finding and killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.