You know them as the "Delta Force," the elite team of military commandos who bust in places, kill the bad guys, and do the nation's necessary dirty work. More accurately, they've been busting their hump as lawnmowers against Al Qaeda and Iranian proxies for nine years on relentless three-month rotations.
For years, the military has delicately referred to this special missions unit (SMU) as "CAG," which stands for "Combat Applications Group (Airborne)."
That's because, although its existence is widely known, although dozens of books have been published by former Delta Force operators about their experiences, the SMUs are not acknowledged. If you want to impress your military friends, dropping a "CAG" here and there wasn't a bad way to go.
But CAG ... is no more. For at least the past several months, and maybe even longer, the unclassified designation for the Delta Force squadrons has been something different: they're now called "Army Compartmented Elements," or "ACE."
Why? Well, the Joint Special Operations Command, which oversees the special missions units, likes to change the unit designation from time to time, in order to provide the unit with an extra bit of cover for its sensitive operations. Collectively, the SMUs of JSOC (sounds like a Klingon soap opera) form what's known as the "National Missions Force," distinguished thusly because they are not allocated to regional combatant commands.