How hard is it to become a green beret?

It is very difficult to become a green beret. Due to their distinctive service headgear, the United States Army Special Forces, also known as the “Green Berets,” are a special operations force within the army. It is a carefully chosen group of highly skilled and expertly trained soldiers.

You must complete the Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) and reach the minimum requirements of 49 sit-ups, 49 push-ups, a 15:12 two-mile run, and 6 pull-ups in order to be eligible for the green beret.

In order to qualify as an airborne soldier, you must have a pay grade of at least E-3, be able to obtain a secret security clearance, have an ASVAB General Technical score of at least 100, and have served for at least 36 months after completing training.

Only about 900 soldiers will continue on to the qualification course out of the roughly 3,000 soldiers who enter the first phase of the green beret program each year. Of those, about 70% graduated and donned the Green Beret. It takes 63 weeks to complete the mentally and physically taxing training, which is divided into six stages.

The first trial is a two-week Special Operations Preparation Course. Potential candidates are prepared by SOPC for the actual Special Forces Assessment and Selection, which is the first stage of official Green Beret training.

You will then spend an additional 61 weeks in the Special Forces Qualification Course. Each phase aims to advance knowledge in the following areas: unconventional warfare, Military Free Fall (MFF), advanced Special Forces tactics, language and cultural training, Combat Marksmanship (CMMS), small unit tactics, and combat marksmanship.

All candidates will be divided into squads and placed into the fictional Pineland, which is made up of several counties spanning North Carolina, for the month-long fourth phase, known as Robin Sage. Candidates must navigate the region to complete a specific mission as Pineland is experiencing significant political unrest.

Recognize that the sixth phase is when the majority of the work and training is finished. You will finally have the chance to proudly don that Green Beret at this point, which involves a week of out-processing. At the end of the day, making it through the program successfully is 70% mental and 30% physical

To become a Green Beret officer, one must be in the military and have commanded a unit before applying. They know that they only get one shot, which may explain their high success rate. 18X candidates have a success rate of about 80%. Candidates from conventional Army units have a success rate of roughly 50%.


An overview of the US Army Special Forces recruitment, selection, and training process is given in this article.

The Green Berets, or US Army Special Forces, are Tier 1 forces (i e. the John F. Kennedy Space Center, are trained by the US Army’s 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne) and engage in direct action Kennedy Special Warfare Centre and School.

The US Army Special Operations Command (ARSOC or USASOC) Special Operations Forces (SOF) community, which is the land division of the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), is made up of these Army Commandos.

Approximately 3,500 applicants (mostly US Army soldiers) are given the chance to participate in US Army Special Forces training each year. Despite variations, about 860 students will graduate every year and join the roughly 15,000 active duty and reserve US Army Green Berets.

A US Army Special Forces soldier may spend (up to) two years training before their first deployment.

Before beginning their Special Forces careers, all US Army Special Forces candidates go through a careful selection process. A future Special Forces soldier must exhibit distinctive core qualities during the Special Forces Assessment and Selection course, many of which are derived from the unconventional warfare mission. These characteristics have changed over time as a result of shifting mission demands and the Geographic Combatant Commands’ focus on determining the requirements for Special Forces training.

As a result, the US Army Special Forces training program prepares potential recruits for the missions they might carry out as a qualified Green Beret. The US Army Special Forces are in charge of preparing for and conducting special operations in a range of settings, including maritime, urban, desert, jungle, arctic, and mountainous. Amongst others, US Army Special Forces are experts in:

  • Unconventional warfare;
  • Cultural awareness;
  • Foreign languages;
  • Training and advising indigenous forces;
  • Training and advising foreign militaries;
  • Special operations tactics and technical knowledge;
  • Mission planning;
  • Small-unit leadership;
  • Operational risk management;
  • Tactical, operational and strategic thinking;
  • Tactical communications;
  • Combat diving;
  • Para-drop operations;
  • Tactical ground mobility;
  • Fast roping and rappelling;
  • Demolitions/explosive breaching;
  • Trauma care; and
  • Intelligence gathering and interpretation.

US Army Special Forces personnel are required to operate in small groups in enemy-controlled territory during times of armed conflict and war. Operations of this nature call for individuals with courage, high morale, self-discipline, intelligence, dependability, determination, physical fitness, and mental, moral, and physical endurance. These units will either operate independently or in support of conventional forces. Principle roles are:

Soldiers from the US Army Special Forces carry out operations around the world in support of US goals through five main missions:

  • Unconventional warfare is when a resistance movement or insurgency engages in operations through or in conjunction with an underground, auxiliary, and guerrilla force in a prohibited area in order to coerce, disrupt, or overthrow a government or occupying power.
  • Short unilateral strike operations to kill, capture, or destroy personnel, equipment, documents, or data; to interfere with, disrupt, or cause physical harm to specified targets or activities; or to recover designated personnel or material
  • Foreign Internal Defense (FID) is the involvement of a government’s civilian and armed forces in any action programs carried out by another government or other designated organization to liberate and safeguard that society from subversion, lawlessness, insurgency, terrorism, and other security threats.
  • Special reconnaissance is surveillance or reconnaissance carried out to gather or verify information by visual or other means about the capabilities, intentions, and activities of an actual or potential adversary, as well as details about the terrain, hydrology, climatology, population, and infrastructure in an actual or potential area of operation.
  • Actions taken to influence and make local, national, and international environments hostile to terrorist networks as part of counterterrorism

Each member of the US Army Special Forces maintains a high level of proficiency in cultural awareness, as well as language proficiency, military occupational specialty (MOS) skills, and advanced skills. They are all multifunctional and multi-capable. Each soldier receives cross-training in all of the specialties despite being trained as a specialist in a primary MOS. Additionally, advanced techniques are taught to improve the force’s operational capabilities, and each unit carries out in-depth area and nation studies.

Special Forces teams are typically the first forces on the ground and the last to leave, whether it be for full combat operations like Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq, respectively, peacekeeping and peace enforcement in Bosnia and Haiti, or humanitarian assistance and disaster relief like Operation Safe Haven in Panama and Operation Sea Angel in Bangladesh.

It must be emphasized that in order to have any chance of succeeding in the US Army Special Forces training program, a candidate must be physically fit at the outset. The training requires much more physical effort than is typically required in other peacetime training. Candidates must arrive in top physical condition, without any injuries, and with a firm understanding of the fundamentals of navigation.

The purpose of this article is to outline the basic requirements for applicants to the US Army Special Forces, also known as Green Berets, as well as the selection process and training for those individuals.

2     Women and the US Army’s Green Berets

Service in the US Army’s Special Forces, also known as the Green Berets, is now open to both male and female volunteers in accordance with current US Federal Government policy on the employment of women in the US military (Pellerin, 2015).

For a number of years, women have been able to serve in a variety of SOF-related roles in the US military, including:

  • Intelligence;
  • Military information support;
  • Civil affairs units;
  • Female engagement teams;
  • Cultural support teams; and
  • Air Force special operations aviation roles.

About two-thirds of the roles within USSOCOM were integrated as of March 2015 (Vogel, 2015).

A female soldier made history in November 2018 when she successfully completed the Special Forces Assessment and Selection course for the US Army (Folley, 2018). This is the first female soldier to pass the test despite the fact that many women have attempted it since the Department of Defense started hiring women for its special operations jobs in January 2016.

A female soldier successfully finished the Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) program in November 2018 (Section 3). 4) (Myers, 2018).

3     Factors for Increasing the Likelihood of Success

There were 22 “most common mistakes” that could have prevented a candidate from passing the SFAS course in 2006, according to the US Army (2006, p. 5).

The Army Research Institute (ARI) has also been able to closely correlate success in the SFAS Course with performance on the APFT and a 4-mile rucksack march. ” (US Army, 2006, p. 23).

In 2006 the average reported (US Army, 2006, p.23):

  • AFPT score for SFAS course graduates was 250 points: 229-250, 42% passed; 251-275, 57% passed; and 276 or higher, 78% passed
  • 4-mile loaded march time for SFAS course graduates was 61 minutes: 54 or less, 81% passed; 55-64, 63% passed; 65-74, 34% passed; and 75-84, 10% passed

The SFAS performance event scores were strongest for predicting selection, followed by scores from cognitive ability tests, the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), and finally perseverance, according to research published by the Army Research Institute for Behavioural and Social Sciences in 2010. ” (Beal, 2010, p. vi).

The research suggests as many as 40% of candidates, on any given SFAS course, will voluntarily withdraw (VW) citing insufficient physical fitness However, Beal (2010) goes on to inform us that approximately 15% of candidates who successfully completed the SFAS course and were selected for further training had similar or lower physical fitness and IQ scores than those who VW These findings indicate that a Soldier’s willingness to stick with the SFAS course in spite of perceived or actual obstacles is strengthened by a personal perseverance factor. ” (Beal, 2010, p. 1).

The operational groups and Jedburgh teams of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) are where the US Army Special Forces got their start. In order to gather intelligence and carry out operations behind enemy lines in support of resistance groups in Europe and Burma, the OSS was established during World War II.

Following World War II, people like Colonel Aaron Bank, Colonel Wendell Fertig, and Lieutenant Colonel Russell Volckmann utilized their OSS experience to develop the unconventional warfare doctrine that would later become the guiding principle of the Special Forces. The First Special Service Force, an elite combined Canadian-American unit that fought in North Africa, Italy, and Southern France, is connected to the Special Forces units in the Army’s official lineage and honors.

The Special Operations Division of the Psychological Warfare Centre, established in May 1952 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was the precursor to Special Forces. Colonel Bank founded the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in June 1952. Concurrently with this, the Psychological Warfare School was established, eventually developing into the John F Kennedy Special Warfare Centre and School. In September 1953, the 10th Special Forces Group moved to Bad Tolz, Germany. The 7th Special Forces Group, which exists today, was founded by the Fort Bragg’s remaining cadre as the 77th Special Forces Group in May 1960. The number of Special Forces groups fluctuated over the intervening years.

When the 10th SFG (Airborne) was sent to Korea in 1953, Special Forces personnel engaged in combat for the first time. These soldiers participated in operations behind enemy lines with partisan forces.

Teams of Special Forces soldiers were sent to Laos in the late 1950s and early 1960s to work with the Royal Laotian Army. The Special Forces operations in Vietnam were preceded by Operation White Star.

In Vietnam, Special Forces teams trained and commanded quick-reaction units known as Mike Forces, conducted cross-border operations as the Studies and Observation Group, MACV-SOG, and served as advisors to the Vietnamese Army and Civilian Irregular Defence Forces. As the demand for Special Forces troops increased, the 5th SFG was established. Special Forces spent 14 years in Vietnam.

In the three decades that followed Vietnam, Special Forces took part in nearly every US Army campaign.

Special Forces teams supported the Regular Army by conducting unconventional warfare operations in Grenada, Haiti, Panama, and the Balkans. General Norman Schwarzkopf referred to the Special Forces as “the glue that held the coalition together” and “the eyes and ears of the conventional forces” during Operation Desert Storm. ’.

Special Forces have been instrumental in the elimination of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, the pursuit and elimination of insurgents in Iraq, and the training of foreign forces to combat terrorists or drug warlords since the attacks of September 11, 2001.

US Army Special Forces have extensive knowledge of foreign languages, customs, and cultures in addition to being experts in unilateral direct-action operations and unconventional warfare. They are also experts at organizing and training foreign militaries, indigenous forces, and insurgents to support US national objectives.

5     US Army Special Forces Job Classifications

According to their qualifications, US Army Special Forces personnel are identified by the Military Occupational Speciality (MOS) designation 18X:

  • 18A: Special Forces Officer: In rapid-response situations, a highly trained 12-man team known as the Special Forces Operational Detachment-Alpha (SFOD-A, or “A” Team) is deployed. Officer plans the mission, equips the team, and briefs them on the goal.
  • 180A: Special Forces Warrant Officer: Deputy Commander. Combat leader and staff officer functions.
  • A wide range of US, allied, and other foreign weapons can be operated and maintained by Special Forces Weapons Sergeants, or 18B.
  • Special Forces Engineer Sergeants, or 18Cs, are experts in a variety of fields, including topographic surveying and the construction and demolition of field fortifications.
  • Although they are trained with an emphasis on trauma medicine, Special Forces Medical Sergeants (18D) also have practical knowledge of dentistry, veterinary care, public sanitation, water quality, and optometry.
  • Special Forces Communications Sergeant 18E is capable of using a variety of communications equipment, including high-frequency, high-encryption satellite communications systems.
  • 18F: Special Forces Operations and Intelligence Sergeant:


Clicking on the links will take you to information about the fundamental requirements for enlisting in or being appointed to the US Army, which the reader is advised to read if they are not already familiar with them.

In contrast to the UK model of SF, the US Army accepts applicants through direct entry, i e. civilians with no prior military experience. As a result, both US citizens and US military personnel (both officer and enlisted) from any branch of service are eligible to volunteer for the US Army’s Special Forces Teams.

As a result, there are three recognized routes to joining the US Army Special Forces:

  • Enlist as a civilian;
  • enlist while serving in the US Army and submit a transfer request; or
  • Enlist from another Branch of Military Service.

0     Special Operations Recruiting Battalion

The US Army Special Forces are recruited by the Special Operations Recruiting Battalion (SORB). Its headquarters is located in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Due to its global reach, SORB is able to support personnel at the regional level with recruitment services.

1     General Requirements and Eligibility for All Candidates

All US Army Officers and Enlisted (Other Ranks) personnel are eligible to enroll in US Army Special Forces training, subject to the prerequisites listed below.

General Requirements for all candidates:

  • Minimum Qualifications: US Citizen. Ages 20 to 30 for Active Duty, and 20 to 35 for National Guard (since April 2011, National Guard members must take the Oath of Enlistment on or before the day they turn 35 (USANG, 2016a)). Applicants must possess a high school diploma or a valid General Educational Development (GED) certificate. Must successfully complete the Future Soldiers Pre-Basic Training Task List. Active Duty only (see Section 2 for a caveat about the US Army National Guard) 5 below). Before starting the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC), candidates must be able to swim 50 meters while wearing boots and battle dress uniform (BDU). At the Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) course, every soldier will undergo a swim test to determine whether or not they can swim. Obtain a minimum score of 240 on the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), with at least 70 points (80 for officers; Milper Message Number 15-248 required) in any event performed in accordance with the requirements for age groups 17 to 21. Using the standards for the age group of 17 to 21, this is an increase from 229 points, with no event receiving less than 60 points (US Army, 2006). APFT calculator. must be able to adhere to the AR 40-501’s medical fitness requirements. vision in both eyes must be 20/20 or corrected to 20/20 in both close-up and far-away ranges. If you are fluent in a foreign language, you must score 1/1 or higher on the Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT). Must be able to obtain a “SECRET” security clearance; a clearance is not necessary to enroll in the SFAS course. the ability to fly, or the willingness to participate in (and successful completion of) airborne training Not currently serving in a restricted MOS or branch.
  • All applicants must not have a reenlistment prohibition or be suspended from receiving favorable personnel action. possess disciplinary action recorded in their official military personnel file or have been found guilty by court-martial in the previous two years in accordance with Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Only the Commanding General, United States Army Special Warfare Centre and School has the authority to waive this clause on an individual basis. Have 30 or more days of lost time under USC 972 during your current or last enlistment have had their contracts for SF, ranger, or airborne duty terminated, unless the reason for the termination was severe family issues or a medical condition that was treated (US Army, 2006)

There is no particular MOS that qualifies for Special Forces duty, and the US Army Special Forces recruit from all US Army branches. Candidates are advised to give it their all in whichever field they select before applying to the SFAS program. However, if a potential soldier cannot reclassify from their current MOS or basic branch into career management field 18 (CMF 18), the Special Forces MOS stream, they will not be recruited, regardless of MOS or basic branch.

Although it is preferred, enrollment in college does not have to be mandatory.

2     General Requirements and Eligibility for Enlisted Candidates

  • Candidates for enlistment must be in the pay grade range of E-3 to E-6 or E7s and have no more than 12 years of total service time (TIS) and nine months of total grade time (TIG).
  • Successful completion of SFAS is a prerequisite to the SFQC.
  • Obtain a combat operation score of 100 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery and a General Technical (GT) score of 110 or higher.
  • There won’t be a break in the stability of the current drill sergeants and detailed recruiters.
  • Retention Control Points (RCPs) are typically waived for Specialists, Corporals, and Sergeants who successfully complete SFAS in order to attend the SFQC. After the SFQC is successfully completed, they will be able to continue serving. No Staff Sergeants will be permitted to apply if they are nearing their RCP. When applying for SFAS, each Sergeant First Class (SFC) must have a maximum of 12 years of TIS (waivable) and nine months of TIG. Within six months of being chosen from SFAS, SFCs must also be able to PCS (Permanent Change of Station) to the SFQC.
  • Without prior branch approval, soldiers on assignment will not be allowed to attend SFAS. If a deferment is not necessary, soldiers on orders to a short tour area will be permitted to attend SFAS. After their DEROS, these people will be scheduled for the following available SFQC. Soldiers who sign up for SFAS before being notified of their assignment will have their dates deferred to allow for SFAS attendance. Assignment to the SFQC will take precedence over any assignment conflicts for SFAS graduates.
  • Soldiers stationed OCONUS (Outside the Continental US) may attend SFAS while on TDY (Temporary Duty), and they may return to active duty at any time while on tour. Assuming they have finished at least two-thirds of their overseas assignment obligation and have received Human Resources Command approval to curtail the remaining portion of their overseas tour obligation, Soldiers who successfully complete SFAS will be scheduled for the following available SFQC. Short-term tour soldiers won’t have their assignments changed.
  • Soldiers stationed in the CONUS (Continental US) may take a TDY to the SFAS and return to duty at any time while on tour. Soldiers will be scheduled to attend the SFQC after successfully completing the SFAS, ensuring that they will have spent at least a year stationed before PCS. after SFQC completion, must have a minimum of 36 months of TIS left.
  • The following are listed as non-waivable, automatic disqualifiers for SFAS and SFQC in MILPER Message 14-220: A domestic violence conviction, a pending criminal indictment, or information connected to a domestic violence indictment Illegal drug use while on active duty

3     General Requirements and Eligibility for Officer Candidates

  • Must be in the targeted year group (YG) for the Captain’s Board and have the pay grade O-2, 1st Lieutenant (OF-1), and.
  • Prior to final packet approval, have at least a Secret security clearance and satisfy the requirements for a Top Secret clearance.
  • prior to applying for Special Forces, have successfully completed the Officer Basic Course and their branch assignments.
  • have a DLPT reading and listening score of at least 1/1 or a Defence Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB) score of 85 or higher
  • possess a minimum of 36 months of TIS left after SFDOQC
  • must be able to adhere to the AR 40-501’s medical fitness requirements.
  • Officers in the US Army National Guard and Reserve are not eligible to apply for SF training.

4     Candidates from another Branch of Military Service

The US Army has developed Operation Blue to Green for personnel, both officers and enlisted, from the US Navy and US Air Force who wish to transfer to the US Army.

Additionally, there are opportunities for selected US Marine Corps and US Coast Guard personnel.

For more information, interested personnel should contact the SORB or the local US Army recruiter in their area.

5     US Army National Guard Candidates

Ex-Active Duty SF personnel have the opportunity to continue performing SF duties with US Army National Guard (USANG) units of USASOC; scroll down to Section 4. 0.

Candidates with no prior military service (NPS) may also be able to join the US Army National Guard Special Forces (USANG, 2016a). Similar to the 18X contract for Active Duty candidates, the NPS SF enlistment contract in the US Army National Guard is typically referred to as a REP 63 contract. Because only states with SF units are covered by the REP 63/18X contract, availability varies and is very limited. The REP 63 contract requires a six-year minimum enlistment (USANG, 2016a).


To say that the path to becoming a US Army Special Forces operator is straightforward would be an understatement! Although US Army Special Forces training is rigorous and highly selective, the courage and strength candidates develop as candidates last a lifetime.

Candidates looking to join the US Army’s Special Forces community go through the selection and training process for the Special Forces.

Candidates for US Army Special Forces selection and training must have completed Phase 1 (Basic Combat Training), Phase 2 (Advanced Individualized Training), and volunteered for airborne training (unless already qualified).

One Station Unit Training (OSUT), Advanced Individual Training (AIT), Basic Combat Training (BCT), and Individual Employment Training (IET) are all described in detail here.

In order to become a member of the US Army Special Forces, applicants must complete a number of distinct phases of training (Table 1), during which time they are instructed in the fundamentals of special warfare by US Army instructors.

Table 1: US Army Special Forces Training Pipeline

Serial Phase Enlist as a Civilian Enlist while in the US Army and apply for a transfer; or from another Branch of Military Service. Duration
1 N/A Enlistment Process Variable
2 N/A Special Forces candidates will usually attend infantry (11B) OSUT, which combines Army BCT and infantry AIT, in one 15-week course at Fort Benning, Georgia. IET consisting of BCT and AIT specific to the soldier’s job. Variable
3 N/.A Basic Airborne Course (BAC), also at Fort Benning. BAC must be completed prior to Phase I 3 Weeks
4 N/A Special Forces Preparatory Course 3-weeks, 4-days
5 N/A Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course 19-days (24-days (Myers, 2018))
6 I-VI Start of Special Forces Qualification Course 68-weeks
6a I Introduction to Unconventional Warfare 6-weeks
6b II Small Unit Tactics/SERE Training 13-weeks
6c III MOS Training 16-weeks
6d IV CULEX (Robin Sage) 4-weeks
6e V Language and Culture 4-weeks
6f VI Graduation and MFF 5-weeks

The training pipeline will undergo a number of changes, it was noted in October 2019 (Baldor, 2019).

The updated training pipeline will eliminate any gaps in the pipeline, move some training around, and drop some training. Language instruction, for instance, will now take place after the SF candidate graduates and will be a skill to be learned rather than a requirement to continue in the pipeline of training.

The new pipeline calls for candidates to begin small unit tactics and survival training after passing the assessment phase, followed by four months of more specialized job training, six weeks of exercises, and finally graduation (Baldor, 2019).

1     US Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Centre and School

The US Army John F. The US Army Special Operations Forces (SOF) train at the Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (USAJFKSWCS). The USAJFKSWCS represents the USASOC in all matters involving:

  • Individual training;
  • Developing doctrine and all related individual and collective training material;
  • Providing leader development;
  • Developing and maintaining the proponent training programmes and systems; and
  • providing soldiers in the Special Forces, Civil Affairs, and psychological operations with basic and advanced individual training and education

Here, scroll down to Section 5 for more information about USAJFKSWCS’s structure, organization, and leadership. 0.

2     Basic Airborne Course

During their Special Forces training, candidates must complete the Basic Airborne Course (BAC), which provides basic airborne training.

This training is always finished before beginning any preparatory course (discussed next), possibly following successful completion of the SFAS course, but definitely prior to starting the Special Forces Qualification Course.

The Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade’s 1st Battalion, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, located at Fort Benning in Georgia, conducts the 3-week BAC.

Through mental and physical training, BAC aims to hone volunteers’ leadership, self-assurance, and aggressive spirit. Volunteers will be qualified to use parachute for combat deployment.

The three week-long modules of the course teach candidates the safe parachuting from an aircraft and landing procedures, which are shown in Table 2 below.

Table 2: Outline of Basic Airborne Course

Week Purpose Description
1 Ground Training On day one, candidates will undertake a APFT and 5km run. During Ground Week, candidates begin an intensive programme of instruction to build individual airborne skills, which will prepare candidates to make a parachute jump, and land safely. Candidates will train on the mock door, the 34 foot (10 metre) tower, and the lateral drift apparatus (LDA). In order to progress to the next module of training, candidates must individually qualify on the 34 foot tower, the LDA, and pass all physical training requirements.
2 Tower Training The individual skills learned during Ground Week are refined during Tower Week and team effort or the ‘mass exit’ concept is added to training. Training aids include the 34-foot towers, the swing landing trainer (SLT), the mock door for mass exit training, the suspended harness, and the 250-foot (76 metre) free tower. Tower Week completes individual skill training and develops team effort skills. In order to progress to the next module of training, candidates must qualify on the SLT, master the mass exit procedures from the 34-foot tower, and pass all physical training requirements.
3 Jump Training During Jump Week candidates must successfully complete five parachute jumps with the T-11 parachute at 1,250 feet from a C-130 or C-17 aircraft. Candidates must run to the air field each day, conduct sustained airborne training, and then don their equipment and await their turn to jump. Prior to jumping with their combat equipment, each candidate will conduct a rigging exercise with their instructor to show them the proper rigging of their Airborne Combat Equipment. Generally, two of the jumps are ‘combat equipment jumps’, in which the jumper carries a Molle ruck with MAWC (Modular Airborne Weapons Case), and a dummy weapon. Three jumps are ‘Hollywood’, in that the jumper only wears the parachute and reserve. The last jump combines combat equipment with a night jump, giving candidates a complete understanding of a night combat equipment jump.
3 Graduation In order to graduate, candidates must: Pass an APFT in the 17-21 age group standards (Male: 42 PU; 53 SU; 15:54 2 MI; & 20 Second Flexed Arm Hang (Female: 19 PU; 53 SU; 18:54 2 MI; & 20 Second FAH). Complete all physical fitness distance runs. Qualify on the Mock Tower. Qualify on Parachute Landing Falls. Qualify on Swing Landing Training. Complete all 5 qualifying jumps from a C-130 or C-17 aircraft with a T-11 Parachute. Graduation is normally conducted at 0900 during the summer months and 1100 during the winter months on Friday of Jump Week at the south end of Eubanks Field on the Airborne Walk. However, if weather or some other reason delays the scheduled jumps, graduation may be conducted on Fryar Drop Zone (DZ) one hour after the last jump hits the ground. Guests and family members can observe all of the jumps at Fryar Drop Zone, attend the graduation ceremony and participate in awarding the ‘wings’ to their paratrooper.

Physical training is carried out during BAC, unlike parachute training in the British Army. In contrast, before beginning parachute training, UK military personnel must enroll in and successfully complete a Pre-Parachute Selection course.

3     Special Forces Preparatory Course

Following the events of 9/11, preparatory training for US Army Special Forces was first considered as a way to increase the number of candidates for the Special Forces training pipeline within the US Army (Martin, 2010). Staff and a US Army SF ‘Q’ course candidate are having a “chat”

Before this, candidates for the US Army Special Forces were chosen from a qualified pool of seasoned soldiers who had already demonstrated their abilities in conventional units. Soldiers at the rank of Private could begin Special Forces training thanks to the Special Operations Preparation and Conditioning (SOPC) course. Course requirements and graduation standards, however, would not change; only those who were evaluated for further training would. ” (Martin, 2010).

An “‘off-the-street’ recruiting program” was used to deliver the SOPC course initially as a 2-week package (Martin, 2010), i.e. e. direct entrants (the majority of Special Forces applicants must first take on another military position in their country of residence) Although the officer assigned to this task, Lieutenant Colonel Joe Martin, claims he extended this training by 10 days during PCS time, giving it a total of about 4 weeks,

Martin’s new training detachment was founded on the initial instructor cadre, which was made up of five National Guard Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) (Martin, 2010). For the Special Forces Assessment and Selection course, the National Guard already had a successful program that prepared National Guard 18X candidates.

The course eventually evolved into:

  • Candidates who have completed Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training are given the Special Operations Preparation and Conditioning Course I (SOPC I), which is given before the Special Forces Assessment and Selection course. These direct entry candidates’ course had three goals: to teach them small unit tactics, to improve their physical fitness, and to train them in land navigation.
  • Candidates who successfully complete the Special Forces Assessment and Selection course will enroll in the Special Operations Preparation and Conditioning Course II (SOPC II), after which they will move on to the Special Forces Qualification Course.

For direct entry candidates, Lieutenant Colonel Martin, who oversaw the initial training detachment, laid a strong foundation. On the Special Forces Assessment and Selection course, the most recent soldiers who underwent the SOPC achieved “…a never-before-heard-of 98 percent selection rate,” in contrast to “The current (selection) graduation rate of the in-service Soldiers is about 40 to 45 percent.” ” (Eidson, 2004). Canadian soldier on the US Army SF ‘Q’ course.

Company Echo, a part of the Support Battalion of the 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne), eventually developed from the SOPC training detachment.

The Special Forces Preparation Course (SFPC), which largely adhered to the format of the prior SOPC course, replaced the SOPC and ran from November 2001 to October 2004 (Edison, 2004):

  • The (then) 24-day Special Forces Assessment and Selection course was extended by 25 days to become the Special Forces Preparation Course I (SFPC I).
  • The Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) added an additional 18 days of training to the Special Forces Preparation Course II (SFPC II).

The goal of the performance-based SFPC was to mentally and physically condition candidates (18X and REP 63 (National Guard)) for the demands of the Special Forces Qualification Course and the SFAS course. The SFPC’s main components, which were largely based on the SOPC, were as follows:

  • Physical conditioning;
  • Map reading and land navigation instruction;
  • Land navigation practical exercises; and
  • Common task training.

Beginning in October 2004, candidates enrolled in the SFAS course would be required to complete the new 25-day Special Forces preparation Course, which would be supervised by Company E, Support Battalion of the 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne).

Different sources claim that the training will last for two weeks, two weeks and four days, 19 days, 21 days, and thirty days, all of which accurately state the purpose of the training. Interestingly, in February 2016, the US Army’s recruiting website (goarmy. The Special Operations Preparation Course is a two-week program, according to ( (US Army, 2016). In contrast, and also in February 2016, there was no mention of a preparation course on the SORB website (SORB, 2015). According to the US Army National Guard, the Special Forces Preparation and Conditioning (SFPC) course lasts for three weeks (USANG, 2016a).

The US Army’s Special Forces Preparatory Course, a three-week, four-day course at Fort Benning in Georgia, is now used to deliver Special Forces preparation training, as stated in the FY 2016 Academic Yearbook, which was noted in a special edition of Special Warfare (the magazine of USASOC).

There are typically 10 courses offered each year, with up to 120 applicants per course (or 1200 applicants annually).

“Optimize 18X and REP-63 (National Guard) Soldiers physical and mental performance and preparation for successful completion of the SFAS course” is how the course is intended to be used by soldiers. ” (Special Warfare, 2015, p. 29). Topics covered during the course include:

  • Nutrition;
  • Hydration;
  • Injury prevention and rehabilitation;
  • Exercise programme development;
  • Land navigation; and
  • Leadership in dynamic and complex environments.

4     Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course

More than 3,000 soldiers participated in the assessment phase during the 2019 fiscal year, and 936 of them passed and continued on to the qualification course. About 70% of them received their degrees and put on the Green Beret. ” (Baldor, 2019).

The Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) course is delivered by the Support Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne), located at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, and has a 19-day duration (SORB, 2015; Special Warfare, 2015; USANG, 2016a), down from a 24-day duration (US Army, 2006). Candidates on the US Army’s ‘Q’ course having some ‘fun’.

There are typically 10 courses offered each year, each with 350 applicants (or roughly 3500 applicants per year).

“Selection by training attrition has been successful, but it can be very wasteful. ” (Horn & Balasevicius, 2007, p. 41). The Special Forces Qualification Course had high attrition rates in the 1980s, which prompted change. The first delivery of the SFAS course took place in 1988 after a year of collaboration with the US Army Research Institute (Horn).

Simply put, the Special Forces Qualification Course and subsequent service with the US Army’s Special Forces are intended to be accurately predicted by successful completion of the SFAS course. In light of this, the Special Forces Assessment Course (SFAS) evaluates and selects soldiers for enrollment in the Special Forces Qualification Course based on six characteristics that are thought to be crucial for all Special Forces soldiers, including (US Army, 2006): Staff on the US Army’s “Q” course offering candidates some feedback and encouragement

Candidates will engage in a range of activities intended to put them through various types of physical and mental stress. The individual-focused assessment method used by SFAS is intended to evaluate a candidate’s potential and qualities by:

  • Behavioural observation;
  • Analysis via performance measure; and
  • Recording data.

All of the tasks that the candidates complete are carried out in a neutral setting with little information and no performance feedback (which may cause candidates to experience self-doubt issues). It is understood that this is altering or has altered, and that applicants will now receive performance feedback.

As a result, the SFAS course emphasizes rigorous physical and mental training even more and is created to test a candidate’s survival skills. Thus, the SFAS is regarded as the beginning (or first substantive phase) of US Army Special Forces training.

Major elements of the SFAS course include:

  • SF Assessment and Selection;
  • Language Survey and Personal Interview;
  • Language Head Start; and
  • Candidate receives language and MOS assignment.
  • Candidates on the US Army’s ‘Q’ course enjoying their loaded march.

The following was on the SFAS course’s weekly schedule in 2006 (US Army, 2006):

  • Week 1 activities include in-processing, the Army Physical Fitness Test, the Swim Assessment, the Rucksack Marches, the Run Assessments, the Medical Briefing, The Adult Basic Education Version “A,” the MMPI, and the DLAB.
  • Week 2’s topics include land navigation, map reading, a compass course, practical land navigation drills, and land navigation exams.
  • Week 3: Team Events; and Long Range Movement.
  • Week 4: Security Interviews, the Selection Board, the Selection Ceremony, and Out-processing

Only as an example, some of the physical training a candidate might experience during the SFAS course is:

  • Fitness: Run 2 miles in under 14 minutes (7 minutes per mile), although it is preferable to run closer to 12 minutes (6 minutes per mile).
  • Run 4 and 6 miles at a pace of 8 minutes per mile.
  • Rucksack Marches: 6, 10, and 15 miles carrying a 45-pound rucksack without food or water (average weight is expected to be 60–65 pounds once food and water are added). Candidates must be able to run one mile in under 15 minutes (i e. 4 mph).

Candidates who succeed in the SFAS course can enroll in the Special Forces Qualification Course, which is intended to train Special Forces soldiers to become unconventional warfare experts.

  • Officer Candidates: Following successful completion of SFAS, officer candidates will enroll in a Captain’s Career Course that has been approved by Special Forces (Section 3). 5 below).
  • Enlisted candidates should go back to their home station and wait for their PCS orders to Fort Bragg, along with their families.
  • Enlisted Combat Medic Candidates: Refer to Section 3.6 below.

5     Special Forces Captain’s Career Course

Officer candidates who successfully complete the SFAS course will “PCS to Fort Bragg to attend the ARSOF common core (Phase I of 18A Captain Career Course)” as of Financial Year 2016 (FY16). ” (HRC, 2015, p. 4). During the US Army’s “Q” course, a candidate had a determined look on their face.

The Special Operations Forces Officer Common Core, Phase I of the Special Forces Captain’s Career Course (CCC), lasts for 12 weeks (Special Warfare, 2015).

There are typically 8 courses offered each year, with 48 applicants per course (384 applicants annually).

The course includes manoeuvre lessons in addition to a curriculum that has been approved by TRADOC and the School for Advanced Leadership and Tactics.

Ordinarily, officers who have been chosen for promotion to the rank of Captain (OF-2) enroll in the branch Captain’s Career Course (CCC). Before company-level command, this is typically the second major branch school officers attend. The branch CCC has two phases:

  • Phase I: Incorporates common core instruction into branch-specific technical and tactical training In addition to preparing officers to serve as staff officers at the battalion and brigade levels, this training also prepares officers to command and train at the company, battery, or troop level.
  • Phase II: This stage of the staff process (CAS3) trains personnel to serve as staff officers at the battalion, brigade, and divisional levels. The course aims to enhance an officer’s capacity for analysis and problem-solving in the military, as well as their interaction and teamwork abilities, communication abilities, and comprehension of Army organizations, operations, and procedures.

Phase I of the 18A CCC’s goal is to train newly selected SF captains in the art and science of mission command at the company, battalion, and brigade levels. It accomplishes this by emphasizing lessons on Army doctrine, planning methodologies, training management, unified land operations, and manoeuvre, which are connected by aspects of critical and creative thinking and produce leaders who are flexible and adaptable. Then, in a capstone exercise that lasts a week and uses the most recent mission command system and technology to simulate the current operating environments,

Candidates attended a Captain’s Career Course that was authorized by the Special Forces before the introduction of a specific 18A CCC (USANG, 2016b), for instance:

  • the Fort Benning in Georgia’s Manoeuvre Captain’s Career Course (MCCC), a 16-week program
  • Infantry or Armour Captain’s Career Course.

6     Special Operations Combat Medic Course

The Joint Special Operation Medical Training Centre, located at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, conducts the Special Operations Combat Medic (SOCM) course, which lasts 36 weeks.

Candidates must successfully complete the SOCM course no later than two years before enrolling in the 18D Medical Sergeant Course (Phase IV of the Special Forces Qualification Course), which is for enlisted candidates (US Army, US Navy, and US Air Force) who have or will be assigned to a special operations medical job (Special Warfare, 2015). There are typically eight courses per year with 87 students.

The goal of this progressive course, which consists of 19 academic modules, is to teach the new medic the skills and knowledge necessary to manage combat casualties from the initial point of injury through evacuation (thereby increasing team survivability), taking them from having no medical background to performing acute lifesaving interventions in just 36 weeks.

Other benefits of the course include:

  • teaching students the skills necessary to prescribe effective treatments for diseases that have been diagnosed in accordance with tactical medical emergency protocols and their associated formularies
  • Basic certification as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) on the National Registry
  • obtaining certification in advanced cardiac life support, pediatric pre-hospital education, and basic life support

Finally, in order to deploy as a USSOCOM medic, candidates must pass the Advanced Tactical Paramedic Examination, which is a comprehensive, externally promulgated written exam given by the USSOCOM ATP Certification Committee.

7     Special Forces Qualification Course

Candidates will be assigned to the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) after successfully completing the SFAS course and any other prerequisite courses. The “67 week” SFQC course, also referred to as the “Q” course (Special Warfare, 2015, p. 30).

Candidates who successfully complete the SFQC’s six phases of training are entitled to don the renowned Green Beret and the Special Forces tab.

Each of these phases aims to develop proficiency in the following areas: Career Management Field 18 MOS classification, Small Unit Tactics, Unconventional Warfare, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE), language proficiency, and regional cultural understanding (with a focus on core SF tactical competencies in support of surgical strike and special warfare).

Enlisted applicants go through the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC), while officer applicants go through the Special Forces Detachment Officer Qualification Course (SFDOQC).

8     SFQC Phase I: Introduction to Unconventional Warfare

Introduction to Unconventional Warfare, Phase I of the SFQC, is a 6-week course divided into five modules. It was formerly known as the Special Forces Orientation Course, Course Orientation, and Course Orientation and History.

The 4th Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne) typically offers 6 courses per year, with 240 candidates per course (or roughly 1440 candidates per year).

Phase I serves as an introduction to the US Army Special Forces and covers the following subjects:

  • Special Forces History;
  • Doctrine;
  • Methods of instruction;
  • Negotiation and mediation;
  • Medical wellness screening and assessment;
  • THOR3, Adaptive Thinking and Leadership, and Regional Analysis: Introduction to Human Dynamics;
  • Organisation;
  • Command and control (C2 architecture);
  • Core tasks and mission;
  • Special Forces attributes;
  • Special Forces mission planning;
  • PMESII-PT system of regional analysis;
  • Land navigation;
  • Introduction to small unit tactics;
  • Patrol orders and Troop leading procedures;
  • introduction to each 18 series MOS’s responsibilities and branch;
  • Physical fitness and nutrition;
  • Airborne refresher;
  • Introduction to unconventional warfare; and
  • involvement in the CULEX (Robin Sage) as a guerrilla soldier to develop a fundamental knowledge of unconventional warfare

9     SFQC Phase II: Small Unit Tactics and SERE Training

Small Unit Tactics (SUT), Phase II of the SFQC, lasts 13 weeks.

There are typically 6 courses offered each year, each with 240 applicants (or roughly 1440 applicants per year).

Phase II’s goal is to provide the tactical combat expertise needed to function successfully as a team member of a Special Forces Operational Detachment-Alpha (SFOD-A), serving as an in-depth study and practicum of US Army Special Forces small unit tactics. Topics covered include:

  • Basic and advanced combat rifle marksmanship (1-week);
  • Small-unit tactics, at the Squad and Platoon level (5-weeks);
  • Special Forces common tasks or common skills training (2-weeks);
  • Urban warfare operations;
  • Special Forces mission analysis;
  • Advanced Special Operations Level 1 techniques;
  • Sensitive-site exploitation (SSE) procedures;
  • Military decision-making process (MDMP);
  • Tactical Operations Orders; and
  • Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) Level C training (15-days).

10     SFQC Phase III: Military Occupational Specialty Training

The MOS Training phase of SFQC lasts for 16 weeks.

Typically, there are six courses per year, with 48 candidates for the 18B/C/E, 40 candidates for the 18D, and 24 candidates for the 18A (or roughly 1248 candidates per year).

Phase III’s objective is to provide candidates with their MOS-specific employment training. Depending on the MOS, this training phase’s topics will vary. A candidate’s background, aptitude scores (AFQT and DLAB), personal preferences, and the requirements of the Special Forces unit they will join are taken into consideration when determining which MOS and foreign language they will be trained in.

Every applicant to the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) is given a Special Forces Career Management Field 18 (CMF 18) MOS for enlisted applicants or a Special Forces Area of Concentration (Branch 18) for officer applicants. Table 3 provides an outline MOS training.

Table 3: Outline of MOS Training

Week Purpose Description
18A Detachment Officer Course This course trains selected officers in the critical branch (18A) tasks and competencies required to perform the duties of a detachment commander of a SFOD-A. It focuses on the full operational spectrum of problem analysis and resolution design associated with SF core missions across the elements of the national power spectrum. Duties and functional-area familiarisation of the 18 series MOSs (communications, engineer, medical, weapons, intelligence) include: the military decision-making process; special operations mission planning; adaptive thinking and leadership; special reconnaissance; direct action; unconventional warfare; foreign internal defence; counterinsurgency operations; military operations in urban terrain; interagency operations; warrior skills; advanced special operations skills; OPFUND management; elements of national power considerations; culture; in-depth core mission analysis; information operations, planning and conduct of ODA training; and three field training exercises.
18B Weapons Sergeant Course This course trains and qualifies NCOs in the basic skills and knowledge required to perform duties as a weapons sergeant within an SFOD-A. Direct- and Indirect-fire systems and procedures: mortars, light/heavy weapons, sniper systems, anti-armour systems, forward observer and fire direction centre procedures, close-air support; warrior skills; combatives; plan and conduct training; field training exercises. Modules include:Module A Light Weapons: The purpose of this module is to produce a weapons sergeant capable of employing, maintaining and engaging targets with select US and foreign pistols, rifles, shotguns, submachine guns and machine guns and grenade launchers.Module B Heavy Weapons: the purpose of this module is to produce a weapons sergeant capable of employing, maintaining and engaging targets with select US and foreign anti-armour weapons, crew-served weapons, mortars and in the utilisation of observed fire procedures.Module C Tactics: The purpose of this module is to produce a weapons sergeant proficient in SF and light-infantry tactics through platoon-level in a FID environment. This encompasses mounted operations, base defence and weapons employment techniques.Tactics FTX: This module develops the student’s knowledge, skills and understanding of the SF weapons sergeant on TTP that affects mission planning as it pertains to SF operations. This will increase the student’s understanding of their operational environment.
18C Engineer Sergeant Course This course trains and qualifies NCOs in the basic skills and knowledge required to perform duties as an engineer sergeant within an SFOD-A. Basic military construction techniques and procedures; basic and intermediate demolitions; UXO/IED; target analysis/interdiction and mission planning; plan and conduct training; and field-training exercises. Modules include:Module A. Special Operations Construction: To provide students with knowledge and training in the role of an SF engineer; blueprints (read/design); construction of a masonry wall; welding; concrete construction, types and siting of obstacles, wire obstacles, fighting positions, bunkers and shelters, camp construction/fortification, heavy equipment operations, electrical wiring, plumbing and logistical operations.Module B. Demolitions: To provide students with baseline knowledge of explosives theory, their characteristics and common uses, calculates for various types of charges and standard methods of priming and placing these charges. Lesson plans includes explosive entry techniques, demolition material, demolition safety, firing systems, calculation and placement of charges, expedient charges and range operations.Module C. UXO/IED: To provide students with knowledge and skills in the construction, demolition and emplacement of special-purpose munitions and unexploded ordnance, including IEDs. Homemade explosives.Module D. Reconnaissance: To provide students with knowledge and training in target analysis/interdiction and mission planning. Module E. Engineer Field Training Exercise: To complete the foreign internal defence scenario-based 18C SF engineer tasks.
18D Medical Sergeant Course Medical sergeants specialise in trauma management, infectious diseases, cardiac life support and surgical procedures, with a basic understanding of veterinary and dental medicine. Both general healthcare and emergency healthcare are stressed in training. Medical sergeants provide emergency, routine and long-term medical care for detachment members, associated allied members and host-nation personnel; establish field medical facilities to support unconventional warfare operations; provide veterinary care; prepare the medical portion of area studies, brief backs, and operation plans and orders. Candidates selected for MOS 18D attend 250 days of advanced medical training, including the Special Operations Combat Medic (SOCM) course (Section 3.6). They can recruit, organise, train, and advise or command indigenous combat forces up to company size.
18E Communications Sergeant Course This course trains and qualifies NCOs in the basic skills and knowledge required to perform duties as a communications sergeant within an SFOD-A using some of the most sophisticated communications equipment in the Army. The course provides training in computer applications (A+, NET+, SEC+), satellite radios, antenna theory and radio wave propagation. Soldiers will learn how to construct field-expedient antennas, employing communications procedures and techniques and communicate through HF, VHF and UHF spectrums, all culminating with a field training exercise. The goal is to develop a world-class SF communicator capable of employing, accessing and familiar with SF, joint and interagency communications. Modules include:Module A. Communications/IT Foundations: The Computer Applications module instructs the Soldiers to become proficient in computer applications A+ training, NET+ and SEC+ training. The A+ training provides Soldiers the training necessary to troubleshoot and repair basic computer components, hard drives, power supplies, motherboards, video cards and other internal components of a computer. The NET+ training provides Soldiers the training necessary to network computers in a LAN and WAN and setting up servers and routers. The SEC+ training covers computer and network defensive security measures. Module A also covers basic communications foundations, such as Antenna Theory, Antennas, COMSEC, SDNLV(x), SOMPE-G and Falconview.Module B. Tactical Communications Systems: The TCS module covers the common radios/systems in use such as the AN/PRC-150, AN/PRC-117G, AN/PRC-137, AN/PRC-148, AN/PYQ-10 (SKL), vehicles communications systems, Rover, MMBJ, FBCB2 along with associated operating programmes.Module C: Field Communications Applications: This is a 7-hour, performance-based assessment where the students are placed in a field environment with a required individual equipment load. Students navigate between five different points. At each point, there is a communications performance exam. The student is briefed at each station of the action, condition and standard for that individual station. The following are the different areas that can be tested: FMLOS, HF and antenna theory, SATCOM and SDN-L. The movement lanes average around 8.5 kilometres (straight-line distance).Module D. Field Performance Exam Max Gain: The field performance exam measures the Soldiers’ ability through testing and grading to measure the proficiency in the use and techniques of the equipment and procedures he was taught throughout the SF Communications Sergeant Course. The Soldiers must achieve a passing grade to become qualified.

Since they are for seasoned members of the SF, MOS 180A (Special Forces Warrant Officer) and 18F (Special Forces Operations and Intelligence Sergeant) are not considered entry-level.

11     SFQC Phase IV: CULEX (Robin Sage)

The Unconventional Warfare Culmination Exercise, or CULEX (Robin Sage), is Phase IV of the SFQC and lasts for four weeks. It has been in use for more than 40 years.

There are typically 6 courses offered each year, each with 144 applicants (or roughly 1364 applicants per year).

Phase IV’s goal is to serve as a litmus test for candidates by putting their SF abilities (acquired through individual and MOS training) to the test in a practical, realistic exercise for unconventional warfare.

Candidates are divided into squads (SFOD-A) and placed in a fictitious nation made up of a number of counties in North Carolina that is wracked by political unrest and armed conflict. Candidates must navigate the region and complete specified missions. Candidates hone/develop their abilities in unconventional warfare, sophisticated special operations techniques, air operations, military decision-making, and infiltration and exfiltration methods as a result.

Before teaching them fundamental individual tasks from each of the MOSs and collective tasks in fundamental small unit tactics, candidates must also evaluate the combat effectiveness of guerrilla forces (typically other earlier stage candidates).

12     SFQC Phase V: Language and Culture

Phase V of the SFQC lasts 24 weeks and is devoted to language and culture.

Phase V’s goal is to train candidates in the special operations language that will be assigned to them after they complete the SFAS course. Depending on how difficult they are, languages are divided into two categories.

  • Category I/II: French, Indonesian-Bahasa and Spanish; and
  • Arabic, Chinese, Mandarin, Czech, Dari, Hungarian, Korean, Pashto, Persian, Farsi, Polish, Russian, Tagalog, Thai, Turkish, Urdu, and Pasto are among the languages in categories III and IV.

Candidates receive instruction in three basic language skills:

  • Speaking;
  • Participatory listening; and
  • Reading (limited).

During this training phase, the following focus areas are covered:

  • Overview of physical and social systems;
  • Economics;
  • Politics and security;
  • Infrastructure and technology information; and
  • Culture and regional studies.

Functional application geared toward mission-related tasks, improved rapport-building techniques, cultural mitigation strategies, interpreting, and control of interpreter methods are the main areas of focus in language instruction.

Candidates must pass the two-skill Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI), which measures listening and speaking proficiency, in order to successfully complete Phase V.

13     SFQC Phase VI: Graduation and MFF

The Military Free Fall Parachutist Course (MFFPC), the Regimental First Formation, where students first don their green berets (and Special Forces tab), the graduation ceremony, and Phase VI, which is the final phase of the SFQC, are all included in this phase. During a ceremony known as Regimental First Formation, soldiers line up in formation as they get ready to don their Green Berets for the first time. (Photo provided by USAJFKSWCS Public Affairs).

Graduation lasts one week, is focused on the graduation ceremony and out-processing, and honors candidates’ (not insignificant) accomplishments.

There are typically 52 candidates per course for the MFFPC, making a total of 728 candidates per year. The course consists of two modules:

  • MFF ground training: body stabilization in the vertical wind tunnel, packing of the main parachute of the Ram Air Parachute System, parachute donning procedures, emergency procedures, and aircraft procedures/jump commands
  • MFF operations: How to exit an aircraft from the door or ramp using the dive or poised exit positions, emergency procedures, body stabilization, and more using night vision goggles, combat gear, weapon rigging, and portable oxygen equipment MFF parachute operations include jumps with and without weapons, combat gear, night vision goggles (NVGs), and supplemental oxygen systems from altitudes of 9,500 to 25,000 feet during both day and night.


All male and female officers and enlisted members of the US military are eligible to enroll in US Army Special Forces training. In order to join the US Army’s Special Forces Groups, individuals must be committed, highly motivated, intelligent, trustworthy, and physically fit. Before applying for US Army Special Forces training, people should be able to make an informed decision thanks to the information in this article.

Inside Special Forces, a one-hour National Geographic Special documentary that debuted in November 2003, provided an inside look at the US Army’s Special Forces.

The following documents are available on the various websites listed in the section below with useful links.

  • Future Soldiers Pre-Basic Training Task List: http://www. army-portal. com/pdf/pre-basic-training-tasklist. pdf [Accessed: 16 February, 2016].
  • Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) Officer Accession Panel Announcement (Regular Army): MILPERS Message Number 14-220 sorbrecruiting. com/Docs/Milper_Message_Number_14-220. doc. [Accessed: 16 February, 2016].
  • AR 40-501 – Standards of Medical Fitness: http://www. apd. army. mil/pdffiles/r40_501. pdf. [Accessed: 16 February, 2016].
  • DLPT Guides and Information: [Accessed: 16 February, 2016].
  • Army Physical Fitness Test Scorecard (DA Form 705), May 2010 Version: http://www apd. army. mil/pub/eforms/pdf/a705. pdf. [Accessed: 16 February, 2016].
  • (31 Series Collection, Special Operations) US Army Doctrine and Training Publications: http://armypubs army. mil/doctrine/31_Series_Collection_1. html.
  • In-Service Special Forces Recruiting Program (Officer) USAREC Pamphlet 601-25
  • Soldier’s Manual and Trainer’s Guide MOS 18 (http://armypubs. army. mil/doctrine/STP_1. STP-31-18-SM-TG: Soldier’s Manual and Trainer’s Guide MOS 18 Special Forces Common Skills Skill Levels 3 and 4 (2003-10-24) (Html [Accessed: 17 February 2016]) Weapons Sergeant Skill Levels 3 and 4 for MOS 18B Special Forces: Soldier’s Manual and Trainer’s Guide (2004-10-15) MOS 18C Special Forces Engineer Sergeant Skill Levels 3 and 4: Soldier’s Manual and Trainer’s Guide (2003-07-08) STP 31-18D34-SM-TG: MOS 18D Special Forces Medical Sergeant Skill Levels 3 and 4 (INCL C1) (2003-10-01) Soldier’s Manual and Training Guide STP 31-18D34-SM-TG, Chg 1: CHANGE 1 TO STP 31-18D34-SM-TG (2009-08-06). Soldier’s Manual and Trainer’s Guide, Levels 3 and 4 for MOS 18E Special Forces Communications Sergeant (2010-02-08) MOS 18F Special Forces Assistant Operations and Intelligence Sergeant Skill Level 4 (1994-09-20) STP 31-18F4-SM-TG: Soldier’s Manual and Trainer’s Guide
  • FM 3-05: Army Special Operations (2014-09-01).

3     Useful Books and Magazines

Alderks, C. E. Comparing Candidates Based on Phase Performance: Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) Course, 1997 PLACE: US Army Research Institute for Behavioural and Social Sciences.

Bahmanyar, M. (2005) Elite 113 – US Navy SEALs. Oxford: Osprey Publishing.

Baldor, L.C. (2019) Big Changes to Greuling Special Forces Course Draw Scrutiny. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 07 January, 2020].

Banks, L. M. (2002) The History of Special Operations Psychological Selection. Available from World Wide Web: users. idworld. net/dmangels/banks-. doc. [Accessed: 18 February, 2016].

Darby, M.J. (2004) Mind Games. All Hands: Magazine of the U.S. Navy. August 2004, pp.14-23. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 08 February, 2016].

Earl, C. F. (2014) Green Berets: Special Forces: Protecting, Building, Teaching and Fighting. Broomall, Pennsylvania: Mason Crest Publishers.

Ethos: Magazine of US Naval Special Warfare:

Fairbrother, B. et al. (1992) Nutritional and Immunological Assessment of Soldiers during the Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 18 February, 2016].

Hamilton, J. (2011) Green Berets. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Abdo Publishing Ltd.

Liptak, E. 2009’s Elite 173: The World War II Origins of the CIA: Office of Strategic Services, 1942–1945 Oxford: Osprey Publishing Ltd.

Liptak, E. (2014) Elite 203: World War II Navy Special Warfare Units. Oxford: Osprey Publishing.

McNab, C. 2013’s America’s Elite: US Special Forces since the American Revolution Oxford: Osprey Publishing.

Slater, L. (2016) Green Berets. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Abdo Publishing Ltd.

Stephenson, M., Dawes, J. & Snyder, S. (2007) Training for the Tactical Athlete: Assessment and Selection (SFAS). Colorado Springs, Colorado: National Strength and Conditioning Association. prep book.pdf. [Accessed: 16 February, 2016].

The United States Special Operations Command’s 2016 Fact Book is available online. MacDill Air Force Base, Florida: USSOCOM.

Werner, B. (2006) Elite 45: First Special Service Force 1942-44. Oxford: Osprey Publishing Ltd.

White, S.S., Mueller-Hanson, R.A., Dorsey, D.W., Pulakos, E.D., Wisecarver, M.M., Deagle III, E.A. & Mendini, K.G. (2005) Developing Adaptive Proficiency in Special Forces Officers. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 18 February, 2016].

Beal, S.A. (2010) The Roles of Perseverance, Cognitive Ability, and Physical Fitness in the U.S. Army Special Forces Assessment and Selection. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 18 February, 2016].

Edison, J.J. (2004) Unit Activates to Prepare Volunteers for Special Forces Selection. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 16 February, 2016].

Folley, A. (2018) First woman passes special forces assessment, could become first female Green Beret. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 18 November, 2018].

Horn, B. & Balasevicius, T. Casting Light on the Shadows: Canadian Perspectives on Special Operations Forces, edited by Kingston, Ontario: Canadian Defence Academy Press.

HRC (United States Army Human Resource Command) (2015) Milper Message Number 15-248: FY16 Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) Officer Accession Panel Announcement (Regular Army). Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 18 February, 2016].

Martin, J. (2010) Birth of the Special Operations Preparation Course. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 16 February, 2016].

Myers, M. (2018) A female soldier has made it through the Army’s Special Forces selection. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 02 April, 2019].

Pellerin, C. (2015) SecDef Opens all Military Occupations to Women. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 04 December, 2015].

SORB (Special Operations Recruiting Battalion) (2015) Special Forces Training Overview. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 16 February, 2016].

Special Warfare (2015) USAJFKSWCS Academic Handbook FY 2016: Special Edition. The US Army Special Operations Command’s magazine on special operations 03 August 2015. Fort Bragg, North Carolina: US Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Centre and School.

In-Service Special Forces Recruiting Program (Officer and Enlisted) (USAREC Pamphlet 601-25), US Army (2006) 14 November 2006. Fort Knox, Kentucky: HQ US Army Recruiting Command.

US Army (2016) Special Forces: Training. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 16 February, 2016].

USANG (United States Army National Guard) (2016a) Special Forces Non-Prior Service Applicants. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 17 February, 2016].

USANG (United States Army National Guard) (2016b) Special Forces Prior Service Applicants. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 18 February, 2016].

Vogel, J.L. (2015) Statement of General Joseph L. Vogel, U.S. Army Commander United States Special Operations Command before the House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, March 18, 2015. Available from World Wide Web: USSOCOM Posture Statement.pdf. [Accessed: 29 December, 2015].

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How hard is it to get into Green Berets?

It is very difficult to become a green beret. It is a carefully chosen group of highly skilled and expertly trained soldiers. You must complete the Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) and reach the minimum requirements of 49 sit-ups, 49 push-ups, a 15:12 two-mile run, and 6 pull-ups in order to be eligible for the green beret.

Which is harder to get into Green Beret or Navy Seals?

Although Army Green Beret training is extremely difficult, most experts agree that Navy SEAL training is the most difficult of any elite ops group in the U.S. S. Armed Forces.

How do you get picked for the Green Berets?

However, in order to become a Green Beret as an enlisted soldier, you must:Have a pay grade of at least E-3 Be able to get a secret clearance. Be airborne qualified — or volunteer for the training. Have an ASVAB general technical score of at least 110. Serve for at least 36 months after graduating from training.

How many Green Berets graduate per year?

Despite variations, about 860 students will graduate every year and join the roughly 15,000 active duty and reserve US Army Green Berets. A US Army Special Forces soldier may spend (up to) two years training before their first deployment.

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