How to Become a U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier

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An Army Special Forces soldier is one of the U.S. Army's most elite soldiers. Special Forces soldiers complete missions throughout the world. A Special Forces soldier may work on a counter-terrorism or reconnaissance mission, or be involved in direct action against a foreign nation or internal defense of a foreign nation. The path followed to become a Special Forces soldier requires dedication and physical and mental strength.

  • Obtain a high school diploma.

  • Achieve a score of 107 or better on the general technical section, and a score of 98 or higher on the combat operations section, of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or ASVAB, test (see Resources). The ASVAB is the test required by all applicants to the U.S. military and is administered by the Military Entrance Processing Stations, or MERPS.

  • Complete nine weeks of boot camp along with all other new recruits in the army. After boot camp, you will complete four weeks of advanced individual training in the form of infantry school at Fort Benning, Georgia.

  • Qualify for a secret security clearance. A thorough background investigation will be completed by the Department of Defense to determine if you qualify for a security clearance.

  • Attend airborne school. Airborne school lasts another three weeks and is a pre-requisite for becoming a Special Forces soldier. The three weeks include one week each of ground, tower and jump training.

  • Spend 30 days at the Special Operations Preparation Course located at Fort Bragg, N.C. While there, you will be introduced to basic skills required to pass the Special Forces Assessment/Assignment and Selection. The next 24 days are spent at the Special Forces Assessment/Assignment and Selection where you will train like a Special Forces soldier.

  • Pass the Special Forces Qualification Course, or SFQC. If you pass the SFQC, you will officially be a Special Forces soldier and will continue on for additional training and assignment.

Tips & Warnings

  • There are numerous companies that offer ASVAB preparation courses and materials for a fee.
  • You will also need to take the Defense Language Aptitude or Defense Language Proficiency test to assess your language skills. If you are not already proficient in a foreign language, you will receive training in one at some point.
  • Special Forces positions are not open to females.
  • You must be between the ages of 20 and 30 to be accepted into a Special Forces position.

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