How to Get Into the Army Special Forces

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Army Special Forces, part of the Special Operations Command, requires soldiers to be tough, always ready and constantly deployable. SF is only open to male soldiers and is a very elite branch of the U.S. Army. All applicants must be between the ages of 20 and 30 at the time of application. Additionally, you must have a high school diploma and be a U.S. citizen. The Special Forces selection process is rigorous and training takes approximately one year to complete.

  • Notify your unit's Schools noncommissioned officer that you wish to apply for Special Forces training. Sign the school request form when he completes it. The Schools NCO will submit your packet through your unit's personnel office (S1), who will pass it on to the battalion commander.

  • Take an Army Physical Fitness Test, commonly referred to as the APFT, to determine your eligibility for SF school. You must pass the APFT with 60 percent or higher in each event in order to be considered as a candidate.

  • Wait to receive orders for your first school. Generally, you must attend U.S. Army Airborne School first. Airborne School is a three-week course that teaches students how to successfully parachute from military aircraft.

  • Attend and graduate from the Special Operations Preparation Course at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. You may not continue training if you fail the Special Operations Preparation Course. The course lasts 30 days and teaches soldiers land navigation with heavy emphasis on physical training.

  • Attend and graduate from the 24-day Special Forces Assessment/Assignment and Selection course. This phase is commonly referred to as Selection. Selection focuses on survival skills in stressful environments. Candidates are selected by a group of SF soldiers based on performance after completing several tasks using limited resources during those 24 days; if you are not selected, you will be returned to your home unit and disenrolled from training.

  • Attend and graduate from the Special Forces Qualification Course. The SF Qualification Course is generally referred to as Q-Course. Q-Course lasts several months and includes specific job training, language and tactical training and the Army's Survival, Escape, Resistance and Evasion training. SERE training takes place in highly stressful environments and is conducted with minimal resources such as food, water and weaponry.

  • Take the SF oath after you complete Q-Course. Once you are sworn into the Special Operations Command, you are an SF soldier.

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