How to Become a Delta Operator

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U.S. Army Special Operations Detachment Delta, known more colloquially as "Delta Force," is a key part of the Army's contribution to Special Operations Command, or SOC. The SOC is a four-star joint services combatant command that provides planning and logistical direction to Delta Force, Special Forces, the U.S. Navy SEAL teams, the 60th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, or SOAR, and other very specialized commando units. Delta Force operators specialize in highly complex small unit operations, such as hostage rescue, strategic reconnaissance and counter-terrorist operations.

Enlist in the U.S. Army. Special Operations Detachment Delta is a unit of the U.S. Army and draw its members from the ranks of U.S. Army Soldiers. To compete for Special Operations operator slots, you must be a male. Females are not eligible for the 18-series military occupational specialties, which are those assigned to Special Forces teams.

Attend the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. This is a moderately challenging 3-week long course where you will learn the basics of military parachuting.

Attend the Special Operations Selection Course at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. This course is an extremely physically challenging course, designed to weed out those not totally committed to joining the ranks of the Green Berets. You must be in top physical condition to make it through this course and with extreme mental endurance. To get into the course, you must be able to complete 55 pushups in two minutes, 62 sit-ups in two minutes, and a 2-mile run in 15:06 or less and pass a modified Class II flight physical.

Complete the "Q-Course," or the Special Operations Qualification Course at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. This course is both physically and mentally challenging and is approximately a year long. After completing the course, you will attend the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California to learn a foreign language.

Attend the Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, or SFOD-D, assessment and selection course. SFOD-D holds two courses each year, where qualified soldiers Army-wide may compete for available slots as Delta-force operators. Those selected from the assessment course go on to an additional six months of operator training.

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