The journey to becoming a Special Forces soldier won’t be easy. Special Forces training is rigorous and highly selective, but the courage and strength you will gain as a candidate will stay with you your entire life.
In addition to Basic Combat Training, soldiers must have completed Advanced Individual Training and U.S. Army Airborne School to be eligible for Special Forces training. To learn more about training requirements, visit the qualifications page.
Special Forces Training Modules
Special Operations Preparation Course (SOPC)
This two-week course, held at Fort Bragg, N.C., prepares prospective Green Berets for Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS). This course focuses heavily on physical fitness, but candidates are also expected to demonstrate a proficiency in land navigation, one of the most important skills of a Special Forces soldier.
Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS)
Special Forces Assessment and Selection is designed to test your survival skills, and places an even stronger emphasis on intense physical and mental training. This is considered the first proper phase of Special Forces training. Phases II-VI continue during the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC).
Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC)
Qualification consists of five phases (II-VI), lasting approximately 61 weeks. Each phase is designed to foster an expertise in the following areas: small unit tactics, advanced Special Forces tactics, survival skills, language and cultural training, unconventional warfare, survival, escape, resistance and evasion and advanced combat survival tactics.
Small Unit Tactics
The tactics phase, which lasts 9 weeks, drills candidates in advanced marksmanship, counterinsurgency, urban operations, live fire maneuvers sensitive site exploitation and other Special Forces skills. Soldiers will also take part in Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) exercises.
During the MOS Qualification Phase (III), you will receive training for your newly assigned Special Forces Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). Training for this phase lasts about 16 weeks, and covers additional language training, Special Forces common tasks, Advanced Special Operations Techniques (ASOT) and interagency operations.
Collective Training (ROBIN SAGE)
Robin Sage (Phase IV) is the training phase that serves as the litmus test for Soldiers hoping to earn the Green Beret. Candidates are organized into squads and inserted into a fictional country, known as Pineland, which is made up of several counties spanning North Carolina. Pineland is rife with political turmoil, and candidates must navigate the region and complete a specified mission.
Language And Culture
During this 25-week phase (Phase V), candidates will fine-tune their skills in the language to which they have been assigned. Languages include French, Indonesian-Bahasa, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese-Mandarin, Czech, Dari, Hungarian, Korean, Pashto, Persian-Farsi, Polish, Russian, Tagalog, Thai, Turkish and Urdu.
All of the major work and training is completed by phase VI, the graduation phase, which involves a week of out-processing. Candidates will finally don their Green Berets as Special Forces soldiers.
Feature image courtesy of the U.S. Army