Careers & Jobs
To be a Special Forces Soldier

Special Forces Candidate (18X)

  • Enlisted
  • Officer
  • Active Duty
  • Army Reserve
  • Open to Women
  • Entry Level

Overview

Special Forces candidates are given the opportunity to become a member of one of the most highly skilled combat forces in the world. But they must complete and endure the extensive mental/physical training in order to join the Army elite.

Job Duties

There are four entry-level Special Forces Military Occupational Specialties. Your specialty will be decided on your background, aptitude and the needs of the Army:

  • Special Forces weapons sergeants: capable of using a wide variety of light/heavy infantry weapons and tactics
  • Special Forces engineer sergeants: specialists in a wide range of disciplines such as construction, demolition and topographic surveys
  • Special Forces medical sergeants: considered to be the finest first-response/trauma medical technicians in the world
  • Special Forces communications sergeants: operate every kind of communications gear, from encrypted satellite communications systems to UHF/VFH systems

Requirements

Those who want to serve must first take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, a series of tests that helps you better understand your strengths and identify which Army jobs are best for you.

Training

Special Forces candidates attend Infantry One Station Unit Training, which combines Army Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training in a 14-week course.

Upon graduation, Special Forces Candidates will attend Airborne Training, followed by a 4-week Special Operations Preparation Course and the Special Forces Assessment and Selection program. This program allows Special Forces an opportunity to assess each Soldier’s capabilities by testing his physical, emotional and mental stamina.

If the recruit passes, he moves on to the Special Forces Qualification Course to develop the necessary skills of a Special Forces Soldier. The course is currently divided into three phases:

  • Individual Skills Phase: 40 days of training in common skills, land navigation and tactics
  • MOS Qualification Phase: 65 days of training in different specialties that include a mission planning cycle
  • Collective Training Phase: 38 days of training in Special Operations, Direct Action Isolation, Air Operations and Unconventional Warfare classes 

Other areas include:

  • Language Training: Languages are assigned in relation to the scores from the Defense Language Aptitude Battery test
  • Survival Training: The survival, evasion, resistance and escape course

Helpful Skills

  • Ability to work as a team member
  • Readiness to accept a challenge and face danger
  • Ability to stay in top physical condition
  • Interest in weapons and artillery
  • Ability to remain calm in stressful situations

Required ASVAB Score(s)

General Technical (GT) : 107, Combat (CO) : 98

Learn more about the ASVAB and see what jobs you could qualify for.

Compensation

Total compensation includes housing, medical, food, special pay, and vacation time. Learn more about total compensation.

Education Benefits

In the Army, qualified students can earn full-tuition, merit-based scholarships, allowances for books and fees, plus an annual stipend for living expenses. Learn more about education benefits.

Future Civilian Careers

The skills you learn will help prepare you for a career in many forms of government service. Your Special Forces background will make you a very competitive applicant.

PARTNERSHIP FOR YOUTH SUCCESS (PaYS) Program

Those interested in this job may be eligible for civilian employment, after the Army, by enrolling in the Army PaYS program. The PaYS program is a recruitment option that guarantees a job interview with military friendly employers that are looking for experience and trained Veterans to join their organization. Find out more about the Army PaYS Program at http://www.armypays.com.

  • AT&T, Inc.
  • Hewlett-Packard Company
  • Kraft Foods Global, Inc.
  • Sears Holdings Corporation
  • Time Customer Service, Inc.
  • Walgreen Co.

LOCATE A RECRUITER REQUEST MORE INFO

TO BE A SPECIAL FORCES SOLDIER

Bradly Michael Felix, Master Sergeant, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, 18 Zulu Special Forces Operations Sergeant. I’m going to talk to you about what I think is an ideal candidate to be an SF Soldier. To be an SF Soldier, your primary thing is it’s something you’re going to want to… in the heart, it has to come from the heart. You can think everything and do everything you want but if you’re not truly wanting it from the heart you’re never going to make it through. The training is quite enduring, both physically and mentally. And that’s what a lot of people fail to realize about SF. Is it’s not all about physical, it is actual the mental aspect that makes a special forces Soldier a special forces Soldier. It’s not always shoot them and ask questions. How do we evolve… solve the problem before we get to that problem, of shooting somebody. So mental is a big part of being a special forces Soldier, being able to think on your feet with very little information or knowledge. Going into a situation and be able to work with you and another buddy with 25, 50, 100 indigenous forces with you to be able to be able to accomplish that particular mission. So to become a special forces Soldier, the primary candidate should be both physically and mentally prepared for selection.