FAQ about Special Forces





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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about
Joining National Guard Special Forces

Can I join the National Guard Special Forces with no prior military experience?
Yes. As a Special Forces candidate you are guaranteed the opportunity to be assessed and selected for Special Forces. This doesn't mean that you will be selected - just that you will be provided the opportunity. The active duty component offers the "18X" program that allows an individual with no military experience to join the Army and attend the selection program.  The Army National Guard has a similar program called "Rep 63" that follows the same process.

If I have no prior military service what training will I receive prior to the Special Forces Qualification Course?  You will go through your initial Basic and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Benning, Georgia. These two courses are combined and are called Infantry One Station Unit Training (OSUT).  OSUT is 14 weeks long. After OSUT you attend the thee-week long Airborne School or "jump school" at Fort Benning. From Fort Benning you will travel to Fort Bragg and attend the Special Operations Preparatory Course (SOPC) and Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course (SFAS).  If selected in SFAS you then start the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC).

Who attends the Special Operations Preparatory Course?  18X and Rep 63 Special Forces candidates. Prior service Special Forces candidates go straight to SFAS.

If I don't get selected in SFAS what happens next? If you are active duty you return to your parent unit.  If you are an "18X" you are reassigned based on your MOS and the needs of the Army.  If you are National Guard you return to your unit and may be afforded the opportunity to attend SFAS a second time.  If not, then you will be reassigned to a National Guard unit within your state.

If I don't pass or complete SFQC what happens next?  You may be provided the opportunity to "recycle" or re-enter training at some point in the SFQC pipeline.  If not then active duty Soldiers will be reassigned to another unit / post based on your MOS and the needs of the Army.  If you are National Guard you may recycle or you will return to your unit where a decision will be made to re-send you to SFQC or to reassign you to another National Guard unit within the state.

If I have prior military service what training will I receive prior to the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC)?  At a minimum you will be screened for the prerequisites prior to attending SFQC. The local NG SF unit will likely hold a "try out" session where you are administered a physical fitness test. Some units hold a 2-3 day "try out" testing your leadership, land navigation skills, physical endurance and motivation.  If you don't have an applicable Army MOS then you may attend Advanced Individual Training (AIT).  You will also attend Airborne School, the Warrior Leader Course (WLC), and SFAS.

Do I need to be a U.S. citizen?  Yes, no waivers.

What is the minimum GT score for Special Forces?  You must have a GT score of 110 or higher.  No exceptions or waivers.  If your score is lower you should go to your local Army education center to study and retest to obtain a higher score. There are online study guides and books that can be purchased to help you increase your score as well.

How can I prepare for the ASVAB?  Click on this link to learn more about the ASVAB.

How hard is Special Forces training?  The training is demanding, long and comprehensive testing your intellect, physical condition and motivation. It is as hard if not harder than Ranger School or Combat Diver Qualification.

Do National Guard Soldiers go through the same Special Forces training as active duty Soldiers?  Yes, there is no difference in the training.

Once SF qualified how much do I train?  You are required to train one weekend a month and a minimum of two weeks a year.  However, the vast majority of National Guard Soldiers train much more than two weeks a year.

I am a security contractor that works overseas for extended periods.  Can I still serve in NG SF?  Yes, but you need to work the details out with your team sergeant and company SGM. Any period longer than 3-6 months is pushing it and you have to "make up missed drills and training". While working as a contractor overseas in a war zone is great experience you still need to work as a member of an ODA to be a functioning member of that team.

What do I make in pay for a weekend as a National Guard member?  It depends on your rank and how long you have been in the Army.  The following link brings you to an explanation of Guard Pay.

When do I attend Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat (SFAUC)?  You will go to to SFAUC training once you have completed the Special Forces Qualification Course and are assigned to an Operational Detachment "A" or ODA.

Does the National Guard have Combat Dive teams? Yes, both NG SF groups have a number of Combat Dive teams located across the country and conduct maritime operations and dive training on a regular basis. These NG SF Combat Dive teams undergo the same training, use the same equipment, and conduct their requalification to the same standards as their active duty SF Combat Diver counterparts. Learn more at National Guard Special Forces Combat Divers.

Other Web Sites with FAQs about Special Forces

FAQs - Army NG Special Forces

National Guard FAQs


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