How to Get Selected for Special Forces: A Guide for Aspiring Operators
If you have ever dreamed of joining the elite ranks of the Special Forces, you know that it is not an easy feat. The selection process is rigorous, demanding, and highly competitive. Only a few candidates make it through the grueling physical and mental challenges, and even fewer earn the coveted green beret.
But if you are determined to pursue this career path, there are some steps you can take to increase your chances of success. In this article, we will share some tips and resources on how to get selected for Special Forces, based on the experiences of former and current operators.
Know the Requirements
Before you apply for Special Forces, you need to meet some basic requirements. These include:
Being a U.S. citizen
Being at least 20 years old and not older than 36
Having a high school diploma or equivalent
Scoring at least 110 on the General Technical (GT) portion of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)
Passing a physical exam and meeting the height and weight standards
Having a secret or higher security clearance
Being airborne qualified or volunteering for airborne training
Being able to swim 50 meters in full uniform
You also need to choose which Special Forces Group you want to join, based on your language skills and regional interests. There are five active-duty groups, each with a different geographic area of responsibility:
1st Special Forces Group: Asia-Pacific
3rd Special Forces Group: Africa
5th Special Forces Group: Middle East and Central Asia
7th Special Forces Group: Latin America
10th Special Forces Group: Europe
One of the most challenging aspects of Special Forces selection is the physical fitness test. You need to be in top shape to endure the long marches, obstacle courses, land navigation exercises, and other tasks that will test your strength, stamina, and endurance.
The minimum standards for the physical fitness test are:
Push-ups (2 minutes)49
Sit-ups (2 minutes)59
Pull-ups (no time limit)6
12-mile ruck march (with 45 lbs backpack)3:00:00
Swim 50 meters in full uniformNo time limit
To prepare for these events, you should follow a comprehensive training program that includes cardio, strength, and endurance exercises. You should also practice rucking with increasing weight and distance, as well as swimming with your uniform and boots.
A good resource for physical preparation is the Special Forces Preparation Guide (PDF), which provides a 10-week training plan and tips on nutrition, hydration, injury prevention, and recovery.
Besides physical fitness, you also need to have a strong mental fortitude to survive Special Forces selection. You will face stress, fatigue, isolation, uncertainty, and ambiguity. You will have to make decisions under pressure, work as a team player, and adapt to changing situations.
To prepare mentally, you should develop a positive mindset and a clear motivation for why you want to join Special Forces. You should also study the history, culture, and geography of your chosen region, as well as learn some basic phrases in the relevant language. You should also familiarize yourself with land navigation techniques and map reading skills.
A good resource for mental preparation is aa16f39245