Each branch of the U.S. military is known to have its own elite forces in addition to their regular enlisted units. And for the Army’s Special Operations units, including the highly prestigious Green Berets.
But how do you become one of these soldiers who regularly take on terrorists through quiet, guerilla war-style missions in foreign countries?
You may have the desire to become one, but not surprisingly, it is very difficult.
If you’re still willing to pursue that dream, know that you can qualify for assignment to the Green Berets straight from basic training. If you’re an enlisted soldier, you must have a pay grade of at least E-3, be able to get a secret security clearance, be airborne qualified, have a ASVAB General Technical score of at least hundred ten, and have served for at least thirty-six months after graduating from training.
You must also be a U.S. citizen, be twenty years old by your ship date to Infantry One Station Unit Training (OSUT), and not have reached your thirty-second birthday prior to the same ship date. As for the Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA), you must meet the minimum standard of forty-nine push-ups, fifty-nine sit-ups, 15:12 two-mile run, and six pull-ups.
If you’re still eager to go ahead with the process, know that the road ahead will be increasingly arduous. But there are indeed rewards awaiting all Green Berets.
“Special Forces Soldiers receive many additional benefits for their enhanced capabilities, special skills and advanced training,” Army’s website states.
“The most important benefits include job satisfaction, camaraderie, increased responsibility and a sense of pride in belonging to an elite Army unit. Special Forces Soldiers also enjoy increased financial benefits. Special Forces Soldiers receive special duty assignment pay, language pay, parachute pay and special-skills pay such as military free-fall, combat diver or demolition pay.”
Now you’ll head off to complete intense training in six stages over sixty-three weeks. The first trial is a two-week Special Operations Preparation Course, or SOPC, which focuses on preparing potential candidates for the actual Special Forces Assessment and Selection—known as the first official phase of Green Beret training.
Then you will participate in the Special Forces Qualification Course for another sixty-one weeks. Each phase is designed to build upon an expertise in the following areas: small unit tactics, Combat Marksmanship (CMMS), advanced Special Forces tactics, Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) training, language and cultural training, unconventional warfare, and Military Free Fall (MFF).
For the month-long fourth phase, known as Robin Sage, all candidates will be organized into squads and placed into a fictional country called Pineland, which is made up of several counties spanning North Carolina. Pineland is dealing with much political turmoil, and candidates must navigate the region to complete a specified mission.
Know that all of the major work and training is completed by the sixth phase. At this point, which involves a week of out-processing, you will finally have the opportunity to proudly put on that Green Beret.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.