U.S. Army
Special Operations


Special Forces FAQ

What is the purpose of Army Special Forces?

Special Forces, known as the Green Berets due to their distinctive service headgear, execute five primary missions: unconventional warfare (resistance), foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, direct action, and counter-terrorism. Other functions include combat search and rescue, counter-narcotics, counter-proliferation, hostage rescue, humanitarian assistance, humanitarian demining, information operations, peacekeeping, psychological operations and security assistance.

Do I have to be in the Army to be eligible for Special Forces training?

Yes. Any active duty Army Soldier in the pay grades of E-3 to E-7 is eligible, as long as they meet the prerequisites.

Are there waivers available for acceptance into Special Forces?

Yes. Waivers are handled on a case-by-case basis. They are submitted through the Special Operations Recruiting Center to the Commander, United States Army, John F. Kennedy, Special Warfare Center and Schools for approval.

Where can I be stationed upon completion of my Special Forces Training?

There are five Active Special Forces Groups that are regionally oriented for missions throughout the world:

What happens if I don't complete the Special Forces Training?

You will be released to your original Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) or Branch and be placed on worldwide assignment.

What MOS should I enlist for prior to Special Forces?

We recruit from all branches of the Army and there is no specific MOS that qualifies for Special Forces duty. Do your very best in whichever field you choose and then apply for Special Forces Assessment and Selection.

What does SFAS consists of?

SFAS is a continual assessment of each candidate by professional cadre throughout a 24-day rigorous test of mental and physical stamina.

What should I do to prepare for SFAS?

Please refer to the following training plan:

What do I need to pack for SFAS?

Please refer to the packing list found here.

How many phases are in the entire SF Qualification Course?

Please refer the training pathways graphic below for a description of the phases.

160th SOAR FAQ

What is the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment?

The 160th SOAR is ARSOAC’s operational element whose mission is to organize, equip, train, resource and employ Army Special Operations aviation forces worldwide in support of contingency missions and ground force commanders. Each of the four warfighting battalions with the 160th SOAR is comprised of light, medium and heavy helicopters, all highly modified and designed to meet the unit’s unique mission requirements.

What is ARSOAC?

Activated in March 2011 at Fort Bragg, ARSOAC is a one-star command that oversees the rotary wing assets of Army Special Operations Aviation, including the 160th SOAR.

Is there a selection process to serve with the 160th SOAR?

The 160th SOAR actively seeks and assesses the best-qualified aviators, crew members and support personnel in the Army.

Do 160th SOAR personnel undergo any specialized training?

Upon selection, commissioned, warrant officers and enlisted Soldiers complete respective Basic Mission Qualification courses, known as Green Platoon, which are facilitated by the Special Operations Aviation Training Battalion.

What do I need to do to prepare for becoming a Night Stalker?

Please take a look at the Combat Skills Train-up Plan (PDF) found here, and the Enlisted Combat Skills ATRRS Course Information (PDF) found here.

Where do I need to go upon arrival to Fort Campbell?

You can find a strip map from Gate 4 to Kalsu Reception and R&I Platoon, Company A SOATB (PDF) here.

Psychological Operations FAQ

What is the mission of Psychological Operations (PSYOP)?

U.S. Army PSYOP forces are trained, educated, equipped, organized, mission-tailored, and purpose-designed to influence foreign individuals and groups in permissive, uncertain, and hostile environments.

What are PSYOP Soldiers trained to do?

Born from counterpropaganda and resistance efforts during World War II, modern-day PSYOP soldiers master the power of influence to shape the global security environment, impact regional stability, and achieve the United States’ national security goals. To ensure the security of the homeland and of Americans abroad, PSYOP forces inspire our allies and motivate foreign populations while exploiting vulnerabilities of foreign state and non-state adversaries who might otherwise believe their actions are without consequence.

When did PSYOP become a branch?

On October 1, 1990, the Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) 96F converted to 37F and Psychological Operations; it became an official Army branch on October 16, 2006.

Does PSYOP have a Qualification Course like Special Forces or the Ranger Regiment?

Yes, it’s called the Psychological Operations Assessment and Selection (POAS).

What does the Psychological Operations Assessment and Selection (POAS) consist of?

The active-component ARSOF PSYOP candidates are assessed for trainability and suitability based on the attributes defined within the Psychological Operations professional guidelines. Assessments are conducted throughout the course and consist of individual physical fitness and confidence events, intelligence and psychological exams, and individual and team problem-solving assessments. POAS candidates are evaluated holistically while conducting both physical and mental events in an ambiguous environment.

How many phases is the POAS selection process?

While the selection process itself is only one phase, 11-day selection and assessment, the follow-on qualification course consists of five additional phases including PSYOP Orientation, Basic Special Operations Language Training, the Psychological Operations Specialist Course (POSC) for enlisted and the Psychological Operations Qualification Course (POQC) for officers, Regional Analysis, and the PSYOP Support to Inter-agency Course.

What is the completion rate of women in your qualification course?

The average selection rate, regardless of age, gender or rank, is 43 percent. Of those selected, 94 percent of the female officers and 90 percent of the female enlisted successfully complete all five phases of the full Psychological Operations Qualification Course.

What is the breakdown of female officers and enlisted from the selection process?

Fifty-three percent of female officers and 34 percent of female enlisted personnel are selected from POAS.

What do I need to do to prepare for POAS?

Please refer to the Train-up Plan found here.

What do I need to pack for POAS?

Please refer to the packing list found here.

What does PsyOp training consist of?

Please refer to the training pathways graphic below.

Civil Affairs FAQ

What is Civil Affairs?

Civil Affairs Soldiers apply knowledge of governance, economics, and politics to affect human behavior and work towards strategic goals. Civil Affairs activities enable military commanders and U.S. ambassadors to improve relationships with various stakeholders in a local area to meet the objectives of the U.S. Government.

What are the types of jobs that you will do when you deploy as CA?

CA teams work with U.S. Department of State country teams, government and non-governmental organizations at all levels and with local populations in peaceful, contingency and hostile environments.

What is the selection process to become a Civil Affairs Soldier?

Soldiers interested in becoming Civil Affairs qualified must attend the Civil Affairs Assessment and Selection course at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

How long is the process to become a CA specialist?

The Civil Affairs training pathway consists of four separate courses, lasting a total of approximately 44 weeks.

What type of training does CA get?

The MOS phase of Civil Affairs specialist training, which lasts eight weeks, trains officers and noncommissioned officers in their respective tactical, technical, and leader skills needed as a member of a Civil Affairs Team. Training focuses on unconventional warfare, conducting civil engagements, negotiations and mediations, combat skills, and planning operations. During the second phase, collective training, candidates are organized into teams and participate in a culminating training exercise. Candidates entering the third phase, language and culture, spend 25 weeks fine-tuning their skills in the language to which they have been assigned. Finally, candidates attend a four-week course that teaches them about U.S. national policy and strategy, as well as operational variable analysis.

When was Civil Affairs created?

Civil Affairs began as a branch in the Reserve Component in October of 1985, was established as an Active Component Functional Area (FA39) in October 1988, and became an Active Component Branch in October 2006.

When was Civil Affairs activated?

The 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Special Operations) (Airborne) is the only Active Duty Civil Affairs Brigade in the U.S. Army. The brigade was re-activated March 16, 2007 and is a subordinate unit to 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne). The brigades’ subordinate battalions (91st, 92nd, 96th, 97th and 98th), located at Fort Bragg, N.C., are aligned with geographic regions.
Prior to the activation in 2007, the only Active Duty U.S. Army Civil Affairs unit was the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne). Today, in addition to the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (SO) (A), the U.S. Army has one other Active Duty CA unit, the 83rd Civil Affairs Battalion. The 83rd CA Bn. is also located at Fort Bragg, N.C. and is under the administrative control of the 16th Military Police Brigade as part of the 18th Airborne Corps.

What is the mission of Civil Affairs?

The 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Special Operations) (Airborne) provides the nation’s premier civil reconnaissance and engagement force to influence the human component of the land domain. They understand networks of influence and the competition for control of populations. Our Soldiers deploys to diverse environments, from remote and austere areas, to dense urban population centers around the world. They deploy in CA teams, CA companies, or as part of a SOF team (cross-functional ARSOF team) or Task force. The Soldiers are adept at working within foreign cultures and conversing in one of 15 foreign languages with local stakeholders.

What about deployments?

Deployments can vary based on region, mission and last approximately six months. Soldiers may find themselves working in diverse situations such as an embassy or a little known isolated area. Soldiers are trained to be equally proficient working in a business setting with non-governmental organizations to the tactical level with their SOF team.

Will I have to learn another language?

In addition to the standard training, Soldiers receive language training and refresher training through the Command Language Program. Currently the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (SO) (A)’s language program was named the Command Language Program of the year within U.S. Special Operations Command.

Why is the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade recruiting for Civil Affairs Soldiers?

The majority of Active Duty Civil Affairs Soldiers will be assigned to the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade or within U.S. Army Special Operations Command, USASOC, at some point in their careers. For this reason, our current Soldiers are perhaps the best equipped to describe the life and experiences of Civil Affairs Soldier from their selection, completion of the Civil Affairs Qualification Course, to their first assignment on a Civil Affairs Team and upward progression. Soldiers that transfer and complete their qualification course today, will be the Soldiers in our formations tomorrow. The Civil Affairs branch is a relatively new branch for Active Duty, established in approximately 2006. As one of the newer and smaller branches within the U.S. Army, many Soldiers may not know of the opportunities that exist for them within this field.

What are some other MOS that you are looking for?

In addition to Civil Affairs, Soldiers interested in opportunities within ARSOF in their current military occupational specialty, MOS, or branch can also inquire about available assignments. Opportunities exist in the military intelligence (35-series), chemical (74-series) or medics (68Ws). In addition, the brigade has opportunities for veterinarians and medical professionals. Medical personnel and veterinarians may be called on to support MEDCAPs, VETCAPS or deployments on an as needed basis.

Who can transfer over to Active Duty Civil Affairs?

Active Duty enlisted Soldiers that are in the grades of E-4 to E-6 and Officers in the grades of O-2 to O-3 depending on year group.

What should I do to prepare for becoming a Warrior Diplomat?

Please follow the train-up plan that can be found here.

What should I pack for Civil Affairs Assessment and Selection?

Please follow the packing list provided here.

What does Civil Affairs training consist of?

Please refer to the training pathways graphic below.