The mission of the Special Forces Group is to plan, prepare
for, and when directed, deploy to conduct unconventional warfare,
foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance and direct
actions in support of U.S. national policy objectives within
designated areas of responsibility. The units continually
train to conduct unconventional warfare in any of its forms
-- Guerrilla Warfare, Evasion and Escape, Subversion, and
Sabotage. The soldiers are also schooled in direct action
operations and special reconnaissance. Approximately 1,400
soldiers are assigned to each group. The 12-man "A"
Team is the key operating element of the Special Forces Group.
The U.S. Army Special Operations Force consists of the Army
Rangers, Green Berets, Delta Force, and Task Force 160 (the
Special operations are those military operations that are
outside the normal capabilities of conventional forces. When
you think of conventional forces, think of masses of tanks,
masses of men, heavy equipment and artillery. Special operations
and the special operations forces go after those things that
large organizations are incapable of handling because of their
inflexibility and inability to innovate. Special operations
also are concerned with local nationals in various countries.
Army Special Forces teams are dedicated to certain and specific
regions of the world.
In this case, the Army's Fifth Special Forces group is dedicated
to the area of operation in southwest Asia. So, team members
of that group will speak the local languages, will be experts
in the countries that they're dedicated to. They'll understand
the culture, the geography, the demographics, and the militaries
of those countries. Those men are at home in the countries
that they're dedicated to, and in most cases they'll have
spent a great deal of time working in friendly countries within
that region. They're characterized by small units. They can
move and operate freely and quietly with the local populace.
Special Forces can trace their history back to Rogers' Rangers
of the American Revolution.
Special Forces duty can be as much intellectual and diplomatic
as it is war fighting. Many of the enlisted personnel are
Special Forces units are designed to operate either unilaterally
or in support of and combined with indigenous military and
Enlisted personnel are trained as weapons, communications,
engineering, or medical specialists.
The 19th and 20th Special Forces Groups are National Guard
Officers and enlisted personnel must pass the same tests.
A Special Forces candidate must be a U.S. citizen; be an active-duty,
male soldier; be airborne-qualified or volunteer for airborne
training; be able to swim 50 meters wearing boots and battle-dress
uniform; score a minimum of 206 points on the Army physical
fitness test; meet medical fitness standards; and be eligible
for a "secret" security clearance.
The Army's Special Forces is a strategic, multi-purpose force
capable of rapid response to various contingencies around
the world. Called "Green Berets," these highly-skilled
Soldiers are trained in unconventional warfare, foreign internal
defense, direct action, special reconnaissance, combating
terrorism, information operations and counter-proliferation.
They operate in urban, jungle, desert, mountain, maritime
and arctic environments and are sometimes called on to survive
for months at a time behind enemy lines. But their missions
aren't just related to combat. Special Forces Soldiers are
diplomats and teachers who are trained in foreign languages
and are called on to teach military skills to people around
the world. The Green Berets also support global humanitarian
Special Forces candidates must be mature and self-motivated;
open and humble; and better conditioned physically and emotionally
than the average Soldier.
Received fame during the Vietnam war, these soldiers are
specialists at working with the local population. Their role
could be crucial to developing solid intelligence. The Northern
Alliance, rebels who oppose the Taliban, hold significant
ground and could provide another great staging point for attacks
by the United States.
How to Become a Green Beret
President Kennedy called the Green Beret "a symbol of
excellence, a badge of courage, a mark of distinction in the
fight for freedom." The U.S. Army's Special Forces work
in A-Teams, 12-member units, in the spirit of the Green Beret
motto, "De Oppresso Liber" - to free the oppressed
1. Prepare yourself physically and mentally, and keep yourself
in top condition.
2. Remember Special Forces team members generally are closely
involved with allied forces. Familiarize yourself with military
history, politics and international relations.
3. Remember also that Special Forces troopers are fluent in
at least one of 11 languages other than English. Take a foreign
language in school.
4. Develop your body - run for endurance, train with weights,
become a proficient swimmer.
5. Join the U.S. Army.
6. Choose a suitable military occupation specialty. Army journalists,
clerk-typists, chaplain assistants and soliders performing
similar duties, while valuable, don't receive the training
necessary to become a Green Beret.
7. Apply for paratrooper training.
8. Apply for Army Ranger training.
9. Become a dedicated professional soldier - strive to exceed
the expectations of your leaders, and apply for advanced training.
10. Reach the rank of E-4 (Specialist or Corporal).
11. Contact the Special Operations Recruiting Company at Fort
Bragg, North Carolina.
12. Prepare yourself for the Special Forces application requirements.
For example, a candidate must make a 12-mile road march carrying
a 55-lb rucksack and a weapon in 4.5 hours.
13. Remember that the application process will evaluate your
physical ability, duty performance, psychological stability
and security clearance.
14. Appear before the U.S. Army Special Operations Command
Assessment and Review Board.
15. Attend the Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course.
16. Attend the Special Forces Qualification Course.