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Special Forces Berlin
by James Stejskal







SF Training

Home > Training

Special Forces training is long and hard.  There are several phases of training to go through before one becomes a "Green Beret".  Almost all training takes place at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  Prior to starting the Special Forces training 'pipeline' one must have completed Basic Training, Advanced Individual Training (AIT), and Airborne School.

Airborne School

The first stop, usually before heading to SOPC or SFAS (see below) is the Army's Airborne School at Fort Benning. The link below will bring you to a 1970s vintage recruitment video on jump school. www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQ6QX-OsWUc.

Special Operations Preparation Course (SOPC)

This two-week primer course prepares Soldiers for the Special Forces Assessment and Selection course.  It provides instruction in physical training, land navigation, and other common tasks. Over time the length of the course has changed - varying from two to four weeks long. It is designed to prepare Special Forces candidates for the hardest physical phase of SF training - SFAS.

Special Forces Preparation and Conditioning (SFPC)

Members of the National Guard and 18X newly enlisted members will attend SFPC. This three-week long course will birng the National Guard and 18X candidates to a higher level of fitness and land navigation prior to attending SFAS.

Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS)

This course is about three weeks long.  You are mentally and physically stressed and evaluated by Special Forces instructors for suitability to continue training in Special Forces.  Learn more about the Special Forces Assessment and Selection course.

Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC)

This course is conducted in a series of six phases and includes major areas of instruction to include land navigation, small unit tactics, MOS training (engineer/demo, weapons, medic, communications), individual training, collective training, language and cultural training.  Learn more about the Special Forces Qualification Course. Currently the average SFQC is about 45 weeks long.

Special Forces MOS Training

Each Soldier is trained in one of four Special Forces job specialties or Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) to include Engineer, Weapons, Medic, and Communications.  For a description of each see the link below:


Language Training.  Each Soldier must learn a language.  There are many languages to choose from and language training is generally six months long.

Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE)

A key component of the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) is learning how to evade capture, live off the land, and survive during captivity.  Learn more about Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE) training.

Language Training

Special Forces Soldiers learn a language as part of the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC).  Once they are assigned to a Special Forces detachment they will continue their language training.  In addition, they may get the opportunity to do advanced language training while immersed in other cultures - called Live Environment Training (LET). Learn more about language training.

Advanced Skills Training

Once a Special Forces trainee is fully qualified and placed on a Special Forces Operational Detachment he then is able to attend a number of advanced skill training such as combat diver, military free fall, SFAUC, intelligence courses, and many more. Click on the following link to view the Special Forces Advanced Skills training available.

Other Sources of Information for Special Forces Training

Special Forces Training.  Go Army.com.

United States Army Special Forces Selection and Training.  Wikipedia.

The SF Pipeline.  Special Forces Training Forum by "Professional Soldiers".

National Guard Special Forces.

PowerPoint CONOP Preparation.  Learn how to transition from a 5W oral order to a 45 slide PowerPoint presentation for a Special Forces ODA CONOP. Click on the YouTube video here.

SWCS Academic Handbook. The U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School Academic Handbook is a complete listing of SWCS courses, including course number, class size, upcoming report dates, location, course duration, prerequisites and course descriptions. You can access the SWCS Academic Handbook here.

If you are unfamiliar with terms or phrases used on this web site then feel free to consult our online glossary of Special Operations terms and phrases.


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