Training

The length of training greatly depends on the specialty of each recruit, but can take between a year or two to complete the different courses. After soldiers have completed Basic Combat Training, Special Forces recruits undergo further training. The courses follow the following basic order:

1. Special Operations Preparation Course (SOPC) - This is a 30-day course held at Fort Bragg. The focus is on physical training and land navigation.

2. Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) - A 24-day training course that is all about survival.

3. Special Forces Qualification Course (SFAS) - Completion of this course means the recruit is officially a Special Forces soldier. It is divided up into several phases:

  1. Course Orientation (2 weeks) - Soldiers are given an introduction to the Special Forces (MOSs, history, core missions) along with training on methods of instruction, negotiation and mediation, and medical wellness screening.
  2. Language & Culture (18-24 weeks) - There are essentially two paths in this phase. CAT I & II spend 18 weeks learning Spanish, French, or Indonesian. CAT III & IV spend 24 weeks learning Arabic, Chinese, Mandarin, Tagalog, Russian, Persian, Farsi, Korean, or Thai. Soldiers learn how to properly use interpreters. All personnel must pass the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) before moving to the next phase.
  3. Individual Skills (12 weeks) - Learn small unit tactics; marksmanship; Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE); Special Forces common skills; and more land navigation.
  4. MOS Training (14-46 weeks) - Those with a MOS of 18A, 18B, 18C, and 18E undergo 14 weeks of training, while 18Ds have 46 weeks of training. There are also a couple of weeks of specific MOS and language training.
  5. Collective Training (4 weeks) - Trainees are sent to the Uwharrie National Forest in North Carolina for an unconventional warfare exercise. Members will be placed in Operation Detachment Alphas (ODA) and each member's specialty and common skills will be evaluated. Additional training on Special Forces doctrine and organization, unconventional warfare operations, direct action operations, methods of instruction, Airborne operations, and airmobile operations are also provided.
  6. Graduation (1 week) - During this week, each soldier goes through graduation, out process, and receives his Permanent Change of Station (PCS) to their Special Forces group assignment.

4. Live Environment Training - Soldiers undergo immersion training in a different culture and country.

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