The United States Army is still offering the 18xray Special Forces program, but how do you know if it’s right for you are not? Are you outgoing, speak a foreign language, willing to put in two years or more of physically and mentally demanding training? If so, then the 18 series program may be right up your alley.
You need to know ahead of time, the 18 program doesn’t guarantee you Special Forces training, but it will guarantee you Airborne school and Pre-SFAS, and pending the completion of appropriate scores on the APFT, and the approval of your chain of command, you will ensure yourself a slot at SFAS. It may sound exciting, but the opportunity for advanced weapons training, HAHO and AFF jumping, super repelling and a continuously high speed environment comes at a tremendous sacrifice, but if you can answer yes to the questions below then the program may be for you:
1. Are you willing to enlist for at least a five year contract? This will be non-negotiable at MEPS when you meet with your liaison. Although you are signing for the training you will still need ample time in your contract to ensure the Army gets their investment back.
2. Can you obtain a Secret Clearance and are you willing to obtain a Top Secret Clearance later in your career? You will need a clean financial record, good credit score, little or no drug history, and a history of strong moral character.
3. Are you in great physical shape? Although a 229 APFT score is the minimum for SFAS, you will be competing with other xrays and service members and the minimum scores shouldn’t be an option for you. Instead aim for a score above the 279 range.
4. Are you arithmetically and linguistically sound? This job requires intense weapons, language and cultural training, the 110 GT should be surpassed on the ASVAB to ensure you the best shot.
5. Can you handle being away from friends and family for extended periods of time? It’s a tough life and the training is isolationist, so know in your heart they will be waiting for you, or this program isn’t the best choice.
While certainly not the end all of things you should be thinking about before you head to the recruiter’s office, if you can answer yes to the above questions then you should be good to go before you head to MEPS for the physical and contract negotiation. Remember, the Army is betting that you will fail out of this program, so go into it to prove them wrong.