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U.S. Army Special Forces: "The Green Berets"

Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC)


If you meet the initial qualifications for Special Forces, you're still a long way from wearing a green beret. You'll have a minimum of six months of training ahead of you, more likely a year to 18 months. It will be a time of physical and mental testing to see if you have what it takes to be a member of a Special Forces "A Team."

The Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) is divided into two parts (24 - 55 weeks, depending on military occupational specialty [MOS]):

  • Branch Training. Branch training includes land navigation (cross-country), patrolling and the obstacle course. Training is conducted at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
  • MOS Training. During MOS training, you will be directed to your Special Forces specialty, which will be based on your background, aptitude and desires.
The final qualification period consists of SF doctrine and organization, unconventional warfare operations, direct action operations, methods of instruction, airborne and airmobile operations. Your training culminates with deployment to the Uwarrie National Forest for a guerilla warfare exercise. There, you will perform as a member of an "A Team," and your specialty and common skills will be evaluated.

The CMF 18 is subdivided into five accession MOS:

  • 18A - Detachment Commander,
  • 18B - SF Weapons Sergeant;
  • 18C - SF Engineer Sergeant;
  • 18D - SF Medical Sergeant; and
  • 18E - SF Communications Sergeant.

Additional CMF 18 MOS are only awarded to SF Qualified personal who meet the requirements and complete additional training and qualifications programs.

  • 180A - SF Warrant Officer - Detachment XO - SF Tech
  • 18F - O&I / Operations & Intelligence Sergeant
  • 18Z - Team Sergeant / Operations Sergeant E-8
Each SF volunteer will receive extensive training in a specialty that prepares him for his future assignment in an SF unit. SF units are designed to operate either unilaterally or in support of and combined with native military and paramilitary forces. Levels of employment for Special Operations forces include advising and assisting host governments, involvement in continental United States-based training, and direct participation in combat operations.


The SFQC teaches and develops the skills necessary for effective utilization of the SF solider. Duties in CMF 18 primarily involve participation in Special Operations interrelated fields of UW. These include foreign internal defense (FID) and direct action missions as part of a small operations team or detachment. Duties at other levels involve command, control, and support functions. Frequently, duties require regional orientation to include foreign language training and in-country experience. SF places emphasis not only on unconventional tactics, but also on knowledge of nations in waterbome, desert, jungle, mountain, or arctic operations.


After successful completion of SFAS, officers who have not already attended their Advance Course will attend either the Infantry or Armor Officer Advance Course. For the enlisted soldier, the SFQC is currently divided into three phases. The phases are: Individual Skills, MOS Qualification, and Collective Training. The enlisted applicant's SFOC training will be scheduled upon successful completion of SFAS.

Individual Skills Phase

During this period, soldiers in-process and are trained on common skills for CMF 18 skill level three. Training is 40 days long and is taught at the Camp Rowe Training Facility. The training covered during this phase includes land navigation (cross-country) and small unit tactics. This phase culminates with a special operations overview.

MOS Qualification Phase

For the enlisted soldier, the decision upon which of the four specialties you will receive training will be made based on your background, aptitude, and desire and the needs of CMF 18. Training for this is 65 days and culminates with the mission planning cycle. During this phase soldiers are trained in their different specialties:

  1. 18A - SF Detachment Commander. Training includes teaching the officer student the planning and leadership skills he will need to direct and employ other members of his detachment, as well as an overview of all CMF 18 skills. Training is conducted at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and is 24 weeks long.
  2. 18B - SF Weapons Sergeant. Training includes tactics, anti-armor weapons utilization, functioning of all types of U.S. and foreign light weapons, indirect fire operations, man portable air defense weapons, weapons emplacement, and integrated combined arms fire control planning. Training is conducted at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and is 24 weeks long.
  3. 18C - SF Engineer Sergeant. Training includes advanced field engineering skills, field fortifications, use of explosives for both sabotage and demolitions, and construction of buildings and bridges. Training is conducted at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and is 24 weeks l
  4. 18D - SF Medical Sergeant. Training includes advanced medical procedures, which consist of trauma management, surgical, dental and veterinary procedures. The Special Forces medic is also an integral part of civic action programs, which bring medical treatment to native populations. Training is conducted at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and is approximately 57 weeks long.
  5. 18E - SF Communications Sergeant. Training includes installation and operation of Special Forces high-frequency and burst communications equipment, antenna theory, radio wave propagation, and communications operations, procedures and techniques. Training culminates with an around - the - world communications field performance exercise. Training is conducted at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Camp Gruber Oklahoma and Camp Bullis, Texas, and is 42 weeks long. This includes 8 weeks of Advanced International Morse Code.
Collective Training Phase

During this 38-day period, soldiers are trained in Special Operations classes, Direct Action Isolation, Air Operations, UW classes, Isolation training, and culminates with the Robin Sage FTX (Field Training Exercise).

See also:


This page is an unofficial document and does not represent information endorsed by the United States Government, the United States Special Operations Command or the United States Army Special Operations Command. However, most information is derived from those sources and has been checked for accuracy. For comments, questions, and suggestions, please go to the Communications Center.

Gunnery Network - SOF