The U.S. Army’s Special Operations Forces consists of a group of Soldiers who operate in a way unlike any other Army unit. This group of Soldiers supports a unique mission globally and has the opportunity to interact with individuals from a variety of cultures and backgrounds
Interested yet and want to learn more? Well, this unit also works diligently to recruit Soldiers from within the Army and that includes the skills you share as a Military Police Soldier.
The Special Operations team has three distinct career fields: Psychological Operations, Civil Affairs, and Special Forces. Let’s take a look at the different career options available and how they could enhance your military career.
Psychological Operations are influence experts, who assess the information needs of a population and craft messaging to influence and engage target audiences, assisting in shaping the operational environment in support of allied operations.
The application process for Psychological Operations can take anywhere from one to two months depending on whether or not waivers are required. Soldiers applying need a General Technical (GT) score of 107 or higher and a Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB) test score of 85 or higher. Those interested will also need to pass a Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) Airborne physical.
Staff Sgt. (First name) Brown, psychological operations recruiter, considers Soldiers who have strong leadership and communications skills excellent candidates for these positions.
“MPs are a good fit for Psychological Operations because at a young age and early on in their careers, they are given autonomy in their jobs and are asked to function on their own. They also develop good communication skills through interacting with the public as part of their job,” Brown said.
Sgt. 1st Class Tray Basnight, civil affairs recruiter, spends his time recruiting Soldiers for the Special Operations Forces Civil Affairs team. Civil Affairs Soldiers focus on humanitarian missions, diplomacy, and they also work as moderators between government agencies and non-government agencies located in assigned areas of operation. The average Civil Affairs team consists of four Soldiers who function autonomously with little oversight.
“Our Civil Affairs Soldiers need a strong moral foundation because they’re given a lot of responsibility and financial assets without the command being present,” Basnight said.
Soldiers with a willingness to serve the civilian population and build and foster relationships with varied cultures make great additions to the Civil Affairs team. Basnight specifically acknowledges the importance of being flexible in understanding different cultures and thinking outside of the box.
Soldiers from any MOS between the ranks of E-4 – E-6 (P) without an age restriction may apply. Those interested in Civil Affairs must pass a SERE-C physical, achieve a GT score of 107, score a 65 on the DLAB, and have scored a 240 on the APFT.
Soldiers looking to earn the coveted Green Beret and become an unconventional warfare expert can speak to Special Forces Recruiter Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Stevens. He recruits Soldiers into Special Forces and encourages them to take advantage of this opportunity today.
As part of a Special Forces Team, Soldiers will conduct operations focused primarily in one of five core missions including Unconventional warfare, Foreign internal defense, Counterinsurgency, Special reconnaissance and Direct action.
Once selected, Soldiers have the choice to select one of four MOS assignments. The four MOS choices include:
18B: Weapons Sergeant – These Soldiers learn about all types of weapons systems and how to diagnose weapons systems’ problems. They become experts, able to teach other team members and partner forces about each weapons system.
18C: Engineer Sergeant – These Soldiers become construction and demolition specialists able to build structures from bridges to buildings to field fortifications and carry out targeted demolition raids.
18D: Medical Sergeant – These Soldiers receive extensive, in-depth training in battlefield and trauma medical care, as well as the routine exam card. They also receive dental and vet training to respond to any medical issue that may occur. At training completion (approximately 2 years), they have the same level of knowledge as a Physician’s Assistant.
18E: Communications Sergeant – Soldiers in this field learn every kind of radio system, as well as everything from LAN systems, Wi-fi, video/teleconferencing to how to set up the Armed Forces Network. As a communications expert they can establish communications systems in any environment.
Soldiers interested in one of these four MOS areas, must have a GT or a combat score of 107, the best APFT score possible (minimum of 49 pushups, 59 sit-ups, a 15:12 on a 2-mile run, and 6 dead hang pullups with your palms facing away), and take the DLAB, which may be completed prior to or at selection.
Stevens believes MPs make good candidates for these MOS positions because of their previous training in crisis management, their knowledge about how to operate outside of a military situation, and their previous side arms training. He also advises anyone who wants to join Special Forces to make the decision now, add it to their calendar, and to move forward toward that goal.
“Soldiers who have made a total commitment to achieve this goal are successful. My best advice is to be there at the right time, be in the right place, have the right uniform, and be a mature, team player,” Stevens said.
Soldiers interested in joining Special Operations Forces, are encouraged to visit their website: www.goarmysof.com or to reach out to the Special Operations Recruiting on social media. You can also contact the three recruiters listed below for more information about each different specialty.
Psychological Operations: Staff Sgt. Christopher Brown
Civil Affairs: Sgt. 1st Class Tray Basnight
Special Forces: Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Stevens
All can be reached at: 270-798-9818