Prev - 18D

Special Forces Officer

Next - 18B

Special Forces Officer - 18A

  • Active/Reserve:Active Duty
  • Officer/Enlisted:Officer
  • Restrictions:None


The  Special Forces officer is the team leader of an operational detachment alpha, a highly trained 12-man team that is deployed in rapid-response situations. The officer organizes the mission, outfits the team and debriefs them on the mission objective.

Job Duties

  • Typically, officers lead the team in the following types of missions:
  • CounterTerrorism: prevent, deter and respond to terrorist activities and train the military of other nations
  • Direct Action: short duration strikes that are used to capture, recover or destroy enemy weapons/information, or recover designated personnel/material
  • Foreign Internal Defense: organize, assist and train the military and national defense forces of foreign governments
  • Special Reconnaissance: intelligence gathering to monitor enemy movements and operations
  • Unconventional Warfare: the use of unconventional warfare (a.k.a. guerilla warfare) to train, equip, advise and assist forces in enemyheld or controlled territory
  • Requirements

  • Those who want to serve must first take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, a series of tests that helps you better understand your strengths and identify which Army jobs are best for you.
  • Training

    Special Forces officers go through an extensive, demanding training cycle. You will learn skills in the many areas of combat by completing airborne training, Ranger School and Special Forces Qualification Courses.

    Helpful Skills

  • Selfdiscipline, confidence and intelligence
  • Physically and mentally fit to perform under pressure
  • Ability to make quick decisions
  • Capable of bearing numerous responsibilities

    The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is an examination that is administered by the United States Military Entrance Processing Command. It is used to determine qualification and helps predict future academic and occupational success in the military.

  • No ASVAB
  • Compensation

  • Total compensation includes housing, medical, food, special pay, and vacation time.

  • See the whole list of Army Occupational Specialties here

    To learn more about the Army's rank structure, see our complete list of Army ranks.
    To see a list of military medals and decorations that can be earned by servicemembers in the Army and other branches of the military, see our list of military decorations and medals.