Special operations forces (SOF) are specially trained military units to conduct special operations. According to NATO special operations are defined as “military activities conducted by specially designated, organized, trained, and equipped forces, manned with selected personnel, using unconventional tactics, techniques, and modes of employment.”
Special operations require unique modes of employment, tactics, techniques, procedures, and equipment. They are often conducted in hostile and sensitive environments. SOF are raised to do Direct action, Special reconnaissance Countering weapons of mass destruction, counter-terrorism Unconventional warfare, Foreign internal defense, Security force assistance, Hostage rescue and recovery, Counterinsurgency, Foreign humanitarian assistance, Military information support operations, Civil affairs operations.
For the U.S army special forces, there is a training course that all candidates must endure becoming fully qualified Special Forces soldiers. The course consists of special forces selection and assessment followed by six phases of training. Following are some of the details.
Special forces assessment and selection course is a 24-day test to ensure that a person is capable of enduring the rough training program. The person has to pass through tough physical and mental situations in order to understand that he’ll not quit when things get tough. The purpose of the test is also to get familiar with the mind of the soldier and to know whether he’ll be a good team member or not. The part of the training is enduring the emotional stress of not knowing what to expect next.
Selection tests are great tests of a person’s commitment. This whole course includes rock navigation, running climb obstacle courses, and enduring some strenuous physical challenges. All they demand from the person giving the test is to do what they are told to do and give a hundred percent effort.
Once a person is selected, he begins with phase one special forces orientation. This is a week of processing. Candidates have to ensure and read the training manuals.
In phase 2, there is the 13-week MLS training in seer school. Starting with MOS or Military Occupational Specialty. In the MOS phase, the training setup is a bit different. The medics learn anatomy in medical trauma while Engineers learn how to build and blow stuff up, Weapon sergeants learn how to employ every weapon. Soldiers also learn how to communicate with sophisticated computers and radio devices, officers learn how to plan physical fitness standards.
The next step is seer survival evasion resistance and escape training. In this program, soldiers learn how to survive in the most difficult situations, how to evade capture by the enemy, how to resist the enemy if you’re ever captured and ways to escape captivity. Because of the delicate and secret nature of this training, there is still ambiguity about the specifics of this program.
Coming to the next phase of the course which is the hardest phase. The tactical skills are six weeks of mastering how to patrol as a squad and platoon because SF instructors will teach some variations of small unit tactics. It is essential to first master basic infantry tactics like the defense raid and ambush. The focus of the program is to instill that security is always rule number one. This course also has advanced combative training focused on tactics and urban combat.
Phase five is Robin Sage, a four-week-long unconventional training event after being broken into teams of 15, trainees do weeks of training at camp and then infiltrate the mountains and farmlands for a two-week-long field training exercise. In Robin Sage, all different trainees are integrated such as medics, weapons specialists, engineers, combo specialists, and officers to make an incredibly lethal and effective team in very realistic wartime.
Phase six is language training. The trainees have to go to language school. This is 24 weeks of training with morning Pt while focusing on the primary mission to learn language.
Next on the list of training is that trainees will go directly into advanced skills schools. These include advanced urban combat schools, halo training, dive school, mountaineer training. At the end of all this training, trainees finally graduate and are allowed to wear the special forces tab on their uniform.