The U.S. Special Forces team is an immense network of highly specialized, highly trained soldiers–its members representing every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. Commonly referred to as ‘spec ops’, these soldiers use specialized knowledge, rugged tactical and survival gear, high grade weapons and artillery, and surveillance equipment and methods, and various other military gear and equipment to complete their missions around the world.
In this section, lets answer six of the most frequently asked questions about special forces in two branches: the U.S. Air Force and Navy.
Read More About Common Entrance Test
Pararescuemen are a variety of the toughest, highly-trained and elite forces not only in the Air Force, but in the entire military. Commonly known as ‘PJ’s, pararescuers must pass extremely rigorous entrance tests just to enter training, and upon entering, Pararescuemen are subjected to some of the most grueling, trying physical and mental training ever heard of.
Pararescuemen, once certified, proudly wear a maroon beret and have successfully completed training as paramedics, in search and rescue (be it by land-air-sea), and infiltration/exfiltration.
What exactly are ‘Special Tactics?’
Special Tactics, in the U.S. Air Forces, operate within the Special Operations branch of operations. These elite teams (which include PJ’s) teams conduct spec ops missions to bolster and aid air operations deep behind enemy lines. Combat Control, Special Operations Weather and the Tactical Air Control Command are additional branches of the Air Force Special Tactics teams.
What Special Tactics jobs are there there for officers in the Air Force?
Special Tactics ranking officers offer three officer positions to qualified personnel: Combat Rescue, Special Tactics, and Spec Ops Weather officer.
How do you move up to become a Combat Controller?
Combat controllers are more of the military’s elite personnel. Combat controllers have extensive air traffic control skills behind them; many of them also have a rich background in joint terminal-attack-control tactics and a host of other spec ops skills. Combat controllers have to complete a 35-week training course, where they acquire special mission skills. These personnel, once graduated, earn the right to wear the scarlet beret.
What does BUD/s stand for?
BUD/s is the acronym for Basic Underwater Demolition / SEALs. Developed specially for SEALS, this 7-week training course–which includes the infamous ‘Hell Week’–begins with what Navy officers call the ‘indoctrination’ phase. Following that, diving, basic conditioning, and warfare tactics by land are implemented in phases. Candidates’ health and overall fitness level must be 100% or even better.
How many soldiers actually ever graduate from BUD/S?
A. Approximately 1,000 soldiers begin SEAL training annually. Of the minuscule number that survive the first week of training, only around a half of those last past the third week; even fewer than that actually graduate. BUD/S personnel that make physical screening test scores of less than 800 are the ones who are likely to graduate the course.