SF IAP exceeding expectations – Enlisted Career Notes – Special Forces

SF IAP exceeding expectations – Enlisted Career Notes – Special Forces – Initial Accessions Program

The realities of SF manpower requirements and an analysis of the available in-service recruiting base have prompted the Special Forces proponent to take several initiatives aimed at filling and sustaining CMF 18. One of those is the Special Forces Initial Accessions Program, or IAP. The U.S. Army Recruiting Command began recruiting for IAP in January 2001. A soldier can enlist in the Army as an “18X” and attend Infantry one-station unit training, or OSUT, and airborne training at Fort Benning, Ga. He will then make a permanent-change-of-station move to Fort Bragg to attend Special Forces Assessment and Selection, or SFAS, and the Special Forces Qualification Course, or SFQC, as an SF weapons sergeant or SF engineer sergeant. Training for 18X soldiers is two years long. Those who make it through SFAS, the SFQC, language training and the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course, or SERE, will be promoted to sergeant.

The quality of the IAP recruits is impressive. A demographic snapshot of the 18X soldiers shows that they have an average GT score of 121, that their average age is 21.5, and that 50 percent have attended college (18 percent are college graduates). The Army has developed the following IAP requirements in order to identify the highest-quality recruits:

* Be at least 18 years old but under 30 at the start of OSUT.

* Be qualified for and volunteer for airborne training.

* Be a U.S. citizen.

* Attain a minimum GT score of 110 and a minimum CO score of 98.

* Possess a high-school diploma.

* Be eligible for a secret clearance.

* Take the Defense Language Aptitude Battery or the Defense Language Proficiency Test within 30 days of entering the program.

* Score at least 229 on the Army Physical Fitness Test, with at least 60 points on each event.

So far, the 18Xs have exceeded expectations. 18X soldiers are just beginning to complete the SFQC, language training and SERE. Six have reported for duty on SF A-detachments, and approximately 150 more are scheduled to arrive in FY 2004. To date, more than 1,300 18X soldiers have begun OSUT, more than 800 have arrived at Fort Bragg, nearly 400 have completed SFAS, and nearly 300 are attending the SFQC. Eventually, SF detachments will average receiving a new 18X every 8-12 months.

SF detachments in the field will perform a thorough qualitative assessment of the 18X population in approximately one year. The JFK Special Warfare Center and School will continually evaluate the 18X IAP recruiting mission and make adjustments relative to the 18Xs’ success in SF training and feedback from the force. The 18X recruiting mission for FY 2004 is to recruit 1,500. Probably fewer than 400 of those will ultimately complete SF training. For additional information, telephone Master Sergeant Larry P. Deel at DSN 432-8423 or commercial (910) 432-8423.

COPYRIGHT 2003 John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group