In another first for women seeking combat jobs, the Army has approved applications from two female officers to attend Special Forces Assessment and Selection class, an early step toward becoming a Green Beret.
In all, 340 applications to SFAS were accepted, according to Maj. Melody Faulkenberry, a spokeswoman for the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center. Nine total women applied for Special Forces among a total of 460 applicants; those rejected may potentially be offered slots in other two Special Operations branches: civil affairs and PSYOPS. In all, 860 officers applied to the three fields.
Before approval for SFAS, soldiers must pass Special Forces Readiness Assessment, a base-level test of a soldier's physical fitness. The push-up, sit-up, pull-up and running benchmarks considerably outstrip Army Physical Fitness Test requirements to filter out anyone who might be physically overwhelmed by training requirements. There is no requirement difference based on gender or age, and all who even apply to SFAS must pass, Faulkenberry said.
The bulk of the path to earning a Special Forces tab remains in front of them after their application is accepted: the 3-week SFAS itself, Airborne School if not qualified, either Maneuver Captain's Career Course or Special Operations Captain's Career Course (12-16 weeks), and finally the 64-week Special Forces Qualification Course.