Two female officers have been accepted by the U.S. Army to take on the Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) in order to attempt to become some of the first female Green Berets.
The women are the first female soldiers to be accepted into SFAS and could report to the three-week program at Fort Bragg, North Carolina as early as October.
Last year, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced the elimination of the ban on women serving in combat roles in the military.
Faulkenberry said the earliest the women could earn the title of Green Beret is 2018 because of the long and intensive training required to become a Green Beret. They also have not officially been assigned to a SFAS class.
Nine female active-duty Army officers applied for Special Forces training, but only two of them were accepted. In total, 340 soldiers applied for the program but only 220 were accepted for both men and women alike. To be accepted into SFAS, officers have to have been promoted to First Lieutenant between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015, possess a secret clearance level, be cleared for world-wide deployment and score of 240 on the Army Physical Fitness Test.
To become a Green Beret, officers have to complete a rigorous physical assessment, SFAS, the Army’s Airborne School, the Maneuver Captain’s Career Course or the Special Operations Captain’s Career Course and the Special Forces Qualification Course, also known as the “Q” Course which takes between 56 and 95 weeks to complete. Only one third of the soldiers that are accepted by SFAS graduate to the “Q” Course and roughly 50% of those become Green Berets.
SFAS is a nightmare for candidates as they have to go through a three week program that begins with the first week which is known as “gates,” which involves difficult and challenging physical fitness tests. The second week is called “land-nav week” where the candidates learn to use a compass and map to learn to navigate. The third week is the most testing, and is known as “team week.” Candidates have to undergo long and hard team missions with no sleep, not to mention having to carry 75 pound rucksacks. Based on how well the candidates perform, they are given either a pink of blue slip which determines if they will move onto the “Q” course.
The Army did not mention or identify the names of the women that were accepted into the SFAS. They did mention that one woman graduated from Officer Candidate School and the other was in a Reserve Officers Training Course.