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In recent years, the term “18x Army” has gained popularity in the military community. But what exactly does it mean? In this blog post, we will explore the origins and definition of 18x Army, the training process, and the unique opportunities that come with being part of this elite group.
Origins and Definition:
The term 18x Army refers to a specific enlistment option in the United States Army that allows individuals to try out for Special Forces during their initial entry training. The “18” designation comes from the MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) code for Special Forces, which is 18 series. The “x” indicates that the individual has not yet completed the Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) course, but is guaranteed a chance to attend if they meet the necessary qualifications during basic training.
The 18x Army program was introduced in 2004 as a way to streamline the recruitment process for Special Forces and attract a wider pool of candidates. Prior to the creation of 18x, soldiers had to serve in the Army for several years and then apply for Special Forces training, often facing stiff competition for limited slots. The 18x program provides a more direct path to Special Forces, allowing individuals to start training immediately after basic training.
The training process for 18x Army soldiers is rigorous and demanding. After completing basic training, soldiers attend the Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) course, which is a grueling 21-day program designed to test physical and mental endurance, as well as leadership and teamwork skills. Only about 30% of candidates make it through SFAS.
Those who pass SFAS move on to the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC), which is divided into several phases. The first phase, known as the Special Forces Assessment and Selection Orientation Course (SFASOC), is a two-week program designed to prepare soldiers for the challenges of the rest of the SFQC. The remaining phases of the SFQC include language training, small unit tactics, and specialized training in areas such as communications, intelligence, and medical skills.
The entire SFQC program can take up to two years to complete, and soldiers must maintain high standards throughout the process in order to graduate and earn the coveted Green Beret.
Being part of the 18x Army program comes with several unique opportunities. First and foremost, 18x soldiers have the chance to become part of one of the most elite units in the U.S. military. Special Forces soldiers are known for their specialized training and their ability to operate in unconventional environments, making them an essential component of U.S. military strategy.
In addition to the pride and honor of serving in Special Forces, 18x soldiers also have the opportunity to receive specialized training in a variety of areas. Depending on their MOS, soldiers may receive training in areas such as foreign languages, medical skills, or intelligence gathering, which can be valuable in both military and civilian careers.
Finally, 18x soldiers have the chance to work with and learn from some of the most skilled and experienced soldiers in the military. Special Forces soldiers are often called upon to work alongside other elite units, such as Navy SEALs or Delta Force, and the cross-training opportunities can be invaluable.
In conclusion, the 18x Army program offers a unique and challenging path to become part of one of the most elite units in the U.S. military. The program requires a high level of physical and mental endurance, as well as strong leadership and teamwork skills. However, for those who are up to the challenge, the rewards can be significant, including specialized training in valuable skills, the chance to work with other elite units, and the honor of serving in Special Forces.