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Subject: Attrition in Special Forces Selection
Comet    8/25/2003 6:40:18 PM
Does anyone know what the attrition is now for SF Selection? Now that they are taking new recruits as 18x, I'm interested in knowing how well they're doing.
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Shaka of Carthage    RE:Attrition in Special Forces Selection   8/25/2003 7:54:08 PM
I assume you are referring to the SF recruiting directly from civilians? I suspect that since this is very recent, that that type if information isn't available to the general public yet. It would also be interesting to see what kind of changes that have made in the SF training process in general to accomadate these newbie recruits, since they are no longer seasoned NCOs.
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WinsettZ    RE:Attrition in Special Forces Selection   8/25/2003 8:31:18 PM
The whole army is going through a recruitment drop, and not every trooper who enlists is top-notch, so you can't draw from there. There's a thing on SFTT about "Porcelain Soldiers", I found it a interesting read. The whole issue of attrition in the Army itself and low quality recruits ties into special forces attrition, as those who can't pass can't be special forces.
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Comet    RE:Attrition in Special Forces Selection   8/26/2003 2:09:35 AM
Yes, I'm talking about the new program to recruit civilians and train them for SF. The new Army directive to increase the SF ranks, when turnover is so high from fatalities, retirement, etc. I'm interested to know if this is actually working or not. It may be too early to tell but the first couple of batches of recruits must be through Basic by now. If the 80/20 rule holds, they will get what they need. If it's lower than that, they'll have to figure out some other way to fill their ranks.
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Horsesoldier    RE:Attrition in Special Forces Selection   8/28/2003 8:51:10 PM
I'd suggest giving a look at the discussion boards over at -- if I'm not mistaken there are some guys over there who are currently in the 18-Xray pipeline who post occasionally. It's been a while since I've looked over there, some of the guys in the pipeline may have completed it by now. I don't know that they have adjusted selection or training any due to the 18X program -- even under the post-1988 recruitment criteria, the program was open to E-4Ps and very non-combat sort of MOS's. I imagine that a kid straight out of infantry AIT (if I'm not mistaken that is step one of the 18X pipeline) won't be too far behind the power curve compared to, say, an E-4P supply sergeant, etc.
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ZealousZionist    RE:Attrition in Special Forces Selection   12/15/2003 7:26:32 PM
I was talking to an SF major a while back (before the new civilian recruitment scheme) and he told me that the average wash out rate in SF selection is about 50%. While the institutionalization of SF as a separate branch was probably necessary to deal with the hostile "leg" mentality of the regular army, I can't help but think that this has created problems of its own. Expecially in terms of maintaining quality. I was reading a piece on SF selection a while ago and the PERSCOM guys were quoted as saying "we need 750 new Special Forces operaters this year." That sort of "assembly line" attitude where selection is concerned can't help but come at the expense of quality. Compare, by contrast, SAS and Delta selection rates, that are usually about 10%. There is also the story of the selection course in each of these units where not a single candidate was deemed suitable and passed. There's a similar story about BUDS (don't know whether it's true) The SF units with which I am personally acquainted (the IDF's Sayeret Matkal and its Naval Commando S-13) maintain extremely exacting standards that cause well over 95% of those who aspire to those units to not make the grade. The Brit SAS, and the US Delta and SEALS seem to have the same uncompromising attitude. With roughly 5,000 operator slots to fill in the US Army SF, it's undoubtedly difficult to maintain standards quite to the same extent. But the Green Beanies need to take care not to water down standards too much in order to keep their ranks filled.
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macawman    Special Forces Selection 18 Xray program   12/16/2003 3:49:42 PM
I think one of the main reasons why SF is trying to recruit from the civilian populis is the competition for prime infantry types in the 'regular' Army. If the regular Army has a sharp and physically fit infantry trainee in AIT, they are not likely going to let him go SF, unless he was recruited for SF. In the recent past, SF initially fielded a mid 20's, extremely fit, smart 'thinker' type soldier who was capable of learning a foreign language and had the ability to adapt to a foreign culture.
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WarriorBravo4    RE:Special Forces Selection 18 Xray program   12/16/2003 4:22:11 PM
Infantry Soldiers do not go to "AIT" they are enrolled in a fourteen week OSUT program. We start learning things such as Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu, AIM(Advanced Infantry Marksmanship, firing with NODs and PAQ-4 lasers and the M68 CCO or close combat optic) as early as our fifth week of training in the phase that would be considered "Basic Combat Training" to a rear echelon troop. We also get trained on the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehichle in "Basic Training." All 18X recruits are first 11B recruits. They are sent to Sandhill, Ft. Benning, GA for Infantry OSUT training. The only difference between them and 11B recruits is that they are guaranteed a slot in Airborne school and a CHANCE at SFAS, other than that they are Infantrymen first. If they fail to get selected for SF(which most of them do fail) they go to an Infantry unit and forfeit their enlistment bonus.
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joe6pack    RE:Special Forces Selection 18 Xray program   12/16/2003 9:06:22 PM
One of the SF requirments is language skills (or the ability to them quickly) You used to have to score pretty well on the DLAB to qualify for that.. I wonder if they are relaxing those requirments as well to fill slots...If not and W.B.s right about those guys that get dropped end up back in an infantry unit.. their recruiters are as big a scoundrels as mine ;-) Good DLAB and ASVAB should get them into a nice REMF intel job ;-)
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Horsesoldier    RE:Special Forces Selection 18 Xray program   12/17/2003 12:47:36 PM
>>We start learning things such as Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu, AIM(Advanced Infantry Marksmanship, firing with NODs and PAQ-4 lasers and the M68 CCO or close combat optic) as early as our fifth week of training in the phase that would be considered "Basic Combat Training" to a rear echelon troop.<< Well, you'd sort of have to, I'd think, what with infantry OSUT being the shortest combat arms OSUT in the army . . .
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WarriorBravo4    RE:Special Forces Selection 18 Xray program   12/17/2003 7:58:28 PM
You don't get a nice cushy REMF job if you fail SFAS because you are already a qualified Infantryman and they aren't going to spend the money to send you to another school just because you failed. You still have to score high on the DLAB and ASVAB though. And I have a friend who enlisted as either FA or MLRS I don't know which I just know he went to Ft. Sill, I think he was in OSUT about the same amount of time I was.
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