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Special Forces

Intelligence, Combat and Readiness

Service Branches

Work Environment

Because special forces team members must be prepared to go anywhere in the world, they train and work in all climates, weather conditions, and settings. They may dive from submarines or small underwater craft. Special forces team members may also be exposed to harsh temperatures, often without protection, during missions in enemy-controlled areas. Most of the time, however, they work and train on military bases, ships, or submarines.

  • Military Status

    Enlisted

  • Average Military Salary

    $50,585

Overview

Special forces members implement unconventional operations by air, land, or sea during combat or peacetime as members of elite teams. These activities include offensive raids, demolitions, reconnaissance, search and rescue, and counterterrorism. In addition to their combat training, special forces members often have specialized training in swimming, diving, parachuting, survival, emergency medicine, and foreign languages.

Military Training

All enlisted service members complete basic military training, which includes time spent in a classroom and in the field, and covers tactical and survival skills, physical training, military life and customs, and weapons training. Due to the wide variety of missions, Special Forces enlisted service members undergo some of the most intense and demanding physical and mental training in the world. They are trained swimmers, paratroopers, and survival experts, as well as trained in many forms of combat. Special Forces in the Military will gain skills through classroom study, practices exercises under simulated mission conditions, and on-the-job experience.

Helpful Attributes

  • Ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • Ability to work as a team member
  • Readiness to accept a challenge and face danger

Related Civilian Careers

  • Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics

Featured Career Story

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Air Force logo Enlisted
Intelligence, Combat and Readiness

Jose Cervantes

Pararescueman
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