Age Limits of Special Forces Training

by Sasha Maggio

When a soldier or future soldier considers joining special forces, certain prerequisites will determine if he is qualified to attempt the Q-Course, or "Qualification Course." Age waivers are not guaranteed, but may be awarded for certain individuals who shine.

Gender and Age Limits

Army Special Forces does not have any positions open for female soldiers, so only male soldiers may apply. The standard age range is between 20 and 30 years old. Soldiers who are slightly older, but who are in top physical condition and can perform well in a classroom setting, may be able to attain an age waiver. The nearest base Special Forces Recruiting office will be able to give a realistic assessment of the soldier's chances of obtaining such a waiver.

Other Qualification Criteria

In addition to being a male soldier between 20 and 30 years old, the soldier must be a United States citizen and have a high school diploma or GED. College credits or degrees are not mandatory. When the soldier took the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) he must have scored a 110 or higher on the technical portion and a 98 on the combat operation portion as well.

Army Schools & Clearances

Soldiers seeking to join special forces should have volunteered for Airborne School, and received Jump Wings. Possessing a secret or top secret clearance is a plus.

Physical Fitness

The qualifying soldier will be able to maintain a minimum score of 229 on the Army Physical Fitness Test and maintain proper height/weight proportions for his age bracket. A soldier who does not meet height/weight requirements will be flagged and that flag can prevent him from qualifying for special forces training. Additionally, a large portion of the initial special forces qualification process involves a significant amount of physical activity, not just typical Army physical training.

About the Author

Sasha Maggio specializes in topics related to psychology, fitness, nutrition, health, medicine, dentistry, and recovery after surgery, as well as cultural topics including Buddhism, Japanese culture, travel, languages and cooking. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Japanese from the University of Hawaii, as well as a Master of Arts in forensic psychology. She is currently pursuing Medical and PhD programs.

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