10 Steps to Becoming a Green Beret
10 Steps to Becoming a Green Beret

The Green Berets are the most elite branch of the U.S. Army. They are the special forces of the Army with a number of primary missions. These include: unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, direct action, and counter-terrorism. Due to the elite status and importance of the Green Berets, competition to get into this branch of the army is high. Therefore, before embarking on this, keep in mind that the competition is fierce, and you will have to have a long, difficult road to complete to enter the special forces.

  1. Be the right age and gender. To qualify for the Green Berets, you must be a man. You also must be between the ages of 20 and 30 years old.
  2. Have good vision. Like other specialized professions within the military, you must have good eyesight to qualify. You need 20/20 vision or very close to it.
  3. Get a high school diploma. This requirement is a basic one for the special forces. You must pass and graduate high school. You don’t necessarily need a high GPA; however, you need intelligence to pass the Army’s tests for special forces. In fact, the Army prefers that you have at least a year of college, but that is not strictly necessary.
  4. Take and do well on the Army’s aptitude test. You take this test upon entering the army, and it measures where your strengths lie and where you would do best in the Army. To enter special forces, you need 110 or better in the general technical section and 100 or better on combat operation.
  5. Join the Army. You can apply online first, if you prefer, though a recruiter will talk to you after you submit your application. You can also just go talk to a local recruiter in person. You must be over 18 to enter.
    • You’ll go to the Military Entrance Processing Station to actually join. That’s where your initial physical will happen. You’ll also choose a specialty before you actually join.
  6. Do the pre-basic training task list. This list is a catch-all of things you need to get done before entering the Army. It includes items such as setting up direct deposit and creating an Army account. You’re also responsible for completing some training, from suicide prevention to anti-terrorism. You may also be responsible for completing some physical training. The full list is provided in the link.
  7. Pass the Army’s basic physical test. This test is given to everyone who enters the Army. Basically, you must do a certain number of sit-ups in 2 minutes and a certain number of push-ups in 2 minutes. The more you do in those 4 minutes, the better. After that, you run 2 miles, which is timed.

    • What you need to pass is based on your age. For instance, if you’re 18, you need to do 64 push-ups and 72 sit-ups and run the mile in 13 minutes and 42 seconds just to pass.
    • At age 27, you need to do 67 push-ups and 72 sit-ups and run the mile in 14 minutes and 12 seconds to pass.
    • Nonetheless, you need to do better than just passing to enter the special forces, as they are an elite squad.


  8. Take Advanced Individual Training.This training is basically your vocational training in the Army. It covers everything from engineering to artillery. Your commanding officer can help you decide which one is the right one for you to join the special forces.
  9. Meet the requirements for enlisted applications. If you are enlisted, you must be in the E-4 to E-7 pay grade, though there are some qualifiers for E-7: you must not have more than 12 years Time in Service or more than 9 months Time in Grade. You also must have 3 years left on your Time in Service once you complete all of the special forces training. If you are on assignment, you must get permission from your branch before attending the training.

    • The terms “E-4” and up refer to what rank you are. That means that you need to be at least a corporeal or specialist (E-4) to be in the special forces, but you can also be a sergeant or staff sergeant.
    • “Time in Service” refers to how long you’ve been in the Army, while “Time in Grade” refers to how long you’ve been at your current rank or pay grade. Promotions are based on both Time in Service and Time in Grade, with automatic promotions coming after certain time periods. Therefore, these requirements force you to be in the Army a certain amount of time before you enter special forces, though part of that time can be waived with approval.


  10. Go through Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS). The SFAS course is both a training session and an assessment to see if you’re able to move forward. It will test if you are physically and mentally able to deal with what special forces will require of you. In fact, this assessment is the first official part of Green Beret training.