FORT BRAGG, NC – Officers and noncommissioned officers from foreign militaries will again be eligible to earn the coveted Special Forces Tab in a move by the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School to continue a long tradition of integrating allied partners into Green Beret training.
In the early 1960s, Brig. Gen. William P. Yarborough, who then commanded the U.S. Army Special Warfare Center, began a robust program of interaction with partner-nation militaries. The historical report of 1963 shows the Center and School hosted more than 1,100 international students from 54 countries in a variety of Special Operations training courses.
“The importance of these interactions with our partner nations, as established by General Yarborough, are as necessary today as they were almost fifty years ago and are the impetus of the reestablishment of this program,” said Maj. Gen. Thomas R. Csrnko, USAJFKSWCS commander. “Having our partners in the course will enhance interoperability, foster relationships and reinforce the importance of cross-cultural communications.”
“This January will see the return of our multinational partners to training alongside our U.S. students, and it’s not a moment too soon,” Csrnko said. “The interaction and interoperability that we get with our foreign partners is powerful, both for our Soldiers and the allied students that we will host from across the globe.”
“Rejoining our allies in a single Special Forces Qualification Course is a logical extension of operational lessons and the basic principle to train like one fights,” said Col. Curtis Boyd, USAJFKSWCS Chief of Staff.
Studies of operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere have indicated allied partnerships and coalitions are indispensible to disrupting transnational terrorism and fostering democracy, said Boyd. U.S. and allied special operations forces have demonstrated their value and integral role in Irregular Warfare.
The Special Forces Qualification Course will provide opportunities for six international officers and six international NCOs to attend training four times per year, totaling 48 training slots per year. Partner nation students will forego the first two phases of SFQC – Special Forces Assessment and Selection and language training – but will be required to meet all of the same standards in the remaining four phases set for U.S. Soldiers to earn the Special Forces Tab.
In late 2005, the Center and School modified the SFQC and since January 2006, allied officers and NCOs have received specialized training at USAJFKSWCS in a separate International Special Forces Training Course, which trained and tested many of the core Army Special Forces tasks, but did not offer the same training as U.S. Soldiers received, and did not award the Special Forces Tab.