FORT BRAGG, NC – The US Army has officially approved the admission of two female officers into the Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) course. SFAS, after completing Airborne School, is the first step in the Special Forces pipeline.
US Army Colonel Nestor Sadler, of the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (SWCS), confirmed that the two unidentified females had accepted invitations for the SFAS class, which could begin as early as October 2016.
“Two females met the requirements for SFAS and were nominated by the [Army Special Operations Forces selection] panel to attend SFAS,” Col. Sadler stated.
The panel reviewed applications from seven female officers, but only two were selected.
A spokeswoman for the SWCS indicated that 71 women applied for various positions within the Army’s Special Operations Forces and 65 were selected for consideration.
This is the first instance where females have had the ability to attend Special Forces selection. While nine female officers reportedly chose Special Forces selection as their first choice, only two were accepted.
Following the completion of SFAS, candidates must also attend and complete the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC), which could last longer than 62 weeks, depending on their military specialty.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter ended the ban on women in direct combat roles in December 2015.
It is unknown whether the female candidates will be held to the same standards as their male peers.