A Company, 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne)

   Illinois Army National Guard

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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ for joining our unit, and/or Special Forces National Guard. Please note the 3 different categories; Prior Service SF Soldiers, Military SF Candidates, and Non-Prior Service Candidates.

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.” -John F. Kennedy

  Prior  Service Green Berets

Do I have to live in Illinois?  No. 


Do I get reimburse for traveling to drill? No, travel to drill weekends is not covered however, travel to training on orders is. 


What is  MUTA? Multiple unit training assembly.  A typical drill weekend is a MUTA 4, meaning 2 active duty day pay periods for a day’s work on drill weekend.  Most of our drills are between a MUTA 4 to 8 ( 4 being 2 days work, 8 being 4 days of work)


What is the minimum  length of contract can I come in on? If you are MOS qualified as an 18 series; one year.


How often do you train? Usually 9 to 10 drill weekends a year with some drill weekends lasting 2-5 days and 3 weeks of annual training (AT).  Most unit members do more than what is required.


How much time is expected out of me? As a general rule the time periods listed above, however, there are exceptions. 


What kind of schools do you offer? All the 331 ATRRS schools found with SF are available (with the exception of SFARTEC) as well as numerous non-ATRRS courses.  We often are allotted more slots per company than active duty in some instances depending on the course.


What if I want to ‘contract’? As long as the you give an earnest effort to make up drills and attend major training events (i.e. AT, MUTA 6-8) you will remain a member of this unit in good standing.


Where do you train? Drills are mostly in Chicago but tactical training occurs in many sites.  We often do ‘fly aways’ or link up at training areas in Ft. McCoy, WI, Camp Atterbury, IN, Pelham range, AL, and Marseilles, IL.   These training events usually occur over 3-5 days.


How do I sign up?  If you are still active duty you will receive a brief from an in-service recruiter when you get ready to ETS.  At that point they will contact the unit and state to work your enlistment into the unit.  If you are no longer in, contact an IL National Guard recruiter or the unit.

  Military SF Candidates

What is SFRA?  The Special Forces Readiness Assessment is a company driven assessment on the physical fitness and aptitude of a potential SF candidate commonly referred to as ‘tryouts’. It is approximately 36 hours of intensive work on a drill weekend in the spring and fall.  It is not the official Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) nor can we ‘not select’ someone who attends.  Only the SFAS committee at Ft. Bragg, NC can do that. We assess the readiness to attend SFAS therefore all SFRA attendees should show up as if they are ready to go to SFAS.  All attendees are at least counseled or boarded on their performance.  If candidates do not make the SFRA they are told what they need to work on and to return 6 months later to the next SFRA.  For more information about the unit’s SFRA, please contact the unit though the email address provided below and request the SFRA or ‘tryout’ packet.


Do I have to be a member of the IL National Guard to attend the SFRA? No. You can attend the SFRA as another state NG member, reservist, sister service, on IRR status or as an active duty Soldier on leave.  Prior-service candidates can now attend the SFRA with a civilian waiver.


If I ‘pass’ the SFRA do I become part of the unit? No. You do not become an official member of the unit until you complete SFAS. You do not become a member of an ODA until you complete the SF qualification course (SFQC).


What if I am a Marine, Airman or Sailor?  Many have tried and are now on an ODA.  You can still attend SFRA in your current status.  However, first, you will need your commander’s permission and second, you will eventually need to either ETS out of your current contract or get a conditional release from your service in order to get to SFAS and SF training. 

  Civilian SF Candidates (Non-Prior Service REP 63)

Can I join the National Guard Special Forces with no prior military experience? Yes. As a Special Forces candidate you are guaranteed the opportunity to be assessed and selected for Special Forces. This doesn't mean that you will be selected - just that you will be provided the opportunity. The active duty component offers the "18X" program that allows an individual with no military experience to join the Army and attend the selection program.  The Army National Guard has a similar program called "Rep 63" that follows the same process.


If I have no prior military service what training will I receive prior to the Special Forces Qualification Course?  You will go through your initial Basic and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Benning, Georgia. These two courses are combined and are called Infantry One Station Unit Training (OSUT).  OSUT is 14 weeks long. After OSUT you attend the thee-week long Airborne School or "jump school" at Fort Benning. From Fort Benning you will travel to Fort Bragg and attend the Special Operations Preparatory Course (SOPC) and Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course (SFAS).  If selected in SFAS you then start the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC).


Who attends the Special Operations Preparatory Course?  18X and Rep 63 Special Forces candidates. Prior service Special Forces candidates go straight to SFAS.


If I don't get selected in SFAS what happens next? If you are active duty you return to your parent unit.  If you are an "18X" you are reassigned based on your MOS and the needs of the Army.  If you are National Guard you return to your unit and may be afforded the opportunity to attend SFAS a second time.  If not, then you will be reassigned to a National Guard unit within your state.


If I don't pass or complete SFQC what happens next?  You may be provided the opportunity to "recycle" or re-enter training at some point in the SFQC pipeline.  If not then active duty Soldiers will be reassigned to another unit / post based on your MOS and the needs of the Army.  If you are National Guard you may recycle or you will return to your unit where a decision will be made to re-send you to SFQC or to reassign you to another National Guard unit within the state.


If I have prior military service what training will I receive prior to the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC)?  At a minimum you will be screened for the prerequisites prior to attending SFQC. The local NG SF unit will likely hold a "try out" session where you are administered a physical fitness test. Some units hold a 2-3 day "try out" testing your leadership, land navigation skills, physical endurance and motivation.  If you don't have an applicable Army MOS then you may attend Advanced Individual Training (AIT).  You will also attend Airborne School, the Warrior Leader Course (WLC), and SFAS.


Do I need to be a U.S. citizen?  Yes.  There are no waivers.


What is the minimum GT score for Special Forces?  You must have a GT score of 107 or higher.  No exceptions or waivers.  If your score is lower you should go to your local Army education center to study and retest to obtain a higher score. There are online study guides and books that can be purchased to help you increase your score as well.


How can I prepare for the ASVAB?  Click on this link to learn more about the ASVAB.


How hard is Special Forces training?  The training is demanding, long and comprehensive testing your intellect, physical condition and motivation. It is as hard if not harder than Ranger School or Combat Diver Qualification.


Do National Guard Soldiers go through the same Special Forces training as active duty Soldiers?  Yes, there is absolutely no difference in the training.


Once SF qualified how much do I train?  You are required to train one weekend a month and a minimum of two weeks a year.  However, the vast majority of National Guard Soldiers train much more than two weeks a year.


What do I make in pay for a weekend as a National Guard member?  It depends on your rank and how long you have been in the Army.  The following link brings you to a simple drill pay chart.