Special Forces Officers

Military Career

General Information

Description

Special forces officers advise commanders on all aspects of special operations. They are experienced subject matter experts in unconventional warfare and operations fusing intelligence and planning at all levels across the operational continuum. They must have detailed knowledge of geography, economy, political structure, armed forces, and history.

Work Environment

Because special forces officers must be prepared to go anywhere in the world they are needed, they train and work in all climates, weather conditions, and settings. They may work in cold water and dive from submarines or small underwater craft. They may also be exposed to harsh temperatures, often without protection, during missions into enemy-controlled areas.

Workplace at a Glance

What you can expect to experience while on the job

  • Responsibility
  • Exposure to job hazards
  • Physical activity
  • Decision making
  • Repetitiveness
  • Level of competition
  • Time pressure
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Military Outlook

Service Branches

Jobs in this career field may be available in other service branches. Call or email a particular branch for more info.

  • Army
  • Marine Corps
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard

Military Status

  • Officer
    • Managerial/professional
    • College degree required

Military Workforce

Special Forces Officers in the Military

5,037

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Salary

Average Salary

$115,773

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Education

Military training

Officers typically enter the Military after they have completed a four-year college degree; enlisted service members can transition to officer positions through a variety of pathways and earn a degree while serving. Special Forces officers go through extensive, demanding training. Job training for Special Forces officers primarily consists of classroom training and on-the-job learning in various training environments. Like other officers, they complete a comprehensive training program covering responsibilities, military structure and etiquette, traditions, and leadership development. Job-specific training content may include: Physical conditioning, scuba diving, swimming, and parachutingMission planning techniquesHandling and use of explosivesReconnaissance techniquesCombat skillsAirborne training Special Forces Qualification Courses

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Skills at a Glance

Skills helpful in this career

  • Verbal skills
  • Critical thinking & problem solving
  • Equipment operation & maintenance
  • Math & science skills
  • Technology design & control
  • Leadership
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