The Air Force has created a new, single pathway to funnel candidates in its Special Warfare specialties.

Called the Special Warfare Operator Enlistment Vectoring (SWOE-V) program, the new pathway will pool all those who wish to join one of the Special Operations career fields of the Air Force (Pararescue, Combat Control, Special Reconnaissance, and Tactical Air Control Party).

The SWOE-V looks like it will be working as a draft. The cadre will be the ones to determine which specialty is assigned to each candidate based on their performance, preference, and – more importantly – the needs of the Air Force.

Now, when Special Warfare hopefuls go to a recruiter, they won’t be able to pick a specific Special Warfare career field but instead will have to pick up a Special Warfare Operator Enlistment (SWOE) contract.

“On initial entry into the Air Force, the 9T500 AFSC [the designation for the SWOE-V] will be the only path for new Airmen to pursue a career into the Combat Control, Pararescue, Tactical Air Control Party or Special Reconnaissance career fields,” said Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Lopez, the chief of the special warfare division at Air Education and Training Command.

During their time at the BMT, Special Warfare candidates will get the chance to participate in additional physical training and also enhance and further their education on the career field.

The Air Force Special Operations Command’s (AFSOC) goal with the new pathway is to enable candidates to make better-informed decisions on which career field suits them best. Hitherto, candidates would join with an option on the contract to attempt the selection courses of their desired special operations job. But now they will have better information and mentorship on what each job entails and also the opportunity to change their choice.

“While assigned to their special warfare BMT [Basic Military Training] flights, candidates conduct additional physical training and continue their education about all things special warfare related including components, missions and specialties and the SWOE vectoring process,” added Lt. Col. Lopez.