“I’ve worked with lots of great women at the CIA.  They bring super value to the table.  It’s going to happen in SF (Special Forces).  Get used to it,” retired Special Forces Sergeant Major Billy Waugh, a former CIA Paramilitary Officer, stated.

Waugh, the author of “Hunting The Jackal,” spoke to a room full of skeptical Special Forces brothers at the recent Special Forces Association conference in Jacksonville.

That’s where Colonel Nestor A. Sadler, Commandant of the Special Forces Regiment at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center School (USAJFKSWCS) confirmed, two female Army officers have been invited to report to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in their first step towards earning the Special Forces tab and becoming a Green Beret.

Colonel Sadler said the two female candidates accepted their invitations for Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) class.  The earliest class they could attend would be this October, though neither have received orders directing travel to Fort Bragg for training yet.

Special Forces officer candidates are trained to lead 12-man Special Forces Operational Detachment Alphas (ODAs), known as “A-Teams”.  One core mission is to conduct unconventional warfare campaigns behind enemy lines.

Should the women attend and pass SFAS, as well as the following Special Forces Qualification Course and earn the coveted Green Beret, each could become an “18-Alpha”, the captain in charge of an A-Team of senior non-commissioned officers.  Theoretically, if neither woman were be dropped or recycled due to injury, it could be about 2-years from beginning the SFAS process, to when they’d be sent to lead an Operational Detachment Alpha, or “A-Team.”

Col. Sadler explained to the national Special Forces Association conference in Jacksonville, Florida, that over the past several months, seven female’s application packets for Special Forces had gone through Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) selection panel.  Of those, he said, two officer’s packets were approved for attendance at SFAS.  (Reporter’s note: according to USASOC, five packets, not seven, had actually gone through.)

“Two females met the requirements for SFAS and were nominated by the ARSOF panel to attend SFAS.  One candidate declined her invitation and withdrew from the process.  Special Forces Branch asked why.  On the last day to accept or decline the invitation, she changed her mind and accepted the invitation to attend SFAS,” Sadler said.

(Written by Alex Quade)

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Image courtesy of DoD