In all this recent furor over female Rangers, I have not read or heard any references to Katie Wilder, the only female so far to attend the U.S. Army Special Forces Qualification Course and be granted SF certification. Her SFQC class graduated in Aug of 1980. I do not know her class number.
According to sources within the SF community, Captain Wilder, while assigned to 5th Special Forces Group as a Military Intelligence officer, had submitted her packet to be accepted to SF training directly to the Special Warfare Center, the SF “School House,” responsible for command and control of all SF training, but was rejected. She submitted her packet again, through different channels, and then was accepted.
Captain Wilder was denied her SF qualification in a letter from SWC which she received toward the end of training. In response, Wilder filed a sexual discrimination complaint against the Special Warfare Center. She claimed in an interview with the Free Lance Star, in an article dated 22 August, 1980, that “The Special Forces course itself was not all that difficult for me” . . . “The difficult part was all the stumbling blocks thrown in my path by the Special Forces School” (SWC). Now, I have a problem with that. Anyone who tells me that the Special Forces Course was “Not all that difficult” loses credibility in my eyes. Portions of it about killed me, and I don’t know any SF men who would disagree with that. But, possibly this was true due to the fact that she was in the “Officers’ Course”.
The media has numerous times quoted Katie as saying that she served in Special Forces, which, technically, is true, but also gives the impression that she served on SF teams, which is not the case. After the Special Forces Qualification Course, Wilder was assigned, according to SF sources, to Military Intelligence training and duties at Fort Huachuca, New Mexico, and later to various MI units.