So, you’ve volunteered to be in Special Forces and you’re getting ready to go to Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS). This is the time to prepare yourself for the grind that is to come. There are certain tips, such as the PT program which will help you attain the level of physical fitness that you’ll need to not just pass the course but to excel where the course isn’t as tough as you’ll see other people struggling.

Now, we get to the elephant in the room, the Land Navigation course and many students fail at either SFAS or the SFQC because they failed the land navigation course. The course is tough, it is the toughest individual land navigation course you’ll find in the US military.

In previous segments, we touched on Map reading, pace count, orienting the map and plotting your starting location. Now we’ll get into the plotting and planning of your route. A proper plan makes getting there a heck of a lot easier.

Plot Your First Point: Okay in our previous segment, we’ve checked and then double-checked our location so that you know exactly where you are starting from. Now you plot your first point the exact same way.

Read to the right and up and using the 1/50,000 map scale, carefully plot your eight-digit grid coordinate to where you are going. Remember, four-digit grids get us to within 1000 meters, six-digit grids to within 100 meters and an eight-digit grid gets us to within 10 meters. Double check your plot and ensure you’ve got it right.

Now measure the distance between the two points. Remember this is straight line distance and not walking distance. Your actual traveling distance will vary from point to point depending on your route selection and the terrain that you’ll encounter.

Planning the Route: There are two basic ways you can get to where you’re going. Either will get you to where you’re going but for your purposes in SFAS, one may prove to be a better option. Again, don’t go with what everyone else is doing, always do what is right for you.

Dead Reckoning – Is a system that is done in two steps. The first is getting an azimuth from your starting point using your map and protractor and determine the distance to where your point is located at. The next step is to use your compass and your pace count and apply what you’ve already learned and walk to your point by staying as close as you can to your azimuth.