In the first segment of interview with Brian Decker, we talked about the problem with the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) and the issues that arose from the Special Forces Selection and Assessment Course (SFAS). Brian Decker (‘the smartest guy in Training Group”) was tasked to fix the issues and get the Selection course revamped.

Decker identified that most of the problems that the course was having were social in nature. He realized that the internal drive to succeed is the best indicator for success in SF operators. He learned that each successful candidate responded to stress in their lives with a heightened sense of motivation.

He revamped the third week of SFAS (Team Week) and rather than have a candidate be evaluated as either a patrol leader or as an assistant patrol leader one time during the week, he went to a “leaderless group” exercise, where candidates were given a task as a group and the cadre, would watch and evaluate on how they self-organized around the task and requirement.

He had this to say about the events and assessment of Week 3.

During the events of Week 3, we select the future leaders of the Regiment based on their ability to lead or contribute to the performance of a team in a dynamic and complex environment.

Under Decker’s watch, while the success rate of candidates being selected from SFAS plummeted from around 50 percent to under 30, the candidates that were selected were much more successful in the SFQC with the pass rate rising from 50 percent to closer to 80 percent, which is what the command was looking for.

In the earlier segment of the interview, Decker mentioned the six attributes that the cadre of the SFAS course would look for. Special Forces training in the Special Warfare Center, SWC (referred to as “Swick”) utilized the “Whole Man” Selection Process and the six main attributes that every successful SF Operator should possess include:

  • Intelligence
  • Trainability
  • Physical Fitness
  • Motivation
  • Influence
  • Judgement

So, we’ll pick up where we left off in the interview and talk some more about the changes within the SFAS course. And that was where we had discussed the pass rate for the SFQC had risen to around 80 percent when he left and moved on to his next assignment.