There recently was a story published that has the entire Special Forces community abuzz. The title stated that “big changes” were coming for the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC). And whenever change comes to a qualification course it always draws heavy scrutiny from the members, but especially the former members of the Regiment who worry about the relaxation of standards and the weakening of the force.

The worry among some of the Regiment, both active and former members about allowing substandard troops into the Regiment will weaken the overall force and make it less capable than before. 

The Army and the Special Operations Command have decided that the schoolhouse where all Green Berets are trained needed a new upgrade as the shift from the counter-terrorism operations that have dominated the past two decades will need to address the new near-peer adversaries of China, Russia, as well as Iran or North Korea.

The plan is to cut some training that will be done after a soldier is Special Forces qualified and goes to his specific unit, where it will be tailored specifically towards his group’s area of operation. All Special Forces groups have areas of responsibility that they are tailored for. However, due to the extreme need of Special Forces troops in the Global War on Terror, (GWOT), all of the groups have been conducting combat deployments in the Middle East in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. 

The former commander of the Special Forces schools General Kurt Sonntag was the driving force behind the changes to the SFQC and last week he had this to say. 

“Today’s qualification course is for exactly the type of Green Beret we needed for 2008. It is not what we need for 2028,” said Sonntag. “We need to reestablish our forte, which is our ability to work with partner forces, developing their capabilities to provide an advantage for them and the United States against our adversaries — North Korea, Iran, and China and Russia.”

The changes in the course that Sonntag had proposed were endorsed by the Commander of the 1st Special Forces Command, MG John Deedrick who also wanted to see much of the training conducted at the unit level. 

“If you try to make them an expert in everything, you’re gonna give me a Swiss Army knife that can do a little bit of everything but isn’t real good,” he said in an interview with the media last week. “I’d prefer to have him very good at the basics and then let me tailor what he’s gonna do in the long run.”