As I write this post, I can’t help but think about the bootleg copy of “Napoleon Dynamite” that the other Rangers and I would watch over and over again while we were deployed to Afghanistan. “Girls only like guys that have skills. You know, like bow-fighting skills, computer-hacking skills….”

We never learned any bow-fighting skills, and computer hacking falls under the domain of others, but special operations soldiers do employ an array of hard-learned and much-sought-after skills. This is why so much time is invested in training each soldier, and why they are worth so much money to various companies after they leave the military.

If a company like Bancroft is looking to hire someone who is a trained medic, sniper qualified, and has previous experience training foreign soldiers, there is really only one place for them to look: special operations veterans. By the end of their time in uniform, a lot of guys end up with some highly unique skill sets. Here, we will identify the top ten, but of course there are plenty more that could be added, including a few that are best left unsaid.

Here are the top ten special operations skills.

1. Combatives


Combatives are conducted frequently in the special operations community, often as a form of physical training performed each morning by Rangers and Special Forces soldiers. Derived from Gracie jiu-jitsu, Army combatives aren’t just about learning hand-to-hand combat. They are about instilling warrior values in each individual soldier and giving him (or her) the self confidence to know that they are a human weapon, and never out of the fight.

2. Military free-fall


Military free-fall is an insertion technique that includes two forms of parachuting: The first is known as high-altitude low-opening (HALO), the second, high-altitude high-opening (HAHO). Both techniques involve jumping from airplanes at very high altitudes, so high that the jumper has to be on oxygen so they don’t asphyxiate due to the thin air.