SOF operators are renowned for their superb physical condition. The physical requirements of the profession are often equated with those found in professional sports.

After 9/11, SOF units became the go-to option for policymakers. This highligthed the need for a larger, more effective force. Thus, SOF units began implementing techniques from professional sports teams to their selection processes and to their operational elements. Nearly two decades since, however, the opposite is beginning to happen.

Recently, top CrossFit athletes joined Special Forces operators assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group (5th SFG) for a day of PT, marksmanship and other events. Among the participants were Noah Ohlsen, who came 2nd at the 2019 CrossFit Games, and Captain Chandler Smith, who came 15th.

“We wanted to show the physical fitness aspect of a Special Operations unit and how it is similar to some top athletes in the world,” said a Special Forces senior non-commissioned officer.