Faced with a recruitment crisis, the United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) have been forced to put up advertisements to attract fresh blood into their elite ranks.
Posted in the British Army magazine Soldier, the advertisement is specifically geared toward the Special Forces Communicator (SFC) career field.
The advertisement states that “The Special Forces Communicator is [sic] selected for their technical acumen, tactical abilities and physical robustness to deliver and enable Special Forces information whenever needed.”
The career field was activated in April and falls under the Royal Signals (R Signals), which is one of the British Army’s combat support branches. Upon completion of a physically and intellectually arduous six-month selection and training pipeline, SFC operators are assigned to the 18 (UKSF) Signals Regiment. The Special Forces Communicator’s Course is comprised of six phases:
- Technical Trade Assessment (1 week)
- General Support Comms (6 weeks)
- Physical Aptitude (5 weeks)
- Close Support Comms (5 weeks)
- Conduct After Capture — the British equivalent of SERE (2 weeks)
- Military Training (3 weeks)
- SF Parachute Training (3 weeks)
The career field has significant career progression potential. Qualified SFC operators can advance up to the rank of Warrant Officer 1 (WO1) and Lieutenant Colonel, respectively for enlisted and officers.
The 18 (UKSF) Signals Regiment is a somewhat new addition to the British SOF community. It was activated in 2005, alongside the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) and the Special Forces Support Group (SFSG) – the former, however, has existed since the 1970s but under different names, such as the 14 Intelligence Company or the Det. The newest iteration of the unit was modeled after the American Intelligence Support Activity (ISA), also known as Task Force Orange. The key difference between the two units is that SRR operators are more focused on Human Intelligence (HUMINT), whereas their American counterparts also place a heavy emphasis on SIGINT.
The career field was activated in April and falls under the Royal Signals (R Signals), which is one of the British Army’s combat support branches. And it has significant career progression potential. Qualified SFC operators can advance up to the rank of Warrant Officer 1 (WO1) and Lieutenant Colonel, respectively for enlisted and officers.
The 18 (UKSF) Signals provides direct and indirect signals support to the rest of the UKSF. Some of its skillsets include providing secure comms, conducting tactical electronic warfare (EW) and Signals Intelligence (SIGINT). The Regiment is comprised of five squadrons:
- 264 Signals Squadron is attached to the Special Air Service (SAS)
- 276 Signals Squadron is attached to the SRR
- 268 Signals Squadron is attached to the Special Forces Support Group (SFSG)
- SBS Signals Squadron supporting the Special Boat Service
- 64 Signals Squadron is a reserve unit
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