Special forces candidates tested

In a display of strength, skill and stamina, more than 50 ADF personnel – including several females – were put through a series of physical and cognitive tests in their bid to be selected to serve in Special Operations Command.

CAPTION: An Australian Army physical training instructor takes candidates through a warm-up before starting the Special Forces Entry Test at Holsworthy Barracks, Sydney, on Monday, 01 March 2021. Story by Lieutenant Anthony Martin. Photo by Leading Aircraftwoman Jacquelline Forrester.

ADF School of Special Operations (ADFSSO) instructors put the aspiring special operations forces candidates through the Special Forces Entry Test (SFET) at Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney.

Special operations forces includes special forces soldiers as well as doctors, nurses, medics, signallers, engineers, logisticians, intelligence analysts and other key personnel who closely support special operations.

Officer Commanding Selection Wing at ADFSSO Major E said the ADFSSO instructors used the SFET to assess candidates’ fitness, cognitive function, motivation and their desire to serve in Special Operations Command.

“For ADF personnel aiming to become special forces members, the goal is clear: you first need to pass the SFET and meet discipline, ethical and performance requirements to be panelled to attempt a selection course,” Major E said.

“For support staff, it’s impressive if they can meet the physical demands of the SFET, but it’s not essential.

“We’re looking for more than that. Their core trade skills are critical to enable a special operations task force to achieve mission success.”

CAPTION: ADF personnel conduct chin-ups during the Special Forces Entry Test. Photo by Leading Aircraftwoman Jacqueline Forrester.

The SFET is often the culmination of a 26-week preparation process for those who have applied for special forces.

“For special forces candidates, a key part of the evening is to support them with feedback – where they have done well, identify weaknesses – and it also gives us the opportunity to further develop individuals in their knowledge, skills and abilities for now and into the future,” Major E said.

“The bottom line for us is, irrespective of the outcome, that each candidate develops as an individual, and they have a positive experience that they can take back to their workplace in the wider ADF and continue their personal growth.”

Special Operations Command recruits personnel from across the ADF.

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7 thoughts on “Special forces candidates tested

  • 13/06/2021 at 11:11 pm

    Women are more than ready to work with in the conventional and non Conventional SF space it’s an organization maturity which will allow it to be successful.

    Do women work independently within all female units bypassing the intrinsic issues that come with male -female workspaces ?

    If the physical requirements remain the same for both sexes then SF need to look at ensuring a greater emphasis is placed on developing strength with in the condition program two outcomes will occur great numbers of women will be successful and soft tissue and skeletal injuries should be lowered or reduced.

  • 13/06/2021 at 11:10 pm

    If the girls can pass the tests, let them in, as long as the standards are the same for both genders. Some of the female soldiers and cops I’ve served with are tough as nails and extremely determined people.

  • 13/06/2021 at 7:29 pm

    I wonder if the females are tested at the same level as the men. Special ops demands high levels of physical endurance and cant be hampered by people without the high degree of physical prowess the mission demands. If the females cant carry the same equipment as the men or meet the physical requirements they have no place in special ops.

  • 13/06/2021 at 11:17 am

    It truly is sexist that almost every photo we see (provided) of ADF or Police personnel features women (sorry females) in prominence or majority, even though their (women’s) percentage numbers is minor.

  • 13/06/2021 at 10:34 am

    All power to them, but this all pervading idea that the only way to reach your peak in todays Army is to join Special Forces……..its crap.

    Some of the most professional and toughest soldiers I ever served with were ordinary people committed to the job they found themselves in.

    Don’t need to be a grunt to be special

    • 13/06/2021 at 11:12 pm

      Totally agree, even if a female can qualify for infantry she’s achieved a lot, and there’s a lot of extremely tough and determined women in the Military. They don’t need to be SF to contribute.

      • 27/06/2021 at 10:33 am

        Yeah it wasn’t meant to be a comment on gender……..obviously never heard of Israel Trevor.


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