Army MOS 18X: Understanding the Path to Special Forces

The 18X MOS in the US Army is a Special Forces designation for candidates who enroll directly in the training pipeline to become elite soldiers.

Overview of 18X MOS

In the United States Army, the 18X is a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) designation for Special Forces candidates.

This path offers you the opportunity to enroll directly into the rigorous training pipeline to become a member of the Army Special Forces, an elite group within the military.

When you enlist under the 18X Special Forces Enlistment Option, you embark on a challenging journey that leads to an exceptional career among the military’s finest soldiers.

Here’s what you need to know about this MOS:

  • Initial Qualifications: You must meet specific physical and mental standards, including a qualifying score on the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).

  • Training Pipeline:

    • Basic Combat Training (BCT): Develop basic soldiering skills.
    • Advanced Individual Training (AIT): Introduction to Special Forces.
    • Airborne School: Parachute training.
    • Special Forces Preparation Course: Pre-assessment for Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS).
  • Post-Training:

    • Candidates who successfully navigate the selection process will continue onto the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) before earning the Green Beret.

It’s important to understand that this MOS is unique; as an 18X Special Forces Candidate, you are attempting entry into one of the most challenging and rewarding Army jobs.

Your success hinges on your physical ability, psychological resilience, and dedication to serving in the Army Special Forces.

Keep in mind your commitment to both personal excellence and teamwork as you consider this extraordinary career path within military careers.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, you’ll find specific details about the Army’s 18X Special Forces enlistment option.

What qualifications are necessary to apply for Special Forces under the 18X enlistment option?

To apply for the 18X enlistment option, you must be a U.S. citizen, between 20 and 30 years of age, a high school graduate, and qualify for airborne training.

You’ll also need to achieve a sufficient score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).

What is the typical career trajectory for an individual starting as an 18X in the Army?

Starting as an 18X in the Army, you can expect to complete the Basic Combat Training (BCT), followed by Advanced Individual Training and Airborne School.

Successful candidates will then attend the Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) followed by the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC).

What are the specifics of the physical fitness standards required for an 18X candidate?

As an 18X candidate, you’re required to pass the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) to enter training, which includes a minimum of 49 push-ups, 59 sit-ups, and a two-mile run in under 15 minutes and 12 seconds.

You’ll also face rigorous physical demands throughout your Special Forces training.

In terms of earnings, what can an 18X soldier expect to make annually?

The annual earnings for an 18X soldier depend on rank, time in service, and applicable special pays.

Base pay for enlisted soldiers starts between $20,000 and $30,000, with additional income for housing, special duty pay, and foreign language proficiency.

What specialized training does an 18X enlistee undergo upon entering the Army Special Forces?

Upon entering the Army Special Forces as an 18X, you will undergo the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC), also known as the “Q Course,” which includes language training, small unit tactics, unconventional warfare, and more based on your assigned specialty within the unit.

How does someone in the National Guard pursue an opportunity to train as an 18X?

If you’re in the National Guard, you can pursue training as an 18X by attending the Special Forces Readiness Evaluation (SFRE) or talking with your unit’s recruiter about available Special Forces positions and attending the Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS).