What Is the Correct Classification of 18X

What Is the Correct Classification of 18X?

The United States Army provides various opportunities for individuals who wish to serve their country. One of the unique career paths available is the 18X, often referred to as the Special Forces Candidate (SF Candidate). This classification raises several questions about the role, training, and requirements of these candidates. In this article, we will explore the correct classification of 18X, along with frequently asked questions related to this career path.

The 18X classification is an entry-level designation for individuals who aspire to become Army Special Forces soldiers. It is important to note that 18X is not a specific Special Forces Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), but rather a pathway to join the Special Forces community. Upon successful completion of the training pipeline, candidates are awarded an MOS based on their specific skills and the needs of the Army.

The Special Forces, commonly known as the Green Berets, are a highly trained and specialized group within the U.S. Army. They are deployed worldwide to conduct a wide range of unconventional warfare, counterterrorism, and humanitarian missions. Special Forces soldiers receive advanced training in various areas, including foreign languages, combat tactics, and cultural awareness. They are also known for their expertise in building relationships with local populations and training indigenous forces.

To become an 18X candidate, individuals must meet certain eligibility requirements. Candidates must be U.S. citizens, be at least 20 years old, and have a high school diploma or equivalent. They must also meet the Army’s physical fitness standards and pass a series of rigorous assessments, including the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) selection process.

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The SFQC is a comprehensive training program that prepares candidates for the challenges of Special Forces operations. It consists of several phases, including the Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS), Special Forces Qualification (SFQ), and MOS-specific training. The SFQC is designed to assess candidates’ physical and mental capabilities, as well as their ability to work in a team and adapt to challenging environments.

The correct classification of 18X candidates is that they are Special Forces candidates in training. While they are not yet fully qualified Special Forces soldiers, they have embarked on the path to earn the prestigious Green Beret. Once candidates successfully complete the SFQC, they are awarded the Special Forces Tab and are assigned to an operational Special Forces Group. At this point, they will receive further specialized training to develop their specific skills and expertise.


Q: What are the benefits of choosing the 18X career path?
A: The 18X career path offers unique opportunities for personal and professional growth. Special Forces soldiers receive advanced training in various areas, including leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills. They also have the chance to work on challenging missions and make a significant impact in both national security and humanitarian efforts.

Q: Is prior military experience required to become an 18X candidate?
A: No, prior military experience is not required. The 18X classification is open to individuals who meet the eligibility criteria and are willing to undergo the rigorous training required to become a Special Forces soldier.

Q: How long does it take to complete the SFQC and become a fully qualified Special Forces soldier?
A: The duration of the SFQC can vary depending on the candidate’s MOS and other factors. On average, it takes about two years to complete the training and become a fully qualified Special Forces soldier.

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Q: Can 18X candidates choose their MOS?
A: While candidates may express preferences for specific MOSs, the final assignment is based on the needs of the Army and the candidate’s aptitude and performance during training.

Q: What happens if an 18X candidate fails to complete the SFQC?
A: If a candidate fails to complete the SFQC, they may be reassigned to another MOS or given the opportunity to reapply for the SFQC at a later time, depending on their performance and circumstances.

In conclusion, the correct classification of 18X is that it represents Special Forces candidates in training. These individuals have chosen a challenging and rewarding career path within the U.S. Army, with the goal of becoming fully qualified Special Forces soldiers. The rigorous training and assessments they undergo prepare them for the demanding nature of Special Forces operations. By successfully completing the SFQC, candidates earn the opportunity to serve in one of the Army’s most elite and respected units, the Special Forces.

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