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How I Became a Green Beret

February 16, 2011 | Major Kenrick Forrester

Maj. Forrester talks about why he decided to join special forces.


  • Leeza
    2/16/2011 5:55 PM
    From the mom of another Green Beret, thank you.
  • Yogi Patel
    5/26/2011 1:53 PM
    CPT Forrester, did you serve with A Co 1-187?
  • Calvin Shelstad
    10/27/2012 10:57 PM
    What was the experience like?What were the people like in SF and Ranger school?Do you have any advice for a 13 year old?Were the people ((Civilians)) over where you served supporting or rather uncooperative?What was the standard issue weapon given to infantry soldiers?Lastly, why did the Army switch to the ACUs when the DCUs are obviously better?
  • Kenrick Forrester
    10/29/2012 12:52 PM
    The people you meet in SF, Ranger, and in the Army are great people. You are surrounded by people who love what they do and like the challenges the Army provides. The advice I would give a 13 year old is work hard in school and follow your passions. If you join the service or choose to do something different you need to have at least a high school diploma or maybe even a college degree depending on what you choose to do. Figure out what you love to do and try to do that for a career. If you love what you do then getting up every day to go to work is always going to be more than a job. Most of the civilians I meet are good people. Most of the people just want to have a good life and the freedom to make their own decisions. The standard weapon is an M-4 but there are times you might have a different type of weapon such as an M-249 or M-240. I am not sure why we switched from DCUs but I like the DCUs better than ACUs. I do like Multi-cams better than both ACUs and DCUs. It was great to hear from you. Take care and good luck.
  • Kenrick Forrester
    10/29/2012 12:55 PM
    I just saw your post. We were in A Co 1-187 during the same time. Hopefully you are doing well.
  • Matt Diaz
    1/6/2013 10:01 PM
    Sir, what advice do you have for a young lieutenant that wants to go into special forces?
  • Kenrick Forrester
    1/9/2013 9:06 PM

    I would contact a recruiter from the Special Operations Recruiting Battalion and have him assist you in putting a packet together. We are looking for officers with the right aptitude to become Special Forces Officers. You will be assessed and selected on you prior performance, leadership ability, character, and potential to do well in our branch. So put your best effort forward and obtain your goal. Don’t “self-select” by not trying because that will definitely guarantee you will not become a Special Forces Officer.
  • Tyler Nguyen
    6/15/2013 6:59 AM
    Sir, I am currently a PFC Infantry. My desire is to become a Green Beret one day. I've been on training for the last 2 month now. Consistently running 5k and 10k march every week. I just feel like I'm not ready for it yet. Is there any advice could you give me to prepare for SF selection and assessment course? What is your motivation for being an SF? How do you know that your motivation was genuine or real? Since being an SF is a life style and commitment, then how do I need to live my life up to that expectation?
  • Kenrick Forrester
    7/4/2013 5:37 PM

    Don’t second guess yourself is the best advice I can give you. Prepare the best you can and give it your best shot throughout selection. We all have different motivations for joining SF. I would contact a SF recruiter and they can tell you what you need to do in order to prepare for selection. If you do everything they ask to the best of your ability then the motivation is real. The only expectation we have in the SF Regiment is that you do your best every day. Every day you need to work hard at being better than the day before.
  • A Moody
    8/2/2013 2:40 AM
    Remember to tell these kids how much SF initial training as well as career Infantry work can tear up a body. Be prepared, do your research and be physically fit prior to joining up to avoid life long orthopedic injuries. I mean triathalon type fit. Being Airborne is no joke, and it Will result in injury. Prepare your body for the type of work you will be doing.
  • Jonathon Smith
    8/11/2013 5:37 PM
    Sir, I will be enlisting at the end of this month. I have researched alot about the 75th Ranger Regiment, but i want to know, "What is the best path to the rangers." Is it better to go 11b and then airborne for more experience? Or to get the 40 contract and go start for it. I am over the minimum Army PT and I've been training for this for over a year now. I just want to know the best path to get to either.

    Thank you

  • pulkit shahi
    12/18/2013 2:27 PM
    Sir, what are the procedure that a civilian will need to go through for direct enlistment in the special forces ?..does the united states allow foreigners to serve in it's armed forces ? what are pre-requisites to be an officer ?
  • pulkit shahi
    12/18/2013 2:31 PM
    sir, what is the green beret attrition rate ? , and would you mind sharing your selection story ?
  • Richard
    2/11/2014 8:15 PM
    Sir, I am 19 years old and currently a 25u in the Army reserves. I will be going to college in the fall, while enrolled in ROTC. I worked everyday with the goal of becoming sf in my mind. my only worry is that the best a have won't be enough for the grueling selection process. What has helped you maintain that mental edge and confidence during your training? Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for all you have done.
  • Liam Brogan
    7/13/2014 1:11 PM
    Hi, I'm currently deciding to join the army, however not sure to go enlisted or officer. I've been told that its quicker to receive a chance at SF selection going the enlisted route than officer. I have a degree , I just wanted to know what your opinion would be and the best route to go?
  • Josh
    2/17/2015 9:20 PM
    Hello sir I was wondering if I was a west point graduate how could I become and officer and be in special forces?
  • SPC Smith
    3/20/2015 1:58 PM
    Hello there, I'm a SPC trying out for Selection. I'm 5'11 and 155 pounds. Do you have any recommendations as I try out for Selection. What can i expect? What are some good tips for Selection?!
  • Steven
    7/18/2015 6:00 PM
    Hello, I have always aspired to be a member of the SOF community. I just graduated high school and have become very dedicated to physical fitness, and have realy been keeping my self moraly, physicaly, and legally clean in an effort to achieve my goal of joining the SOF community after i graduate from university. I have been proactively persueing my dream and working very hard but it wasnt until lately that i came across a big aspect of the life that i want to have. Being a green beret was the goal i had in mind, but im not sure if that is the community that i end up persueing, because im not sure that i would like being ststioned at fort bragg or benning. I have always liked the ocean, and the marines snd navy have SOF units that are all stationed on the ocean and in states that i always loved the visit growing up. Though, on the other hand the green berets is the group that i have dreamed of joining ever since i learned exactly what they where in the 6th grade. I love the idea of FID, UW, and working with the indigenous behind enemy lines. It sounds like the most noble unit in the SOF community, but i hate the idea of being stationed at fort bragg. Could you give me some insight on what life as a green beret was like when you werent deployed and some of the different stations that you lived at while you wherent deployed. Thank you!
  • Comment removed by admin.
  • Craig Prosser
    10/27/2015 8:26 PM
    Major Forrester! Good to see again sir. Everyone, Major Forrester (my LT) is one of the finest officers I ever served with. Listen to what he says and take it to heart. I served with him in Iraq and garrison and could not be more proud to call him friend and brother! Major, email me sometime. Its been to long.
  • Kenrick Forrester
    1/23/2016 6:52 PM
    Sorry for the delay to all who posted on this page. After reading all the different post the best advice I can give you is to definitely reach out to an Army Recruiter if you are not in the Army or reach out to a SF Recruiter if you are in the Army. As far as the best preparation, get in the best shape you can and work hard to do your best at whatever you are doing now. As for life as a Green Beret, you can be stationed in one of seven different places in one of the five active duty groups. Five are in the continental United States but two are overseas. Location matters but so does job satisfaction.
  • Zach
    2/9/2016 4:30 PM
    Hello, I am 16 wanting join the army. I want to be come a 18A. How hard is it to become one? I'm active in football and track so I am staying in shape and improving physically. What type of training should I consider? There is an ROTC program at Ohio University for Special Forces Officers. Is that a good route to consider? How competitive is this role in the army? Any further advice would be great. Thank you.
  • Kenrick Forrester
    2/15/2016 5:13 PM
    Zach, there isn’t a branching program in ROTC for Special Forces. We select promotable 1st Lieutenants to try out for assessment and selection. There isn’t a particular branch you have to choose in ROTC in order for you to attend Special Forces assessment and selection. You just need to do well at whatever branch you decide to select. You performance as a Lieutenant will earn you the ability to try out for Special Forces so select something you like. It is not hard if you stay in shape, learn as much as you can, and always do your best. At this early stage just be the best Soldier you can be. The rest will fall into place.
  • Noah
    2/16/2016 1:55 PM
    Hello, I'm Noah, and I have a question. Do you think joining the Rangers before the Special forces is a good idea, because of all the experience you get? Or just try out for the special forces? How long did the process take?
  • Alex Dam
    2/23/2016 10:15 AM
    Hello Major Forrester. First & foremost thank you for service sir, it is an honor to be able to communicate with someone who is currently serving in such a prestigious Special Force. What is the best MOS to get recruited by the Green Beret? & I read an article about how after basics one may try out for Special Forces, is that true?
  • Justyn
    2/26/2016 9:57 AM
    I am currently a 19D and still have 2 years left in my contract and I want to join Special Forces how would I go about doing that.
    Any advice would be great
  • Kenrick Forrester
    2/27/2016 9:09 PM
    Joining the Rangers gives you a great understanding of Soldier skills such as shooting, movement techniques, calling for fire, and communication. It will definitely make you a better Special Forces (SF) Soldier but it is not required to be SF. The Special Forces school house will teach you all the things you need to know if you are selected. Going Ranger first gives you more experience using the same sort of skills. Depending on the job you select it could be anywhere from a year or two. We require you to have many different skills sets. Hopefully this helps.
  • Kenrick Forrester
    2/27/2016 9:10 PM
    You can select to be a Weapons Sergeant, Engineer Sergeant, Medical Sergeant, or a Communication Sergeant. The MOS you get depends on several different things. What the aptitude test thinks best fit you? What you select as your number one choice? The MOS needs of the Army and the SF Regiment? There are several different factors. Every MOS is interesting and important. There are programs that enable you to join the Army and then head to Fort Bragg to try out for SF selection. These programs are very selective on who they have join. They normal have you attend Infantry training before you head to Fort Bragg to prepare for selection. Your local recruiter will more than likely have the most current information on these programs. If you don’t get to try out straight from Infantry training you can still try out once you join the Army. Most of our Soldiers are recruited from within the Army. They learn Soldier skills for the first two to three years and then they head to SF selection. There is more than one way to become a Green Beret. You just need to find a path and stick with it.
  • Kenrick Forrester
    2/27/2016 9:11 PM
    The Special Operations Recruiting Battalion recruits the in-service candidates, if you are active duty. Head to the website below and it will give you links and contact information for all the Army Special Operations MOS.
  • Seth
    7/7/2016 4:34 AM
    I am 17 years old and about to be in my last year of high school. I'm interested in special forces, but its come to my understanding that you need to be at least 20 years of age, so what would be recommended I do for the two years prior of my 20th birthday?
  • Kenrick Forrester
    7/11/2016 3:35 PM
    I am not aware of the 20 year old restriction but I know the requirements do change from time to time. I would check with your local recruiter. If you do have to do another job until then, I would look at going Infantry or going to the Ranger Regiment. There are many great options within the Army.
  • David
    7/13/2016 9:14 PM
    Sir I just wanna say thank you for your service. I am currently a college student working towards earning my bachelors degree. My plan is to join the Army and work towards becoming a SF officer. What are the steps to SF as an officer?
  • Kenrick Forrester
    7/15/2016 4:22 PM

    If you want to be an SF Officer, you will need to be commissioned as an officer first and then apply as a 1LT. We want all our officers to have proven leadership experience before they are selected. It doesn’t matter what branch you choose. You need to do well and apply as a 1LT. In my opinion, I think Infantry best prepares you but at the end of the day we just want an officer with leadership experience. Focus on getting in the Army now and once you are a 1LT contact a SF Recruiter.
  • Fred
    7/25/2016 11:43 AM
    Could one go to college and then join the army as an enlisted 18x soldier?
  • Joseph Mobley
    8/8/2016 9:21 PM
    MAJ Forrester,

    SGT Mobley here from the army band at Fort Sill. I am currently switching to the officer corps through the Green to Gold active duty option. I'm going to grad school to study strategic intelligence and homeland security. I'd like to be an MI officer. Recently I've been thinking a lot about aspiring to serve as an SF Officer. I believe I have time to prepare the best I can physically and mentally. I have grad school for two years, then all my O-1 and O-2 time until I become an O-2 promotable, then Q-course. I will be 30 when I commission. Do you think I will be too old to try SF by the time an O-2(P)?

    As an SF Officer do you serve actively in SF for the rest of your career or is there a window when you are literally in the field doing SF stuff then working more in an office like most O-4/O-5s and above?
  • Michael McLarty
    8/14/2016 5:57 PM
    First I have to say thank you for your service sir. My question is what did you do to prepare yourself mentally for SFAS.
  • Teresa O'Brien
    12/3/2016 7:39 PM
    Dear Sir, Major Forrester, thank you for all of the hard work you've put in over the years for our country. Please give some direction from your latest experiences and perspectives.

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