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Delta Force, officially known as 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D), is one of the U.S. military's elite counter-terrorism units. Created in the late 1970s in the image of the British Special Air Service (SAS), Delta Force has been at the forefront of major and minor U.S. military operations since its inception, including campaigns in Iran, Panama, Grenada, Somalia, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.
To be eligible for Delta Force, a candidate must be a male U.S. citizen, a minimum of 21 years old, and a volunteer. The selection process for officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs) is the same, but there are additional requirements for each group. For example, officers must be at the rank of captain or major and must have successfully commanded for 12 months, while NCOs must have a minimum of 4 years of service with at least 2 years of active service remaining.
Physical and Mental Fitness
All candidates must pass a physical-fitness qualification test, which includes running, dodging, jumping, inverted crawling, pushups, sit-ups, a 2-mile run, and a 100-meter swim. In addition to these physical requirements, candidates must pass initial background security checks and have no history of recurring disciplinary action.
Selection and Assessment
The selection and assessment phase for Delta Force takes place over a 3-4 week period and is divided into three phases. This phase consists of a series of grueling exercises that test the candidate's physical fitness, stamina, and mental determination. The tests include land navigation tasks, carrying heavy loads, timed marches over long distances, and psychological evaluations.
After making it through the selection and assessment, candidates enter the Operators Training Course (OTC), a 6-month course which turns the raw recruits into trained Delta operators. The specifics of this training are highly classified, but it's known to be extremely rigorous and designed to prepare the recruits for the wide range of challenging scenarios they may face as active members of Delta Force.
Joining Delta Force is an incredibly challenging goal, with rigorous requirements and a demanding selection process. Those who make it through become part of an elite group of operators tasked with some of the most critical missions in the U.S. military.