News: Illinois National Guard Special Forces Company conducts readiness assessment
MARSEILLES, Ill. - Twice a year Company A, 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Chicago holds a Special Forces Assessment at Marseilles Training Center (MTC) for Soldiers considering a career change into the challenging world of special operations. Twenty-five service members reported to MTC April 11 for a grueling weekend of physical training, ruck marching and other activities that tested their mental and physical abilities.
The number quickly dropped to 17 Soldiers after the first event, the Army Physical Fitness Test.
“If they can make it here, to our standards, then we are confident they will be able to make it through the selection process,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Leonard Huff, chief in charge of the readiness assessment evaluation.
One Soldier, who did not make it through the assessment on his first try, said he realized he hadn’t properly prepared. Therefore, he said he had to find the motivation within himself to train and make up in his mind this is the life he wanted and would not stop until he achieved his goal.
Potential Special Forces operators faced challenges throughout the weekend that stressed the importance of teamwork.
“As a part of Special Forces it is important for each team member to pull their own weight, so this weekend really focused on that aspect,” said Huff.
The Readiness Assessment Team program for Company A started in 1995. The program welcomes service members with different skill sets from all branches of the military.
“You have to look for potential,” said a current member of Company A, 2-20th. “They all have different skills, but what can they bring to the table?”
Service members interested in becoming part of the Special Forces team need to train for months prior to the evaluation, advises a Soldier who has made it through the assessment and is awaiting his opportunity to attend the Special Forces Qualification Course. While he waits, he is part of a training team that further prepares him for the qualification course.
Huff said the success rate of the assessment program is approximately 95 percent.
“It is important for our unit to ensure we recruit the most highly qualified and motivated individuals, because after they pass every phase of the process they return to us and become an integral part of the unit,” said Huff.