Army renews recruiting for special forces

The Army is looking for a few good men-men who want to serve in its vaunted special forces. After more than a 10-year hiatus, the Army's recruiting command recently announced that the service is restoring a program that would allow soldiers to directly join special forces upon enlistment. Since 1988, only soldiers who were already in the service could try out for the Army's elite units through in-service programs. Members of the Army's special forces are trained in fighting unconventional warfare. Special forces units include the 75th Ranger Regiment, Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations, 160th Aviation Regiment, and Special Operations Support Command. Women are not permitted to serve in the special forces. "We are basically restoring a past program to meet future and current operational needs," an Army Recruiting Command spokesman said. Any recruits still must meet the high standards of the special forces and will undergo an average of 80 weeks of intensive training. The Army is seeking 400 special forces recruits this year, who must serve a minimum five-year enlistment. Much of the success of the current war on terrorism has been attributed to the military's special forces. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld recently said getting special forces on the ground in Afghanistan "dramatically increased" the effectiveness of the air campaign because they were able to call in precise targeting information.
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