Report: First woman expected to become Green Beret in coming weeks

| February 26, 2020


Soldiers assigned to the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School stand at attention during formation at the Crown Arena in Fayetteville, North Carolina January 16, 2020. (K. Kassens/Army)

One of our ninjas sends us this article about the first female Green Beret, who is expected to graduate from the grueling training in a matter of weeks. I have no problem with this, as long as standards were maintained.
The source is unnamed, and the story reported to and by the New York Times, so there is an element of doubt. We’ll find out when we find out, and if true congrats to her.
From the article:

Kyle Rempfer

The Army’s first female Green Beret is expected to graduate in a matter of weeks, according to unnamed military sources who spoke with the New York Times.

A spokesman for Army Special Operations Command declined to comment. As of November, only three women had graduated the 24-day Special Forces Assessment and Selection course, Army Times learned previously, and none had finished the entire year-long Qualification Course.

“It’s not a topic that we’re willing to discuss at this point,” said command spokesman Lt. Col. Loren Bymer, citing the reality that the female soldier has still not completed the entirety of training.

The woman is an enlisted soldier with the National Guard and is slated to become an 18C, or Special Forces engineer sergeant, the Times reported. The graduation will be one of the largest milestones since the Defense Department opened all the branch’s combat positions up to women in 2016.

Although she hasn’t technically graduated yet, her completion is nearly guaranteed, according to officials cited by the Times.

Read the entire article here: Army Times

Thanks, ninja!

Category: Army, Bravo Zulu, Guest Link, ninja

Comments (50)

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  1. NHSparky says:

    Nothing is guaranteed until you actually graduate.

    And even then, as with other SPECWAR communities (and others in the military) graduation from school was just the first step.

    • MSG Eric says:

      Last I remember from years ago, even if you don’t hit a minimum requirement during the language phase you can get washed out and that’s after all the other “fun” training is completed.

    • USMC Steve says:

      NO, due to Big Army sticking their dickskinners where they don’t belong, she will graduate no matter what happens. Other male troops have said her course requirements were substantially less than theirs were.

  2. 5th/77th FA says:

    Best of luck to this Troop. It is always good to be FIRST at something. The Stranger (Pappy) and his gang of ne’er do wells, miscreants, REMFs, and Feather Merchants need all the FNGs they can get.

    • The Stranger says:

      We may be all those things but you forgot the most important thing: we are inveterate boozehounds. Also, since I was an enlisted plumber back in the day, I can make a slick pot still without too much trouble. That being said, SF Engineer SGT is a whole other can of beer. More power to this troop if she makes it through.

      • 5th/77th FA says:

        Pappy, you stay away from her plumbing…and her American Pie. Just sit back and drink whiskey and rye. Or they will just tell you to say; bye bye…and that Chevy won’t make it to the levy.

  3. E-4 Mafia 4 Life says:

    Oh boy. Another can of worms.

    We’ve been round and round on this one.

    I seriously DOUBT this is above board. Look at the bullshit they pulled for the 6? females that went to RASP and the 2 females that “graduated” from Ranger School.

    The truth found it’s way out.

    People looked the other way. Field grade officers interfered. Ranger cadets kept their mouths shut until it was safe to drop a dime.

    “Last month, Major General John Brennan replaced Major General E. John Deedrick Jr at the helm of the 1st Special Forces Command.”
    “His promotion and assignment to the 1st Special Forces Command is intended to revitalize the battered morale of the Command, which has been plagued by drama and bad publicity.”
    Also read – somewhere (sorry for no source) – that the standards had been reduced.

    Source:
    https://sofrep.com/news/jsoc-general-who-commanded-the-delta-force-isis-raid-now-in-charge-of-army-sof/

    BUT, I will accept that a female earned the green beret if no standards were lowered.
    We will see over time if she holds up to the missions and her team mates.

    And for the record. There are plenty of UFC/MMA female fighters that could send me flying at -6 feet altitude.

  4. Sapper3307 says:

    Guard school or that old Bragg thing?

    • MSG Eric says:

      Regardless of component, all Soldiers who want to become green berets have to attend the full blown course at SWCS (Bragg/Mackall) that takes over a year to complete with all the phases and requirements. (language alone is 6 months)

      Been a while since I was there, but as I recall they used to have the correspondence course version that reduced the timeline, but that was last done in the 80s I think?

      • Martinjmpr says:

        IIRC that old system was scrapped in the mid 1980’s when the 18 series was created and SF was “professionalized.”

        Put another way, it was about the time the ranks of SP/5 and SP/6 were eliminated, it was that long ago.

    • Green Thumb says:

      Yeah.

    • Green Thumb says:

      NG makes it, but AD does not.

    • Commissar says:

      There is no Guard School for the qualification course anymore.

      The exact same training and standards as AD from selection to Robin Sage and language requirements.

    • Martinjmpr says:

      WRT National Guard and Reserve SF units, one thing that people often don’t realize is that one of the reasons these units exist (Only in the Guard now, as the Army Reserve’s 11th and 12th SF Groups were deactivated in the 1990’s) is to prevent the Army from losing the skills of experienced and trained SF soldiers who, for many different reasons, choose to return to civilian life after a stint of active duty.

      By creating RC units for these soldiers, they give them the opportunity to serve (and since the 1990’s, to deploy) with the active duty SF units even after they leave active service.

      If it wasn’t for these units, all the time, effort and money that was spent selecting, training and mentoring SF soldiers would be lost.

      And as others have pointed out, since the 1980’s, the training requirements and standards are exactly the same between NG and Active Duty SF soldiers.

  5. 26Limabeans says:

    I wanna see how she ah,em… adorns the beret.

  6. BruteLarson407 says:

    Green Barrette? I had to actually do a search to figure out how to spell that.

    As far as standards being maintained, I have to wonder about the hand to hand combat training. A gal can certainly hit a guy and hurt him if it’s done right. She can absolutely take him down with a weapon,(even a screwdriver as FG Stories demonstrated), but I’d discourage the fist to jaw or head butt kind of strike.

    I’m having a hard time imagining a woman being able to physically maintain pace with a Green Beret selected male in jujitsu type activity.

    A question to the many Army people here. Is it common for a National Guard Soldier to be upper tier SF selected? No disparity meant toward National Guardsmen, I know you’ve all been in the thick of it since The Gulf War. I’ve just not encountered one that was.

    • MSG Eric says:

      What do you mean by “upper tier SF selected”?

      There are National Guard Special Forces Groups, been in the NG since the early 90s. Back when some dumbass 2-star in charge of the Army Reserve decided he wanted all the combat arms out of his reserve and to turn it into a full blown combat support / combat service support component, SF groups were moved to the NG. (Which is also why state governors have tanks, attack helicopters, infantry, etc.)

      • rgr769 says:

        We have had NG special forces groups for quite some time. I went through the SF Officer’s Course in 1971. There were several officers in my class from the 20th and 19th SF groups (both NG). I served in the 19th after I left an active duty SF group in 1974. I must say I was not overly impressed with some of those I served with in the NG SF group. But then that also applied to some in the AD groups. Standards for SF were not as stringent as they are now, from what I have read and heard.

      • BruteLarson407 says:

        It’s why I asked. I admittedly know nothing about it. If it pissed you off it was not my intention. Maybe my disclaimer wasn’t very effective.

        • BruteLarson407 says:

          Thanks for the answers. Now I do.

          • MG3575 says:

            Did you just reply to yourself? I’m only a tank master gunner, so I’m trying to verify.

            • BruteLarson407 says:

              I don’t know why it’s happening, but my replies are not always shaded white. I DO always click on the ‘reply’ tab for the person I’m replying to(or think I am). I don’t get it, I’m also never really sure if a person is replying to me unless it’s pretty quick. I’m not real good at this. It might be something I’m doing or neglecting. It does take me a really long time to type out and proofread something, if that matters.

      • BruteLarson407 says:

        What I meant by “upper tier” is this. I’ve listened to a few audiobooks. I know(eyes are rolling). One was a Team 6 SEAL. The other was a Delta Force guy. In the books, which were autobiographies that were probably ghost-written, they each referred to their units as “Tier One Special Forces.” I’m not clear on it with the Army OR Navy. It would be difficult to be more ignorant about it than I am.

        Are all Army SF Rangers first, then they specialize into different groups based on aptitudes or skills?

        I think I read once that Green Berets specialize in organizing local resistance or guerilla units, and have super good language skills.

        It’s not that they are any more/less tough, or more/less deadly than Delta/Rangers. It’s just a different job as I understood it.

        Delta, Team 6, and UK’s SAS(I forget which battalion; 22nd, or 23rd)are specialists in Hostage Crises as I understood it(perhaps and likely VERY poorly).

        I thought you had to have extra language and/or counter-insurgency training for Green Berets.

        I guess that is the best way off-the-cuff I can explain what I meant by that.

        SF is SF to me. In my branch, it meant you were a college-competition level swimmer with a lot of balls!

        • Penguinman000 says:

          Worst troll attempt ever. Don’t reply to yourself.

          • BruteLarson407 says:

            Moderator, I should go to bed. I just put my email where my name should be. Please don’t post that!

          • BruteLarson407 says:

            I’m not a troll, but am not good at this. I’m not even sure why a troll would do that. What should I do if I forgot something, or want to do a quick addendum? I think from what your saying I should put in a fresh post with no reply button. If that’s the case, lesson noted.

            • AW1Ed says:

              Looks like got your email where your board name should be and your comment wound up in moderation.

              Taken care of, Brute.

              • BruteLarson407 says:

                Should be in bed. Can’t sleep. Sorry about that. Thank you! You are very patient! I really appreciate it. You be well too!

        • rgr769 says:

          There is no requirement that Army Special Forces soldiers first serve in the 75th Ranger Regiment. It is just that the units in the Ranger Regiment are a source of recruits for Army Special Forces. The traditional role for Army Special Forces Groups is unconventional warfare, consisting of training, equipping and controlling indigenous irregular forces such as a guerilla warfare battalion. That is the reason for the language training, so we can communicate with those we train and lead. In addition, SF also conducts DA (direct action) missions, which may not involve any non-US personnel. The Ranger battalions are airborne light infantry battalions that are specially trained to conduct raids, ambushes, and patrols. They conduct only direct action operations. They are not trained to operate with native or indigenous forces. Thus, they normally do not get language training. Army SF does not usually send people to language school until after they have been qualified in their SF specialty. Which language they study is a function of to which group they are assigned, since each group is targeted on a different geographic region. For example, back in my day my group, the 10th SFG(A), was targeted on Eastern Europe, so we learned German and some other languages. The 7th Group was targeted on South and Central America, so they were taught Spanish. The 5th Group predominantly learned Arabic, after its involvement in Vietnam ended. With regard to the SAS, I have attended one of their schools and had one of their teams participate in an exercise with us. They are primarily a direct action force like Royal Marine Commandos, but they also may work with indigenous forces. The 22nd SAS Regiment is a full time active duty British Army force; the 23rd Regt. is a “territorial” (reserve) force.
          Finally, Delta is an Army spec ops unit which recruits from both the Special Forces Groups and the Ranger battalions. It is the most elite and selective spec ops unit in the Army. It is capable of doing just about any type of operation, especially covert ones. One has to be specially invited to join the unit and the brutal selection process winnows out about 80% of those give the chance to compete in the selection process. Very little is known about most of its highly classified operations.

          Finally, all combatant units under SOCOM (Special Operations Command) are “Tier One” units. They are the tip of the spear units. This includes the SEAL teams, the Ranger battalions, the SF Groups, the Delta Force, and MARSOC. All of these are special operation forces, but “Special Forces” is usually used in reference to the Army Special Forces Groups, which is where one is assigned after becoming fully qualified with an 18 series MOS.

          I hope this helps your understanding.

          • BruteLarson407 says:

            Sorry so late. In-ops for a few days. Thank you, it absolutely does help! I’d say it’s the most comprehensive explanation I’ve ever read.

            • rgr769 says:

              Well, I was a SF officer for about five years and I commanded a couple of ODA’s. Plus, I was an operations officer in Group HQ.

  7. Hope she makes it without the standards being lowered secretly. I remember the FDNY standards had to be lowered for women at the Rock on a certain evolution that they had to do while on a building ledge. Most are in engine companies where you don’t need the upper body strength while performing in a truck company.

    • The Other Whitey says:

      Can’t speak to the East Coast way, but my department has maintained its standards. The females who make it (most don’t) are likely to be solid. There’s still the occasional worthless chick who’s mainly a life-support system for a vaj (I made the mistake of dating one such female many years ago) who slips through the cracks, but most are good to go.

      When I was in the basic academy, I was scared absolutely shitless of one Captain Byrne, who was half as tall as me. She was one of the very first females we hired back in the 70s and was a hardass. I later worked several years as a firefighter for a female captain whom I would still follow to hell and back. And as a newly-promoted engineer, my Battalion Chief was a gal who demonstrated that mentorship is a crucial part of leadership, a lesson I try to remember every day now that I’m wearing captain’s bugles.

      My younger sister got hired two years ago at a city department. I watched some of the evolutions she had to pass and said, “Holy shit, there’s no way in hell my broke-down ass would pass that! Maybe ten or fifteen years ago, but now, with my bad knees and snap-crackle-popping shoulders & spine? Fuck no.”

      Any female who passes without getting a free pass is welcome on my crew anytime.

      • Ron B. L. says:

        You are entitled to your own opinion, but I disagree with you. Females are supposed to be kind, and beautiful. They are not supposed to act like men, or look like men. We now have a tidal wave of mean, ugly women who want to prove that they are “as good as a man”. Females should never be placed in a position of authority over men, or in a masculine occupation. The result is what we have now: complete cultural disaster.

        • The Other Whitey says:

          I’m afraid I’m gonna have to call you full of shit on that one. There are roles and professions for which women are physically unsuitable. My job is not one of them. However, having ovaries doesn’t disqualify someone from leadership, and to claim otherwise is absurd.

          I’ve encountered some damn good female leaders. I’ve also come across some average ones and some shitty ones. Their ability was the result of their individual qualities and skills. Their uterus had nothing to do with it.

          • SFC D says:

            Add my bullshit flag to the pile. The only time I’ve had women that were physically incapable of doing the same job as the men was more due to physical size than ability or skills. I had a couple of 5’2″ female Soldiers that were excellent except for the fact that were just too damn small to do certain tasks. So we adapted the crew drills to work around that. A small male would’ve had exactly the same problem.

            • The Other Whitey says:

              Here’s a great example of leadership and mentorship from that female Battalion Chief I mentioned. At the rank of Fire Apparatus Engineer, one is expected not only to act as a company officer but also to take responsibility for day-to-day service, maintenance, and repair of the apparatus. And being a government operation, rarely if ever is any effort made to train or educate anyone on that aspect of the job. If you’re mechanically-retarded like me, this can be an issue.

              So there I was, having only recently pinned the single toilet plunger of an Engineer on my collar, in front of the station with the hood of the engine tilted trying to figure out why it’s running like ass, despite having only the vaguest of ideas of how it runs at all. As you can probably guess, I’m making no progress.

              Chief C pulls in, making her daily rounds of the battalion.

              “Good morning, Engineer Whitey.”

              “Good morning, Chief.”

              “What’s going on with your rig?”

              I’m afraid of sounding like an incompetent shitbag, despite having been a victim of the institutional lack of appropriate training. “Uh, I don’t really know, Ma’am. I’m…not a motor guy.”

              Does she berate me for my skill level? Does she say “Sucks to be you” and leave me to my own devices? No, Chief C strips off her class-B shirt (badge & patches), grabs a second creeper, and says, “Yeah, I’m not really good with motors either. Here, let me show you some things I picked up when I was an engineer. Maybe we can narrow the problem down while we’re at it.”

              Leadership.

          • Ron B. says:

            Everyone lives in the world with certain role-expectations. If we don’t expect women to act with grace and charm, then they won’t. Chivalry is the idea that there is a balanced relationship between men and women. Men take positions of leadership, and encounter danger, in order to protect women. Do you remember all those pretty girls painted on WW2 Bombers? Those were expressions of chivalry. Men fight to protect beauty. It’s not a question of physical strength. It’s a question of what role women should play in the world. They are supposed to be homemakers, and artists, and writers, and mothers. But they can only do that if men assume the masculine task of protecting the family from danger. If women abdicate their roles; then the family falls apart. We’re not just talking about the freedom of women to do what they want, we’re also talking about what kind of parents children should have, so that they grow up to become responsible adults. There is no substitute for a kind, loving mother who is there full time, to teach and guide the children. That should be the role-expectation of every young lady.

  8. The Other Whitey says:

    With all the “anonymous sources,” I kinda wonder whether NYT isn’t pulling this out of their ass, with the likely intent of shrieking “Sexism! Orange man bad!” when no female Soldier graduates. After all, that glorified fish wrapper does have priors when it comes to inventing bullshit from whole cloth.

    If the story does turn out to be true, then she has my respect and I wish her luck, as my ass sure as hell wouldn’t pass that course.

  9. Tallywhagger says:

    Gotta wonder if the candidate has always been a biological female.

    It is possible for a 5’8″ – 5’10” 160 lb woman to keep up with the best of them in tough, labor intensive work.

    Here’s to her successful completion of the course, along with the rest of the candidates.

  10. Mustang Major says:

    Good for her.

  11. MK75Gunner says:

    First woman to pass Special Forces training? New York Times gets it all wrong

    https://sofrep.com/news/first-woman-to-pass-special-forces-training-not-so-fast/

    • Ret_25X says:

      Whether they graduate or not, eventually there will be female 18 series soldiers.

      that may be a good thing if properly utilized within the SF mission set and units. I can imagine some very unique attributes good female soldiers should bring to the table when dealing with indigenous populations in an irregular warfare, humanitarian mission, or partnership training situation.

      Even in direct action missions I can see potential advantages.

      But, the Army has a history of treating “firsts” as celebrities instead of soldiers, so I think this will take more time…..

  12. Roh-Dog says:

    Totally going to end well; morale will go through the roof, no favoritism will be doled, and politics will take a backseat to pragmatism.
    All things being equal?! How’s that mandatory draft registering thingy going?
    Kiss my DD214
    Terrance Popp for SecDef!

  13. Comm Center Rat says:

    I’ve heard Big Army is considering authorizing gray berets for PSYOP troops.

    • Ret_25X says:

      I don’t understand the fascination with colored berets in the Army….

      Everyone knows true warfighters wear large black Stetsons….

      😀

  14. E-4 Mafia For Life says:

    Not straying too far from the topic but here is something to consider: male athletes competing in women’s sports AKA “trans women”, etc.

    “Transgender MMA Fighter Fallon Fox beat her female opponent Tamika Brents so severely that she suffered a broken skull. This took place in 2014.”

    We all know males competing in women’s sports is bullshit. Whether or not they have had their junk removed or receiving hormone therapy, females cannot compete with them.

    GASP! All sorts of records are being broken.

    Joe Rogan calls bullshit on it as well:
    https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1573044-ufc-joe-rogan-to-transgender-mma-fighter-fallon-fox-youre-a-man

    My daughter is an Army Medic. In several communications via letter/phone call from Basic and AIT, she told me females had been dropped or recycled from pelvis fractures.

    Blah blahblah blah, you can’t escape genetics/biology/DNA