In a display of strength, skill and stamina, more than 50 ADF personnel were put through a series of physical and cognitive tests in their bid to be selected to serve in Special Operations Command.

ADF School of Special Operations (ADFSSO) instructors put the aspiring special operations forces candidates through the Special Forces Entry Test (SFET) at Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney.

Special operations forces includes special forces soldiers as well as doctors, nurses, medics, signallers, engineers, logisticians, intelligence analysts and other key personnel who closely support special operations.

Officer Commanding Selection Wing at ADFSSO Major E said the ADFSSO instructors used the SFET to assess candidates’ fitness, cognitive function, motivation and their desire to serve in Special Operations Command.

“For ADF personnel aiming to become special forces members, the goal is clear: you first need to pass the SFET and meet discipline, ethical and performance requirements to be panelled to attempt a selection course,” Major E said.

“For support staff, it’s impressive if they can meet the physical demands of the SFET, but it’s not essential. 

“We’re looking for more than that. Their core trade skills are critical to enable a special operations task force to achieve mission success."

ADF personnel conduct chin-ups during the Special Forces Entry Test. Photo: Leading Aircraftwoman Jacqueline Forrester

The SFET is often the culmination of a 26-week preparation process for those who have applied for special forces. 

“For special forces candidates, a key part of the evening is to support them with feedback – where they have done well, identify weaknesses – and it also gives us the opportunity to further develop individuals in their knowledge, skills and abilities for now and into the future,” Major E said. 

“The bottom line for us is, irrespective of the outcome, that each candidate develops as an individual, and they have a positive experience that they can take back to their workplace in the wider ADF and continue their personal growth.”

Special Operations Command recruits personnel from across the ADF.

The Special Forces Direct Entry Scheme also recruits special forces commandos from the broader Australian public. Find out more at Defence Jobs.