Special Forces Officer ... (Military - Officer)  What They Do

Just the Facts


Special Forces officers provide battle management while directing infantry and weapons crew members. These officers are called upon to lead forces in offensive raids, demolitions, intelligence gathering and search and rescue missions. An ability to manage and inspire people is essential in this field, where fast decision making can change the course of an entire conflict.

This career is part of the Government and Public Administration cluster National Security pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Trains personnel in parachute, scuba diving, and special combat techniques.
  • Plans missions and coordinates plans with other forces as needed.
  • Trains personnel for special missions using simulated mission conditions.
  • Leads special forces teams in accomplishing mission objectives.
  • Directs and supervises administrative activities of special forces units.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous situations involving possible injury such as cuts, bites, stings, and minor burns more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of special protective items such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suit, or radiation protection

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Moving the arms, legs and torso together when the whole body is in motion
  • Using muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Seeing clearly in low light conditions
  • Exerting oneself physically over long periods of time without getting out of breath

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overnight travel
  • Weekend work