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How to Get to Delta Force?

First of all - if you are not in the military - do not even worry about this yet.  You have to be in the military and have served for 4-5 years with stellar service record.  So until you have that...keep the dream alive but focus on the acing the basics first.

“Delta Force”, officially known as
1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D), is one of the United State’s special missions units primarily focused on the counter- terrorism mission.  SFOD - Delta has been through a few name changes over the years.  Though it will likely always be known as the SFOD – Delta, it was recently named Combat Applications Group (CAG) and it now officially known as Army Compartmented Elements (ACE). 

Though Delta is primarily a tier one counter terrorist unit, meaning they specifically get directed to kill or capture high value units (HVU) or dismantle terrorist cells, Delta remains extremely flexible to engage in direct action missions, hostage rescues, covert missions working directly with the Central Intelligence Agency, as well as high ranking protective services of our senior leaders during visits in war torn countries.  Delta is under operational control of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) though administratively supported by the Army Special Operations Command (USASOC)

Compared to our nation’s military history, Delta is relatively young having been formed in 1977 by the first commander of Delta – Colonel Charles Beckwith.  With the growing threat of terrorism around the world, Beckwith saw a need for a precision strike force within the Army after working with the British Special Air Service (SAS) in the early 1970’s.  Beckwith was tasked to form the new unit and pulled largely from the Special Forces Groups.  The type of missions the SFOD-Delta has been involved with over the past few decades are classified but some have been de-classified and noted publicly in media reports and books written by Delta Operators.  Here is a list of several of the declassified engagements:

Operation Eagle Claw – In 1980 during the Iran Hostage Crisis a failed attempt at a rescue due to aviation equipment / operator error killing eight Americans and as a result the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment was created.

Operation Urgent Fury – Grenada prisoner rescue from the Richmond Hill prison.

Operation Just Cause – Panama invasion to capture Noriega and protect some 35,000 Americans living in Panama.

Gulf War – Iraq invades Kuwait and the US led alliance defeats Saddam Hussein and his Army and push them back into Iraq.

Operation Gothic Serpent
– Part of the Battle of Mogadishu (1993) where US helicopters were shot down and two Delta Operators SFC Randall Shughart and MSG Gary Gordon awarded Congressional Medal of Honor for their efforts that day.

War in Afghanistan – Within a month of September 11, 2001 attacks, Special Forces operators defeated and dismantled the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Battle of Tora Bora – A massive joint engagement to kill or capture Osama bin Laden

Operation Red Dawn – Locating and capture of Saddam Hussein

Countless Hostage Rescues around the world

How to Get to Delta

Now, the SFOD-D receives its recruits from all over the Army still pulling mainly from the Ranger Regiments and Special Forces Groups.  Recruits must be in the Army, male, with at least

 2.5 years of service left on enlistment, and within the E4 - E8 rank.  The best way to learn more about getting into Delta is to join the Army, serve in the Army Ranger or Special Forces. 

There are no civilian to Delta enlistment programs as they are looking for experienced, mature operators to join the ranks of this top Counter Terrorist Unit.

Check out the Spec Ops Pages

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at


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Published Books / DVDs
Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness (Book / DVD)

The Complete List of Stew Smith's eBooks:

Fitness for All Levels of Fitness

The 90 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness
The Advanced Maintenance and Recovery Program

Reclaim Your Life - The Erin O'Neill Program

Veteran's Fitness - Baby Boomer and a Flat Stomach

The Busy Executive Workout Routine
The Advanced Weights / PT Workout (Fall / Winter Weight Gain Cycle)
The Perfect Pushup Workout

The TRX Workout
NEW - Circuit Training 101 ebook
NEW Obstacle Course Race Ebook


The Special Forces Physical Fitness Workouts
 Combat Conditioning Workout

Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1  Beginner Weeks 1-9
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3 - Intermediate Weeks 1-12
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4  Grinder PT -  Four weeks before Hell Week

Navy SWCC Workout

The Army Special Forces / Ranger Workout 

The Army Air Assault School Workout

The Army Airborne Workout

The OCS, ROTC, Service Academy, & Bootcamp Workouts

Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard OCS Workout
The USMC IST and PFT Workout
USMC OCS / TBS Workout
The Service Academy Workout (West Point, Navy, Air Force Academy)
The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Bootcamp Workout

The Army OCS and PFT Workout
The NEW Army PRT and Combat Readiness Test Workout
The PFT Bible - Military / Police Standard PFT


The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Test Workouts

The FBI Academy / PFT Prep Workout

The DEA Prep Workout

The FLETC Prep Workout - Ace the PEB

The State / Local Police Academy Workout

The Fire Fighter Workout

Why a 52 Week Workout Cycle?

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 TRX Train Like the Pros


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