question in regards to Israeli SOF

dknob

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Ok so I went to college with this kid who ended up getting his Israeli citizenship and wanted to join an IDF SOF unit. I knew him pretty well - probably had like 8 classes with him throughout 2009-2010. And I gotta say he was the least SOF personality type I've come across - nice kid, but definitely out of place and very out of shape.

Well he has been in Israel for almost a year now, and he messages me on FB and tells me he made it into an SOF unit.

He initially told me he wanted to join Matkal, the "delta force equivalent" (I'm sure...) as he stated. He was "selected" to Unit 669 - a SOF search and rescue unit. I asked him about the selection course and he said it was a 5 day course in which hundreds of candidates are all assessed and in the end - the IDF cadre decide where the individuals who are selected will go. They distribute people based on performance I guess for these three: Shaldag Unit (sounds like a CCT/Pathfinder hybrid type unit), Sayeret Matkal (CAG type unit), and Unit 669.

He says 400 started, 200 finished, and out of those 200 , 100 were selected and distributed accordingly.

I definitely trust this kid wholeheartedly - but I just want to get your guys' opinion on this VERY unorthodox selection process. And 5 days is not a very good indicator of assessment.

Opinions?
 

HOLLiS

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669, is a medevac unit, they are highly trained but not "combat S&D" type unit. In peace they are S&R for civilians. Maybe he has medical expertise that is needed? The SOF training is there because they can be dropped behind enemy lines to rescue downed pilots. I have a friend who is retired Sayeret Matkal, I can see If I can get ahold of him and ask. Or maybe one of our Israeli members can check.
 

dknob

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669, is a medevac unit, they are highly trained but not "combat S&D" type unit. In peace they are S&R for civilians. Maybe he has medical expertise that is needed? The SOF training is there because they can be dropped behind enemy lines to rescue downed pilots. I have a friend who is retired Sayeret Matkal, I can see If I can get ahold of him and ask. Or maybe one of our Israeli members can check.

he is a 21 year old chubby frat boy who left the US because he had too much fun partying in Israel on vacation.

There is no medical expertise there.
 

Coyote

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I read a book about someone who moved from the US to join Matkal, however since he wasn't born in Israel he didn't make the final cut (or something along those lines, been a couple years since I read it). Anyways he was put into another unit like your friend but this unit was callled Duvdevan which specializes in urban warfare, CT, domestic raids, high risk arrests, intelligence and other cool guy stuff. Anyways for Dudvedan they had to do a 5 day screening that consisted of some of the most messed up stuff I have ever heard of. The final part to the screening was something like a 120km march with 40-or so-kg from one city to another in under a day. The pass rate was something like 4 or 5%. I'm not sure about 669's screening, but from what I've become aware of for any Israeli SOF or SOF capable unit's screening/training, it works out pretty good in terms of choosing the right people.

Just my 2 cents.
 

dknob

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I think you misunderstood what I wrote - its ONE selection course for multiple SOF units.

Same as if therer was a selection course in the US military, and at the end of it they send people to the SEALs, Rangers, SF, etc based on performance.
 

Marauder06

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I can see a centralized selection program and then unit-specific qualification training. What your friend described kind of reminded me of assessing for the 160th, we had a couple of days of trying out, then the real fun started with Green Platoon.
 

Coyote

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I think you misunderstood what I wrote - its ONE selection course for multiple SOF units.

Same as if therer was a selection course in the US military, and at the end of it they send people to the SEALs, Rangers, SF, etc based on performance.

My bad, sir. I understand now.
 

dknob

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I can see a centralized selection program and then unit-specific qualification training. What your friend described kind of reminded me of assessing for the 160th, we had a couple of days of trying out, then the real fun started with Green Platoon.
His next step is the qualification training for the pararescue role. 18 months he says
 

SpitfireV

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IIRC the British have a combined selection. It branches off at the end (though I think SRR branches off earlier? I could be mistaken) to the various units.
 

DasBoot

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IIRC the British have a combined selection. It branches off at the end (though I think SRR branches off earlier? I could be mistaken) to the various units.
Yes! There is one UKSF selection course- SAS and SBS do the first six months together before SBS guys go to more specialized amphibious stuff and the SAS go to their respective troops.
http://www.specialboatservice.co.uk/sbs-selection.php
 

dknob

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Yes! There is one UKSF selection course- SAS and SBS do the first six months together before SBS guys go to more specialized amphibious stuff and the SAS go to their respective troops.
http://www.specialboatservice.co.uk/sbs-selection.php
Selection course or training course?

I thought SAS selection was under a month.

If they both go through the same selection course, and later the same operator training course - why the hell is the SAS always bitching and complaining about SBS.
 

DasBoot

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Selection course or training course?

I thought SAS selection was under a month.

If they both go through the same selection course, and later the same operator training course - why the hell is the SAS always bitching and complaining about SBS.
I couldn't answer that. Outsider looking in- Probably just old unit rivalry. Or it might not be such an issue anymore, since the SBS started staying all the way through the jungle phase. I know at the start of Iraq, a bunch of SBS guys had to do E&E "Bravo Two Zero" style, and the SAS thought they shouldn't have been in Iraq in the first place. That's when they started staying together for the full 6 month cycle.
 

Tropicana98

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Selection course or training course?

I thought SAS selection was under a month.

If they both go through the same selection course, and later the same operator training course - why the hell is the SAS always bitching and complaining about SBS.

I read a little up on that awhile ago and it seems to be their selection course. The one month you're thinking of is the one where they are running around with rucks on all day, there is period after that known as continuation training where they learn a few basic skills and then are dropped in the jungles for another month to learn SAS SOP's. After that they have an E&E phase where they all end up captured eventually to get interrogated for a certain period of time. After(IF) they pass at that point the SAS guys get badged and the SBS guys continue on. The guys on here from the commonwealth would know much better and could probably comment on if either of the authors below are not the most reputable.

Picked up this info from: First Into Action by Duncan Falconer-former SBS
Close Quarter Battle by Mike Curtis-former SAS
There's a few old SAS documentaries running around the internet with guys from the Iranian embassay rescue on them.
 
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