Most recruits come from the United States Army Special Forces and the 75th Ranger Regiment.Personnel must be male, in the rank of Sergeant (E-5) or above and attend a Delta briefing even to be considered for admission. Since the 1990s, the Army has posted recruitment notices for the 1st SFOD-D, which many believe refers to Delta Force. The Army, however, has never released an official fact sheet for the force. The recruitment notices placed in Fort Bragg’s newspaper, Paraglide, refer to Delta Force by name, and label it “…the Department of Defense’s highest priority unit…”. The notice states that all applicants must be 22 years or older, have a general technical score of 110 or higher, and be in the ranks of E-5 through E-8, with at least four and a half years in service.
Such recruits are men with skills such as proficiency in a foreign language or other desirable traits. The selection process is based on the UK SAS model. The selection course begins with standard tests including: push-ups, sit-ups, and a three mile run. The recruits are then put through a series of land navigation courses to include an eighteen-mile, all-night land navigation course while carrying a thirty-five pound rucksack. The rucksack’s weight and the distance of the courses are increased and the time standards to complete the task are shortened with every march. The physical testing ends with a forty-mile march with a forty-five pound rucksack over very rough terrain which must be completed in an unknown amount of time. It is said that only the highest-ranking members of the Pentagon are allowed to see the set time limits, but all assessment and selection tasks and conditions are set by Delta training cadre. The mental portion of the testing begins with numerous psychological exams. The men then go in front of a board of Delta instructors, unit psychologists and the Delta commander who ask the candidate a barrage of questions and will dissect every response and mannerism of the candidate. The candidate will eventually become mentally exhausted. The unit commander will then approach the candidate and will tell him if he has been successful. If an individual is selected for Delta, he will then go through an intense 6 month Operator Training Course (OTC), where they will learn the art of counter-terrorism. This will include firearm accuracy and various other munition training.
On many occasions, Delta Force will cross-train with similar units from allied countries such as the Australian Special Air Service, British Special Air Service, Canadian JTF 2, French GIGN, German KSK and Israeli SM, as well as helping to train other U.S. counter-terrorism and national intervention units, such as the FBI’s HRT.