U.S. Army Special Operations Recruiting Battalion (Airborne) is changing the way they reach their target audience.
With fewer recruits and an increase in qualification criteria for dropping Army Special Operations Forces packets, the number of new ARSOF Soldiers is decreasing, and conventional Soldiers and ARSOF Soldiers are currently interacting less downrange. Lack of interaction between “big army” and SOF Soldiers downrange has negatively impacted recruitment as well, according to a 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) Soldier.
A 3rd SFG (A) Operational Detachment A spent the morning of Sept. 7 at Range 65 showing prequalified potential recruits what being an ARSOF Soldier is all about. Twenty-five 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division Soldiers experienced a morning of operator culture.
“The biggest effect that we are getting out of this event is exposure of conventional Army Soldiers to Special Operations Soldiers. We used to have a lot of that in the past when different units would work together on deployments. It’s not really happening so much these days … we have to make it happen with events like this,” said a 3rd SFG (A) Soldier.
Representatives from Glock Firearms, Delphi Tactical, Defender Ammunition and Black Rifle Coffee Company, which are SOF-associated businesses, set up booths and set the scene.
“What we are doing today is bringing them out to give them a taste … What does an SF team do on a day-to-day basis for training? What makes them cool? What makes them unique and different? So, they are going to get to see different types of firearms … hopefully that wets the whistle,” explained Steven Fellows, chief of advertising and public affairs, SORB (A).
Two pistol range stations were organized and attending 82nd Abn. Div. Soldiers were invited to shoot the new Glock Gen5 pistol and receive instruction from members of the 3rd SFG (A) ODA. A 12-station rifle range sported a variety of domestic and foreign rifles.
Potential recruits were also invited to observe Close Quarter Battle drills in Range 65’s shoot house. From the gallery above, onlookers watched as members of the ODA conducted explosive breaches and room clearances with flashbangs.
“Special Forces is a really unique tool that the Army has … (today) put a stronghold on what I want to do. I have had the idea of going this route, but now it’s definitely in my intentions,” said Pfc. Jaime Cea, 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Reconnaissance, 3rd BCT, 82nd Abn. Div.
A total of seven Soldiers dropped their SF selection packets after the morning at the range.
The recruitment effort continued later that day at the Fort Bragg SORB office with a meet and greet with BRCC’s front man Mat Best and on Friday, with the BRCC team filming a video for their website and Facebook page at a heavy weapons range.
Inclusion of SOF veteran-owned and internet savvy BRCC was intended to reach not only SORB’s target demographic but an even wider audience.
“They are going to (be) … tagging our social media accounts and driving a lot of traffic, … driving them to our website,, as well as to our social media channels on Facebook and Instagram. It’s really just to spread the word and get information out there to Soldiers and civilians about what Army special operations entails and what options are available,” explained Fellows.