The U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, or SWCS, dates back to 1950, when the U.S. Army developed the Psychological Warfare (PSYWAR) Division of the Army General School, Fort Riley, Kan.
The U.S. Army Psychological Warfare Center and School, a unique organization with operational tactical units and a school under the same umbrella, moved to Fort Bragg from Fort Riley, Kan. in April 1952. In 1956, the PSYWAR Center and School was renamed the U.S. Army Center for Special Warfare/U.S. Army Special Warfare School. The school was given the responsibility to develop the doctrine, techniques, training and education of Special Forces and Psychological Operations personnel.
In 1960, the schoolís responsibilities expanded to counterinsurgency operations. In 1962, the Special Warfare Center established an SF Training Group to train enlisted volunteers for operational assignments within the SF groups. The Advanced Training Committee was formed to explore and develop sophisticated methods of infiltration and exfiltration. On May 16, 1969, the school was renamed the U.S. Army Institute for Military Assistance. The curriculum was expanded to provide training in high-altitude, low-opening (HALO) parachuting and SCUBA operations. The institute comprised the SF School, Psychological Operations, Military Assistance Training Advisors School, Counter-Insurgency School, Unconventional Warfare School and Department of Non-Resident Training.
On April 1, 1972, the U.S. Army Civil Affairs School was transferred from Fort Gordon, Ga., to Fort Bragg, operating under the centerís umbrella. In 1973, the center was assigned to the new U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, or TRADOC.
On June 1, 1982, the Chief of Staff of the Army approved the separation of the center as an independent TRADOC activity under the name U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center. The SWC integrated special operations into the Army systems, training and operations, becoming the proponent school for Army Special Operations Forces.
In 1985, SWCS was recognized as the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. The major change at this time was the establishment of six training departments: Special Forces; Special Operations Advanced Skills; Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape; Foreign Area Officer; Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations. A few years later, the Noncommissioned Officer Academy was instituted. In 1989, SWCS was restructured following the establishment of a training-group and three training battalions with one support battalion.
On June 20, 1990, SWCS was reassigned from TRADOC to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. This designation gave USASOC control of all components of SOF, with the exception of forward-deployed units. Throughout the 1990s and into the 21st century, the primary
SWCS mission has been to fill the force with quality special-operations Soldiers.