Fort Hood soldiers considering a career in special operations may have a measurable advantage attending special operations selection courses.

The Fort Hood special operations physical training program prepares soldiers for the physical challenges they may face at an Army special operations selection school.

“The program is designed to ensure soldiers going to Army special operations selection courses have the best chance of passing the physical aspect of the selection,” said Sgt. 1st Class Robert A. Hansson, special forces recruiter with the Army Special Operations Recruiting Station.

The program runs from 5:30 to 7:30 a.m. and focuses on developing soldiers’ individual strength, mental toughness and teamwork abilities through exercises that simulate those seen at special operations selection schools.

After completing an accountability agreement memorandum, soldiers may attend special operations training in place of normal unit training.

“The program gives you high intensity levels of training that simulate selection in a very small way,” said Spc. Fernando Castillo, a multiple launch rocket systems crew member with Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Fires Brigade, who began the program a few weeks ago.

“Wednesday is team day,” Castillo said. “You are given a task or mission and a certain amount of time to complete that mission. There’s a good chance you will fail, but the key is to stay motivated no matter what.”

Castillo, who leaves for special forces assessment and selection in two weeks, said the program has helped him improve in all areas of physical fitness.

“Before I joined (the program), I thought running five miles a day would cut it,” he said. “After the first week, I realized that it’s so much more than cardio. They really test your limits.”

Soldiers interested in a career in special operations can contact Hansson at (254) 287-5566 or visit the Special Forces Recruiting Station, Building 16007 on Old Ironsides Avenue.

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