18C Special Forces Engineer Sergeant Job Description

January 9, 2011 - U.S. Army soldiers run communications equipment from a sandbag bunker in the Daymirdad District Center, Wardak province, Afghanistan

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Special forces engineer sergeants are specialists across a wide range of disciplines. These disciplines include demolitions, constructions of field fortifications, and topographic survey techniques.

Duties performed by Soldiers in this MOS include:

  • Perform and teach tasks in demolitions, explosives, field fortification, bridging, rigging, reconnaissance, and civil action projects
  • Interpret maps, overlays, photos, and charts
  • Carry out demolition raids against enemy military targets, such as bridges, railroads and fuel depots
  • Employ warfare tactics and techniques in infantry operations

Special forces engineer sergeants have very demanding physical requirements. Good eyesight, night vision, and physical conditioning are required to reach mission objectives via parachute, land or water. Also required is excellent hand-eye coordination to detonate or deactivate explosives.

In most instances, special forces engineer sergeants are required to be qualified divers, parachutists, and endurance runners.

Note: You cannot enlist with a guarantee for this MOS. Recruits interested in Special Forces may enlist under the 18X, Special Forces Enlistment Option. They then attend Infantry OSUT (basic training and infantry training in one course), and their Special Forces MOS (18B - Special Operations Weapons Sergeant, 18C - Special Operations Engineer, 18D - Special Operations Medical Sergeant, or 18E - Special Operations Communications Sergeant) is determined during the Special Forces Assessment and Selection portion of their training, based on their interests, qualifications, and the "needs of the Army."

Training Information

Due to the wide variety of missions, special forces engineer sergeants are trained swimmers, paratroopers, and survival experts, as well as trained in many forms of combat.

Training for the special forces engineer sergeant consists of 44 weeks of formal classroom training and practice exercises.

Some of the skills you'll learn include:

  • Physical conditioning, parachuting, swimming, and scuba diving
  • Using land warfare weapons and communications devices
  • Handling and using explosives
  • Bomb and mine disposal

Note: The Special Forces training pipeline is inarguably the toughest training program in the Army, and has a very high wash-out rate. Soldiers who are retraining into Special Forces, who fail any of the above training courses, revert to their primary MOS (job). Recruits, who enlist under the 18X Special Forces Enlistment Program, who fail to complete any of the above training courses, are reassigned as 11B, Infantryman.


There are a number of requirements that a special forces engineer sergeant in training must meet before he can become a special forces engineer sergeant. These requirements include:

ASVAB Score: 110 in aptitude area GT, and 100 in aptitude area CO

Strength Requirement: No Standard Set.

Physical Profile Requirement: 111221

Other Requirements:

  • Red/Green color discrimination required
  • Must be a US Citizen
  • Re-Trainees must be in the rank (paygrade) of E-4 to E-7
  • Criminal history waivers are generally disqualifying.
  • Must have a minimum of 24 months remaining Time in Service (TIS) upon completion of the SFQC, or be able/willing to re-enlist, or extend enlistment agreement.
  • Must not be barred to reenlistment or be under suspension of favorable personnel action.
  • Must not have been convicted by court-martial or have disciplinary action (such as Article 15).
  • Must not have been terminated from SF, ranger, or airborne duty, unless termination was due to extreme family problems.
  • Must not have 30 days or more "lost time" under USC 972 within current or preceding enlistment.
  • Must be able to swim 50-meters wearing boots and a battle dress uniform (BDU) before beginning the Special Forces Qualification Course.
  • Must score a minimum of 229 points on the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), with no less than 60 points on any event, using the standards for age group 17-21.
  • This job is closed to women.

Similar Civilian Occupations

As a special forces engineer sergeant, you’re trained to defend against dangerous forces. The skills you acquire during your training as a special forces engineer sergeant will prepare you for a future civilian career in law enforcement.

The extensive leadership training you’ll receive will enable you to move directly into practically any civilian management position in the corporate world.