Ask Stew: How Air Force Special Warfare Recruits Tactical Athletes



Air Force Special Warfare forms some of the toughest warriors in the world through technologically advanced processes, aggressive recruitment, and world-class trainers and facilities. However, finding the top notch athletes who can succeed in Air Force Special Warfare is not an easy task.

Air Force Special Warfare has launched a fitness challenge for recruitment on the GMTM platform for athletes. The Air Force Special Warfare Workout Challenge allows Air Force recruiters to work with athletes from a variety of sports who may be considering special operations positions after their season.

Here’s an email from a young athlete looking for his next adventure after his athletic career in NCAA Division I.

Stew, I’m a longtime follower and reader. I’ve been a retired D1 lacrosse player for a few months now and am considering joining the military next year. I tend towards Navy or Air Force Special Warfare, but I work on my swimming and general water skills before speaking to a recruiter. Any programming recommendations or programs that might be an option for meeting like-minded people? Thank you – tank

This is a great question. Many virtual and personal training programs are available, as are official military-sponsored programs.

GMTM (“Gametime”) is a virtual platform for exposure and engagement from athletes. enables organizations to discover and connect with athletes and recently partnered with Air Force Special Warfare to help AFSW recruiters connect with prospects from across the country.

This website is incredible for both regular athletes and military tactical athletes and recruits. Check out the Operator Test Challenge on the GMTM portal:

Jerk: 3 miles

Shuttle run: 5-10-5 (Pro Agility)

Deadlift: 3 reps at maximum weight

Pull-ups: max

Sprint: 100 yards with two 3kg kettlebells

Run: 1.5 miles

The Special Warfare Operator Fitness Test is carried out during the Special Warfare Prep training and serves as a measuring instrument to determine a baseline of fitness performance. If you are considering this profession, undertake such activities in preparation for some of the toughest and most competitive selection process and education you can endure.

The Operator Test and the AFSW Physical Ability and Stamina Test (PAST) target the four career paths of Special Warfare: Special Reconnaissance, Tactical Air Control Party (TACP), Combat Control (CCT) and Pararescue (PJ).

As you will see, there is significant swimming in every route you take. So learn about the different requirements between Navy and Air Force tests as well as swimming, water safety and diving training.

GMTM allows you to share your results and interact with others on the portal to get ideas for training and group training.

The Air Force Special Warfare PAST test will soon be available as a competitive event on the platform. You can get real-time feedback from recruiters and AFSW mentors if you want to communicate with the employees who hold the keys to the community you are looking for.

Podcast with GMTM co-founder Connor Dietz (Air Force Officer) via AFSW and GMTM-Link

Related Articles on Air Force Special Warfare:

Ask Stew: About Air Force Special Warfare

Special tactics training for the Air Force

Air Force PAST test clinic

Fun 50-50 AFSW workout by Stew Smith

Stew Smith is a retired Navy SEAL and fitness writer who was certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you want to begin an exercise program for a healthy lifestyle, visit his fitness e-book store. Send your fitness questions to [email protected].

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