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Special Forces Weapons Sergeant

Weapons sergeant - 18B
image sourced from public domain | Photo by SGT. Daniel Love, 7th SFG(A) PAO

A Special Forces soldier fires a M2 .50 caliber heavy machine gun mounted on a GMV.

Special Forces Weapons Sergeants, 18Bs, or 'Eigthteen Bravos' are the Special Forces ODA's weapons specialists.

They are proficent in the operation and tactical employment of a wide range of weapons systems, including all US light weapons, from pistols up to .50 M2 machine guns, heavy weapons such as the 60, 80 and 120mm mortars, anti-tank missile systems such as the Javelin and anti-aircraft missiles such as the Stinger.

They are also well-versed with equivalent foreign weapon systems.

Some of the weapons systems a Special Forces 18B becomes proficient in include:

Pistols: M9, Makarov, Browning High Power, Colt 1911
Submachine Guns (SMGs): MP5, M50, VZ23, Uzi
Carbines, Rifles: M4/M4a1, SKS, G3A4, AK47
Shotguns: M1200, M870, M1104
Anti-Tank: M136, Javelin, M72A2/A3
Machine Guns: M2 .50, MK19, MK37, M249, SG43/SGM, DShk M38/46, MG3, PK

The role of the Weapons Sergeant includes selecting where to emplace weapons, assigning arcs of fire, and training other military forces in the use of weapons.

There are 2 weapons sergeants, a senior and a junior, in a 12-man Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha (SFODA).

18Bs learn their craft during the MOS Training phase of the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) held by the US Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.

The Special Forces Weapons Sergreant course of instruction includes the following modules:

Module A teaches students to operate, strip, clean and assemble various light weapons - pistols, shotguns, submachine guns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, grenade launchersand belt fed machine guns.

Moduble B instructs in the use of indirect weapons such as 60mm and 80mm mortars.

Students are not only taught how to operate such systems but are also taught how to act as forward observers and to run their own fire-direct center.

This module also teaches in the use of anti-tank weapons, crew-served weapons and anti-aircraft systems.

Module C instructs in tactics relevant to the Weapons Sergeant's role, allowing them to recruit, organize, train and command indegenous combat forces up to the company level.

Module D is a field training exercise (FTX) in which all of the prospective Green Beret's acquired skills and knowledge are put to the test.

Once a qualified Green Beret (MOS 18B), Weapons Sergeants will continue to train and increase their knowledge and skill levels.

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