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Wed, Aug 30


Pisgah National Forest, NC

Operation STIRLING (Special Forces Selection)

As close as you'll get to Tier 1 Special Forces Selection.

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Operation STIRLING (Special Forces Selection)
Operation STIRLING (Special Forces Selection)

Time & Location

Aug 30, 2023, 8:30 AM – Sep 03, 2023, 5:00 PM

Pisgah National Forest, NC, Brevard, NC, USA

About the Event

 This event is the closest replica to Tier 1 Special Forces aptitude in the USA.

Event Start Time: Wednesday 30th August 2023 at 0830hrs

Start Location: Pisgah National Forest 

Event Finish Time: Sunday 3rd September 2023 at 1700hrs

Finish Location: Pisgah National Forest


The British Special Air Service (SAS) became the first ‘Tier 1’ Special Forces unit in the World and other countries soon took notice with the USA’s 1st SFOD-D (Delta Force) being modelled on the British SAS. The Aptitude phase of United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) Selection, is at the beginning of selection and sets the standard for recruits.

Green Beret Fitness is recreating UKSF Aptitude Phase in August 2023 over a 5 day period. This event, named Operation STIRLING, is the first of its kind in the USA. We are looking for individuals who are intelligent, highly motivated, and fit.


Candidates must complete 5 route marches over 5 days. The distances will increase, and the weight will increase.

  • Day 1: 10 +/- miles. 25 lbs. Time Limit.
  • Day 2: 11 +/- miles. 30 lbs. Time Limit.
  • Day 3: 12 +/- miles. 35 lbs. Time Limit.
  • Day 4: 16 +/- miles. 40 lbs. Time Limit.
  • Day 5 (Test Route): 26 +/- miles. 50 lbs. Time Limit and partly at night.


Operation STIRLING consists of 5 routes in 5 days and candidates must complete each route, within time, to continue to the final day. Only candidates who have passed Days 1-4 will progress to the final day.

There may be checkpoints on the routes and at the end of each route candidates will be free to go back to their accommodation. At the end of Day 4 (FAN DANCE) candidates will be informed who has passed / failed.

Day 5 (Test Route) will be a 26+/- mile route with 50lbs, some of it at night. At the end of the Test Route, candidates will be informed if they have passed or failed. There will be food and drink on offer for all Test Route candidates, regardless of pass/fail.

The Winner of Test Route will earn a personalised GOLD GBF Dog Tag and Operation STIRLING patch. Everyone else finishing within the time limit will recieve a personalised GBF Dog Tag and Operation STIRLING patch.

Note: Age and Gender will not play a part in this event. There will be one standard for all.

Service Support

- Accommodation. Candidates will be required to book their own accommodation, we suggest looking in/near the towns of Brevard or Waynesville in North Carolina.

  • Wed 30 Aug 23 - 10 +/- miles
  • Thur 31 Aug 23 - 11 +/- miles
  • Fri 1 Sep 23 - 12 +/- miles
  • Sat 2 Sep 23 - 16 +/- miles
  • Sun 3 Sep 23 - 26 +/- miles Test Route

(Monday 4th September is Labor Day)

- Routes. GBF advises candidates to have a compass, GPS, and paper maps as well as a smartphone. These routes only require basic navigation.






- AllTrails. The AllTrails website will host the routes for Operation STIRLING. If you have a subscription, you can download the routes for use offline.

- Navigation. The navigation for Op STIRLING is not difficult but GBF strongly suggests getting to know the routes before the event.

- Dress. Candidates are reminded that this part of the country, at this time of year, can have very changeable weather. Wet weather gear is advised in case of inclement weather conditions.

- Equipment.

This list is mandatory:

This list is strongly recommended:

- Replen. There will be an opportunity for candidates to replenish water along some routes. There will be water at the end of all the routes.

- Rations. Candidates must have a minimum of 2 x high-energy bars (or similar) as emergency rations.

- Water. Candidates must carry a minimum of 3 litres of water. The use of hydration bladders is encouraged.

- Medical. Candidates should arrive fully fit and without injury. GBF Staff must be made aware of any medical conditions prior to starting the event. If any GBF staff deems a candidate is medically unfit to continue, they may be withdrawn from the event for their own safety.

- Transport. Transport to each day's route will be at candidates own arrangement.

Command and Signal

GBF HQ - 9419939432

Weight - candidate’s backpacks must weigh the required amount, without water. Each day will require a different weight. A replica rifle must also be carried. This will be supplied by GBF.

Day 1: 25 lbs

Day 2: 30 lbs

Day 3: 35 lbs

Day 4: 40 lbs

Day 5 (Test Route): 50 lbs

Training Weekends - GBF is running training weekends prior to Operation STIRLING on the same routes, but with lower weights. Candidates for Operation STIRLING are encouraged to attend.

6 May 23 - Operation PILGRIM - 11 miles

7 May 23 - Operation BUCKWHEAT - 12 miles

3 Jun 23 - Operation FAN DANCE - 16 miles

4 Jun 23 - Operation SCOUT - 10 miles

8 Jul 23 - Operation DRAGONS DANCE - 26 miles

PATHFINDER Ruck Training also have a specific course for Operation STIRLING and you can find it HERE.


Until 1st May $395

Until 1st June $425

Until 1st July $445

Until Event Day $495.

If you fail, you will get a discount for a future attempt.

Maximum Numbers - There is a maximum of 30 candidates allowed on Operation STIRLING.

Refunds - Refunds will be in the form of a GBF voucher for future events. Refunds within 30 days of an event will not be possible.


  • Operation STIRLING

    Tax: +$29.75 Tax



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