The new Security Force Assistance Brigade, one of the first units of its kind, is dedicated to advising and assisting partner nations in the development of their security forces.
"It’s a very intense, useful and high caliber type of organization," said Lt. Col. John Clemons, an SFAB recruiter. "It was a tremendous opportunity for the Mountaineers. We have people that want to go out, build nations and enable other armies."
The Security Force Assistance Brigade is a three-year commitment that consists of initial training, deployment, follow-up training and stabilization time.
Soldiers who are interested in the program can submit an application. Once applicants receive their orders, they are sent to Fort Benning, Ga., for an assessment. The assessment involves a ruck march, Army Physical Fitness Test, Leaders Reaction Course, warrior task and skills test, and a military job competency test.
Staff Sgt. Brandon Ledford, with Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division (LI), at Fort Drum, recently underwent the SFAB training.
The best part about being a member of the Security Force Assistance Brigade is operating in a small team and being depended on to be the expert at your job, Ledford said.
SFAB allows Soldiers in their respective career fields an opportunity to use their skill sets in teaching partner nations’ military forces.
First Lt. Jemel Sessoms, with the 59th Chemical Company at Fort Drum, has volunteered to be a part of SFAB.
"It’s an awesome opportunity for not only younger Soldiers but also young leaders like myself who are looking to have a career advancement, not only in their MOS (military occupational specialty) but the military. So, that’s definitely important," Sessoms said.
This opportunity is available to all Soldiers who are deployable, have no limiting profiles and are able to pass their APFT with a minimum score of 240. Other SFAB requirements include obtaining a security clearance and passing a military personnel file check.
"If you are on the cusp of doing it, fill out the application. Let them review your records and go down for the assessment," Ledford said.
There are incentives for eligible Soldiers who join SFAB. Specialists and corporals are able to bypass going to the promotion board and get promoted to sergeant upon successful completion of the assessment.
In addition, enlisted Soldiers will receive a $5,000 Assignment Incentive Pay.
"I’m happy that there’s a lot of Mountaineers very interested in the SFAB process," Clemons said. "What it shows is that we’re supporting not only the Mountaineers at Fort Drum and Fort Polk, (La.), we’re supporting the nation’s incentives and objectives."