FORT BENNING, Ga. (October 17, 2017) -- With a mission to enlist subject matter experts in multiple military occupational specialties throughout the Army, the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade conducted a two-day candidate assessment October 17, 2017, at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Assessment events evaluate a candidates physical attributes, problem solving, communication, inter-personal skills as well as their ethical perspectives.

"The purpose of the assessment is twofold," said Col. Scott Jackson, commander, 1st SFAB. "First, to validate that a candidate can meet Army directed and organizational standards derived from our mission profile. Secondly, to confirm that candidates possess the desired mental and personal attributes to be an effective advisor."

"Many factors play a role in a candidate being selected or not," said Capt. Neil Smythe, deputy civil military operations officer for the 1st SFAB. Smythe is directly involved in the selection process for 1st SFAB volunteers. "Throughout selection, we are looking for candidates to display strong moral and ethical character, the ability to perform in a small team and exceptional technical expertise."

The 1st SFAB's mission is to provide geographic combatant commanders with tacticians who train, advise, assist, accompany, and enable allied and partner nation armies.

Being physically fit and knowing how to maneuver different obstacles is not all there is to the selection process, said Staff Sgt. Ryan S. Mathes, an infantryman selected to join the 1st SFAB.

Mathes explained that working together as a team throughout the selection process was the most important aspect. Throughout the course, the candidates, who were all noncommissioned officers, had to work together.

"To feel success, and not just achieve it, I had to maintain a [strong] mindset, but remain flexible enough to welcome different ideas from my teammates to achieve victory," Mathes said. "The true victory came from working together."

The academic challenges are an essential component to the assessment selection process. It provided selection cadre with insight to the decision making process the Soldiers go through, said Smythe.

"This assessment challenges candidates to devise a plan of action that includes a hands-on approach from everyone to succeed," said Sgt. Richard L. Morrill, an infantryman selected to join the 1st SFAB.

The overall assessment pushes Soldiers to go beyond their physical and mental limits. The 1st SFAB is making history, Mathes said.

"Rarely are you first at something in the Army," Mathes said. "My contributions to this unit will be a part of their future successes and failures which we'll use as teaching points to become exceptional advisory assets."

For Morrill, learning from many different leaders across the spectrum of Army specialties will help him empower foreign partners and help them stand on their own, he said.

To be a part of the 1st SFAB, potential candidates must be a proven leader with high promotion potential, a mature self-starter who can operate independently, and be a tactician who can coach, teach and mentor partner nation soldiers.

Deployments are guaranteed and as a candidate, you must be willing to assume increased responsibility.

The 1st SFAB assessment was developed under the 1st SFAB commander and command sergeant major's guidance to select strong advisors, said Smythe.

"It is our hope that candidates joining the 1st SFAB embrace the opportunity to be a part of a new organization that is assembling the best and brightest from the greater Army community," Smythe said. "This assignment provides incredible training and leadership opportunities, and a chance for Soldiers to challenge themselves professionally."

The 1st SFAB is currently recruiting promotable specialists, sergeants and staff sergeants in combat medicine, vehicle maintenance, logistics, explosive ordnance disposal, communications, field artillery and military intelligence.

Soldiers interested in joining the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade should contact their branch manager for more information.