UK Special Forces (Reserve)

United Kingdom Special Forces (Reserve)

UKSF(R) comprising of 21 SAS(R), 23 SAS(R), SBS(R) and 63 (UKSF) Sig Sqn, is tasked to the highest level and can operate in difficult and often changing circumstances, sometimes in absence of guidance and within situations that have significant operational and strategic importance.


21 & 23 SAS accept applicants, who have no previous military service. These Direct Civilian Entrants (DCE) must be at least 17 years and 9 months old before submitting their application to join the Army Reserves. They are to be no older than 32 years 364 days when commencing their application with the National Recruiting Centre (NRC).

All applicants must be no older than 34 years 364 days on weekend 1 Selection Induction Weekend (SIW) of SAS(R) Selection. 

Applicants must be able to commit to considerable training demands, especially during the selection process, and be willing to deploy overseas.

21 & 23 SAS Capability Sqn staff are not required to pass Selection; however, they must maintain a high level of fitness and commitment. Male and female applicants willing to transfer from other units Regular or Army Reserve should be aged 18 to 51 years and 364 days, have their Security Clearance in-place and hold full trade qualifications (Class 2 minimum) in their respective trades. The specific trades require you to have previously served or are currently serving within the armed forces. We do not accept Direct Civilian Entrants into the Capability roles.

  • RLC Driver, Chef, Storeman
  • RAMC RMO, Medic (CMT1);
  • R Sigs Comm Sys Operator/Driver;
  • AGC (SPS) Clerk;
  • Int Corps Analyst;
  • REME Vehicle Mechanic, Armourer


What Is 21 & 23 SAS Selection?

DCE applicants (no previous military experience) will complete CMS Phase 1(A), CMS Phase 1(B) basic military training and Phase 2 Combat Infantryman’s Course before attempting UKSFR Selection. All applicants will be supported and prepared for these courses and for Selection by the Recruit Retention and Mentoring Team. 

The Selection Course is run twice a year. It is both physically and mentally demanding and comprises two main components:

Hills Prep Course

Hills Prep Course is a progressively arduous course of drill nights and weekends over six months, requiring a greater expenditure of physical energy at each stage and designed to select applicants with the required qualities. The course culminates in Test Week which candidates must pass to move on to the next stage.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Tactics Course

On passing Test Week, applicants will undertake a further six months training, over drill nights and weekends. This is an intensive period of instruction and assessment on Special Forces tactics, techniques and procedures, including weapons and SOPs. This is progressive, with the emphasis on individuals assimilating new skills, while under physical and mental pressure. On successfully completing a two-week final exercise, soldiers will be trained to an operationally deployable status. At this point, successful applicants will be badged as 21 or 23 SAS soldiers.

Progressive training

Within 12 months of completing Selection, soldiers will enter a period of probation which will require the completion of a basic parachute course, a communication course and a SERE course.  On completion of this, soldiers will be eligible for mobilisation. Training and skill development will be continuous throughout an SAS soldier’s career, as they are required to maintain a high level of proficiency in a diverse range of skills.


On successful completion of basic training the starting daily rate for an SAS Trooper is over £100 plus all the usual Reserve service incentives.

Contact us

21 & 23 SAS units are located throughout the UK. To contact your nearest location use the listed telephone points of contact or emails below.

21 SAS

  • London and South East 0800 587 2825
  • Wales  0800 587 2825
  • M3/M4 Corridor 0800 587 2825
  • East Anglia 0800 587 2825
  • South West  0800 587 2825

23 SAS

  • West Midlands 0800 028 5650
  • North East 0800 028 5650
  • North West 0800 028 5650
  • Scotland (Lowland) 0800 028 5650
  • Scotland (Highland) 0800 028 5650


21 & 23 SAS provide an opportunity for soldiers to work within a unique, diverse and exciting organisation which takes pride in its heritage, role and professionalism. Service is physically and intellectually challenging, but the rewards are significant.

In addition to a strong sense of purpose in embracing the challenges of a complex world, 21 & 23 SAS provide challenge and adventure, with the additional benefit of Special Forces pay rates. It also provides an excellent grounding for those who aspire to serve with the Regular UKSF units.

Contact Us

For more information on how to join UK Special Forces (Reserve):

21 SAS (Reserve)

23 SAS (Reserve)

63 (UKSF) Signal Squadron

Special Boat Service (R)