Join the Team

Save lives on the frontlines as a member of our team

SOST APPLICATION

Application Deadlines:

Fall Selection Due date: Sept. 1, 2017

Spring Selection Due date: Feb. 1, 2018

For application and general questions call 850-884-6500

For medical questions call 850-884-6265

Special Operations Surgical Teams

"The Innovation Engine of Expeditionary Battlefield Surgery"

Special Operations Surgical Teams, commonly referred to as SOST, are United States Air Force teams of mobile surgical specialists with advanced medical and tactical training devoted to saving lives, anywhere and anytime.

SOST members are dedicated to their craft, their team, their patients, and the mission. Should a special operator fall, SOST will be there to provide the critical care to save lives. This pledge is reflected in the SOST motto: “QUIS ILLOS BELLATORES CUSTODIET,” or “Those Who Care for the Warriors.”

Mission

SOST are specialized surgical teams which provide four unique medical capabilities:

  • Advanced trauma resuscitation
  • Tactical damage control surgery
  • Post-op critical care
  • Critical care evacuation

They are fully trained and equipped to operate within austere environments utilizing "man-pack mobile" capabilities. These surgical teams are capable to quickly respond and support operations aboard SOF aircraft and/or other opportune air, land or sea platforms.

The team members carry specialized equipment and gear designed to support a wide spectrum of operations and mission sets that can occur within various threat environments, remote locations, light conditions, and weather. These teams function far-forward and independent of any established healthcare support systems or facilities. This enables SOST to function as a highly tailorable, mission-modular capability with a smaller footprint than conventional surgical assets.

The team members of SOST train to support Special Operations Forces around the world. They are based at the 24th Special Operations Wing within the 720th Special Tactics Group. SOST deploys as a six-member team composed of emergency physician, general surgeon, nurse anesthetist, critical care nurse, surgical technician, and respiratory therapist.

History

Originally conceived in late 2001 and operational since February 2003, SOST has been a high demand asset for the Air Force and United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).

During the past eleven years, SOST has logged tens of thousands of deployed days while supporting hundreds of special operations forces (SOF) missions and contingency operations around the globe. In addition, team members have deployed on short notice to support combat or humanitarian missions worldwide.

Operational Basing

The team members of SOST train to support Special Operations Forces around the world. They are based at the 24th Special Operations Wing within the 720th Special Tactics Group.

SOST deploys as a six-member team composed of:

  • Emergency physician
  • General surgeon
  • Nurse anesthetist
  • Critical care nurse
  • Surgical technician
  • Respiratory therapist

Training

Becoming a Special Operations Surgical Team member is no easy task. Candidates are evaluated during a rigorous week-long selection process.

SOST individuals must demonstrate teamwork, critical thinking, high stress tolerance, effective communication, sound situational awareness and leadership traits.

If selected, new team members go through 10 months of specialized training before deploying on their first operational mission. The training includes a number of survival, evasion, resistance and escape courses, advanced operational medical training, and several months of demanding SOF specific operational and tactical training.

Finally, they participate in full mission exercises with Special Tactics and other SOF units from the other military branches.