In July, the call for Force volunteers that was sent to Canadian and American military bases asked for young, single men who had backgrounds as lumberjacks, forest rangers, hunters, woodsmen, game wardens, prospectors, and explorers. The recruiters were instructed to choose volunteers with the potential to become good officers or non-commissioned officers because Frederick wanted men who could act on their own initiative in difficult circumstances. Although there were large numbers of volunteers for the Force, only a very small percentage made it through the screening and training process.
    Fort Henry William Harrison near Helena, Montana was chosen as the Force training base and the unit was formally activated on July 20 1942. Before the FSSF could complete its intensive training, Allied authorities decided on a different course of action in Norway, and this left the Force without a specific objective. Despite an undetermined mandate, FSSF continued to train, but to focus more on proficiency in warfare than saboteur skills. Eventually the additional training included amphibious landings, and the Force was first deployed to the Aleutian Islands to lead the assault against Kiska Island (July-August 1943) and then to southern Italy (November 1943 to July 1944) and southern France (August-December 1944).