Best path for prior service 11b

DOPEman

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Hey all,

I've been out of the Army for a little over a year now and am looking to get back in with the ultimate goal of earning a long tab. I joined in 2011 as an 11b, got hurt in RASP and was sent to the 82nd. I was pretty bummed but I made the best of it, did my time in a line company, then tried out and was selected for the scout platoon. I was lucky enough to get a slot to sniper school at the end of 2013 and graduated just a couple of months before deploying to Afghanistan. After getting back and with OEF coming to an end I decided to get out as an E-4 and to go to school, however I've come to realize over the last year that I'm not done with the Army just yet. The quote "If you love what you do you'll never work a day in your life" really applies to my time in the military, sure some of it sucked but it never felt like work. I'm not opposed to finishing college but I feel very stagnant which brings me to why I've come here. As a prior service guy I'd like some advice as to which pathI should take on the road to Special Forces. I spoke to a recently retired group SGM and he recommended the route he had taken, which was to get in contact with 19th group and attend selection/Q through them, then at a later date go active. That sounded great however talking to a recruiter from 19th, he told me they weren't offering rep 63's to prior service and that I would need to join as SOF support then they would send me to selection when they felt I was ready. That sounded and felt a whole lot like recruiter speak for "We're hurting for soft skill guys." and I have no intentions on reclassing if I can help it. So it would seem that that leaves either joining a guard unit as an 11b and attending an sfre or going back active. I was hoping some of you BTDT types or anyone that is involved with the recruitment process could give me some advice on what you would do if you were in my shoes.

Any input is much appreciated fellas. Thanks. -Max
 

Etype

Special Forces
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There are 7,349 threads on this already.

If you got hurt during RASP, you may well get hurt during selection. Pick a job you'd be happy with should something occur and you get stuck there.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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- The Guard does NOT have to release you to go Active and some units will reject your paperwork until you've done a certain amount of team time before they will allow you to leave. This is tied into funding more than anything so don't take it personally.
- Another Guard unit does not have to allow you to make a run at SF. Most do or will fold from pressure by State HQ if needed, but going SF from another unit isn't a given.
- As a prior 11B you may chafe at being an Enabler, but Spt. Co. will chop a guy lose to make a run at a team. You may have to "pay back" the company for reclassing you (again, money is the key here), but you will get a shot at proving yourself for SFAS.
- Regardless of AD or Guard, if you choose a soft skill pick one that interests you. If you're injured that becomes your "Plan B" whether you like it or not. Most Signal MOS' are garbage outside of SOF because of how they are used. Within SOF and SOF Support roles it is a different story, but conventional Signal in the Army, AD or Guard, is broken.

Good luck.
 

DOPEman

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- The Guard does NOT have to release you to go Active and some units will reject your paperwork until you've done a certain amount of team time before they will allow you to leave. This is tied into funding more than anything so don't take it personally.
- Another Guard unit does not have to allow you to make a run at SF. Most do or will fold from pressure by State HQ if needed, but going SF from another unit isn't a given.
- As a prior 11B you may chafe at being an Enabler, but Spt. Co. will chop a guy lose to make a run at a team. You may have to "pay back" the company for reclassing you (again, money is the key here), but you will get a shot at proving yourself for SFAS.
- Regardless of AD or Guard, if you choose a soft skill pick one that interests you. If you're injured that becomes your "Plan B" whether you like it or not. Most Signal MOS' are garbage outside of SOF because of how they are used. Within SOF and SOF Support roles it is a different story, but conventional Signal in the Army, AD or Guard, is broken.

Good luck.

So is the guard unlike active in the sense that you need permission from your command to attend selection? What about SFRE? I'm completely aware of the time and money vested into an 18 series guy and would have no problem "paying the unit back" before I tried to go active. From everything I've read and heard I would have no problem staying busy but that's honestly small potatoes to me right now, I'm just interested in getting to and completing selection/Q.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
SOF Support
Joined
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Messages
16,754
Location
Not Afghanistan
So is the guard unlike active in the sense that you need permission from your command to attend selection? What about SFRE? I'm completely aware of the time and money vested into an 18 series guy and would have no problem "paying the unit back" before I tried to go active. From everything I've read and heard I would have no problem staying busy but that's honestly small potatoes to me right now, I'm just interested in getting to and completing selection/Q.

Unless something's changed, a unit doesn't have to allow you to go to SFRE. Again, this is driven by money. The odds are you'll get released, but they once had no obligation to release you from your unit. Time's can change but a unit's MOSQ % impacts money and careers which is why some units can be stingy.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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I'm going to give an honest opinion as a dude who was right where you are 8-9 years ago. If you join the guard, absolutely join under a different MOS, even if you don't go to an SF unit as support or as long tabber, having more than one MOS greatly increases your promotional potential in the guard.

If I could go back, I would've went after SOTA or CBRN Recon, and than if I wasn't satisfied with that, SFAS is the natural progression. You've already got the Infantry skill's, increase you're knowledge/abilities/marketability, and it will serve you well in and out of uniform.

$.02
 

DOPEman

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Unless something's changed, a unit doesn't have to allow you to go to SFRE. Again, this is driven by money. The odds are you'll get released, but they once had no obligation to release you from your unit. Time's can change but a unit's MOSQ % impacts money and careers which is why some units can be stingy.

Makes sense, I'll do a little more digging and see whats what. Shit, I might even reach out to guys local guard units to see who's releasing guys for sfre and who's not.

I'm going to give an honest opinion as a dude who was right where you are 8-9 years ago. If you join the guard, absolutely join under a different MOS, even if you don't go to an SF unit as support or as long tabber, having more than one MOS greatly increases your promotional potential in the guard.

If I could go back, I would've went after SOTA or CBRN Recon, and than if I wasn't satisfied with that, SFAS is the natural progression. You've already got the Infantry skill's, increase you're knowledge/abilities/marketability, and it will serve you well in and out of uniform.

$.02

I appreciate the advice Diamondback but I would rather serve in a b4 position and wait than reclass to an mos I'm not fully vested in. Even if that meant a shorter route to selection. SOT-A sounds very interesting but not something I would consider as a stepping stone to selection. That's a lot of training and clearances to go through just to get to the end and jump ship.
 

DA SWO

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Makes sense, I'll do a little more digging and see whats what. Shit, I might even reach out to guys local guard units to see who's releasing guys for sfre and who's not.



I appreciate the advice Diamondback but I would rather serve in a b4 position and wait than reclass to an mos I'm not fully vested in. Even if that meant a shorter route to selection. SOT-A sounds very interesting but not something I would consider as a stepping stone to selection. That's a lot of training and clearances to go through just to get to the end and jump ship.
I wouldn't take you if the 1st phone call asked me if I would release you after AIT.
If you came back from AIT and asked for a release I'd say no.
Your best bet (said more than once here) is find a support skill in a SF unit and take that route. It is in that unit's best interest to release you to SFAS.
 

DOPEman

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I wouldn't take you if the 1st phone call asked me if I would release you after AIT.
If you came back from AIT and asked for a release I'd say no.
Your best bet (said more than once here) is find a support skill in a SF unit and take that route. It is in that unit's best interest to release you to SFAS.

I'm not planning on speaking to the approval authority directly, I'm a little more tactful than that. I wouldn't be going to an AIT either, as I already have a pmos but thanks for the insight.
 

DOPEman

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Unless something's changed, a unit doesn't have to allow you to go to SFRE. Again, this is driven by money. The odds are you'll get released, but they once had no obligation to release you from your unit. Time's can change but a unit's MOSQ % impacts money and careers which is why some units can be stingy.

Just an update for anyone near Texas, TXARNG has a memorandum out directing all subordinate commanders to support soldiers attending SFRE. So it seems, for Texas at least, you won't have any problems getting released. Hope this helps anyone in a similar situation.
 

DOPEman

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Thought I'd give an update with some info in case anyone is looking for similar info. I've since joined the TXARNG and am assigned to 1-143. I took a position in a line company with the agreement that I am free to leave after this year's AT to go to sniper section or SFAD if I so choose. I plan on sticking around until I pick up my 5 as I'm slotted for BLC later this year and have also been slotted for Air Assault this coming May. I have a date slotted for Ranger School next summer but it's up in the air if I'll attend or opt for SFAD before then. Overall I've got nothing but good things to say about 1-143, most NCO's are former active with a good amount of experience and have been nothing but helpful so far, especially my companies readiness NCO. I've made my plans to try for 19th group known and haven't received any resistance to that what so ever. I'll keep this thread updated with pertinent information as it becomes available. Thanks to those who've supplied me with advice thus far.
 

DOPEman

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Another Update: Ended up signing my promotion orders for 5 a while back, it's been a pretty busy few months since my last post. Went and passed Air Assault back in May then headed to Europe later in the summer for our annual training. Returned in August then volunteered for Hurricane response in the wake of Hurricane Harvey which took me through early September and I'm lined up for at least one other school this year. Definitely a good place to be if you're trying to stay busy. I got offered choice of duty position after getting back CONUS and I decided I'm gonna stay on the line until I go out for group, I really like my company and would prefer to have more TL time here vs TL time in a section. I'm waiting for the new FY dates for SFAD to be released and I'm shooting to attend on of the earlier ones. Continuing to train and workout, it's been a struggle keeping a consistent schedule with how hectic it's been but there's always time to get it in. Trying to snag a JM slot while I wait and although I do have a Ranger School slot reserved for the summer of next year, I'll be playing it by ear in relation to selection. Other than that, as previously stated 1-143 is about as good a place for you to be if you're pursuing a similar goal. Again I'll update as more information becomes pertinent.
 

DA SWO

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Another Update: Ended up signing my promotion orders for 5 a while back, it's been a pretty busy few months since my last post. Went and passed Air Assault back in May then headed to Europe later in the summer for our annual training. Returned in August then volunteered for Hurricane response in the wake of Hurricane Harvey which took me through early September and I'm lined up for at least one other school this year. Definitely a good place to be if you're trying to stay busy. I got offered choice of duty position after getting back CONUS and I decided I'm gonna stay on the line until I go out for group, I really like my company and would prefer to have more TL time here vs TL time in a section. I'm waiting for the new FY dates for SFAD to be released and I'm shooting to attend on of the earlier ones. Continuing to train and workout, it's been a struggle keeping a consistent schedule with how hectic it's been but there's always time to get it in. Trying to snag a JM slot while I wait and although I do have a Ranger School slot reserved for the summer of next year, I'll be playing it by ear in relation to selection. Other than that, as previously stated 1-143 is about as good a place for you to be if you're pursuing a similar goal. Again I'll update as more information becomes pertinent.
Good luck, is 1-143 the Abn Bn?
 
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