JTAC

The Hate Ape

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Currently I'm assigned to the now renamed CSB over in Stone Bay as a communicator. I've heard through some of the more senior individuals in my platoon about comm guys getting billeted as JTACs with Fires. The way it was explained is that communicators will go through their standard training pipeline as SOCS and with some paperwork and a bit of face-to-face time with Fires they'll head off to the JTAC training pipeline and return with a different secondary MOS ready to rumble.

Has anyone had any experience with this? I'm seeking a bit of clarification prior to even visiting Fires about this process.

R/S

EDIT: I found the information I was looking for and will more than likely be interviewed some time this afternoon. Anyone interested in doing something similar feel free to respond.
 

Johca

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Does JTAC-certification still require you to be a SNCO?
Still??? My recollection is being a SNCO (E-8 & E-9) was never a requirement. The requirement AF enlisted JTAC has always been connected to a 5-skill level or 7-skill level and NCO rank. It can be suggested NCO rank isn't a requirement, but I would argue NCO Rank, Warrant Officer rank or commissioned rank is a necessity of the duty responsibilities.
 

AWP

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Still??? My recollection is being a SNCO (E-8 & E-9) was never a requirement. The requirement AF enlisted JTAC has always been connected to a 5-skill level or 7-skill level and NCO rank. It can be suggested NCO rank isn't a requirement, but I would argue NCO Rank, Warrant Officer rank or commissioned rank is a necessity of the duty responsibilities.

He may be speaking of an internal USMC requirement.
 

0699

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Still??? My recollection is being a SNCO (E-8 & E-9) was never a requirement. The requirement AF enlisted JTAC has always been connected to a 5-skill level or 7-skill level and NCO rank. It can be suggested NCO rank isn't a requirement, but I would argue NCO Rank, Warrant Officer rank or commissioned rank is a necessity of the duty responsibilities.

He may be speaking of an internal USMC requirement.

Yes. My experience (ANGLICO 2006-2009), the Corps required you to be a SNCO or officer to be a JTAC.

Also, SNCO in the Corps is considered E-6 through E-9.
 

Mac_NZ

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SNCO in the Corps is considered E-6 through E-9.

Damn, I should have tried for the Marines, then I could have grown a ridulous moustache, rocked a muffin top and complain that everything back in my day was harder, I've been cheated!
 

The Hate Ape

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It may but I spoke to fires to do my interview and as it was explained - it really doesn't matter. The hardest part seems to be actually getting a Marine over to the unit, once you're there they can pretty much move the numbers to make it work. You won't start off going to SOTAC despite the demands of the unit itself. As the company XO explained, said Marine will chop over to go do the JTAC training which covers FMC skill sets, at the conclusion SOTAC is now possible but as a few of the JTAC guys explained further is that it's mostly OJTd.

I'd say that it is both fortunate and unfortunate likewise that I'm currently in another training pipeline covering SOF Comm skill sets. I had a pretty good convo with most of the guys in there up to the company commander who said he'd love to take me but he's in process with others already and that the school costs upwards of five hundred grand.

All in all I got the thanks for the application but we'll keep it filed approach. This doesn't bother me much as I really just wanted to get my intentions understood in both Fires and my parent company as I'll be aiming for JTAC after a deployement or two as the Comms guy. Hopefully with some good work put in he'll remember the convo and ask if I still want to do it a year or so from now.

We all have some good time left here.
 
L

Lycurgus

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Keep striving for JTAC, it is an awesome skill set. I went back in the days as an E-5.
 

Johca

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Also, SNCO in the Corps is considered E-6 through E-9.
Well I just learned something and I went through a few Marine courses too back during my active duty days. Not to mention I and the other PJs hung out with Embassy Marines up in Iceland back in 75.

Anyhow sometime after 2000 or so JTAC has gotten all sort of MOA standardized.

A JTAC is defined as, "A certified/qualified Service member who, from a forward position, directs the action of combat aircraft engaged in close air support and other air operations."

Policy verbage from the current MOA:

Under United States domestic law, training and equipping JTACs is a Title 10 responsibility of each Service component within the Department of Defense. In fulfillment of its Title 10 responsibility to train and equip the forces, each Service component has independently and voluntarily determined that it is in their Service's best interests to meet or exceed the minimum standards for JTAC training and certification identified in this MOA.
...
Contents of this MOA – specifically the Joint Mission Task List (JMTL) and training standards are based on Joint Publication (JP) 3-09.3, CAS. A qualified JTAC will be recognized across DOD and participating nations as capable and authorized to perform terminal attack control.


JTAC Certification Process.
Prior to commencing JTAC training, a JTAC candidate requires a minimum of one year in a position with operational or mission ready fire support exposure, or be an aircrew member with at least one year of operational flying experience. .... There is a bit more, but there is no reference to any rank and/or grade requirement.
 

Johca

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MOS manual says that you have to be SSgt or above to receive the 8002 (JTAC) MOS
This essentially the same policy for enisted members of the AF TACP career field as far as getting JTAC qualification and certification.

BTW-SSgt (E-5) is the lowest or first NCO rank in the Air Force enlisted force structure.
 

The Hate Ape

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Lycurgus said:
Keep striving for JTAC, it is an awesome skill set. I went back in the days as an E-5.

I lurked a really good thread a while back, it mentioned the overzealous desires of individuals trying to aim way too high - trying to get into units with little or no experience and nothing to really offer. As I'm doing now, they were advised to set goals that build up to that level rather than running straight for it. In doing so, they'll get there with much more to offer thus twice as effective. That being said I'm pretty satisfied with the thought of a JTAC assignment as a goal to push for in the next year and a half or so.

I understand the manpower constraints and effort that it takes to get individuals such as myself (a regular comm guy) over into a high dollar school and be assigned as a no-shit JTAC/whatever else. While it proposes a solution to their short handed situation it still puts a void in my old shoes with Comm plt. Like some of the previous posts I went over there thinking I had to be a SNCO anyway so while I can't go right now, I'm walking away knowing that it can be done.

The brighter side of things is getting the really extensive training on all of the Comm pieces in the SOF business in my current assignment and from there I will be deploying shortly after. Looking down the road if I manage to land that JTAC assignment I could only see the extensive communications background as beneficial for myself and the rest of the team.

We'll see where it goes.
 

0699

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It may but I spoke to fires to do my interview and as it was explained - it really doesn't matter. The hardest part seems to be actually getting a Marine over to the unit, once you're there they can pretty much move the numbers to make it work. You won't start off going to SOTAC despite the demands of the unit itself. As the company XO explained, said Marine will chop over to go do the JTAC training which covers FMC skill sets, at the conclusion SOTAC is now possible but as a few of the JTAC guys explained further is that it's mostly OJTd.

I'd say that it is both fortunate and unfortunate likewise that I'm currently in another training pipeline covering SOF Comm skill sets. I had a pretty good convo with most of the guys in there up to the company commander who said he'd love to take me but he's in process with others already and that the school costs upwards of five hundred grand.

All in all I got the thanks for the application but we'll keep it filed approach. This doesn't bother me much as I really just wanted to get my intentions understood in both Fires and my parent company as I'll be aiming for JTAC after a deployement or two as the Comms guy. Hopefully with some good work put in he'll remember the convo and ask if I still want to do it a year or so from now.

We all have some good time left here.

That's another change since my time. Used to be (yeah, I know, screw you guys... :D) you did the JTAC Primer on-line, went to JTAC school, came back to your parent unit and completed your quals to be certified. Honestly, it's almost scary to me if the whole process is being done OJT. :hmm:

IIRC, we talked about sending some guys to SOTACC, but it never happened and I don't remember why...
 

The Hate Ape

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0699 said:
Honestly, it's almost scary to me if the whole process is being done OJT.

In reference to the SOTAC piece one thing that was mentioned is about someone working up at 400 (the big building) on Stone Bay being able to take care of a lot of training as a way around the SOTACC. I don't quite understand the dynamics enough to be able to speak intelligently on the subject but you're not the first person I've heard talk about SOTACC complications.
 

Red-Dot

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The other problem with the SOTACC problem from what I understand is getting air to stay qual'd. The simulator is good and can be used to get a few controls in but the numerous requirements for night, laser and live drops still need to be satisfied.
 

xfitterusmc

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May have done some speed reading here but just wanted to clarify....SGT's and above can become JTAC's in the Marine Corps. Current procedures at least at EWTGLANT where I went is 6 months fire support experience, JTAC primers online done. I can't speak to the SOCOM side of the house, but that's what it is for sourcing JTACs to conventional line battalions. And I still believe the MOA says JTACs can only be made by JTAC-I's which reside at the schoolhouse (SOTAC, EWTGLANT/PAC).
 
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