Prior Service 18x


Verified SOF
Aug 19, 2009
I have searched the internet high and low for a situation like mine, and I can't seem to find one. So I decided to start a thread, and hopefully this will help someone else who is in my situation.

-13f airborne qualified was AD (E4)
-Got out for about a year
-Trying to go back active as 18x
-Re-took the ASVAB to get my scores up so I qualified for it. Got a 112 GT.

This is where my situation is different from most.

Went back to the liaison happy, then got the bomb dropped on me. Basically he said that I can't join as 18x because they are accepting my main MOS (13F) back into the Army E1-E4. We tried to submit a request for an exception, but it was denied. I'm not sure what my options are at this point. I know about NGSF but I want to be active. Looking for some advice at this point. I go back Tuesday morning to see the duty stations that are available for 13f.

Side note- Contacted the Ranger liaison just to check if there was anything he could do, and he said if I could get to Benning as a duty station he could pull me into RASP, but getting to benning as 13F seems like a shot in the dark, and doesn't seem like it will happen at all.
I thought a unit can not let you go for something like a year though, maybe I am mistaken though. If that isn't the case then that sounds great. I suppose the only thing I would be worried about is the land nav portion, simply because I have been out for a year.
Just stay in the conventional military. At the rate things are digressing in SF you wont be able to tell where CF ends and SF begins in another couple years.

If you follow this advice chances are greater then not that you will not feel as though you spent 2-1/2 years of your life training for a set of mission(s) the risk-averse leadership in the Army will never allow you to do.

Yes I am highly disgruntled.....
Join an orienteering or rogaining club, or just a map and compass and go and nav. That one is easy.
Okay, I understand joing an orienteering club, but why suggest he join a club for men loosing their hair (Rogaining club)?
Thank you guys for the advice, I'm going back Tuesday and will be finding out what duty station I will be at.

Looking for one last piece of advice now, should I try and go to Ranger School before selection? I feel like it would give me something more to offer and I can only imagine it would help. The only thing I am worried about is how long it takes you to recover from it (from what I have heard), and that would push back selection for a long while.
Looking for one last piece of advice now, should I try and go to Ranger School before selection? I feel like it would give me something more to offer and I can only imagine it would help. The only thing I am worried about is how long it takes you to recover from it...

Any training in land nav will give you a leg up on the guys having to pick it up for the first time at SFAS. Also, if you retain the various knots taught at RS a lot of pain and headache can be saved at SFAS and SUT - if you make it that far. However make no mistake, there are plenty of Ranger tabbed guys who are 24 day non-selects at SFAS because that tab was all they had to offer. SF is should be looking for something different, be that something different.

As for recovery, that will depend on your conditioning the day you arrive at RS.

I lost 5 lbs in Ranger School and If I remember right, the profile is for 7 days when you get back (that was the SOP in my unit). I agree with everything that Crip said and I want to add some more situational awarness on the conditioning part.

I made it through as a 1st time go (skill and luck had a play in that) and that's when RS had 4 phases. You can be the greatest shape ever and Murphy can hit you and you now have a busted ankle, celitius, fall off an obstacle during the Darby Queen, get hypothermia in Florida, etc which can delay your recovery from Ranger School.

What Pre Ranger and Ranger School did for me was give me a gut check which I learned alot about myself and how far I could push my self. If you haven't been to a school envionment like that, I suggest you go since it will be another tool in your tool box to learn about your self and how you can push others to accomplish basic tasks when they are tired, sleepy, and unmotivated to do minor tasks) you can tailor your SFAS work up on what issues you need to improve upon.
One thing for the original poster to consider: if you are trying to get to SFAS quickly, it may be difficult for you to go to RS prior as most units will not want to "waste" a slot on someone who is just planning on leaving anyway.

Never mind that it is giving the army a better soldier, regardless of unit, but that is besides the point...
Roger, I will keep this in mind. I don't want to sound like I am trying to deceive anyone, but is it necessary to tell my unit my ultimate goal is Special Forces if I am being the best soldier I can, while I am in my unit?

I have just seen how the 82nd works, and say I wanted to go to RS first, if I told them my ultimate goal is SF, my life probably wouldn't be the best simply because I wouldn't have as many chances to do other things. Which is somewhat understandable...

Funny enough though, we always had slots open for it because nobody ever wanted to go.
Lucky, the 82nd is not a bad place. I'd say 15-20% of SF'ers start there, hell, 6 of the 11 guys on my team were in the 82nd. Just don't talk about it too much. It's not that people will black ball you for it, they just don't want to hear it. It's the same as the guys who are in SF always talking about going to AWG or wherever else it is that they might go- no one wants to hear it from the guy who's discontent with being there, but they'll support you if you make a decision and act on it promptly. When you are ready to go, do it.
I have the same question as lucky l3fty about airing SOF aspirations while in the Regular Army. I'd hate to be less than up front with my future superiors but I've read many times about Soldiers ending up on the 1st Sgt's shit list for aspiring above the conventional forces.

Right now my plan is to work hard to be an asset to my squad, keep my eyes & ears open, and speak very little.