Questions on SFAS

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pv1xray

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OK guys, I have some serious questions and not a lot of time, so anyone who's served in- or even simply tried out for- the Special Forces hit me with as straight an answer as you can. First up, the situation:

I just enlisted in the Army (active duty), and I'm fresh from MEPS with an 18X enlistment option contract. I'm damn proud of it, and I'm eager to see how far I can go, but I'm also wondering if I've bit off more than I can chew at this point.

Next, my strengths. I maxed the ASVAB and I'm probably going to do great on the DLAB (going back for that one later this week), which is my prime selling point and what got me the 18X enlistment option. I actually got one of the highest scores our recruiting station has seen in over a decade or so, and I have a habit of latching on to things with the tenacity of a pitbull. If I want something, I'll get it, one way or another, no matter what gets in my way. But I don't want to let these things go to my head, or make you fine gentlemen think I'm one of those swaggering wet-ears just aching to be kicked down a notch, because I have some big problems too.

I'll be frank: I'm out of shape. Way out of shape. I just turned 25 years old, and I've spent the past six years taking college classes, doing office work for local hospitals and (liberal university) bookstores, and not so much avoiding exercise as having no pressing need for it. Give me an Army PT test today, and I'd go down in a blaze of glory- not from lack of dedication, but from sheer muscle atrophy and years of comfortable, bookish living. I failed the duckwalk at MEPS due to very poor quad strength, and the one and a half mile run I did this morning resulted in me vomiting. I finished it, half walked and half runned, but simply finishing isn't good enough if I'm looking to be the best of the best.

So, my question is simple: will I have a shot at passing selection first time through? Given 6 weeks of hard daily training prior to BCT (I'm moving back in with my folks in order to make use of the university gym and cross-country course right across the street), 17 weeks of Infantry OSUT, jump school, and SF Prep, is it possible to build myself up to the point where I'll be able to smoke the other candidates at assessment? Or should I renegotiate my contract and shoot for the Forces after, say, a year or two of active military service, when I'll have plenty of time to bring my physical conditioning to a competitive level? I don't want to pass up a golden opportunity to nail the best job in the entire world, but I also don't want to run inexorably into a brick wall and wind up stuck as a rifleman for five years. Not that I have anything against the infantry, but if I can't pass assessment first time I'd much rather land a job as a Cav Scout, MP-Sniper, Counter-Intel Agent, or Human Intel Collector, then use those as a springboard for going Airborne and Forces once I've reached the level I need to be at.

My recruiters think I have a chance, but that could be because they've never seen me try and do a pull-up before. My parents think I have a chance, but they'd never even heard of the Special Forces until two days ago. I think I have a chance, too, more than a chance actually, but the question is when will I be physically capable of meeting the requirements.

I know, this is probably a bad idea. I'm over-thinking things, and that could be disastrous. Doubts become self-fulfilling prophecies, and I don't want to shoot myself in the foot before I start. But I also don't want to shoot myself in the foot by taking the plunge before I'm ready and winding up in a worse position than I otherwise would have been in. And not just for me... I know guys in the service who are fighting, hard, to get a tryout spot with the Forces, and I feel almost guilty in a way for getting this opportunity. If I'm not ready for it, and I washout, it would be disrespectful to all the other guys out there who are ready but aren't being given the chance for one reason or another.

So, thoughts? Questions? Comments? Can I go from the Army's weakest recruit to Green Beret material in a matter of months? Or should I pace my rise to the top and give myself a better career trajectory? One way or another, I'm going to try for the Forces, that much I'm certain of. But I'd like a more experienced take on it, too! Also, any suggestions on workouts, nutrition, "extra curricular skills" (e.g. should I start learning Arabic/Korean in my free time to give me a leg up?), and workout pacing (till I drop each day?) would be good, too.

Hooah!

~Private XRay
 

pardus

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Jesus dude....

I would have given myself a lot more time to get in shape before shipping out. :2c:
 
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pv1xray

Guest
I don't even know where to start:eek::rolleyes:

LOL, I figured as much. Like I said guys, kick my ass here- I've got no ego to lose, and I've been fed nothing but pep talks and honeyed optimism the whole time. I want honest answers and an honest ETA for once!

For your further amusement, my original ship date was in three days, and the MEPS boys bitched me out for three-quarters of an hour when I demanded more prep time. :)
 
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irnbndr

Guest
Listen man,
There is no excuse for showing up to Basic training in the type of shape that you are in so get on the internet, do some research and get your sorry ass in shape.

That being said... you will have ample physical training during OSUT. From there you need to manage your time through airborne training since they don't do shit for PT. You will spend an ass-load of time in the Special Operations Preparation Course (SOPC) prior to ever going to SFAS or the Q course. They will hammer you into shape. But you had better not show up there like a pile of shit or you will never see Camp MacCall.

Bottom line, most guys who enter in the 18X program are not worth a shit. The best thing you can do for yourself is get some army experience before coming to SF. We are not very fond of 18X's but will take a truck driver any day! That is my opinion, but you can take it for what it is worth. Some 18X's have done great things... some.

Good luck to you and thank you for joining, the army needs you.
 
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pv1xray

Guest
Listen man,
There is no excuse for showing up to Basic training in the type of shape that you are in so get on the internet, do some research and get your sorry ass in shape.

That being said... you will have ample physical training during OSUT. From there you need to manage your time through airborne training since they don't do shit for PT. You will spend an ass-load of time in the Special Operations Preparation Course (SOPC) prior to ever going to SFAS or the Q course. They will hammer you into shape. But you had better not show up there like a pile of shit or you will never see Camp MacCall.

Bottom line, most guys who enter in the 18X program are not worth a shit. The best thing you can do for yourself is get some army experience before coming to SF. We are not very fond of 18X's but will take a truck driver any day! That is my opinion, but you can take it for what it is worth. Some 18X's have done great things... some.

Good luck to you and thank you for joining, the army needs you.

Thank you, sir, proud to be a shitstain in training for Uncle Sam! I don't intend to show up in the current sorry-as-shit shape I'm in, and any advice on workouts would be greatly and humbly appreciated. Currently I'm following my recruiter's Pocket Physical Training Guide, Schedule 4 (the one for people in desperate need of a comprehensive package). As for your opinion, I respect that, I can see where you're coming from, and I'll bear that in mind over the next few months.

-edit- One last question before I head off for my evening run/ruck march. If I were to renegotiate my contract and go for experience first, which MOS would you gentlemen recommend for prepping me for the Forces? I don't want anything that'll let me get too comfortable, but if, say, 21-Lima has some hidden training perks I never knew about, let me know.
 

car

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It's been 27 summers since I rolled around in the orange sand of Ft. Jackson, and almost 25 since jump school. I know this - having recently served in TRADOC - Basic isn't gonna do a lot for you. You should be able to at least pass the APFT before you get there. As for OSUT bringing you along, I think that's right, but I'm not a grunt and not a long tabber. I recommend that you spend as much time as you can running, doing push-ups/sit-ups (the basics), but making sure you rest properly and don't injure yourself by over doing it. I recently started running again after nearly a year of knee/ankle problems. Even after 26+ yrs of this shit, I tried to start out like a 19 yr-old recruit. Damn near broke myself again. This 46 yr-old body doesn't come back like it used too :doh:

Bottom line: Work hard and steadily build. Rest and eat properly. You don't need to run every day, but you need to do something aerobic. In the end, it may come down to how much heart you have. :2c:
 
C

ckidd

Guest
I am on active duty and currently training for SFAS in May. Shoot me a PM and I will give you a few things to get you started. pardus762 recommended the GET SELECTED book that's out there, and as he will tell you, it is the authority on SFAS prep. The big thing is to get a rucksack, load it up with 40-50 pounds, and go out and walk around in it, preferrably off road if you can. You need to toughen your legs, and more importantly your feet. I also have an SFAS prep guide that USASOC commissioned through the National Strength and Conditioning Association on digits that I will send to you if you shoot me a pm. pardus762 and a lot of the guys in this forum will also give you excellent advice, so pay attention to all of it, and soak it up like a sponge. Shoot me a pm, buddy.
 

shortbrownguy

Special Forces
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LOL, I figured as much. Like I said guys, kick my ass here- I've got no ego to lose, and I've been fed nothing but pep talks and honeyed optimism the whole time. I want honest answers and an honest ETA for once!

For your further amusement, my original ship date was in three days, and the MEPS boys bitched me out for three-quarters of an hour when I demanded more prep time. :)

Do not let the recruiters at MEPS push you around. If I were you, I would give myself more time before I shipped. I have questions for you. What is the highest standard of fitness that you have ever achieved? How fit do you think you need to be to obtain your goal of completing the SFQC?
 

Snaquebite

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Can I go from the Army's weakest recruit to Green Beret material in a matter of months?

I guess you could try and transform into a piece of green felt but...why would you want to?

Sorry, couldn't think of anything else to say. It is obvious you haven't done much research nor are you taking this serious. Might as well go to a gun fight with a knife. Just MHO
 

x SF med

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I don't even know where to start:eek::rolleyes:

Listen man,
There is no excuse for showing up to Basic training in the type of shape that you are in so get on the internet, do some research and get your sorry ass in shape.

That being said... you will have ample physical training during OSUT. From there you need to manage your time through airborne training since they don't do shit for PT. You will spend an ass-load of time in the Special Operations Preparation Course (SOPC) prior to ever going to SFAS or the Q course. They will hammer you into shape. But you had better not show up there like a pile of shit or you will never see Camp MacCall.

Bottom line, most guys who enter in the 18X program are not worth a shit. The best thing you can do for yourself is get some army experience before coming to SF. We are not very fond of 18X's but will take a truck driver any day! That is my opinion, but you can take it for what it is worth. Some 18X's have done great things... some.

Good luck to you and thank you for joining, the army needs you.

I guess you could try and transform into a piece of green felt but...why would you want to?

Sorry, couldn't think of anything else to say. It is obvious you haven't done much research nor are you taking this serious. Might as well go to a gun fight with a knife. Just MHO

What they said.

You might just have stepped all over your crank with sharpened track shoes. I sure hope you like the 82nd Airplane Gang, I fully believe that's where you're gonna end up.

Have a very SF Day.

Oh, your recruiter got points for getting an XRay contract signed, whether you make it or not.
 
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irnbndr

Guest
Thank you, sir, proud to be a shitstain in training for Uncle Sam! I don't intend to show up in the current sorry-as-shit shape I'm in, and any advice on workouts would be greatly and humbly appreciated. Currently I'm following my recruiter's Pocket Physical Training Guide, Schedule 4 (the one for people in desperate need of a comprehensive package). As for your opinion, I respect that, I can see where you're coming from, and I'll bear that in mind over the next few months.

I can tell you now that the first thing you had better do is lose the attitude. If you can't take some ass ripping here you will be fish bait in SFAS and the Q course. I am where you want to be... bear that in mind when you start your endeavor... they are where you want to be. They don't have to put up with any shit from you, and they won't.

I would consider some crossfit training, that is the best physical fitness training for the combat arms soldier today. Just my opinion. You need to toughen your feet, but if you are actually in the shape that you claim to be, you may injure yourself.

Every 18X that I have seen be successful was a PT stud. This is all you have, there is nothing that will put you above your peers in training other than PT. They have the experience already, your ASVAB score doesn't mean shit to them. What they will want to see is your ability to hump a ruck! In SF your peers have all the power, if they don't think you are worth a shit then you will be gone. It's a little thing we call peer evaluations.

Train hard but train smart... keep your eye on the prize. You have no idea how sweet it is!
 

Snaquebite

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Pocket Physical Training Guide, Schedule 4

Ain't gonna cut it...

Buy the book "Get Selected" ...Read it, then read it again. Do a self assessment and if you do it honestly, you should be able to answer your own questions.
 

jordan

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...reading through those replies was kind of entertaining.

Ive been in the army a few years now and I am heading to SFAS in may and I personally think, maybe you should be an Infantryman for a while. Get used to getting up every morning and doing some excerise. Get some experiance. Crawl, walk, run. Once you learn that, maybe than you can try out.
 

x SF med

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OK - reality check - Irnbndr is spot on (thank you bro) - you are destined to fail, period.

Back in the early 80's (old Q, with pre-phase instead of SFAS) I was in great shape - competitive swimmer, sailor, orienteering, cross-country, backpacking and military training (Reserve/ROTC SMP) prior to enlisting with an SF contract. I watched the guys in good shape fall by the wayside.

Ask any SF Qualified Soldier and they'll tell you you need to be in great shape to attempt it - mentally, physically, emotionally, morally, ethically and even spiritually - break any one and you're toast - the physical will get you recycled IF and ONLY IF you are injured and exceptional. The shape you currently profess to (round and soft) will not cut it. You have one chance in your inital enlistment at SF with an 18X contract. You better start planning your re-enlistment after lots of PT in the 82nd during your first.

And, as Irnbndr suggested - lose the attitude, you ain't got yours, but I got mine, as did he - most SF guys won't run the attitude game, don't need to, we've already proven everything we need to - to ourselves and our brothers - we are SF Soldiers.

Now, STFU, and go run, do pushups, situps, chinups, and run some more. It's a kinder gentler Army - but not in SF.
 

MFFJM091

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I say knock yourself out!!

When I went through SFAS in June 92' we started with well over 400 candidates, we graduated about 100. Every single one of those, minus a few rep 63 (?), that showed up for SFAS were all soldiers with a couple years of experience either Active or Guard. I don't know where you have stood on the past in Physical Fitness but if you are not a self motivator when it comes to physical fitness, don't even bother. I do not know how SFAS is now but it sucked in 92'.

One thing that I can tell you is that when you get to the Pre SF course (no clue what they call it, didn't have it in my day) they will smoke the ever living shit out of you, at a minimum, twice a day. They will not be nice either. I can guarantee that the course will have you more than ready for SFAS. They have a very high success rate at making it through SFAS. I had three friends that worked out there and they would tell me what they did to their candidates, put it this way many start that program but a whole shitload never make it to SFAS.

I regress, knock yourself out. You would be a great asset to a team!!
 

demo18c

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There are some good points here but its up to you to judge yourself and see if you can make. I would use your time wisely before BCT and do some crossfit, ruck runs and get mentally prepared. Like someone else said most of the 18x that pass are in great shape but also proved to be a leader. About 25% of 18X pass and get selected to take part in the Q-course. Tons more fail the Q because its not what they thought it would be. So go smoke yourself but do it smartly.

Also work on the way you see yourself. I dont want to tote my own horn but....Im 5'6" 160lbs and my heart and pride got me through Ranger School and the Q-course. Instead of thinking "will I make" think" I will make". Also think about what lies at the end of the longggg tunnel....cool gear...girls...a locker full of guns just for you....kidding about the girls. Its hard work but its fun.. i would get out if somehow I had to go back to the regular Army...

ok im done talking. Hopefully you see my point.
 

surgicalcric

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...I'm eager to see how far I can go, but I'm also wondering if I've bit off more than I can chew at this point...

I will not continue to hammer the reasons you should rethink your decision based on your self proclaimed lack of physical conditioning because I think my Brothers have said about all that needs to be said, however I would like to discuss the above quote for a brief moment.

If you think you have bitten off more than you can chew then you have indeed done just that. Once you make a decision in life you have only to give it your all. I cannot remember a day in the course where I thought about anything except the day I would walk across the stage at graduation or what life on an ODA will be like. Not one time did I wonder if I would make the grade.

You are self selecting and it is one of the major reasons guys end up not being selected at SFAS or making it thru any one of the other tests. SFAS is not the only hurdle you will cross. The entire SFQC is one test after another. It doesn't end the day you walk the stage and are handed your graduation certificate. The biggest test will come when you get to a team and there are other men's lives hanging in the balance.

You need to get your mind in the game. Once your mind is made up your body will follow. I have seen guys who were physical studs be passed up by someone with an iron will. I was 33 years old when I attended SFAS. I have never been the fastest runner (13 minute/2 mile) but I knew I could ruck. In preparation for SFAS I ran twice what I rucked because I knew thats where I was weak.

Each of us (SF soldiers) knows where our weak points are and we work on them until they are no longer weak points. You are unlucky that both your mind and your body are weak.

You have a very long road ahead of you highspeed. I suggest you stop posting, start reading everything you can find on the mindset of a warrior and hit the weights and the road. I would also suggest you go back to MEPS and renegotiate your contract; ask for the 82nd or 101st Airborne Divisions, or the 10th Mountain Division. You do not sound ready for whats ahead of you.

Crip
 

pardus

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I would also suggest you go back to MEPS and renegotiate your contract; ask for the 82nd or 101st Airborne Divisions, or the 10th Mountain Division. You do not sound ready for whats ahead of you.

Crip

I think that is a great idea!!
 
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