Self-Entitlement-"Things every FNG should know"

Tropicana98

Ranger
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I have read the following forums already :

http://www.shadowspear.com/vb/threads/things-every-o-should-know.3877/

http://www.shadowspear.com/vb/threads/things-every-nco-should-know.3931/

http://www.shadowspear.com/vb/threads/things-every-xxxxx-should-know.3885/

http://www.shadowspear.com/vb/threads/leadership-scenario.9484/

I've read a "Message to Garcia" a few times and will continue to do so, and I also did just a general search for advice and browsed the 9 pages that came up.

You guys have all been there, fresh out the schoolhouse with the shiny new trident, fresh shaven beret, new scroll etc. When you showed up to your unit what was your first "Oh Shit" moment that knocked you off your high of graduation? How do/did you as senior NCO's knock a new guy off of his or deal with a problematic new guy? Finally just some things SOF FNG's specifically should know that you feel the above didn't cover.
 

amlove21

Pararescue
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The City of Destiny
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The single best piece of advice I have ever been given is simple and perfect. It will never, EVER fail you.

"Never miss an opportunity to SHUT THE F%^K UP."

The biggest mistake I see (and that I have been a culprit of myself) is injecting your opinion into a situation that doesn't warrant it. Just graduating a course/pipeline/school does not grant you carte blanche to run your suck around the senior members of your team, even if you feel it's justified. Your time will come when your opinion matters, but that time ain't 6 months on the job with no deployments.
 

x SF med

the Troll
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Do what you are asked, how you are asked, when you are asked and then ask permission to ask questions if you have any - after you complete the task - or during the task if necessary for proper/safe execution.

Do NOT walk into your Teamroom thinking you are the equal of the guys there, you are the NUG, unproven except for having completed a course of instruction. Be the Quiet Professional. The learning really begins once you report to your Team. Don't be "That Guy".
 

0699

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NoVa
The single best piece of advice I have ever been given is simple and perfect. It will never, EVER fail you.

"Never miss an opportunity to SHUT THE F%^K UP."

The biggest mistake I see (and that I have been a culprit of myself) is injecting your opinion into a situation that doesn't warrant it. Just graduating a course/pipeline/school does not grant you carte blanche to run your suck around the senior members of your team, even if you feel it's justified. Your time will come when your opinion matters, but that time ain't 6 months on the job with no deployments.

Do what you are asked, how you are asked, when you are asked and then ask permission to ask questions if you have any - after you complete the task - or during the task if necessary for proper/safe execution.

Do NOT walk into your Teamroom thinking you are the equal of the guys there, you are the NUG, unproven except for having completed a course of instruction. Be the Quiet Professional. The learning really begins once you report to your Team. Don't be "That Guy".

Wish more people understood this, both military and civilian...
 

surgicalcric

Special Forces
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Here and there
1. Know the history of the unit for which you just spent XXX months training. This will be found in books, FM's, thesis papers, etc... not 4:00 youtube clips or recruiting videos.

2. Know how to take constructive criticism and adjust azimuth. You will be all fucked up day one; deal with it. DO NOT make excuses; I assure you noone cares.

3. Regardless of what qualification course you just graduated from you don't know everything. In fact you know just about enough to get someone hurt. Learn from the senior guys around you when you have the opportunity and take every other opportunity to prove your worth to the team

4. Know your job inside and out and be prepared to be the SME at it. Learn your team responsibilities and any additional duties before you go trying to be a one man ODA, SEAL PLT, Fire Team, etc...

5. Be fit. This doesn't mean maxing a test which was designed with the least fit in the military in mind. Figure out the demands of your job and exceed it.

6. You are not special no matter what tab, beret, crest, ribbon, etc you have on your uniform; its the mission thats special. As such, you have no right rubbing your self-inflated specialness in the conventional guy's faces or support guys for that matter. If you do, I assure you it will come back to bite you square in your "special" ass when you find yourself asking one of them for something your specialness doesn't have, doesn't have access to, otherwise cant get, or doesn't know how to fix. (Pay issues, ranges requests, MEDEVAC, QFR, med supplies, hescos and t-walls are just a few which come to mind.)

7. There is a difference between being in garrison and in the field/combat. Do not look like a bag of smashed turds (in uniform or not) walking around the PX, shoppette, etc... There is no reason for it and it just doesn't convey professionalism. One of your goals should be to out soldier every other soldier around you, not stick out like a sore thumb. This includes but is hardly limited to: rendering salutes to officers of every rank and being respectful of SR NCOs, blousing your boots, putting your cover on when appropriate, not rolling your sleeves up, etc. (see #6 if you don't know why)

8. As noted before, never miss an opportunity to STFU. God gave you two ears, two eyes,and only one mouth for a reason. If you practice exercising the former 2/3rd 50% as much as the latter 1/3rd you will be 100% less fucked up than otherwise.

9. If you are an SF guy you better show up speaking your target language at a 2/2 or greater and ready to work with lil brown guys, jundis, Abu-Khalil's, etc... If you don't and aren't the facts are, you didn't apply yourself during language school and you showed up to the wrong selection process which resulted in your having wasted a lot of time in a course only to be pissed, at everyone in the CoC, at the end of each day because you aren't a face shooter... (see #1 for clarification)

10. Show up with a couple cases of beer to your first meeting of your new team, squad, platoon, etc.. Don't be cheap either...

11. Don't be "that guy."
 

TLDR20

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Don't be afraid to ask questions. I showed up to a team that is one of the most highly decorated in SF. 1MOH 2DSC's, and more BSMV's than I even know of. It was intimidating, everyone had just returned from an OEF trip where they had lost their team sergeant. I was afraid to ask questions. But it bit me in the ass. If you don't know how to do something ask before continuing. If you don't it could get someone hurt or killed(luckily didn't in my case, just small things, but the lesson goes true for everything). Also don't forget about little things. Pay issues, jump logs, all that shit that S1 will fuck up you need to keep records of yourself. Because your TS, PL whatever will expect you too without being told.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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Don't be afraid to ask questions. I showed up to a team that is one of the most highly decorated in SF. 1MOH 2DSC's, and more BSMV's than I even know of. It was intimidating, everyone had just returned from an OEF trip where they had lost their team sergeant.

New guys and wannabes, read the above and ask if you can do what cback did, be the new guy in a small organization like that. If "I don't know" or "I'm not sure" is your first answer, that's okay. If it your last answer then maybe you need a new career path. cback talks of ONE ODA out of how many among 7 Groups? This doesn't cover SEAL Teams, Pararescue, CCT, Marine SOF elements, SOWT, Rangers, etc... Consider that as long as the GWOT has gone on and the number of SOF casualties, your first team leader could be a guy who went through the Pararescue pipeline with Jason Cunningham or a Ranger who fought at Haditha Dam or....and the list goes on.

You aren't just signing up for a job guys, you are also signing up to continue a LEGACY. (See cric's post above, Point #1) It isn't a burden to bear, it is one to embrace because you'll have no other choice.

Great post, cback.
 

Cochise

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Absolutely fantastic thread! Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on this. Information and advice like this is the reason I love this forum! Semper Fi!
 

18C4V

Special Forces
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When I get a new guy on my team or a SF guy new to my team (I'm a 18Z), I have his senior counsel him and then I counsel him on my expectations or if he's an E-7, I counsel him. I got rid of 3 guys off my team and one came from a CIF. Chemistry plays a huge part, one of the three just didn't fit in and he's doing well on another ODA.

BLUF, an SF soldier has to be proficient in his MOS, his admin job, and his addititonal team responsiblities. I got plently of guys with solid trigger times, I need guys who knows how to log on with his CAC card and are self starters with their own admin issues.
 

pardus

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First task of a newly badged SAS Trooper (NZSAS anyway), is to take a broom and sweep out the compound. .02c
 

TLDR20

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My first task in group was to clean the entire company common areas. Don't show up expecting glory
 

Tropicana98

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Georgia
You aren't just signing up for a job guys, you are also signing up to continue a LEGACY. (See cric's post above, Point #1) It isn't a burden to bear, it is one to embrace because you'll have no other choice.

I think with recent events that statement is carrying even more weight. Although I don't personally want to be a SEAL I feel the bar has been raised even higher for us wannabees and I for one am more motivated now than I was before hand. In reference to the post the "The Difference" no my perception and posts aren't the same as the verifieds on this website but then again they aren't supposed to be, that's why I'm here to soak up the knowledge you all have graciously offered. But I find that my perceptions are much different than the average civilians I think the other mentorees would agree as well. When the story of UBL getting double tapped came on(which was like Xmas) a lot the kids I go to school with are like "Man wouldn't that be badass to be a SEAL!!!?!?!" they see it as BUD/S---->Kill UBL, I'm more interested in what takes place in that arrow that gets me excited about this lifestyle. I see that arrow as the days and nights those SEALs spent swimming, running, shooting, shooting some more, and then when their hands are calloused...going back to the range again. I see that arrow as those SEALs refining their craft for 5-7 years or whatever the timeframe is, then passing ANOTHER selection. Killing UBL is a damn impressive feat but it becomes all the more awe inspiring when you at least have some idea, inexperienced as it may be, of what they go through the other 99.9% of the time when CNN, MSNBC, FOX, and Joe Blow could really give a shit about them. Like I've said I want to be a Ranger but the "bar" has been raised, the "burden" did get heavier, but universally for all of us, I know I feel that pressure and I'm not even in the Army yet, but I like it. The only differences really are you guys have been raising it long before this raid by giving us this wealth of knowledge and now the public cares about how high it is...for these 15 minutes anyway. Also I think NSW just solved their recruiting crisis. :cool:

...knockin em out
 

Pistol_Pete

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Apr 11, 2011
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45
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West of Charlotte, NC
When I first walked into my company in 1SFGA as a FNG straight out of training, my SGM asked me; "do you have a light"?, asked in the obvious way of lighting a smoke. "No Sergeant Major, I don't smoke" thinking he would be impressed that I didn't smoke. Then he proceeded to lecture me and tear me a new one along the lines of "Godamnit, when I ask you a question I expect you to give me a straight answer. I didn't ask you if you smoked, I asked you for a light. When we send you off on missions we are depending on you for accurate information not beat around the bush." Etc. This was something he pulled on all the new guys but he was right.

I remember during the "Q-Course" SFC Gallant (Anyone remember him? He was a terror.) told us that it took him 5 years of being on a team before he really started to understand what was going on and become knowledgeable and highly proficient through experience. He was also correct. It takes years to become a seasoned Operator.

As others have said, and it's damn good advice - "Never pass up an opportunity to shut your mouth as a FNG". Years later, I realize my mistakes and I wasn't half as good as I thought I was as a FNG though I was good at HALO/FF having been an avid skydiver prior to joining SF. But I was surrounded by Special Operations champions. Like being on the NFL of the military.

"You aren't just signing up for a job guys, you are also signing up to continue a LEGACY." as stated above - damn, that's a good statement. You are signing up for many things, none of which are a "job". It's a lifestyle and commitment that only a few understand. You are signing up to continue our legacy. And by the looks of it, those of you serving in positions we the faded old Operators once held - you are doing us proud.
 
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