SF Group S2 Positions

Marauder06

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I was scrolling through some stuff on the MI Branch webpage and noticed some listings for for Group S2 positions being advertised to LTCs... is the Group S2 gig an O5 billet these days?
 

DA SWO

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I was scrolling through some stuff on the MI Branch webpage and noticed some listings for for Group S2 positions being advertised to LTCs... is the Group S2 gig an O5 billet these days?
You gonna apply?
Makes sense that a more Senior O would get the Group S2 slot.
 

Marauder06

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Mainly just idle curiousity on my part. On of the biggest ongoing self-inflicted wound we had in the CJSOTF was the J2 situation. The JMTOE (or whatever it's called) for the CJSOTF called for an O5 as the J2, but the Groups (from which all of the staffing came) were only authorized O4s. Since all of the "good" intel O5s were taken (i.e. already assigned elsewhere, like to command intel battalions) who were we left with? The rejects who no one else wanted. Plus whoever got the gig had never worked with us before, if they even worked with SF at all... you can see where this is going. It never worked out well. A fix would have been to have intel O5s organic to the Groups, which is what I'm hoping they're doing now. A post-command/G2 intel O5 would bring a lot to an SF Group.
 

surgicalcric

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... A post-command/G2 intel O5 would bring a lot to an SF Group.

Honestly, other than command time what would the O5 bring to Group that the O4 doesnt or cant other than "command time?" In my time with CJSOTF-AP I never saw a time where having an O5 instead of an O4 in the JOC would have mattered. In fact it would have just led to more lower echelon O's with nothing to do but nothing...

I am skeptical of this admittedly due to my belief that SF is entirely too top heavy (NCO and Os alike) due to "creating slots" for people to be promoted into - I attribute many of the issues we have as a Regiment to this.

What am I missing in the piece you propose Sir?
 

DA SWO

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Honestly, other than command time what would the O5 bring to Group that the O4 doesnt or cant other than "command time?" In my time with CJSOTF-AP I never saw a time where having an O5 instead of an O4 in the JOC would have mattered. In fact it would have just led to more lower echelon O's with nothing to do but nothing...

I am skeptical of this admittedly due to my belief that SF is entirely too top heavy (NCO and Os alike) due to "creating slots" for people to be promoted into - I attribute many of the issues we have as a Regiment to this.

What am I missing in the piece you propose Sir?
Group 2 has the same level of responsibility as a Division or Corps 2. The CJSOTF 2 is also fighting (within intel channels) for assets with Div/Corps 2's. Don't think rank plays a factor at allocation events; then think again.
 

Marauder06

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Honestly, other than command time what would the O5 bring to Group that the O4 doesnt or cant other than "command time?" In my time with CJSOTF-AP I never saw a time where having an O5 instead of an O4 in the JOC would have mattered. In fact it would have just led to more lower echelon O's with nothing to do but nothing...

I am skeptical of this admittedly due to my belief that SF is entirely too top heavy (NCO and Os alike) due to "creating slots" for people to be promoted into - I attribute many of the issues we have as a Regiment to this.

What am I missing in the piece you propose Sir?

Roger- I think reasonable people can disagree over whether it would be necessary or even useful to have an intel O5 at the Groups. I don't have particularly strong feelings on the subject, but I lean toward it being a good thing. Here is why.

The first aspect is level of complexity. A post-command O5 will be more likely to have experienced intel at the operational and strategic levels, and have a better knowledge of the collection platforms, exploitation procedures, and the intel community than a young O4, which is usually who gets Group S2 gigs. They also tend to have "better" relationships inside the intel community and the military as a whole, and we all know how important relationships are to mission accomplishment. Moreover, a post-command O5 isn't going to get pushed around as much as an inexperienced O4, either within the Group or when fighting with Big Army or national SOF forces for resources such as UAVs or SIGINT collection. this is a big advantage when you're forward. Being a Group S2/CJSOTF J2 is pretty damned difficult (at least, it is if you're doing it correctly) and a post-command O5 is better prepared to handle it.

The next concern is continuity of the intel effort. If you need an O5 to make a CJSOTF work, and the Groups are responsible for staffing the CJSOTFs, why are you only MTOE'd an O4? An O4 is (arguably) sufficient in, but I would say not optimal for, garrison; an O5 is clearly needed when you're at war. So at the SF Group level, in terms of intel are we organized "how you fight" or "how you garrison?" I would argue it's the latter. Again, who are you getting to be your J2 when you go forward? I guarantee that unless the Group Commander knows someone or someone below him is working a drug deal for a BNR, you're going to end up with whoever is "available." You know who is usually available? That's right- the dudes no one wants. Why aren't they wanted? Because they suck. Even if they don't suck, you're taking a guy you probably don't know, who has never worked for the unit before, and putting him at the head of the intel effort after everyone gets into theater. A recipe for disaster if I have ever seen one.

The final issue is competency. Group S2 time was recently included on the list of "key developmental" (formerly known as "branch qualifying") assignments for intel majors. However, it is still not seen as a "hard" KD job, which puts it as a disadvantage comparative to say brigade S2, or bn XO or S3. So a lot of the people who are attracted to Group S2 jobs are individuals who could not land a hard KD gig, or who would have a hard time performing at that level, so they try for Group instead.

A post-command intel O5 has made it through several career filters. First of all, he has made it to O5. Given recent promotion rates that's not a major discriminator, but it's something, and it will be more important as the Army draws down. The individual has also been selected for and successfully completed a command, which in MI is a pretty big deal. The selection for MI battalion command/G2 is pretty fierce; I didn't get picked up and I have a fairly good record. Getting selected for and successfully completing a battalion command as an MI officer is usually an effective indicator of competency. The way many Group S2s are picked now is, "Who do we have convenient? Yeah we'll take him." I can think of at least three Group S2s who were flatly rejected from national-level SOF assignments, but who were subsequently assigned as Group S2s. They probably would have been rejected from SF too if there had been any kind of A&S process, but I know you know how I feel about that so I won't go off on a tangent on that topic.

Suffice it to say, that a post-command MI O5 tends to be a better choice for a job as complex, difficult, and important as a Group S2 than an MI O4 who is put in the job with no closer scrutiny than he meets the minimum standards of branch and grade.

So that's the quick version on my reasoning for supporting post-command intel O5s at SF Groups over the current (I guess) O4s.
 

AWP

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The CJSOTF 2 is also fighting (within intel channels) for assets with Div/Corps 2's. Don't think rank plays a factor at allocation events; then think again.

I totally agree with this point as much as I disagree with the concept and it is one of many problems in our military. When assets can only realistically be requested by (insert rank here) then we are doing something wrong. That isn't to say a O-2 should be able to go off and order up a couple of Guardrails or whatever, there has to be some oversight, but if you are an O-4 working for an O-5 or O-6 you are representing that commander so that staff guy's rank shouldn't matter; the commander and his mission should mean more than the rank of the supporting or requesting individual.

Our military is rank crazy, rank retarded, where we keep raising the bar on who can do what.
 

surgicalcric

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<<<SNIP>>>

Thank you for the NCOPD Sir.

Several of the points you make I have rarely thought of. Thank you for taking the time to explain your point of view.

The points about the CJSOTF staffing is well received and I understand the needs there. However the question then begs does the entire SF Group structure need to change since we keep adding bloated commands. MOO is the CJSOTF is a self licking ice cream cone that needs to be trimmed. I feel the same way about the bloated CF structure too.

Again, we are just creating more places for guys to be promoted into.
 

Etype

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To caveat crip and mara's exchange, my time at a SOTF boggled my mind. The complexity of simple matters when it comes to dealing with the RCs and other whatnots is incredible. On top of that, I guess being in the SF world allowed me to forget how conventional shops sometimes over complicate the simple and don't grasp the complex. I don't think it's anyone's fault, I think it's just a side effect of the Team America World Police mission.
 
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