SF Officer Roles, Responsibilities, and Daily Life

sierraleems

Padawan
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Apr 24, 2009
Messages
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I'm looking at commissioning options down the line and I'm trying to get a good glimpse of what kinds of things I would be tasked with as an SF officer (junior) both downrange and in the conus. I'm talking realistically, not what some mission statement or army recruiting blurb says. What is the daily life like at home station? Feel free to PM me due to issues of opsec.
 

x SF med

the Troll
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I'm looking at commissioning options down the line and I'm trying to get a good glimpse of what kinds of things I would be tasked with as an SF officer (junior) both downrange and in the conus. I'm talking realistically, not what some mission statement or army recruiting blurb says. What is the daily life like at home station? Feel free to PM me due to issues of opsec.

Um, you need to do research there kid. There are NO Junior Officers in SF - you can't even put in a request for SFAS until you are a 1LT(P).

Focus on your 25m targets.
Finish College
Branch
OBC
EXCEL in your initial postings
think long and hard if SF or SOF are even right for you.
SFAS / Selected
Make it through the Q
Excel on a Team

at a minimum - 150m prior to even getting the chance to fail SFAS... that's easily 5 years minimum out.
 
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08steeda

Guest
X SF Med - He is a PJ, so he has to be squared away!!! My money would be on him to making it thru selection!
 

x SF med

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X SF Med - He is a PJ, so he has to be squared away!!! My money would be on him to making it thru selection!

After 4 years of College and beer, then 3-4 yrs as a LT (2nd and 1st)? Could be a challenge...

I'd give the same advice to everyone... there are variables in there that can change everything.

I read profiles before I post advice - so as not to give bad advice based on the individuals quals....
 
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08steeda

Guest
X SF Med - you speak from experience and I respect your accomplishment. Your advice on this forum is always excellent! Besides, I am probably unworthy to even walk in your foot steps!!!

I bet Q is a challenge for almost everyone. I was not trying to contradict you in any way, I promise! :)

I just have great faith in anyone who is a PJ! So my thought is that anyone who is a PJ would probably do well in that arena too! But it is just my opinion, unfounded as it may be! :2c: ...well maybe my 1/2 a cent!

So I am just going to shut up now!
 

sierraleems

Padawan
Verified SOF
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Messages
17
Hmm... I'm an operator, I finished my degree and pre med four years with a 3.6, and I'm not a kid. I never said anything factually incorrect about junior officers in SF, and I'm well aware that there are no 2lt's. Let's skip the condescending babble and get to the facts... I don't need information about how to apply, or what selection is like. I don't care, and I already used google to figure that out years ago. I'm interested in hearing from SF officers what their day to day life is like.

Why is it that so many services treat other operators who are interested in cross training like they are civilians who might not have what it takes? I went into a navy seal recruiter the other day in my flight suit with an obvious triple stack and it was like I was some other joe blow straight out of college. If another operator was interested in cross training into pararescue the last thing I would do is lecture him about doing underwaters and having what it takes to make it through pj indoc. I would give him straight facts about what our job is like so he can make some informed decisions, which is what I'm looking for.

I don't mean to get fired up here and I mean no disrespect towards anyone.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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I'm not an SF Officer, so I'm reluctant to post and set a poor example (i.e., posting out of my lane). I don't know if we have any SF branch O's on the board and if we do I apologize for not remembering.

One stumbling block that affects all 18A candidates (where's Viper1? he can maybe shed some light on this.) is the Year Group. I'll leave it up to the recruiting web site to explain it, or start to:
http://www.bragg.army.mil/sorb/SORB_SPECIALFORCES_APP_PROCESS.html

Application Procedures for Officers


Documentation. The following lists all documentation necessary to be considered for selection by the Special Forces Branch, HRC.
a. Volunteer statement.
b. A current copy of your officer record brief (ORB).
c. Resume.
d. DA Form 873 or a statement from your S2 if security clearance is not annotated on your ORB.
e. SF physical. Original DD Form 2808 and DD Form 2807-1 along with all supporting documents.
f. Current APFT within 6 months of application date. All applicants are required to score a minimum of 229, graded in the age group of 17 to 21. SF Recruiters will conduct a diagnostic APFT for all candidates upon completion of SFAS application. Uniform for APFT is IAW with AR 670-1.
g. DLAB. You must score a minimum of 85 on the DLAB. If you do not attain a minimum score of 85, you can retake the DLAB or submit your packet with the current score and it will be considered and reviewed for SFAS Course attendance.
h. Statement of intent. You must completely fill out the student officer statement of intent to Special Forces training and include it in your packet.
Personnel Records. All officer applications should ensure your ORB reflects the listed selection criteria or include a copy of either the service school academic record or diploma.
Applications. Completed applications should be forwarded to the recruiting station responsible for servicing your designated area as listed in Table 3-1, USAREC Pam 601-25.
Target Year Group. The current target year group is YG 2006 male officers. YG 06 officers are strongly encouraged to complete their application immediately and forward the completed packet to their SF recruiters. Use FEDEX, US Postal, email, or fax to get your packet to us. HRC SF Branch needs your packet ASAP for the following reasons; 1) The board convenes at the end of Mar 09, 2) Allows plenty of time for application quality control and corrections, 3) Allows time for all of your processing requirements, and 4) Gives you the best shot at being selected for SFAS and moving toward a career as a Special Forces Officer.Deployed in support of Army Operations across the world: Your chances improve with a completed packet, but in order to provide everyone the opportunity to apply, DA will board your packet with a minimum of the required items for the officer packet. Turn in your packet with whatever you have! Inside hint: include a memorandum for record explaining your deployment dates and return dates. This memorandum should include a remark stating "I understand I must complete my Special Forces Application packet prior to going to SFAS."
Out of Year Group. Officers not in the target YG may apply at any time, however your accession board will not be until after your Captain Selection board. Check the HRC website for more information. See the Out of Year Group Checklist for more information.

Good luck!
 

surgicalcric

Special Forces
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Here and there
sierraleems: See my PM for my thoughts on your question.

...I just have great faith in anyone who is a PJ! So my thought is that anyone who is a PJ would probably do well in that arena too! But it is just my opinion, unfounded as it may be! :2c: ...

The trouble here, and what you dont understand because you arent in the community, is that each unit in the SOF community is different and is looking for different things from their candidates. There are plenty of MARSOC, AFSOC, NAVSOC (or whatever they call it), and other guys from USASOC who do not belong in SF for a myriad of reasons too great to cover in a single post. There have been Rangers, SEAL's, Marine Recon, PJ/CCT's, etc who have come to SFAS and have failed to get selected for one reason or another. There is also a number of the same who get to the SFQC only to not make it thru training for an equally diverse number of reasons. There are plenty from across the spectrum that do make the grade...

Not everyone has what it takes to do what we do and not everyone wants to; the unfortunate part is that not everyone understands that, as evidenced by your post.
 
B

Boondocksaint375

Guest
Um, you need to do research there kid.

There were plenty of other avenues this thread could have gone. A guy who has served his country in an SOF capacity, and merely asking for input, doesn't warrant the treatment given to the high school kids on the board. If you don't have anything valuable to add to threads like this, then step away from the keyboard and let those who want to help a brother out, do just that.
 

Marauder06

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Hmm... ...

We get some kids on the site from time to time who haven't done their homework and expect the answers to their life's ambitions to be handed to them on a silver platter by those who have been where they want to go. Clearly, you do not fall into that category.

While I am an officer with experience in an SF Group, I'm not an SF officer so I'm not going to speculate on what you can expect as a junior team leader other than to say if SF is like other branches, as the junior officer in the unit you can expect to do all the crap jobs that the other officers with more time in the unit don't feel like doing ;)

Are you here at Bragg? If so, I will be glad to link you up with any one of about a 1/2 dozen SF officer friends of mine who would be happy to chat with you. One of them graduated from the Q course less than a month ago and may have the most up-to-date answers for you.

Additionally, I know of an SF NCO who's going to be hosting what will probably be a kick-ass Cinco de Mayo party, and probably wouldn't mind if a fellow operator showed up with a couple of questions (and maybe a case of beer). :D hint: http://www.shadowspear.com/vb/showthread.php?t=18990

Welcome to the site, best of luck with your goal of becoming SF.
 
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08steeda

Guest
sierraleems: See my PM for my thoughts on your question.



The trouble here, and what you don't understand because you aren't in the community, is that each unit in the SOF community is different and is looking for different things from their candidates. There are plenty of MARSOC, AFSOC, NAVSOC (or whatever they call it), and other guys from USASOC who do not belong in SF for a myriad of reasons too great to cover in a single post. There have been Rangers, SEAL's, Marine Recon, PJ/CCT's, etc who have come to SFAS and have failed to get selected for one reason or another. There is also a number of the same who get to the SFQC only to not make it thru training for an equally diverse number of reasons. There are plenty from across the spectrum that do make the grade...

Not everyone has what it takes to do what we do and not everyone wants to; the unfortunate part is that not everyone understands that, as evidenced by your post.


That is why it is called an OPINION (as stated in my post). I am NOT nor have I ever been in that community. But I have been around the block supporting that community (albeit only periodically) and having faith and believing in someone's ability (especially after proving themselves as a PJ) in my guestimation is probably a candidate who could succeed in selection. But that is just my opinion.

I did try to become a PJ and couldn't cut it! And I do get it that every candidate is capable of NOT making it thru the Indoc/Selection and especially the final school like SFQC. But some even repeat the selection/training/process after failing and then MAKE IT.

I could have done the same thing, trained harder, gotten stronger in the areas I needed to improve upon to become a better swimmer. Then I could have attempted the PJ selection again! that still would not have guaranteed that i would have made it in selection or beyond.

I also understand each unit (especially in the SpecOps arena) has unique requirements around skills, aptitude, attitude, experience and personal commitment.

Sometimes text communications (email, chat, forums, etc) do not convey the intended message or intent. So I was probably not as clear as I could have been.
 

formerBrat

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sierraleems: Would you indulge a douchebag civi by elaborating more on possible decision to go away from the AF and your current AFSC vs trying to obtain a commission in the AF then go into the CRO field or STO? If you don't feel like answering that's cool, your initial post just made me wonder.
 

18C4V

Special Forces
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281
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Why do you want to be an SF Officer? I'm a 18Z Team Sergeant and I've seen officers come and go. You may do between 24 to 36 months team time, then it's off for more "career progression" assignments. It's pretty frustating manning a computer doing your career progression at a JIOC listening on SATCOM of TICS or watching kill tv on the plasma screen. Or having the boring function of being DACO while the troops are getting ready to conduct a HAF on a HVT.
 

car

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We get some kids on the site from time to time who haven't done their homework and expect the answers to their life's ambitions to be handed to them on a silver platter by those who have been where they want to go. Clearly, you do not fall into that category.

While I am an officer with experience in an SF Group, I'm not an SF officer so I'm not going to speculate on what you can expect as a junior team leader other than to say if SF is like other branches, as the junior officer in the unit you can expect to do all the crap jobs that the other officers with more time in the unit don't feel like doing ;)

Are you here at Bragg? If so, I will be glad to link you up with any one of about a 1/2 dozen SF officer friends of mine who would be happy to chat with you. One of them graduated from the Q course less than a month ago and may have the most up-to-date answers for you.

Additionally, I know of an SF NCO who's going to be hosting what will probably be a kick-ass Cinco de Mayo party, and probably wouldn't mind if a fellow operator showed up with a couple of questions (and maybe a case of beer). :D hint: http://www.shadowspear.com/vb/showthread.php?t=18990

Welcome to the site, best of luck with your goal of becoming SF.


I think you need to listen to/seek advice from Mara. He's prolly the best qualed to answer you questions.

Everyone else perolly outghta back off........
 

digrar

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No longer in the desert, breaking rocks.
Why do you want to be an SF Officer? I'm a 18Z Team Sergeant and I've seen officers come and go. You may do between 24 to 26 months team time, then it's off for more "career progression" assignments. It's pretty frustating manning a computer doing your career progression at a JIOC listening on SATCOM of TICS or watching kill tv on the plasma screen. Or having the boring function of being DACO while the troops are getting ready to conduct a HAF on a HVT.

I was just reading this quote below today and thought it would be applicable sooner or later.
Major Phil Ashby from the Royal Marines in Unscathed, he's surrounded by RUF irregulars in Sierra Leone with 2 platoons of Kenyans and half a dozen other unarmed UN observers.

Major Phil Ashby said:
Kenyan soldiers: 'For every one of us we'll take ten of them.' They were convinced that I must have regularly experienced situations like this during Commando training. It would have been counter-productive to have shattered the illusion, so I kept my thoughts to myself. But I smiled inwardly as I remembered how, in my last UK job, I once found myself completing a risk assessment for use of the office photocopier.
 

x SF med

the Troll
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I'm looking at commissioning options down the line and I'm trying to get a good glimpse of what kinds of things I would be tasked with as an SF officer (junior) both downrange and in the conus. I'm talking realistically, not what some mission statement or army recruiting blurb says. What is the daily life like at home station? Feel free to PM me due to issues of opsec.

Um, you need to do research there kid. There are NO Junior Officers in SF - you can't even put in a request for SFAS until you are a 1LT(P).

Focus on your 25m targets.
Finish College
Branch
OBC
EXCEL in your initial postings
think long and hard if SF or SOF are even right for you.
SFAS / Selected
Make it through the Q
Excel on a Team

at a minimum - 150m prior to even getting the chance to fail SFAS... that's easily 5 years minimum out.

There were plenty of other avenues this thread could have gone. A guy who has served his country in an SOF capacity, and merely asking for input, doesn't warrant the treatment given to the high school kids on the board. If you don't have anything valuable to add to threads like this, then step away from the keyboard and let those who want to help a brother out, do just that.

As a response to all-

"kid" was because I am a hell of a lot older, no offense, I apologize.

The remainder of my response I will stand by, based on the vague information provided in the question and the lack of further edification in the profile or in any postings that came up in the search under "sierraleems".
I tried to get as much clarity for my answer as was available - obviously, it was not there or I would have tailored my answer differently.

It was not stated that you had finished a degree.

I did not know the timeline you have set for "Blue to Green" - the assumption was out of the AF in about a year, finish college, and spend the required time in conventional units prior to moving to SF - which would have been 7-8 years - this can be cut by about 4 years to 3 to 4 years after completion of OCS and OBC.

I also took into account the fact that you are not 'unseasoned' and the original timeframe to commissioning then SFAS would introduce challenges based on hard use... a fact, PJ's get damaged, and time takes it's toll.

I was also trying to get you to think about the question you posed - what can I expect as a junior officer in SF - there are too many variables based on optempo, mission requirements, team make up, etc. for a 'good answer' to the question.

Point of fact stated by 18C4V - you will have a max of 36 months on a team - generally about 26 months - then you move to accession and 'command' slots away from 'the guys'. You will spend a lot of time and energy Prior to SFAS and after your Team time - away from the ODA / 'operator' people.

Again - you will have to leave the SOF community in order to rejoin it as an officer - and in that time, anything could happen.

Apologies for my 'short' answer to your question - there are too many variables that need clarification - especially one big question - Do you want to stay on a team for an extended period of time? If the answer is 'yes' being an SF officer may not be right for you.
 

Swill

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Proving yourself in a SOF unit is a never ending task. Assessment never stops. Just because you are high speed in your current job doesn't mean you will be the right fit for another. Some guys can go anywhere. Some guys can't. I'm very good friends with an SMU guy who fell flat on his face at SFAS. Awesome guy, but he went in to it tab hunting (wrong attitude). Shit happens.
 

Trip_Wire

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sierraleems: See my PM for my thoughts on your question.



The trouble here, and what you dont understand because you arent in the community, is that each unit in the SOF community is different and is looking for different things from their candidates. There are plenty of MARSOC, AFSOC, NAVSOC (or whatever they call it), and other guys from USASOC who do not belong in SF for a myriad of reasons too great to cover in a single post. There have been Rangers, SEAL's, Marine Recon, PJ/CCT's, etc who have come to SFAS and have failed to get selected for one reason or another. There is also a number of the same who get to the SFQC only to not make it thru training for an equally diverse number of reasons. There are plenty from across the spectrum that do make the grade...

Not everyone has what it takes to do what we do and not everyone wants to; the unfortunate part is that not everyone understands that, as evidenced by your post.


Good post! I agree with what you have said here 100%

I really don't understand why sierraleems, would want to be an SF officer and on top of that go from the AF to the Army.

IMO, The true backbone of SF and especially the ODA's is the NCOs in the ODA, not the Captain or WO. If he truly wants to be a SF soldier why not start as an NCO? He' likely to lose a stripe going from AF to Army, but I'm sure would make it back quickly.

Why not stick with the AF and become an officer there? There must be jobs for an airman with his currant expertise in the AF.

The bottom line and my question is why does he want to make this move? What is his motivation?

x-SF medic makes some valid points as well, especially on an officers tenure on an ODA as well as other things he has pointed out.
 

sierraleems

Padawan
Verified SOF
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Messages
17
Thanks for all the replies!

After listening to a bunch of replies, I think that cross training as an NCO would be much more up my alley. I never said I wanted to become an SF officer, just that I wanted information about it.

Why do I want to cross train? Because I don't like where my career field is at right now in terms of work and I originally wanted to join SF in the first place. From my friends that I've talked to, the diverse mission set and perhaps more importantly the fact that you guys seem to stay pretty well employed with that mission set is a big factor.

I'm in no way a tab chaser, I'm just trying to figure out where I can go to get lots of downrange action and do a job that doesn't waste years of training. I like hands on and I like being in the dirt, and quite frankly I don't want to sit around sipping lattes staying in four star hotels on stupid TDY's that practice skill sets that I'll never use. I have nothing against pararescue but it's not where I want to be right now. Maybe in ten years.
 
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