SOF Prospects: Be aware of what you post


SOF Support
May 3, 2010
Washington, DC
Howdy guys. A few (probably very few) may remember a post I made a few months ago titled "My brushes with SOF, a tragic tale". It detailed my previous attempts to join various "cool guy" units and positions in my past 8 years. Starting with an aborted attempt to join a STA platoon at another battalion and finishing up with my second denial from MARSOC, it chronicled basically everything I had done up until the time of the posting. During the time period that I posted it, I had a package in for my third attempt at getting a MARSOC support position. Well, I can tell you now that it bit me in the ass. Hard.

You see, I didnt just post it here. I had originally posted a slightly different version on a comedy website which happened to have a military sub-forum. The tone of the post was somewhat flippant and unprofessional, but at the time I had thought that the forum was not viewable by the public and therefore I was safe. That proved to be incorrect. I cleaned it up and changed the wording around when I posted here because I knew that that sort of decorum was the norm. But really, I was just bitching. In a strange twist, I was contacted not by an official MARSOC representative, but by an officer whom I had previously served under. He told me that that particular post was making the rounds in the echelons of MARSOC command, and the general consensus was that they were not happy about it. One particular Marine put it this way: "This applicant is immature and unprofessional. He will never be invited to MARSOC." To this day I am not sure how they got ahold of it, or how they were able to tie it to me, but the fact of the matter is that they did and I lost my third shot at a position and lifestyle that I had wanted for so long. I was pretty devastated, but I still held out hope that I might make it in since I had not received an official denial notice. Well, this was around July that I found out about this, and despite having never received a denial notice, I highly doubt that they're still interested in me. But I digress....


Thats the only lesson I want to impart from this post. No matter how frustrated you get at the selection process, no matter how long its taking you to get there KEEP YOUR COMMENTS AND OPINIONS TO YOURSELF. Keep your head down and drive on despite adversity. You'll have much tougher challenges to face in whatever selection course you go through, so holding off on bitching to the internet should be very easy for you. Thats not just forums. Facebook has resulted in so much administrative action against guys that its not even funny. So just dont it.

As a side note, around the same time I found out that the command had seen my post, I was contacted by the senior editor of the Marine Corps times. Apparently HE had seen the post as well, and thought it was an interesting story and wanted to interview me about it. In this case, I did the wise thing and kept my fat mouth shut!!

There is a bright side to the story, however. About 3 weeks ago I finally landed a gig on an ANSF advisor team, which I've been wanting to do ever since I heard that they existed. I'll be headed over to Afghanistan for my 5th deployment sometime next year.

Once again: DO NOT BE LIKE ME
Definitely some sound words of advice. This is possibly even Sticky material.
Just as the military by and large doesn't like "outsiders" making snide remarks about a horse they haven't rode, there are groups within the military that don't like it either. Especially when it takes such heart and sacrifice to make it in an SOF capacity. Good on you for turning your mistake into a teaching opportunity for others.

loose lips.jpg
Great advice Deathy. Just to piggyback on your post, it does not have to be an unprofessional/bitchy post to get you canned from a selection course. Things like posting training dates and evolutions, pictures, and status updates with too much info can get you into a lot of hot water as well. At best you will be singled out by the cadre for some extra attention, at worst you will be booted from the course for violating OPSEC. There was more than one guy that got kicked out of BUD/S for these reasons while I was there, and I wasn't there very long.

Congrats on the new gig dude!:thumbsup:
I got a little nervous when they were screening me for my clearance. Not that I had posted anything bad, but you know how it is; you post so much stuff that it makes you think back "did I post anything that would reflect poorly with these people?" But thankfully I am too boring to really post any such things.
A few of my favorite Will Rogers quotes in regard to this sticky. That's all I have to say about that...

“Never miss a good chance to shut up.”

“Lead your life so you wouldn't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip. ”

“There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by readin’. The few who learn by observation.
The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”

“We can't all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.”

“It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation, but you can lose it in a minute.”
I got a little nervous when they were screening me for my clearance. Not that I had posted anything bad, but you know how it is; you post so much stuff that it makes you think back "did I post anything that would reflect poorly with these people?" But thankfully I am too boring to really post any such things.
So you think. I've seen your MySpace.
I asked pardus to delete it after I found out about that stuff. Not sure if its recoverable. I just checked and the last archival date was January 9th of this year, so no go on that.
I wanna see this post

Oh, I found it:

Howdy folks. I'm **** and I'm 0 for 2 on MARSOC applications. I thought I'd take a second out of my busy non-SOF life to tell you my story. It's heart-breaking and tragic, but I feel like its a good object lesson for anyone who wants to try to achieve anything forever. Hopefully some of you devil dogs will take my advice and never try improve your standing in anything.

I began my formative years in the Corps (Its capital-C Corps, you see) like most other privates: young and scared. I went through boot camp, MCT (Marine "Combat" Training) and Intel school and never really tried hard at any of them. I was always middle of the pack, never stood out, never did anything extraordinary. When I got to my first unit, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, I got the proverbial rear end-kicking and the message that hiding and sliding wasnt going to cut it any more. So lo and behold, I started trying! I went from having a shitty 2nd class PFT to a 1st class in a short time during my first deployment, and realized that the old maxim about being able to do anything you set your mind to was usually right. So I aspired to do more than the usual Intel guy shit. I saw a poster at the chow hall advertising tryouts for the STA platoon at 3/4, and of course not knowing that you couldn't just try out for a STA platoon at another battalion, I showed up for the brief only be apologized to by the Sergeant team chief that they were only taking guys from the battalion. Whoops.

Years later, my Intel officer (Who was a former Recon guy back when he was enlisted) decided that he wanted to head back to the Reconnaissance battalions, and so began the process of training up to do just that. When I saw what he aimed to do, I thought "Fuck it, I can do that too!". So I began training with him in the mornings: Long runs, runs with flak jackets, pullups with flak jackets, we did it all over the course of about three months. It sucked but it was definitely worth it. Then came time to put in the paperwork to go to INDOC. I took my packet up to the First Sergeant, who asked me why I was here. I said "I wanna go do the Recon INDOC, First Sergeant." He said to me "Shut up, we're deploying in 7 months. Get outta here" and refused to sign off on my paperwork. My officer got to go to the INDOC, and passed pretty easily, though the battalion didnt take him back for whatever reason. He ended up at MARSOC several years down the line, so I guess it worked out in the long run. Anyway, I do one more deployment with LAR (Im up to 3 at this point) which goes great and everyone thinks Im King Shit of Dookie Mountain (Which I was).

I complete my time at 3rd LAR, decide that for whatever reason I dont like deploying any more, and head over to Miramar after re-enlisting. I do a deployment with a gay F/A-18 squadron that I hated, and re-decide that I actually like deploying and hate the air wing with a furious passion (all you ground guys STAY AWAY FROM THE WING!!!!)

Fast forward to last year and I get the itch to do the special shit again. I tell my boss "Boss! I wanna go to MARSOC!" and he says "Okay, sounds cool". So I go through the process of getting all my paperwork together, getting the ridiculous medical screening done, and get my package submitted. My chain of command put absolutely glowing remarks on my package and extension paperwork (all of it was like "Top 10% of Marines I've worked with!" and other bullshit like that) and I felt like I was a shoe-in for the position. Now mind you, I was screening for a support position (The command calls them "Special Operations Capabilities Specialists" or SOCS, which is frankly quite a silly acronym), and so my path was going to be a little different. I put my package up and waited. And waited. And waited some more. Finally I get a phone call: Its the Master Gunnery Sergeant who runs the G2 over at MARSOC! The head guy himself! I am very excited at this point. He asks me where my SNCO is, and I tell him that he's out at the schoolhouse (Intel schoolhouse in Dam Neck). The chief then asks where my officer is, and I tell him that he's on leave. I find out that this would come back to bite me in the rear end later, as I had nobody to speak my skills or reputation. He asks me some basic questions about my package, just to verify some stuff, but then he brings up something very unexpected: A pg 11 that I had received back in 2007. For you non-devil dogs, a page 11 is a light administrative slap on the wrist that tells your record that you were a very bad boy and to never do that again! My particular offense was being a butthead and mouthing off to the obese racist corporal who was put over me. I had a hard time during that time period and that guy really didnt help things out. Anyway, the G2 chief brings this up and asks me what it was all about, and I do the dumbest possible loving thing I could do: I freeze and try to stammer out a response. See, it had been so long since I had gotten that thing that I had totally forgotten all about it! So when it came time to explain it, the best response I could come up with was "W-well shit master guns.....that was an awful long time....cant say I can remember what it was about". Apparently this set off crazy-rear end alarm bells in his head, because he asked only a few more questions before hanging up and leaving me to ponder my fate.

Fast forward one week later and he calls back and delivers the news: REJECTED. On the basis of that one pg 11 that I couldnt explain. His rationale being that I sounded evasive and that didnt give him or the other senior Intel guys a warm-fuzzy feeling on me. I felt like it was too late to explain at that point and took the decision like a man. And that meant getting stupid drunk and passing out in the barracks that night. He did, however, talk to me for a good hour about what I should work on and how I could improve my chances next time around. He said to try again in a year (This was July 2010) when I've matured a little and to keep driving on. Okay dude.

WELL I JUST COULDNT STAY AWAY so in November of 2010 I went to one of the mando MARSOC briefs at the base theater and those guys are slick talkers and convinced me to put in ANOTHER package, this time to go the cool-guy operator route. I was still in good shape so I was like HELL YEAH! and put the package in. Long story short: Two weeks later I get an email from the monitor saying FUCK NO DEBBA DAWG and got shot down. His rationale was that I was close to picking up staff sergeant and that would affect where I could potentially go, and since Intel in the USMC is a high-demand, low-density MOS, the monitor has to move his Marines around carefully lest one unit have too few debba's. So once again I got smashed and passed out at the barracks. Life sucked for a while.


I put in another package (Third time's the charm, right?) this time for the suport position again, and am currently waiting on a response. The package went in about 2.5 weeks ago so Im entering that golden time and hoping that the G2 chief doesnt remember me from last year (He totally will) and that I cna show improved growth and maturity or whatever. SO THERE YOU HAVE IT, I AM A MARSOC FUCKUP.
Guess I am soft, as I didn't see anything too heinous in your post.
Good advice none the less, my wife has terminated more then one Soldiers career over a myspace post.
I waited until I retired to post "hero" shots. My FB work history is 10-15 years old.
Do good with you next unit and something may open up for you.
If I may interject as a stupid civilian. Perhaps it wasnt so much the content but the simply the fact that he posted on the open internet in the first place? I will go back to civilian corner now.