Where do I go from here?

Diamondback 2/2

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I am just coming to a close (finely) of the medical evaluation board, and I will soon be given a reading of the results and proceed to the physical evaul board to be found fit or unfit for service. More than likely I will be found unfit, but I have some wiggle room to convince them to find me fit….Or I can request to continue service (i.e. refuse a medical retirement) and this would allow me to stay in my MOS or possibly change my MOS.

I think that I will be able to convince the PEB to find me fit for duty, but to what level will be an unknown until I get to that point. My big concern is being physically fit for parachute duty and or being able to physically pass the Ranger/SF physical (i.e. the medical requirements). I have researched the regulation and cannot find anything that indicates that my medical issues would exclude me from being fit, but I do know that a minimum I will have a profile of 2’s for upper body and hearing. However, I should be able to do the APFT, Ruck and all that good stuff.

To give some insight to where I am on this mentally, I had made up my mind a year ago to hang up the Army hat. I have since made all sorts of plans to leave the ARNG and do the civi thing. However, I keep having a hard time with my decision and have come to a point where I feel I need to reevaluate that choice. Honestly, I don’t want to leave the Army but I am not sure how I should stay in or if I should at all.

My personal interest is in being in the fight, I like the Infantry but I am fully aware that this possibly and likely will not be an option for me. My dream would be to go to RASP and serve in 75th Ranger Regiment, and I would be more than happy to take my chances of destroying myself physically to serve there. However, realistically I am concerned that my physical (medically) abilities would not be up to par and that I would make it into Regiment but ultimately would not be able to remain there.

With these thoughts bouncing around in my head, I have been looking into all different types of SOF & Support roles within the community. I have been looking at these options for a few years now, and I really cannot come to decision on what would be the best route for me to take. So I am primarily looking for some advice, or maybe a push into a direction. I know that may sound kind of silly to some, but with very limited knowledge of these MOS’s I tend to get stage fright with re-classing and signing an enlistment contract for something I am not fully sure about.

Options I have explored:
37F PSYOP SPC, I worked with a TPT in 2004 for a few months and was very impressed with their mission and effectiveness. Really like the 3 man team concept and working to support combat arms maneuver units. I feel that I would be able to bring some value added credibility with my Infantry background, and remain close to the fight. However, I am not too excited about the clerical/admin roles of PSYOP. I don’t think I would be happy being in a PYSOP support role (i.e. I would want to be on a TPT).

25 series MOS, working in support of 75th or a SFG. I like comm’s and have thought many times that this would be a possibility of a non-combat role that I would enjoy doing. However, I get stir crazy and would be looking for any reason possible to get out in the fight. I don’t know if I could watch others going outside the wire, or listen to other soldiers mixing it up over a radio without being there.

Outside of these two, I am at a loss with other possibilities (i.e. what else is out there, what would I be interested in) as I understand it currently anything requiring a Top Secret Clearance is not an option but Secret is GTG. As stated before I would like to be in the mix, serving in a capacity that at least kept me close to the fight. I am open to all suggestions and criticisms; I understand that some may feel I am searching for the impossible here. I don’t like putting myself out like this, it goes against my personality but to be honest I am having a hard time with clarity of choices before me.
 

TLDR20

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Like I said in the other thread 25 series MOS's get you in with teams doing the deed at some point, but also will force you to spend more time on roofs and in open areas setting up HF shots and commo stuff. If you go 25 series to Batt you have to go through RASP. Into group is much easier. Just some thoughts.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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Like I said in the other thread 25 series MOS's get you in with teams doing the deed at some point, but also will force you to spend more time on roofs and in open areas setting up HF shots and commo stuff. If you go 25 series to Batt you have to go through RASP. Into group is much easier. Just some thoughts.

I do not feel I would have problem prepping for and passing RASP, but I do wonder if the 25’s in Regiment would have the same experiences as in Group. How would a 25 series in a support btn be deployed? Are they sent to in support of the command, company or ODA? Or would it be all of the above and depend of the A/O and mission.

My only experience (keep in mind this is Infantry btn) with 25 series guys were getting comm’s classes on the COMSEC and general use of the radios. Most of the comm’s guys were in the HHC and stay pretty clear of the line companies/platoons.

Would they work in out-posts maintaining equipment, work relay points and general services like that? What aspect of what they do would bring them into the mix as far as working with an actual ODA?

Sorry for the 101 question guys, like I said I have no real understanding of their mission.

ETA:
Another question I have is that if I did go the 25 series route (with the hope of working for an SFG support Btn) and it turned out not to be what I wanted, would it be fairly easy to leave the support Btn? Say I feel I am physically able to work on an ODA and wanted to go to SFAS? Would I be locked into the support side and kept from going to selection?
 

TLDR20

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I do not feel I would have problem prepping for and passing RASP, but I do wonder if the 25’s in Regiment would have the same experiences as in Group. How would a 25 series in a support btn be deployed? Are they sent to in support of the command, company or ODA? Or would it be all of the above and depend of the A/O and mission.

My only experience (keep in mind this is Infantry btn) with 25 series guys were getting comm’s classes on the COMSEC and general use of the radios. Most of the comm’s guys were in the HHC and stay pretty clear of the line companies/platoons.

Would they work in out-posts maintaining equipment, work relay points and general services like that? What aspect of what they do would bring them into the mix as far as working with an actual ODA?

Sorry for the 101 question guys, like I said I have no real understanding of their mission.

ETA:
Another question I have is that if I did go the 25 series route (with the hope of working for an SFG support Btn) and it turned out not to be what I wanted, would it be fairly easy to leave the support Btn? Say I feel I am physically able to work on an ODA and wanted to go to SFAS? Would I be locked into the support side and kept from going to selection?

I will use my experience with sigdet guys only. They deploy with the company/ODA really depending on the comms package that is deployed with the team. If the team needs networking and stuff like that then a 25 series guy will come along and maintain it. However I will say this. You will be the teams bitch. Regardless of your firearms training and expertise, you will prolly pull radioguard/battle captain more than anything. Most teams would rather have a cherry ass 18B giving classes than a support guy. You will not be in the weeds training jundies. This is my experience with them, but YMMV. It is an honorable job though. If you would have no problem with RASP and BN life, why not just go to the Q and be an SF guy. The unit in Texas is pretty good from what I have been told. Then you can stay guard and do your own thing a little bit.
 

RAGE275

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25 series guys are either RTOs for the C2 or they work in some big radio office doing commo shit. You'll setup HPW/Sat and whatever else. Life in batt for a 25 guy is pretty legit. Our dudes were awesome. You won't be kicking in doors by anymeans, but you'll be doing shit.

Why not go to Batt as a 13f? I'm on my phone so I can't really pass as much info to you as I'd like. But it wouldn't be a far stretch from the 25 series, except you get to do more cool shit.


Another note, just be prepared, if you've made it through the MEB, and they decide that they're going to send your narsum to the PEB, I know for a fact you won't be able to get a Ranger/SF physical signed off on by any provider after they review your records. They're Medboardin you for a reason. Unfortunately you can't just stop the process and say, "look I'm fine let me go do whatever I want" right away. I literally JUST went through this process. If you want to talk more about it, pm me. I've got a lot of knowledge on the backwoods and bologna with the PEB/MEB and job options within battalion. Obviously not SF.
 

AWP

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JAB, my old unit just returned from OEF-A a few months ago. I know that they chopped SIGDET guys down to the B Team level and I know some that were able to leave the wire for convoy support and things like that. As to what MOS' those guys were I could find out if you wanted. Just remember that a SIGDET's primary mssion is to be a fobbit, so any "extracurricular" activites aren't guaranteed. Bottom line, don't expect to be a shooter while you're in the BSC...it will either happen or it won't.

As to doing a few years in the SIGDET and then making a run at the Q Course? I have yet to see a unit that would refuse you that opportunity. I was a strong proponent of "growing our own Echoes" from within the SIGDET and still believe in that. A few cases in point: If you went from the SIGDET to an Echo slot on an ODA you would know both sides of the house. If you failed SFAS for any reason you'd still have a job in the SIGDET. If you made it to an ODA and found yourself too broken to be on an A Team, there's always the B Team, and if that isn't good then the SIGDET will gladly take an 18E who can no longer work on an ODA/ B; we had one for several years who was a mental stud, his body just couldn't take being ona Team. You'd probably be the Det SGT, which isn't glamorous (like the SIGDET will have movies made about it...), but you're also highly competitive for a 1SG job at the BN Support Company which is an 18Z position by MTOE.

In other words, being a commo guy in an SF BN has a lot of potential and some Plan B options for you if you're locked on. Besides, if you had to be a fobbit to stay in uniform, you'd probably be happier as an SF support fobbit than in most other units.

Some food for thought.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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Okay so in basic theory it’s pretty well the same as being comms guy in a regular Infantry unit? Only differing aspect would be schools and the possibility of supporting an ODA (i.e. keep the radios working and man the TOC)? I appreciate all the info guy’s and I think I am tracking here, and it doesn’t sound to “hey that’s for me” to be honest. But if I am bound for fobbit duty it defiantly an option.

Rage, although I am very confident that I could pass RASP or SFAS (gut it out) my real concern is the follow on. I would have no problem going through RASP as an 11B, but to be honest I don’t think my body will hold up with the aftermath (optempo, training, Ranger school ect) I think my time there would be short lived at best, the same going for the Q course and trying to stay on an ODA. That’s not to say I am against doing it anyway and letting the cards fall where they may. I think the deciding factor will be the PEB and how my profile turns out. I’ll send you a PM tomorrow afternoon.

What do you guys think about PSYOP? More precisely tactical psyop teams?
 

TLDR20

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I have worked with PSYOP tactical teams and have little positive to say, so I will say only only one thing, dudes are perpetrators. Civil Affairs to me is much better, but that is my personal opinion, once again YMMV.
 

Marauder06

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I commanded a Group MI Det and later a Group Support Company. Minus the occasional genuine criminal, the absolute worst troops I had were the enablers who said they wanted to be on an ODA. I chose the words "said they wanted" instead of just "wanted" because although they ran their mouths about it a lot, I don't remember a single one of them actually following through on going to SFAS. It was a lot of talk and not a lot of action.

What made these guys bad troops? Because they spent all their time trying to do "team guy" stuff instead of trying to stuff to support team guys- i.e. their jobs. They'd rather spend all day at the range than spend it brushing up on Urdu, they'd sooner sign up for a tactical driving course than take a class on the latest way to pack chutes, and there's no way that they would be inside maintaining radios when they could be serving as OPFOR for simunitions training. Some of that kind of thing is good, but not when it comes at the expense of being an expert in the job you're there to do. These types of troops were usually either disaffected former combat arms reclass guys who felt it was beneath them to now be in a support MOS, or young guys who played too much Call of Duty or Halo before joining the Army. Being near the team guys made them think they were "cool" or "special." The worst part about it is that the team guys saw straight through it, I got to listen to a lot of "what's up with your boy" from my tabbed friends. You know how you earn the respect of a team guy? By being good at YOUR job, not by trying to be good at his...

Of course, a lot of the above would have been rendered moot if SF would bother to establish an A&S program for its enablers and weed those kinds of guys out. Just sayin'.

So for anyone thinking about going to an SF Group on the enabler side- go all-in, whatever it is you decide to do. If you ever think you might want to be SF, then go to SFAS first. Couple of reasons- 1) you're not getting any younger and there is never a guarantee that the opportunity for SFAS will present itself, so if you have a chance to go now- GO NOW and 2) if you're in a slot you don't want at Group, you're going to suck at your job and make yourself and everyone else around you miserable. Moreover, you're taking up a slot that someone who might actually be motivated to do that job could be filling. If you want to be SF, go be SF if you can do it. If you want to be an enabler, you put aside that SF stuff and be the best enabler you can be. If you want to work with an ODA, if you're good enough and if they need you, the team guys will ask for you. It happened quite often with my SOTAs and linguists.

Changing gears slightly to add to what someone else said earlier- I have a very low opinion of PSYOP in general and am still not convinced they need to be part of SOF, but that's probably a subject for a different thread.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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whole post

Good post sir, and that’s kind of what I was thinking in the back of my head (not at all what I would want to do). I think I am going to have to just see what comes out with the PEB, if it’s something I can get cleared to do then go to RASP. If not just stick to the ARNG and find a spot on a shooting team or something in my current MOS.

Thanks for all the help guys, believe it or not I think you guys saved me from making a mistake here both the support and PSYOP stuff. ;)
 

Scotth

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I'm a little late to the dance and way out of my lane here. Reading through this thread I thought about aviation? From reading your comments JAB you seem interested in staying close to the fight, being in a good job working with other people that are good at there job and maybe getting in some fun stuff as well like jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.

Why not look towards a reclass to aviation and working towards the 160th and be part of a helicopter crew?
 

DA SWO

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JAB-Does TXNG have dedicated door gunners? I think you'd enjoy the challenge.
Friend of mine was in the 3rd SFG SIGDET a few years ago; per him, SIGDET on the SOF side has a lot of bennies, the gear (as of a few years ago) was light years ahead of the conventional side, so he went to a lot of schools (contractor facilities, vice Army schools).
He concentrated on being the best sig guy around, and was rewarded with "cool guy" driving and shooting schools. He also got farmed out a couple of time to drive a hummer, or assist the 18E with gear. He never called himself a shooter, always understood his place, and I think the Team Guy' took care of him because of that.
Does TX have a marksmanship team? That might be a good mental/physical challenge for you too.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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I'm a little late to the dance and way out of my lane here. Reading through this thread I thought about aviation? From reading your comments JAB you seem interested in staying close to the fight, being in a good job working with other people that are good at there job and maybe getting in some fun stuff as well like jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.

Why not look towards a reclass to aviation and working towards the 160th and be part of a helicopter crew?
Scotth, I have given it some thought but don't know much about the aviation side to really say "yay or nay". The most I have done with Aviation has been getting on, going to, and getting off.

JAB-Does TXNG have dedicated door gunners? I think you'd enjoy the challenge.
Friend of mine was in the 3rd SFG SIGDET a few years ago; per him, SIGDET on the SOF side has a lot of bennies, the gear (as of a few years ago) was light years ahead of the conventional side, so he went to a lot of schools (contractor facilities, vice Army schools).
He concentrated on being the best sig guy around, and was rewarded with "cool guy" driving and shooting schools. He also got farmed out a couple of time to drive a hummer, or assist the 18E with gear. He never called himself a shooter, always understood his place, and I think the Team Guy' took care of him because of that.
Does TX have a marksmanship team? That might be a good mental/physical challenge for you too.

Yeah TX has a MTU and a few of the Btn's have shooting teams as well, I have been looking at the new Airborne Btn 1/143 Inf they stood up as a possible new home as well. I have also looked at the CDTF-SOD unit out of Austin as well, my old PSG is a team sgt there so I have been talking with him about it (but that would require AGR and a move to Austin). I would not mind getting back on a shooting team and I would not mind staying in the Infantry, but if I do the weekend-warrior thing I would like it to be a fun weekend vs a sit around and talk about fun stuff. lol if that makes since.
 

Pistol_Pete

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I commanded a Group MI Det and later a Group Support Company. Minus the occasional genuine criminal, the absolute worst troops I had were the enablers who said they wanted to be on an ODA. I chose the words "said they wanted" instead of just "wanted" because although they ran their mouths about it a lot, I don't remember a single one of them actually following through on going to SFAS. It was a lot of talk and not a lot of action.

What made these guys bad troops? Because they spent all their time trying to do "team guy" stuff instead of trying to stuff to support team guys- i.e. their jobs. They'd rather spend all day at the range than spend it brushing up on Urdu, they'd sooner sign up for a tactical driving course than take a class on the latest way to pack chutes, and there's no way that they would be inside maintaining radios when they could be serving as OPFOR for simunitions training. Some of that kind of thing is good, but not when it comes at the expense of being an expert in the job you're there to do. These types of troops were usually either disaffected former combat arms reclass guys who felt it was beneath them to now be in a support MOS, or young guys who played too much Call of Duty or Halo before joining the Army. Being near the team guys made them think they were "cool" or "special." The worst part about it is that the team guys saw straight through it, I got to listen to a lot of "what's up with your boy" from my tabbed friends. You know how you earn the respect of a team guy? By being good at YOUR job, not by trying to be good at his...

Of course, a lot of the above would have been rendered moot if SF would bother to establish an A&S program for its enablers and weed those kinds of guys out. Just sayin'.

So for anyone thinking about going to an SF Group on the enabler side- go all-in, whatever it is you decide to do. If you ever think you might want to be SF, then go to SFAS first. Couple of reasons- 1) you're not getting any younger and there is never a guarantee that the opportunity for SFAS will present itself, so if you have a chance to go now- GO NOW and 2) if you're in a slot you don't want at Group, you're going to suck at your job and make yourself and everyone else around you miserable. Moreover, you're taking up a slot that someone who might actually be motivated to do that job could be filling. If you want to be SF, go be SF if you can do it. If you want to be an enabler, you put aside that SF stuff and be the best enabler you can be. If you want to work with an ODA, if you're good enough and if they need you, the team guys will ask for you. It happened quite often with my SOTAs and linguists.

Changing gears slightly to add to what someone else said earlier- I have a very low opinion of PSYOP in general and am still not convinced they need to be part of SOF, but that's probably a subject for a different thread.

Damn I love a straight shooting NCO or Officer. Good stuff and I always like to hear the perspective of leaders and from all the components that make up a SOF unit.
 

Marauder06

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Sir, I corrected your post to reflect reality. :p

Seriously, good post. How many of your MI guys had short tabs?

lol, SOTAs never really gave me a problem, the folks I had the most problems with at that particular time were the riggers. Oh, and one spouse, but that's a different story.

Unless they had previously been in Regiment, not a one of my MI guys had a Ranger tab, to include the SOTAs who were coded for it. I questioned this at first, but my det sergeant pointed out that the guys were on a rotation that was six months deployed, and sometimes as short as 3 months back before they were gone again. Most folks would rather spend that time with their families and getting reset for deployment than going to Ranger School, and I can respect that. Moreover, not being tabbed myself, I didn't feel it was my place to push too hard. I don't remember anyone in the MID going to suck school when I was in command, but we were all kind of busy back then ;)
 

AWP

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JAB, one thought that popped into my head last night was have you given any consideration to applying for the AMU at Benning? Even their hard care IPSC guys travel to Iraq and Afghanistan running classes for units. You could shoot professionally and still give something back to the Army.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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JAB, one thought that popped into my head last night was have you given any consideration to applying for the AMU at Benning? Even their hard care IPSC guys travel to Iraq and Afghanistan running classes for units. You could shoot professionally and still give something back to the Army.

Yeah it would be an option, I did 2.5 years deployed in the SARG doing basically the same (just CONUS). AMU, normally only picks up new shooters due to the 1 new shooter on a team each physical year rule. I don't know if I would be able to be classed as a new shooter, unless I start in a new dicipline. I'll have to make some call's on that though.

I think I am going to sit tight and see what comes up with the PEB, then base my options off of what I am medically fit to do.
 
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