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Old 03-23-2009, 20:01   #15
Quiet Professional
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Georgia, Florida and North Carolina (its complicated)
Posts: 79
Originally Posted by Prior11b View Post
I'm 35, I am a prior 11b, but now im in AGR status with the Air Guard. Talked to a recruiter yesterday and told me that I can enlist as a 18X, I know you have to do a minimum of 3 years on a ADA and be SSG, by that time I'll be 40+, now the question is, would I be able to waive that 36 YOA ceilling to become a warrant officer in SF?
There are reasons you probably won't be able to, reasons you might be able to, and reasons it shouldn't matter to you right now.

Team Sergeant did a pretty good job covering the reasons it might not work out for you.

The reason it might has to do with numbers - the 180A strength is traditionally a fraction of the authorized strength - if the numbers are still low when you're eligible, and if you've been a switched on troop, and if you get really good LORs, and if you can write a good waiver request - maybe. In the Parker era, they cut the 18F requirement out, and the numbers still stayed low; then they cut the WOCS requirement out, and the numbers still stayed low, so who knows?

In the National Guard, anyway, there are people who become WOs in their 40's, and even people who make it through the pipeline at that age - one of the best 18Bs I know graduated the pipeline at 43, with a respectable run time, an incredible 12 mile ruck time, and an exceptional knowledge of both armed and unarmed close quarters combat. I suspect that the active component is probably less likely to grant an age waiver, though.

But, if you want to be on a team in your 40's, you have to be incredibly disciplined in your daily life. A 28 year old stud can afford to hit the Burger King every day after PT - you can't. He can afford to take a few days off from a fitness regime - you can't. He can afford not to stretch twice a day - you can't. He can afford to drink all night and train all day - you can't. If you're going to be on a team in your 40s, you have to prove that you can still hang to your team every day, especially if you're a warrant. If you're not finishing in the front half of the team when you run, when you ruck, when you climb, you need to redouble your efforts or reconsider your position.

As for the reason it shouldn't matter - being a 180A is a strange ambition for a NQP. Mostly, team guys see what the warrant does, and think they'd be good at it, or the warrant, or an 18A, or maybe even a good team sergeant, sees what the team guy does and think they'd make a good warrant.

It makes sense for an officer to want to be an 18A. They're already officers, and being an 18A is how officers go SF. It doesn't make a lot of sense for an enlisted NQP to want to be a 180A. Being a 180A isn't some kind of consolation prize for not meeting the reqs for an 18A (age, or college, or whatever) We put 18As on teams and train them up in the ways of SF, so that when they are company commanders, or battalion commander, or Group commanders, or commanding generals, they will not depart from them - sometimes it even works.

A 180A is equally valuable, but he serves a different function, providing expertise born of experience and understanding born of continuity to the regiment.

For what its worth, if you want to be SF, my advice is to enlist, either in the Guard or the Active component, do your best to make it through the pipeline, and, if you do, spend the first three years on the team with your eyes open. Be an outstanding SF soldier first, and then decide whether you want to be, and whether you're cut out to be, a 180A.
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