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Old 06-30-2009, 22:59   #31
ZonieDiver
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Originally Posted by Para View Post
For some SFG's this is not the SF of 10 years ago where teams deployed for 3-weeks to somewhere in the Carribean teaching the indig army every other day and came home with a fist full of cash; high OPTEMPO pay, $150/day per diem, etc... if you have BTDT, you probably know what I am talking about.

Today, on some teams, you had better be a barrel-chested, steely-eyed, lead-slinging and knuckle-draggin' freedom fighter. You are going to go to one of the biggest shitholes on the planet. There will be no hotels to sleep in, no beaches to lay out on and T&A means something completely different (toes n ankles). The guys you are replacing said "it's dangerious out there sarge," and quit conducting ops 2 months prior to your arrival. The enemy is going to be so far up your ass that the only white space you have is inside your OPCEN. You are going to kit up every day and go out there and beat them off your wire. You are going to pressure, pursue and punish them. In some cases you will kill so many enemy that the senior leadership is going to ask you to stop. The only response is, "when they stop shooting at me, I will stop shooting at them." Today, teams are doing this over and over and over without a letting up. They come home for a few months and go straight into training only to deploy again. My average is 60-days home a year and I know of guys who are on there 9th combat deployment. As one team sergeant said, "you guys are some of the hardest men I have ever known. I only have to do this once, but you will have to keep coming here over and over."

Incentives come and go for various reasons. Right now it is about how do we keep these guys. Yes, we could fight this war with "nothing but M16A1's and LBE's" attitude, but what are the reprecutions of that?

18X's pretty much come around or they don't stay around. Most of the guys who reenlist are just as good as any other guy. Should see a better batch coming through the pipeline now that there is a change in leadership/direction. One of the first SFAS's under his wing had something like 26 soldiers selected.
This is very well-said. To me, it is the primary reason I joined Special Forces lo these many years ago. It is the same for most I know/knew. When/if these types of deployments were not forthcoming, we were disappointed and disillusioned. It pleases me to see that the bulk of today's SF troopers feel the same. To be honest, I'd have paid someone to do what SF does in my day. No shit!
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:14   #32
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First, let me say that I have been in the Army for just shy of 18 years and I have never gotten a re-enlistment bonus. I was already indef when I came into SF so I never even got one of those bonuses. That said, as a near my twenty I am faced with a decision. As much as I would like to stay in, I do have a family to think about. My kids a growing up without Daddy, largely, and that kills me. I can take mitigate that a llot by taking a SWCS tour as long as I don't end up as SUT cadre. But I also have to think about my second career. I am not one of those guys who is going to take one of those contracting jobs that will keep me from my family as much as my active duty career did. I am going to find a regular job and come home to the wife and kids each night. As I get older, I will only be marketable for so long and if I wait too long I may not be marketable at all. On top of all that, I will need a degree. I am doing online courses but the OPTEMPO makes it difficult, even when we are not deployed to Iraq. When I hit 22 years (my planned retirement right now) I may need to get out just so I can focus on going to school full time to get my degree.

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Old 07-05-2009, 16:07   #33
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To be honest, I'd have paid someone to do what SF does in my day. No shit!
I would have too,my just being in SF was enough for me...... God,how I miss it.. But maybe old farts like me realize just what we had once and now in the twilight of my years see these young tigers and wish I were back with them...

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Old 07-06-2009, 03:19   #34
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Originally Posted by Para View Post
For some SFG's this is not the SF of 10 years ago where teams deployed for 3-weeks to somewhere in the Carribean teaching the indig army every other day and came home with a fist full of cash; high OPTEMPO pay, $150/day per diem, etc... if you have BTDT, you probably know what I am talking about.

Today, on some teams, you had better be a barrel-chested, steely-eyed, lead-slinging and knuckle-draggin' freedom fighter. You are going to go to one of the biggest shitholes on the planet. There will be no hotels to sleep in, no beaches to lay out on and T&A means something completely different (toes n ankles). The guys you are replacing said "it's dangerious out there sarge," and quit conducting ops 2 months prior to your arrival. The enemy is going to be so far up your ass that the only white space you have is inside your OPCEN. You are going to kit up every day and go out there and beat them off your wire. You are going to pressure, pursue and punish them. In some cases you will kill so many enemy that the senior leadership is going to ask you to stop. The only response is, "when they stop shooting at me, I will stop shooting at them." Today, teams are doing this over and over and over without a letting up. They come home for a few months and go straight into training only to deploy again. My average is 60-days home a year and I know of guys who are on there 9th combat deployment. As one team sergeant said, "you guys are some of the hardest men I have ever known. I only have to do this once, but you will have to keep coming here over and over."

Incentives come and go for various reasons. Right now it is about how do we keep these guys. Yes, we could fight this war with "nothing but M16A1's and LBE's" attitude, but what are the reprecutions of that?

18X's pretty much come around or they don't stay around. Most of the guys who reenlist are just as good as any other guy. Should see a better batch coming through the pipeline now that there is a change in leadership/direction. One of the first SFAS's under his wing had something like 26 soldiers selected.
x2 brother. Excellent post.

For the previous generations who post, "...being SF was enough", I feel you. Being a TS in the guard, I am very well accquainted with working for free or wages less than my AD counterparts. It's not right, but it's the way it is. When it comes down to brass tacks, I wouldn't give it up for the world (just ask my frustrated wife). Everything has a cost. I must contract IOT pay for being a guard SF guy. Ironic, yes. But again, that's just the way it is. I, for one, hope to God that the higher incentive pay comes through. Maybe I'll be able to afford a couple weeks at home after my next guard stint.

On the 18X note, I've inherited a few 18X's in the past couple years. These are quality, experienced guys. Most of them get out because of a shitty TS or SGM, or worse, group command climate. A small percentage get out to ride out their IRR time because OPTEMPO was too high. I only say this in hopes that leadership out there is reading it. OPTEMPO is hard to manage, but if you treat your guys like they are expendable, they will expend themselves straight to the guard. (A little off topic, but it needed to be said)
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Old 07-11-2009, 00:18   #35
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Originally Posted by uboat509 View Post
First, let me say that I have been in the Army for just shy of 18 years and I have never gotten a re-enlistment bonus. I was already indef when I came into SF so I never even got one of those bonuses. That said, as a near my twenty I am faced with a decision. As much as I would like to stay in, I do have a family to think about. My kids a growing up without Daddy, largely, and that kills me. I can take mitigate that a llot by taking a SWCS tour as long as I don't end up as SUT cadre. But I also have to think about my second career. I am not one of those guys who is going to take one of those contracting jobs that will keep me from my family as much as my active duty career did. I am going to find a regular job and come home to the wife and kids each night. As I get older, I will only be marketable for so long and if I wait too long I may not be marketable at all. On top of all that, I will need a degree. I am doing online courses but the OPTEMPO makes it difficult, even when we are not deployed to Iraq. When I hit 22 years (my planned retirement right now) I may need to get out just so I can focus on going to school full time to get my degree.

SFC W

You Can still CSRB, just not for the Max amount, in case you didn't know.
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Old 07-11-2009, 00:46   #36
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...I have worked with personnel from other SOF within our services. I find that there IS money out there to provide for their SOF warriors in many different ways - be that availability of required individual equipment, operational platforms, or incentive pay - yet, it seems like the process to get that to our own guys is the slowest in the services...
Steel on target as usual Sir.

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Old 08-30-2009, 00:41   #37
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Haven't been on here in a while. Just wanted to clarify my comments from the first post. I do believe our guys deserve all the bennies they can get their hands on. I also, wouldn't complain about a little bump in the paycheck. I know our families (for the Non-single guys) deserve it also. With that extra pay you could move your familiy to a better area with better schools and less crime. That way they feel more secure when your gone.

What I was trying to point out was that money won't solve everything. After a while the extra money will become "the norm". Then guys will continue to complain and moan about the same things they did before. The same guys who thought about getting out before will still get out. Second, some will get a sense of entitlement. This will affect their attitude and discipline. I have friends who do recieve this extra pay. They told me this is what you can expect. In the end, if you retain anyone, they are just staying around for the money. Not my type of guy.

Try this experiment in your team room. Pull each guy to the side and tell them they have the opportunity to deploy on an operation (use your imagination). This operation would include great personal risk but would result in the K/C of a high profile HVT, but would require them to lose some sort of pay (again use your imagination). See how many guys still raise their hands.
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:30   #38
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I accidentally posted in the incorrect thread. My introduction post that was previously here can be found here

Apologies for the distraction.

Last edited by IMSgoalie; 08-27-2012 at 06:48.
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:41   #39
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Hello,

My name is Ian. I am 28 years old and a resident of rural New Jersey. I am currently finishing my senior year of a BS in applied physics. I am looking for a career that will allow me to use my education creatively to solve problems with actual real world implications, as opposed to the primarily theoretical work most physics majors end up doing. I would also like to look back in my old age and have a few good stories and an honest belief that I made a A retired army friend suggested I look into OCS, enlisting as a 21B and also Sapper school. When researching those options I discovered the existence of the x-ray program, further investigation of which brought me to this site. Ive been lurking for a few months now, but finally decided to sign up so that I might take advantage the search feature.

When I first came to this site I had questions about equipment, training, possible barriers to entry in my personal history etc. If all I got from this site were the definitive answers from QPs to those questions, it would be a great resource (and in addition to general thanks to QPs I would like to thank TR specifically for all of the stickies, those have been a gold mine). But Ive learned that kit is just kit and most of that info is available elsewhere on the net. The biggest service this site has done for me and one that is exclusive to it, has been to allow me as a civilian guest to read your stories and conversations amongst one another. That has been the best G2 Ive gotten, by far. Thank you all.

I have made up my mind that I would be willing to forgo a higher salary and risk my life, comfort and well being so that I may serve a cause I believe in, one greater than myself. However, I had selfishly neglected to consider the sacrifices that would be required of my immediate and extended family under even the most ideal of circumstances. One QP on this board wrote My kids are growing up without Daddy, largely, and that kills me. Wow, and I was worried about boots. That got me asking smarter questions, quick. I dont want to name the author here, given that its a very personal quote and not presented in context. But if you see this sir, I want you to know that reading of your specific sacrifice made an impact on me and I am grateful. I have also read the stories of ODAs 525 and 3336 as well as Col. Robert Howard among others.

The work QPs do (and conventional military, to those who may read this) not only grants me freedom and safety, but men like Col. Howard provide an example of personal excellence while doing it. That inspiration is not unique to military service. When I read these stories I want to be a better stock clerk, student, brother, a better person. They make me want to be someone whose freedom is worth leaving your wife and children to go defend. That is something that I can and will take with me even if I never set foot in a recruiters office. And if I do, my goal will be similar excellence, be it in a beret or otherwise.

God bless, Ian


P.S. I just proof read it and it's a little verbose for an intro, maybe even self important. That won't be a trend.
What does this have to do with Incentive Pay?
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:44   #40
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What does this have to do with Incentive Pay?
Apologies.

I had this thread opened to copy a quote from it, to use while composing an introduction post. I had multiple windows opened, and erroneously posted this in the wrong browser window. Not a good start and highly embarrassing. Will correct now.
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:45   #41
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What does this have to do with Incentive Pay?
How about he post his intro properly and follow the directions given in the welcome e-mail.

Fail of first task given.
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Old 09-02-2012, 14:42   #42
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While I believe you guys deserve every bit of any incentive pay coming your way, you should already be getting Jump Pay, Language Pay, Special Duty pay and perhaps more that I am not privy to as I get all of the above.

I am not going through this process for more money. At the end of the day, when I find myself in the valley of death, I want to be surrounded by the best men America has to offer. I find myself surrounded by those QPs now but I feel that I need to be able to offer them what they offer me and that is reassurance that your brother in arms will fight until his will power has pushed his body beyond its limit and gives up on him.

V/R

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Old 01-10-2013, 01:59   #43
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While I've been here for a bit, I prefer to read and STFU

But here, in this thread, the crux of the matter is value. What are we worth, as a whole and as an individual.

Because of the tangible and intangible assets we bring to bear, and our current state of affairs, we are indispensable as a whole. If judgment is passed by OPTEMPO and priorities in procurement, we are pretty far up the food chain.

When it comes to value on an individual level, the best metric, from an complete organizational perspective, is compensation. As a business owner, I pay the most for what is most important to the success of organization, the army is not different. E-1's make shit and O-9's make a shit ton.

This is where I think the army differs greatly from the other services when it come to special operations. For the most part I think the army likes Special Forces, but it fucking hates a Green Beret. Let me elaborate on this for a second.

By contrast, the navy loves NSW and it's individual SEALS. While from time to time I think they are the Jersey Shore of USASOC, they pull their weight (mostly), and are a PR boon for the Navy as a whole. A few more nuke subs are operating (and therefore an O-6 billet) just because of NSW. They get whatever they ask the navy for. Culturally the navy is run by carrier and sub guys, they couldn't give two shits about how NSW conducts business. Considering how much PR a SEAL brings in to the navy, they have VALUE and are compensated very well by comparison.

Now outside of USASOC or USASFC nobody really even knows who we are or what we do. Most conventional commanders have this drill sargent with language skills and bad hair notion about us. We all know what conventional SGM's think of us. The conventional army is the army, the products of Camp McCall is the antithesis of the products of Ft. Bliss. Not a good position to be odd in a culture that freaks out over reflect belts and hand in your pockets. In the grand scheme of things we have little sway and little influence. We have on an individual basis very little value to the entire army as a whole. Our compensation individually, when compared to other SOF, reflects that.

The only time in recent memory we came out of the shadow and brought widespread attention to ourselves, AFG 2001-2002, we were publicly lauded. All the while Conv. SGM's were having full blown circle of willis aneurisms over teams hats and beards. Soon thereafter the full on conventional-isation of SF was under way. AMU and riggers get ball caps, but an ODA oh fuck no. I went to selection in 1995, SF is very different (conventional) now.

To encapsulate what I am saying; the other services view their SOF elements as special and treat them as such, the army views us as something steal doctrine from (AWG) and marginalize. Our pay reflects that, nothing new, surrounded by those that hate you. SHDD
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Old 01-10-2013, 13:40   #44
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Fox-
Perhaps your intro was lost...
Like your post BTW-
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Old 01-30-2014, 20:47   #45
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Fox......Spot on!!!
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