Old 10-27-2010, 16:05   #46
pistolero
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SFAS advice.

Class 09-10, June 2010.

First piece of advice, don't get too caught up in all the high-speed gear. Oakley boots, however comfortable as they may be, are very expensive. The drainage holes on them suck, and I trekked for long hours during team weak in water logged boots. Issued boots WILL work just fine. Hundreds of candidates each year complete SFAS with them, modified or not. Don't assume you're going to be allotted all the time in the world to change socks. The clock is always ticking.

Two most important items for me: Seal Line medium sized map case, and as stated before, canteen straws.

Something that is often over-looked: ORS packets/MREs are your lifelines. Our class completed SFAS through one of the hottest months of the year. For those of you who are about to attend in the upcoming months, you should still take heed, because your body burns just as many calories, if not more, during the chill of winter. Not only are you completing the same amount of work, but your body is burning precious calories while you shiver non-stop. Add a soaking uniform and your body's metabolism is in for a wild ride.

Oral re-hydration salts are absolutely essential as they assist in water retention as well as metabolism, or your internal temperature regulating mechanisms. You will be sweating non-stop, and once your sweat starts to taste like plain water, you know you're pushing it. I saw MANY guys go down as heat casualties as a direct result of their complacency, and this happened every day up until the very last few days. And it has nothing to do with how much of a PT stud you are, because the heat doesn't discriminate. Just choke the ORS down, you won't regret it. Eat EVERYTHING in your MRE. They are loaded with sodium and calories and you will probably be in caloric deficit for most of the time anyway. And this especially applies to those of you who are prior hot/cold weather casualties.

If you are prone to hypoglycemia, or have ever passed out due to low blood sugar, I strongly recommend that you save some of the sweets from your MREs for the really long days and movements, you'll know what I mean when you get there. I know of one candidate specifically who completed SOPC with flying colors that went hypoglycemic and passed out during the last few days of SFAS and was med-dropped. If you feel light-headed, drink water, eat a few toffee cubes. Dump some water on the back of your neck. It also helps to put an ORS packet in one of your 2 QT canteens.

I will close with this: a few weeks ago, I was driving back to the barracks at about 6PM, and I saw a few privates from the 82nd picking grass from the edges of the road by HAND, sweating their asses off with their berets on and everything. I can say that it was all I needed to get my ass moving to the next hit time in the right uniform, ready to train, or stand in formation for hours on end, if need be. Before we go on criticizing anything, or anyone, just remember that it could be WAY worse for us. Cadre don't ask for much. Act like a man. We came to work with/as professionals, we should perform accordingly. Embrace the suck, learn to work through it and remember that we have no entitlement to anything. We don't know where the Cadre came from, what they've done, or why they are here, and frankly it is none of our concern. They have been entrusted with bringing us into the Q course, so I leave it alone.

I have spent several months in hold in between phases, and I am now about to enter language school and I will tell you candidates, hold is what you make of it. Even before SFAS. Are you going to take the initiative to PT your ass off while you wait for the next phase, or will you wait for someone to take you by the hand?

Good luck guys.
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:59   #47
Jeffrey
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Some good advice that I can echo to those who are going to selection would be; 1. Wear broken in boots and have at least two pairs. I saw too many people with one broken in pair and when their primary pair was wet or torn up, their feet became hamburger meat from the unbroken in boots. 2. Bring extra socks, army issue. The army issues those socks for a reason, so wear them. 3. I know it has been said but ill stress it further, buy canteen straws for your two qts. They are such a convenience. 4. Do what you are suppose to all the time, because even when you think someone isn't looking...there is. 5. Be courteous of others, but don't coddle the weak links. 6. This is my best advice and what helped me stay injury free through selection, stretch every morning and night and massage those tired worn out muscles. Yes, it will hurt but you will be doing your body a favor. Class 01-11
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Old 11-07-2010, 19:39   #48
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I'm not going to beat a dead horse here and talk about taking care of your feet, preparing physically, canteen straws, etc. A lot of good advice has already been given. The one thing I want to add is to have a sense of humor while at SFAS. I had a lot of fun at Selection. It seemed like the more it sucked the more I laughed and joked around with my peers. I remember trying to crack jokes and lighten the mood while carrying very heavy objects extremely long distances during team week. Just try to enjoy the fact that you are doing things that the average person cannot.
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Old 11-07-2010, 19:46   #49
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I had a lot of fun at Selection. It seemed like the more it sucked the more I laughed and joked around with my peers. I remember trying to crack jokes and lighten the mood while carrying very heavy objects extremely long distances during team week. Just try to enjoy the fact that you are doing things that the average person cannot.
Excellent point.
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Old 11-22-2010, 05:48   #50
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4 Rules I lived by at Selection
1. Don't Quit
2. Take care of your feet
3. When in doubt A-Frame it out!
4. Move faster, you will get lost.
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Old 12-18-2010, 15:58   #51
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medical advisory

Disclaimer: I requested Reaper's permission to post this here. Mods please remove if irrelevant/improper.

I am currently assigned at the receiving end of the "cast" part in "cast or tab."
If you are injured enough to be admitted to the hospital or med-dropped, most likely I'll work with you toward healing.

1. Please watch for ground hazards even when back at the barracks. Got a guy who ran into an object protruding from the ground on the way back from latrine at night. He reached down and could feel bone and tendon at his knee.

2. Obviously scratches/scrapes will result from busting draw etc. However, if you get deep cut, even without severe bleeding, please take good care to clean the wounds and keep it clean. Knowing some basics of preventing injuries from getting worse pays off big time (Not sure if candidates are carrying first aid kit or if TMC allowed to give prophylactic antibiotics) There are nasty bugs out there. Being sleep deprived, not having optimal nutrition, and stress hormornes pumping out, the immune system is not at level it used to or needs to be. Got someone who cut his elbow, then developed abcess, and his WBC and ESR were so high he had to be admitted.

3. Heat casualty does happen in cold weather too. Recognize when too much layering hinders heat release, which differ for each individual dependin on activity type. Also hydration and ORS as mentioned countless time before.


I got nothing as far as how far to push one self. Got a guy who gut it out all the way through with chest pain. Afterwards, in the ED he presented with tension pneumothorax! Whenever I resent this cold, muggy, drizzly, chilling weather, I just have to remember those out in MacKall right now and all is well and fuzzy warm over here. You guys are impressive. Hats off to you all. I'm sure I will come across more tales of indomitable spirit.
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Old 12-18-2010, 22:37   #52
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There isn't really much I could say that hasn't already been said but I will add my .02 cents.

First I will say that frostfire makes some great points. The hair on the back of your neck stands up when you hear a grown man scream the way that guy did. It was right behind my tent, just after lights out when that incident occured. Follow the rules but use common sense and be careful when you're moving at night. Candidates aren't carrying first aid but it's good to take care of a your cuts and scratches because you will get them. As for the heat casualties in the cold thing, besides layering, if you take supplements stay away from them for a month before selection and don't be that guy that tries to sneak stuff in. It's not worth it and if you're that guy that falls out on a run when it's 40 degrees it's going be pretty obvious.

G2:

I've learned more now than ever that there is no magic trick to being successful at SFAS. It really doesn't matter if you know exactly what is going to happen down to the minute if you're not prepared to be there. If you have friends that have gone before you don't let them G2 everything for you. As well, when you get there you will meet guys that "know" exactly what is going to happen day to day. It's hard not to hear them talk, but I say try not to listen to them and take each day and event one at a time because things will change and there is no use in trying to plan it all out if you can't focus and complete the task at hand.

Equipment:

Canteen straws are awesome...unless of course it's so cold that the water in your canteens and straws freeze up while you're moving. So learn to drink from your one quarts while you're on the move.

In my opinion boots are a personal thing. Find something that works well for you before you go and put plenty of miles on them to be sure. Also, get drainholes.

Training:

There is plenty of advice on that here. All I can say is train hard before you go, be confident in yourself when you get there and do your best on every event.

Lastly, the point has been made several times, but I will say it again. No matter how bad things are sucking Keep a good attitude and never quit.

Hope all of this is helpful.

Of course, Thank You to all of the QP's and others who contribute and keep this site running.
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Old 01-15-2011, 16:06   #53
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Keep it coming!

Love the advice, currently compiling notes from this and other threads as well as the Warrior Mentor book, Chosen Soldier, and others. Just a few questions that I have been researching and trying to get answers for. First a bit of quick info, I am an 18X, ship out to OSUT in a few months, so I anticipate going through SOPC and SFAS in the winter months.

First, boots. I know, its been hashed over a million times, and I understand conventional wisdom here is bring several pairs (I'm thinking three) and have them broken in a with drains prior to arriving. My question is, coming straight from BAC, what is the recommended wisdom on acquiring the non-issue items on the packing list and having broken in boots? Should I have several pair boots broken in and prepped prior to reporting to OSUT, ready to have shipped out? Same question with the insoles, multi-tool, canteen straws, etc. Or will I have time to source said items sometime between OSUT and SOPC?

Second, and hopefully not too silly a question, in my ruck training I have my MOLLE setup with both 1qt and 2qt and practice drinking from my 1qts on the move. As for the larger ones, they will come on the rucks at SFAS, correct?

Third, been looking into picking up and studying the Ranger Handbook and some of LTC Grossman's books, is this a wise investment of my time or would you think there are more advantageous ways of spending my time?

That's all for now, off for some more reading and lots of PT, thank you for your time and the collective wisdom here on this site,

LLR

Edit: loved the commercials Wet Dog, that shows some serious posture!
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Old 01-15-2011, 16:33   #54
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Originally Posted by LLRevolution View Post

First, boots.

Wear what Uncle Sam issues you.

Second, ....MOLLE

Use what Uncle Sam issues you.

Edit: loved the commercials Wet Dog, that shows some serious posture!
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Old 01-29-2011, 13:14   #55
Hammock
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about boots and related things

For what it may be worth, I brought three pairs: 2 issue (winter Danners and BCT-issue Bellvilles) and Nikes. I never used the Danners because, even though they were the warmest, they were too heavy. The key for all events is light and fast.

Instead, I wish I had brought a pair of broken-in boots 1/2 to 1 full size larger than normal to accommodate swollen feet during team week. Perhaps another pair of Nikes would have done the trick. My feet were fine until the end of land nav, but as they swelled the toes began to rub and develop a lot of blisters, even without insoles in the boots.

Crocs are great for going to the latrine to shower but were not authorized for use during land nav because folks were using them to cross scuba road. I did not bring regular flip-flops and so missed a few chances to air out my feet during land nav. I would suggest bringing both crocs and flip-flops.




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Old 01-31-2011, 19:36   #56
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This is the SFAS advice thread.

The Comedy Zone is elsewhere.

Please focus and stay on topic.

Thanks.

TR
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:53   #57
trvlr
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My top 4 from the Feb 11 class.

1. Pack the entire rucksack packing list before every event. The added 3-6 pounds will be negligible as the days draw on. Don't get caught up in the ounce shaving cult, as it can get you in trouble.

2. Wear the 2 pairs of boots that you'll bring to SFAS everywhere. Wear them on your training rucks, and to work. You should know how your feet react inside your boots on miles 8-10, and when they are submerged in water. You can then figure out which insoles to use and if your drainage holes actually work.

3. Avoiding injury is sometimes more important than going fast. Learn to fall with your ruck on. Stretch and do your foot drill everyday. Small injuries can compound into bigger ones.

4. Enjoy the ride.

EDIT:

If your post has an SF Recruiting Center drop by and see if they conduct SFAS prep PT. The one at Ft Hood is 2 hours every morning with 1-2 Night Navigation exercises a month. It will be worth your while to try it out for a couple weeks. It's also a great place to find a mentor if you don't know any QPs.
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Old 05-11-2011, 17:07   #58
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Boot Advice.

Would recent Selection grads who used the SOPC Special recommend using them to train before attending SFAS?
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Old 06-26-2011, 17:29   #59
preblake
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SFAS notes from a selectee

Class 09-11 . . . selected!
During my SFAS prep, I read everything I could on this site. It is extremely helpful; therefore, you should spend some time perusing the info here. I am going to add my QUICK two cents.
2 quart straws: get two of them! Bring a spare if you want, but at least bring two.
Map case: Bring at least one! I brought a spare and provided it to a peer in need.
Boots: Issued boots are fine. (I wore mine every once and while.) But the Nike boots work great in this training environment! They are narrow and your feet WILL SWELL a lot, but if you wet the Nikes every time you put them on the material will stretch a bit. Yes. The nikes lack ankle support, but you are not traversing mountains and the like. You are spinning your wheels in SAND day in and day out, and you want something LITE on your feet. Working the Star and negotiating Team week, you will want something light on the end of your legs!!!
The packing list: make sure you bring everything; otherwise, you risk a report at the beginning of training. That means if you bring a pair of Nikes, you must still have two pair of issued boots.
Other footware: In another post, someone suggested Crocs. Crocs would have been nice, but they confiscated mine during the shake down because they didn't want you wearing them across SCUBA road.
Back to the Nikes quicly: They dry pretty darn fast, whcih means they snap back realitively quick after Scuba. Just tighten your laces and drive on. Basically, my feet were wet for three weeks. Arrive with tough feet and deal with whatever they throw at you. Just MAKE SURE you have a comfortable, sturdy pair of sandals to wear around when you are not in an event.
There it is: My two cents. I could ramble on for hours, but you will get what you need from reading the older posts.
My advice: Embrace the Suck and Drive on!
Good luck!
At your service,
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Old 06-26-2011, 19:49   #60
stfesta
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Secrets of Selection

Selected: Mar 1992

A lot of great advice out there. The advice I am about to give out is timeless.

Most everyone that goes out there is in good shape. Every class breaks down into 4 groups at first, then into 3. The fast (broken into two, the really fast and the fast), the medium, and the slow. So where do you want to be?

The slow? Of course not. That is just crazy talk.

The medium? Not there either. No one is really watching you......yet.

The fast? Yes, this is where you will perform like a stud at the same time eyes will be off of you.

The really fast? Only if your ego, can take it.

Eventually the slow gets washed out. That makes the medium group, the new slow group and the fast group the new medium group. Again, the medium group is not being looked at. The new slow group is being assessed hard because they are slow and the new fast group is being "poked" to look for flaws in their egos.

This doesn't mean you get to skate by in the medium group, everyone has to give blood at the office.


Keep your mouth shut. Speak when spoken to. Lead when it is time to lead. Follow when it is time to follow.


As I've said before, most everyone out there is in pretty good shape. Everyone puts miles on their feet. What is the difference? What are they looking for. They are looking for two things and only two things:

1. You are not a pussy!

2. Your mind will force your body to go farther then you body "thinks" it can.

That is the secret, that is what we all have in common. We carry that trait through our entire life.

You will get advice saying "buy this book or buy that book". Don't do it. Books aren't needed. Books don't carry that weight, you do.

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