Old 04-16-2006, 22:18   #31
Joe111
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Thanks for the information. I did have full academic scholarships for both my undergraduate and graduate schools. If not I would be in serious debt right now since that is 10 years of schooling to have to pay for. I enjoyed your book Get Selected. I have also thought about directly enlisting with an 18x contract but nearly everybody I talk to recommends I get a commission, and if I really want SF, to go for it after spending time as an Infantry officer. The other option is to go through the 18x pipeline and get on a team and then decide about a commission later on. I'm still debating all these options while gathering as much input as possible. Thanks again for your help.
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Old 04-17-2006, 11:41   #32
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Although it would be nice to to have an enlisted SF MOS, in your case, I'd recommend against it...

My perception is guys who go enlisted and went SF before becoming an SF Officer, don't enlist with that plan in mind. Perhaps they hadn't thought about going the Officer route before enlisting or perhaps they couldn't afford college. What ever the reason, it's a long road just to get MOS Qualified in SF, to then turn around and go to OCS, get branch qualified as an Officer, then have to REPEAT THE ENTIRE SFQC AS AN OFFICER...my goodness, lay that out on a timeline and you'll see how old you'll be before getting to an ODA as a Team Leader.

You're already 27. As a frame of reference, I took command of an ODA at 28 IIRC. The average age on my team was 32. Put both your plans/options on a time line and see where you'll be 5-10 years from now in training, experience and rank. If it's what you really want, so be it, but timeline them both out first and make it a deliberate decision.

JM

Last edited by Warrior-Mentor; 04-17-2006 at 11:44.
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Old 04-17-2006, 13:46   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warrior-Mentor
timeline them both out first and make it a deliberate decision.

JM
I agree. There are too many variables involved here. If you are set on going SF pick one path and follow it. Do not worry about what everyone else recommends, what do YOU want to do? I am a little concerned that the requisite qualification for becoming an officer by whomever seems to be advising you is that your "education" makes you suitable for a commission. Education from all sources provides skills but college education skills are but one very small sub-set of skill sets that can enable you to take on some of the facets involved in allowing you to exercise good judgement in leadership positions. College gives potential officers one advantage over others that enter the military and that is usually four more years to mature before entering their chosen profession-it has little to do with making good leaders of folks with poor leadership potential.
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Old 04-17-2006, 14:08   #34
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True enough....FWIW we have had a number of 18Xs with college degrees ranging from associates through masters degrees. I even know of at least one with a PhD.

It's a personal decision.
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Old 04-17-2006, 17:41   #35
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True enough....FWIW we have had a number of 18Xs with college degrees ranging from associates through masters degrees. I even know of at least one with a PhD.

It's a personal decision.
FYI - To add.

I know while I was a 18C Instructor, I had a TON of Associate and Bacherlor Degrees, while Master I would say off the top of my head. over two years at least 10-15, Phd we had 5-7 and I had two different Doctors that that stop their practice's then enlisted. Both NG and one went later to 18F course.


Well put by MW and Jack Moroney. Just like we tell anyone coming... Make a choice on your military caree.

My .02
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Old 04-20-2006, 07:50   #36
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Thanks for all the input. I have the possibility to get a commission through my university ROTC as a LT. They can accelerate the process partly due to my advanced degree but it was suggested to me that the Army would prefer me in branches like Engineering or Military Intelligence where my technical expertise can be utilized. They even commented on the need for physics professors at west point. The reason I would join the army would be to go into a combat branch and get a shot at SF. My concern is that the Army would do everything possible to discourage the SF route and move me towards MI or other non combat branches. I understand there are high standards in SF, but even if I was to meet these standards as a LT what is to keep the higher ranked officers from keeping me away from SF? The army is an 8 year commitment so I am trying to get as much information before making any decisions. Thanks again for all your help on this forum and I greatly appreciate everything you guys have done, and my main motivation for going SF is to be in the company of men like yourselves.
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Old 04-20-2006, 12:24   #37
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but even if I was to meet these standards as a LT what is to keep the higher ranked officers from keeping me away from SF? The army is an 8 year commitment so I am trying to get as much information before making any decisions. .
The Army will commission you based on your qualifications and the needs of the service. Once you are in the Army, while the needs of the service will still play a big part in your future, you have the ability to control your own destiny by the caliber of your service. Do the best at whatever you attempt and when that window arrives where you are eligible to apply for SFAS do so. There are no guarantees-only opportunities. Make sure you are ready when that opportunity presents itself.
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Old 04-20-2006, 20:58   #38
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... it was suggested to me that the Army would prefer me in branches like Engineering or Military Intelligence where my technical expertise can be utilized. They even commented on the need for physics professors at west point. The reason I would join the army would be to go into a combat branch and get a shot at SF. My concern is that the Army would do everything possible to discourage the SF route and move me towards MI or other non combat branches. I understand there are high standards in SF, but even if I was to meet these standards as a LT what is to keep the higher ranked officers from keeping me away from SF?

If I may offer...YOU control your destiny. I was branched FA (not even on my list), was "discouraged" by commanders for wanting to go to the four letter course (SFAS), and was "singled out" upon completion of SFAS.
To echo what the COL said...Bottom line...the only one that will keep you away from SF is you. Easy ways to do it are to goof off as a 2LT (those OERs do count - if you are a AG guy...be the best damn AG guy the unit has) or to convince yourself that you will never go SF "because your commanders won't 'allow' it"...BS...don't self select yourself before you have even started.

- A couple of caveats...1) I went to SFAS before 9/11/01 events and the clamor for SOF. 2) At least one of my commander's did support my decision - so I was fortunate there (but no special privilages, i.e., I still had to perform my duties as a Field Artillery officer - prep for SFAS / SF was on my own time). 3) I do not mean the AG officer as a dig...I did go through the SFDOQC with a Chemical officer...who was Adjutant General Corps before Chem. I merely mention these as obstacles that a lot of officers face going the SF route. Not everyone is lucky enough to be branched Infantry and get two years PL time.

Just my $0.02, but I hope it helps.

V/R,
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:29   #39
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Dear Sirs

If you allow me to add my €.02 cent

By the myst of war-Gods I followed this step last ten past years (enlist / NcO / officer). After a military duty as squad leader on Scout platoon for two years I decided to enlist in SOF unit as private. Army central human ressources center denied at the fisrt step my attempt because I have had the chance to go to the university and the master would allowed me to have a place as SF officer.

At this time I thought that a good officer we're ought to be private or Nco at least in order to be a good leader ( if the concept of "good leader" does exist...). Some words have been found to convince Paris to let me enlist as private.
After our kind of SFAS for private ( 7 months ) My coy commander told me that I was selected for the NCO training course despite the fact that 6 months before I was told "too old to attend this course". After our NCO SFAS I was a kind of 18B.
Near to ten years after being a private I have the honor to be in charge of an ODA.
IMO we can't afford to have all SF officers from the rank (this could be my best wish :-) ) as we shouldn't have all SF officers from other branch.

Our officer system is quite different from yours.
In our officer training course, West Point officers are allowed to choose SF commitment at their fist appointment at he end of the branch school. They don't spend time in Infantry or other branchs. May be the split between the young and fresh leaders and more seasoned ones is wider open than in United States. And our officer SFAS is a true joke in front of yours.

We will always find officers who want to have a long and glorious way to the stars and others who will do anything for their operators (no matter their original branch).

There is a way between those both exemples. The origin doesn'tcount. This is the melt of the different experiences who could be important. You know better than I that SF operators are force multipliers and officers (IMHO) are just there to make them the job done anywhere, anytime, and if possible not anyhow.

Sorry for the english

Last edited by archade; 02-05-2012 at 16:17.
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Old 06-12-2012, 03:20   #40
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Question What 18A should emulate.

Gents,
I am rather new to the site, been doing a lot of browsing etc.
One thing I have not seen is a lot of reading material or examples of 18A that an officer should look up to and even study their exploits just to know them, plus the history and pride behind being a 18A.
I personally met COL Bob when I was a 20 y/o Buck Sergeant downrange. Additionally from all his great advice and knowledge on this site I have read up on COL Jack.
COL (R) Robert L. Howard (Deceased) *RIP*
COL (R) Jack Moroney (Deceased) *RIP*
Could some of you QP drop some unclassified Bio on anyone else that stands as a shiny example for us Os to follow.
*I understand this an odd request, just I am a history buff. I am really an internally motivated gent, but this stuff also motivates me to run that extra mile or put on that extra plate.
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