Family and SFQC, how to best succeed in both

DerrickS

Army Airborne
Verified Military
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
5
I have searched throughout the site and I couldn't find a thread that addressed my question directly, so I am brining it here to hopefully gain some insight.

I have been married for a year and a half but had been dating for 5 years prior to marriage. We waited to get married because when we met we were in high school (I was a Sr. she was a Jr.) and we decided to wait until after she graduated college to get married. I have been in the Army for 5 years now and we have never had issues being apart, and living our own lives. She was raised in a SOF family so she understands the military life. Her father was in 5th SFG, for most of her life until he retired when she was 14-15. I know for a fact I married the right woman.

I have spoken to her about going to SFAS and this is something that she is really supportive of and asks me regularly what I am doing to prepare, how can she help, and other extremely supportive questions/statements. I spent 2 years in the 75th Ranger Regiment and I enjoyed my time there because of all the things I got to learn and I learned a lot about myself in the time I was there. While being in the 82nd for the past 2 years I have realized I have a real passion for teaching others.

I am looking to go through SFAS and the SFQC. My goal would be to go through SOCM and become an 18D. I am nervous about SFAS only because of the unknown. I know I have what it takes to make it and get selected, but I am trying to gain some insight on family life and tips on how to successfully manage the family, while also excelling through the course. Even outside of the SFQC I believe this topic could be helpful to anyone trying to get advice on things to do for/with family to make their military career a little easier on their family.

I am hoping there is an 18D out there who has gone through the course with a wife at home to assist in explaining how the family/home life is while going through the course. I spoke to a fellow service member who failed out of SOCM, and he told me that they have a brief and encourage you to bring your wife, girlfriend, spouse, ect. and they say "This is the last time you will get to see them, if you plan on successfully passing this course. You will not have any time to see your loved ones, so just get used to it or get out." I'm not sure if this is true or a "scare tactic" he is trying to employ but I would greatly appreciate feedback, and advice.

Thank you in advance, and I look forward to reading where this discussion goes.
 

DZ

Special Forces
Verified SOF
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
186
SSMP
SOF Mentor
A word of advice: take anything told to you from someone who failed with a lot of skepticism.

You will see your family during the Q course. During some blocks you may be gone for around 2 months with no contact. It sucks but it's doable.

Do some research on the new Q course phasing they have implemented. You should be home for MOS and Language. Anytime you're at Mackall, don't expect to be in contact with family.

As far as SOCM goes, you will go home every day for the most part. Be prepared to study your ass off every day. Your wife should expect to take care of things and give you time to study, but that doesn't mean you won't see your family every day.

First thing is first though, worry about SFAS and getting selected. Being a prior Batt Boy doesn't mean you're going to make it. Almost every one of them failed in my class. Give it the respect it deserves and prepare and you should be fine.

Good luck.
 

DerrickS

Army Airborne
Verified Military
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
5
A word of advice: take anything told to you from someone who failed with a lot of skepticism.

You will see your family during the Q course. During some blocks you may be gone for around 2 months with no contact. It sucks but it's doable.

Do some research on the new Q course phasing they have implemented. You should be home for MOS and Language. Anytime you're at Mackall, don't expect to be in contact with family.

As far as SOCM goes, you will go home every day for the most part. Be prepared to study your ass off every day. Your wife should expect to take care of things and give you time to study, but that doesn't mean you won't see your family every day.

First thing is first though, worry about SFAS and getting selected. Being a prior Batt Boy doesn't mean you're going to make it. Almost every one of them failed in my class. Give it the respect it deserves and prepare and you should be fine.

Good luck.
Thank you and I appreciate the feed back. I apologize if it came across as me saying "I passed RASP so I can pass SFAS". That is not how it was meant. What I was attempting to state was I have challenged myself before, and I learned a lot about myself, and I am ready and willing to do it again to be invited into the community.
 
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DZ

Special Forces
Verified SOF
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
186
SSMP
SOF Mentor
Not calling you out man, that wasn't how I construed your post. I want you to be successful, so I want to make sure you give it the respect necessary to prepare accordingly.
 

DerrickS

Army Airborne
Verified Military
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
5
Not calling you out man, that wasn't how I construed your post. I want you to be successful, so I want to make sure you give it the respect necessary to prepare accordingly.
thank you for taking the time to respond and reminding me keep my head on straight.
 

Duke

Special Forces
Verified SOF
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
38
Location
USA
DZ is on point in regards to the rest of the Q.

SOCM-specific, it really is a case by case basis of how you are as a student/learning style/etc, and how your home life is. Some dudes have too many distractions at home and can’t effectively study there. Other dudes need to study in a group and take more time than others/need more reps, less distractions. Some dudes are savants and memorize stuff the second they read it and distractions don’t matter for them. The important thing is to know which you are. I was a guy that liked to stay at the school house in a small group and drill it until it was as close to perfect that I could get it. My buddy was a savant that would read his notes for an hour in his room after the gym and then play Xbox. You’ll have to figure out which one is you and plan accordingly, but married dudes go through with kids and pass all the time.

The big thing is that in the time-intensive blocks (Clin Funds, Trauma II), you will most likely need to spend significant periods of time practicing/studying in a small group with dudes at the school house after class and during your weekends. It is what it is. Cadre used to say to guys with families to treat Trauma II and Clin Funds like mini-deployments and make sure your families are aware of that and on board. If you have your family’s support, and everyone makes peace with the fact that you’re going to be extremely busy during those two blocks in particular, you’ll have your best chance. Nothing is guaranteed, of course. You can do everything right and still not pass. It’s a lot easier if you prepare your family for it ahead of time though.

However, like DZ said, you’ve got a long way to go until SOCM. You should be laser focused on SFAS and nothing else should distract you from that. Rucking, running, PT, land nav, and have the right attitude. Best of luck.
 

NikNifSik

SF180A
Verified SOF
Joined
Feb 10, 2018
Messages
48
I have searched throughout the site and I couldn't find a thread that addressed my question directly, so I am brining it here to hopefully gain some insight.

I have been married for a year and a half but had been dating for 5 years prior to marriage. We waited to get married because when we met we were in high school (I was a Sr. she was a Jr.) and we decided to wait until after she graduated college to get married. I have been in the Army for 5 years now and we have never had issues being apart, and living our own lives. She was raised in a SOF family so she understands the military life. Her father was in 5th SFG, for most of her life until he retired when she was 14-15. I know for a fact I married the right woman.

I have spoken to her about going to SFAS and this is something that she is really supportive of and asks me regularly what I am doing to prepare, how can she help, and other extremely supportive questions/statements. I spent 2 years in the 75th Ranger Regiment and I enjoyed my time there because of all the things I got to learn and I learned a lot about myself in the time I was there. While being in the 82nd for the past 2 years I have realized I have a real passion for teaching others.

I am looking to go through SFAS and the SFQC. My goal would be to go through SOCM and become an 18D. I am nervous about SFAS only because of the unknown. I know I have what it takes to make it and get selected, but I am trying to gain some insight on family life and tips on how to successfully manage the family, while also excelling through the course. Even outside of the SFQC I believe this topic could be helpful to anyone trying to get advice on things to do for/with family to make their military career a little easier on their family.

I am hoping there is an 18D out there who has gone through the course with a wife at home to assist in explaining how the family/home life is while going through the course. I spoke to a fellow service member who failed out of SOCM, and he told me that they have a brief and encourage you to bring your wife, girlfriend, spouse, ect. and they say "This is the last time you will get to see them, if you plan on successfully passing this course. You will not have any time to see your loved ones, so just get used to it or get out." I'm not sure if this is true or a "scare tactic" he is trying to employ but I would greatly appreciate feedback, and advice.

Thank you in advance, and I look forward to reading where this discussion goes.
I echo everything DZ and Duke said.

I will say, in terms of managing both, you need to prioritize (within reason). What I mean by this, if your wife is your priority, you need to treat her as such. You will have times of lockdown, so it's on you to make the times that you go home at night count. You will be tired coming out of the field. You may just want to sleep all weekend and hang out at the house. Conversely, she may be tired of waiting home alone, find out what she needs as well and do what you can. If she is the right lady, she will do the same for you and somewhere in between you both will get what you each need. As tough as it is for you going through the SFAS/ Q-Course, she will be staying alone in a city where she may or may not know many people wondering how well you are doing. When you are building some strong bonds with future life-long friends, she may be hanging out alone waiting for her husband to return. I learned a lot of things the hard way and was lucky enough to have a wife resilient enough to hang around.

Our field sees a TON of divorces, and a lot of them could have been avoided (not all). Guys put in some serious time for the Army, and forget about the wife. Remember, the Army will forget about you the day you leave (not talking about individuals in the Army), but your wife has signed up for the long haul. Treat her as such and things hopefully can work themselves out. Good luck.
 
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