This program was kinda my idea for all you wannabes to have a direct forum to ask questions to SOF guys to only be responded to by SOF guys. If you are a wannabe SOF guy I expect that there be an introduction that explains why you want to come to SOF. More than just "I want to be the best", that is a cop out. Why you want to be my teammate, why you think you deserve to be here. Once you have posted this, in here for at least me to see you can begin asking questions. I don't want answers to be posted by people who have not lived the lifestyle, and therefore really shouldn't have an opinion about it. That is all I have for now, this could be a great sub-forum or a horrible one, that is completely up to you all.
In college ROTC I had a mentor - SGM B. - 7 tours VN, MACV Recondo and Ranger, SF and SOG... I learned from him, was challenged by him, drank beer with him, and was made an Assistant Instructor by him. After I had done ABN, Advanced Camp, and CTLT and was working on an early commissioning SGM B very quietly said to me (he was moving to CSM Academy) "******, you are never going to be an Officer, you're going to be an SF NCO." I told him he was nuts. MSG H. then walked up behind me and said, "Nah, Smaj is right, you'd suck as an officer, but you'd be ok as an SF NCO." I was friggin clueless as to why they differentiated between mean green and SF. The Green Berets didn't explain it, Apocalypse Now didn't explain it, Deer Hunter didn't explain it. When queried they both said "You'll understand in time." I knew I wasn't 'in tune' with most of the ROTC people - at ABN I hung with the NCOs -the ones going to Ranger Batt, SFQC, or the 82nd... And 18 months after that conversation - I was standing in Smoke Bomb Hill, in Pre-Phase, listening to Bo Gritz son tell me I would never measure up to Bob Howard's and Nick Rowe's and Jake Jakovenko's expectations... and not believing him for a second, I knew I was home.
I joined because it was my calling. I miss it every second of every day.
I sat and looked at this thread for an hour wondering what to say so I'll just say whats I feel and see where it gets me. My name is Marcus, I'm 21 years old and I have month left in my junior year of college, I just registered for senior year yesterday so I'm excited I'm close to get the hell out of here. I'm a member of some other forums under a different username, Edgerusher71, so I've read quite a few of yours and others posts on those sites as well as this one. As far was why I want to join SOF I don't have one solid end all be all reason for striving to be a part of a lifestyle that won't reward me when I pass selection but instead will continue to ask me to sacrifice more of myself the harder I work to hone this craft. The reasons I do have start with a very simple one, its something I have always dreamed of doing. Some kids have always wanted to be cops, firefighters, pro athletes, etc. I have always wanted to join the military from my first thought something about being a soldier has always appealed to me. What makes this translate to desire to want to join Army SOF? Well its not that I want to be the best, its that I want to strive and work to be the best while being constantly told in one way or another I'm not, that my motivation, skill, or ability isn't good enough to stick around. It is this challenge set forth to me on a day to day basis as to why I seek an 11x Option 40 contract. The Regiments ability to RFS any sorry ass they see fit for not living up to the Ranger Creed combined with their history in combat motivates me. The amount of pressure applied to every member in every battalion hardens, strengthens, and matures soldiers in a way I feel that can't be found anywhere in the Army. This is important to me because I'll tell you up front, I do want to attend the Q course eventually serve in SF and I do want to attempt to make it into an SMU. I'm not here to ask "ooooo I heard Delta does this and that" my 25m target is my marketing presentation on Monday. But I feel serving in the 75th will develop me into a much more effective soldier, not to disrespect any other units, while serving in a high capacity SOF unit that does "cool guy shit" because I'd be lying and so is anybody else if we said that jumping out of planes, stacking on a door, and riding in blacked out helicopters isn't at least part of why they want to do this. This is part of the reason why I want an option 40 as opposed to 18x, I personally fail to see how I can really conduct UW/FID with indigenous armies at my best if haven't become damn good at conducting conventional/SOF missions myself. Finally, the pictures of team guys orbatt boys all in a group are the ones that make me want this. I'm a long time athlete I know about the bond that forms between individuals who have done something that most haven't. That bond screams to me when I look at those pictures, even with blurred out faces. I want work with and around people in a place I can get that. Are my reasons valid? I don't know you and everyone on hear with a green title under you names are where I want to be, you tell me. But they are mine and I'm willing to work like hell to make sure they come to fruition.
Sorry for the rant I'll ask a question after this gets reviewed by the Verifieds.
ps. I also want to kick the shit out of as many of my nation's enemies as possible. I'm very patriotic and I take personal offense when some shit head wants to kill me and my country men.
When I was growing up all I wanted to do was be in the military. Mostly a fighter pilot, but do to bad genetics I got an astigmatism in one eye during high school, at that time I was applying to the Naval Academy. I stopped my application and set out to find what else I wanted to do. I looked hard at everything. Infantry, Marines, Rangers, SEALs, PJ's. Everything you could think of I looked into it. I finally settled on SF, because there really was nothing(in my eyes) like it. SF was full of senior guys who according to everyone, were good at everything. I had been one of those kids growing up(not tooting my own horn) that was good at mostly everything I tried. I was also drawn to the fraternity of it. I have never been one of those guys with a 100 friends, but with 5 or 6 friends that I trust with my life. SF seemed like the place for me. It is hard to explain unless you have lived through those nights of being alone in the cold but those nights make you realize that the men next to you, or out freezing the same way you are, are just like you. Maybe not in all the same ways, but they all have "something". I wanted that, and I went out and got it.
Hello again all. I might have started off on the wrong foot so I'm adding some more info about myself per cback. I will start from the beginning. I won't deny that my fascination with SOF began around high school with the release of the SOCOM games and Black Hawk Down movie. I grew up in the coastal bend of South Texas where you learned how to swim early, hunt outdoors, how to play football, or all the above. I like to think that this developed me into an adventurous young adult. Everytime my English or Literature teachers gave me an open assignment, I would end up writing on US Special Operations Forces. It got to the point that I branched out and started looking at foreign units as well. Somethings about the Spetsnaz and SAS intrigues me. 9/11 happened. My Journalism class teacher's husband was in the Navy at New York at the time. I will never forget the grief she had when she couldn't reach him. He ended up being ok. My English teacher's husband was an officer at Ft Huachuca for many years and they both sat down and spoke with me that I should seriously look into the Military Intelligence field. Nevermind that I was born on Veteran's Day, but I guess my obsession with this topic prompted them to contact the recruiters to speak with me.
Ok, fast forward went to college and studied Computer Informations until I decide I wanted to study Psychology. Many friends from high school ended up joining military and I guess the "bug" hit me finally in 2006. I had heard little of Air Force PJ and Combat Controllers and decided to do a little digging. I eventually went to the AF recruiter but couldn't get into Special Tactics for a year because I had LASIK surgery. At least that's what he told me. Went to Army and signed up as a 97E. Chose that instead of 11B because I knew I would eventually volunteer for SF, but I wanted to bring a skill set when I came. Also, in the event I got injured or something at SFAS, I would have an opportunity to utilize my ethnic background for my country. I scored high enough on DLAB to pass, but I am retaking it as soon as the window opens again. I thought 7th Group would be ideal, but at this point I was still focused on the basics. I also convinced my two best friends to sign as well. Decided to start my military reading again while in the DEP. Operation Jedburgh is my favorite SF type mission ever! Also read "Warrior Soul", "Rogue Warrior", "Hell Week SEALS in Training", "One Perfect Op", and "A Ranger Born". I know, I know. I couldn't find many SF books at my book store. I did manage to take a copy of Tom Clancy's "Guide To Special Forces" with me to basic.
Got to Arizona and checked out "Inside Delta Force" at the MI library before I began watching "The Unit". I think I still have that book. Got assigned as intel analyst in Hawaii in 2007. Volunteered, well bugged until I received, a WIAS tasking. Deployed to AF mid 2009 as an MFT attached to stryker brigade. Conducted various 35M duties as well. Came back to analyst position and have decided that I'm not getting any younger. The flame flickered a little. Although I would like to have more experience, especially as an NCO, I feel like now is the time for me to submit. Been sent on a few bilateral intel training exercises in the AO and I enjoy teaching and learning from my counterparts. Last exercise gave me time to read "Killer Elite". Started doing more research on SF and their other missions. I always knew there was more than just sexy DA, but I wanted more details. SR, FID, and snipers are the three keywords for me.
The fire is burning now. I know some if not all of this seems like "hopeless romanticism" but I know I have what it takes to be a successful SF soldier. I would like to know the SOF opinion of bringing in a young SPC or SGT to SF vs an experienced NCO. I have heard too many horror stories of my friends returning from SFAS and saying that they completed the course but "lacked maturity and experience". That is my single biggest fear. 25M shot group though. PT Land Nav PT Land Nav PT. Back to my friends that joined with me. One of them came out on the Discovery Channel documentary "Two Weeks in Hell". Yea, he was the one that hid his protection vest to "wait for the sun to come up during the Star". You can rest assure I won't do that! Integrity, even when no one is looking. When people ask me why SF? I just respond "It'll allow me to attend and utilize military training such as airborne and air assault, and allow me to utilize my specific skill set in combination with what I will be constantly learning and teaching". In the end, I believe that SF will allow me satisfaction in my hard work, as well as answer my urges that made me so interested in all the SOF I researched. Sorry if I got too detailed.
Experience and maturity can be gained/improved upon. When I was selected at SFAS I was 18 years old and had 7 months in the Army. Think about it, when guys talk about themselves not being selected for those reasons, what do you think their maturity issues were. Not being able to follow simple instructions to the T says something about maturity. Experience? Well after 5 or 6 years in the army you should be pretty damn good at everything you do at SFAS. vs as an 18X there are some things they might have been a little bit more understanding of inexperience.
I doubt my post will be as good as Tropicana98 but here goes-
I grew up in a military family, and spent a lot of time with my paternal grandpa and his brothers (5, 6 including him) who all served in WWII and all came back. That, and stories from my moms dad, a Marine who was second generation Irish-American, really instilled a sense of patriotism in me. I've always known I want to serve in the armed forces- in any capacity. America has given me and my family so much, I feel obliged to give back and to fight for my own freedoms and not sit back and watch my peers do it for me.
What set me on SOF was a documentary on Navy SEALs I saw on Discovery when I was six and that was it- they had the hook in me. My dad's years working at HQ USSOCOM furthered my interests and helped me make a decision on what I wanted. I spent senior year trying to get into USNA just to see if I'd get in, and my dumb ass marked down on the med form I had been diagnosed as a 9th grader with mild psoriasis (which has since gone away) and that disqualified me from Navy and AF. Army came back and wanted me to go to Prep school, and I tried that, and left. I knew I wanted to be an enlisted SOF guy and I knew being enlisted was the best way to be a SEAL, so I left.
What really draws me to being a SEAL, even more than the cool adrenaline MFF demo sub lockout stuff is the mental challenge and the edge you have once you've made it. I want to know that I can do things my body doesnt want to do, and to endure these extreme situations to grow up and be an old school badass in that Teddy Roosevelt, Leonidas, Dan Daly tradition. And of course, all the shooting and diving stuff is a perk;)
So now I'm a sophomore, looking to decide if I'll finish school, transfer or enlist over the summer. I've got the mind set and maturity to do it, and I have time to prep, so it's just deciding when to go.
After reading the non-BTDT posts here, I decided it'd be safe to post my own.
As I put in my intro when I joined the site, I live in Phoenix, I'm currently in DEP and I have a SWCC contract that will take me to Coronado assuming all goes smoothly during RTC. My journey has been quite different than everyone else who has posted here.
I did not come into this world thinking/knowing that my place was in the military. My dad and his brother both served in the USAF. My step dad was an O and flew B-52s. I had a few buddies who enlisted right after high school but I never really considered it. I went to college after high school and started to "hear the calling"...so I joined ROTC during what would have been my Jr. year. Along with ROTC, I was taking 16 credit hours and worked 2 jobs. I got burnt out and took a semester off. Never made it back. My brother enlisted in the USAF in '05. I got to see him graduate from Basic Training a few months before I moved to PHX.
Fast forward 5 more years in retail management and I decided it was time to finish my degree. My idea at the time: enlist in the USAF, let them pay for my school, finish my degree, apply to OCS. I did some reading on their website and found out the the cutoff age for enlistment is 27 years old. I was 28 at the time. A few friends said the AF will give out waivers for just about anything, so I went and talked to the recruiter. I had chosen a few jobs that interested me but age waivers weren't being given out for those jobs. If I even wanted to be considered, I would have to sign on as a CCT, SOWT, PJ or TACP. I was not thrilled about jumping out of a plane to get to work, but I did some soul searching and some research into the jobs and I decided SOWT was the way to go. The research I did regarding these jobs is what really started to get me interested in the SOF world. These "snake eater" jobs, as my brother described them, really peeked my interest. I went back to the same recruiter 2 weeks later to be told that age waivers were no longer being offered, period. SHIT. More soul searching and more online research followed.
The Navy's age cutoff is 35 years old, the Army's is 41. Now I had to decide between wanting to be a SEAL or a Ranger...and what options I would have if I was not successful in my chosen pipeline. I found myself at the Navy recruiting office getting information on what I had to do to get to BUD/S. I already knew all the physical requirements and (so I thought) what would be involved when/if I got there. I read Lone Survivor, I knew what Hell Week was all about. I went down to MEPS, scored in the 99th percentile on my ASVAB, read some eye charts, had some blood drawn, spread my cheeks and on 20100510 I signed on the dotted line to be Aircrew. NSO/NSW contracts had to be earned while in DEP.
Minimum PST requirements for a SEAL contract are:
500 yard swim - 12:30 mins
42 Push Ups
50 Sit Ups
6 Pull Ups
1.5 Mile run - 11:00 mins
My first PST yielded the following:
500 yard swim: DNF
36 Push Ups
42 Sit Ups
4 Pull Ups
1.5 mile run - 17:28 mins...Yes, that's over 17 minutes
I set out to lose 20 lbs (I was 210lbs at the time, currently around 185lbs) and improve everything. I learned the Combat Side Stroke and started making progress on all other aspects as well. Fast forward some more and with my 29th birthday approaching and my run times not below the 11 minute mark yet, I had a decision to make. I decided to start trying for a SWCC contract. The age cutoff for SEALs is 28 at the date of accession, 30 for SWCC. I thought about saying I wanted to go SWCC the entire time, but that's not the way it happened. If anyone wants to hand out a rash of shit, feel free. I made the decision and I haven't looked back once. After a few passing PST scores I finally got my SWCC contract.
Now, here I am, exactly 2 weeks away from shipping to RTC. I took my 14 day PST last night.
500 yard swim - 10:03
57 Push Ups
63 Sit Ups
12 Pull Ups
1.5 mile run - 10:48
I don't think I've ever been more anxious about anything. As per the advice of LL, I'm enjoying my last 2 weeks of freedom. I keep beer in the fridge, ice cream in the freezer and I no longer get knots in my stomach when wondering if I've prepared myself enough.
Some deciding factors in my decision to enlist:
-I've always held the highest amount of repsect for the men and women who wear this country's uniform, regardless of what capacity. They always get a hand shake and "thank you for your service" from me. I've even bought a few fast food meals...
-Emails from my brother while he is on deployment
-A sense of duty
-Gaining a sense of accomplishment that I've never had before
I guess that's all for now. Cback, I hope this is along the lines of what you were looking for.
With the abundance of information online, I don't feel that I will be asking any questions on here. However, I figure that I can make an introduction as a preemptive measure in case something comes up.
I am 20 years old and a sophomore in college studying exercise science with a minor in chemistry. I have been playing sports all my life; I love being active and being outdoors. I don't come from a military family, both of my parents went to many years of college and have careers in the civilian world. As a result, I never really thought of the military as a possibility until a good ways into high school. I remember watching Band of Brothers and thinking, why can't I join the military? My future was laid out as going to college, getting a job, and progressing through life as a civilian. This is when the spark was lit.
Most of my family is in the medical field in one way or another, so naturally medicine has always been a source of interest to me. I want to aid those that are injured and save lives. Who is more deserving of this than those that would risk their lives to preserve our country's freedoms? As a result, I have a deep interest in being a soldier/airman/sailor with an emphasis on medicine. The professionalism shown by those in the SOF community is what first drew me in. I have always strived to surround myself with like minded and good people. The manner with which you carry yourselves has always impressed me. Plus, I like to be tested, and it definitely appears to be the right atmosphere although I do not mean to assume anything about the community.
Although I am keeping my mind open due to the fact that I will need a waiver to join, my goal is to join USAF Pararescue. From what I have observed, here and other places, they are very professional and it just seems right- for lack of a better phrase. I hope this has been an adequate introduction, all questions my way are welcome. I will continue to read and pt now.
I can't put a finger on it, so it may be kind of vague. I don't really feel like some kind of prodigy warrior, so it's harder to put a finger on the "why". I think my grandfather was in the Navy, but I'm not completely sure about what he did or if he did anything at all since he was known to speak tall tales. My father wasn't in the military, though he tells me all the time about how much he regrets not joining - so it's not really some prevalent family tradition that inspired me. I'm not super into athletics. I have a problem with "glory sports" and "one man teams".
Story: Last summer, I went to a state police camp called "Camp Cadet" for a week over the summer. Oddly enough, it was run by a Marine Corps Drill Instructor. Anyway, I learned to march, team building, discipline, and all that basic stuff. It was pretty challenging for me at the time, but I . It was sort of my first "high", but later into the week, I felt like not everyone else wanted to be there as much as I did, and I wanted more.
Joined the Sea Cadets that same year and skipped my Christmas vacation for it - it was better but I still didn't feel like everyone else wanted to be there as much as me.
The state police camp gave me a standard, which was a step up from not having any at all- I was a spoiled punk until then. Additionally, it gave me a lot more appreciation for what some people do to make this country what it is. Waking up at 4 and doing bear crawl for about an hour, just to be told it was cold out and we needed warmed up for "todays PT", really gives you a small look into what it means to push yourself and not get applauded or make sports headlines.
From there on out I have been raising the bar for myself, but haven't had the opportunity to be on the same page with everyone else. Which I can't blame my peers for not wanting to be who I want to be. I guess my "main motivation" for doing something like being in one of those units that everyone seems to talk about is that I can be in a challenging environment where everyone else wants to be there as much as I do.
One of the keys that I like to hit on with wannabes, is that your life should not be your future.IE the military. You are not in the military yet so don't act like it yet. Do everything that normal kids go out and do. Drink beer get into trouble. Surf, play sports, get laid. When you are cold at night those memories you make while young keep you warm. Don't become one dimensional. It adds nothing to your credibility. If all you do is workout and read military history how are you practicing building personal relationships? You will get in shape in Basic and AIT(if you put out) You will learn everything you need to know about the military once you are in.
Guys, to reiterate and expound on cback's posting - enjoy your youth, experience things - the most boring people I met were the 'ultimately focused' individuals who had everything planned out and stuck to it, come hell or high water. Life is fluid, plans need contingencies, and, because it does happen, sometimes you choose to give up what you love for who you love - whether that choice is right or wrong in the distant future. Be who you are, surprisingly, you will change - and if you do join the military you will change a lot. You may change enough that sheeple will not understand who you are, can't understand who you are or why you do what you do.
Relish your youth, be kids/teens/stupid college students - learn - experience - fail - try again. And laugh, always remember to laugh - some of you guys are too serious - embrace your stupidity and laugh at yourselves - it proves your wisdom if you can laugh at yourself.
Everything you miss now is lost, reduce the regrets you will have by increasing the good memories to carry you through the times you need them.
One final thought - never, ever, ever compromise your Honor or Integrity, be stupid, but keep your Honor and Integrity. If you fuck up, fess up and then offer to fix it.
As SF Med pointed out, if you fuck up own up to it. This is something that SF guys do, for two reason's. 1) It is the right thing to do. 2) Excuses are like assholes, everyone has one and they all stink. When you show up to your team, your TS/PS/TL/whatever, won't give two shits what your excuse is. I don't care just the same. Also some guys need to remember to stick by your guns. It is like football, if you make a decision, stick by it and give it a 100%, I have done things that probably were not right. Btut once that decision is made you need to stick by it unless it will cost lives or limbs. If you decide to go out with your friends(poor example) don't puss out after two hours when you are tired. Stick with everything till the end, but at the same time be flexible because if you are wrong you are wrong. It is a double edged sword but one that SF guys walk all the time. You will make more bets on a team then you knew were possible. Because "everyone" is always right. Kinda ranting a bit right now, but I want you all to learn stuff here.