Navy SWCC vs. National Guard SF

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player1

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Hey all, I'm seeking some advice here.

I'm a bit torn at the moment between pursuing Navy SWCC or Army SF in the National Guard. I'm from California and love surfing and being on the water. I like a lot about what SWCC seems to offer. I could acquire some solid medical skills, some language training, and spend a lot of time on the ocean. The idea of committing for 6 years seems crazy to me though, as I'm in my late twenties and unsure if I want to commit that much time active.

In the National Guard I could get more extensive medical/language/culture training, but then I'm looking at three or so years in North Carolina which seems like a bummer to me. I know I would have a lot of flexibility and could apply for all kinds of schools and deployments once I came back to California.

When all is said and done, I plan on pursuing a career as a firefighter/paramedic.

If anyone was willing to share their thoughts on this I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks everyone
 

player1

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I'm just posting so I can come back later and see what happens. I'm not qualified to give you a response, but I hope you're ready for honest feedback.

Honestly I'm not exclusively looking for advice from SOF. Anyone with a pulse can offer a perspective I don't have and could provide some valuable insight.
 

player1

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Why not apply for the fire department now? You can stay in California then.

Both SWCC and SF offer the opportunity to receive some of the highest quality training available. I also want to do my part for the country that has given me so much.
 

LimaPanther

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The idea of committing for 6 years seems crazy to me though, as I'm in my late twenties and unsure if I want to commit that much time active.
but then I'm looking at three or so years in North Carolina which seems like a bummer to me.

Sounds like you want the name but don't want to do the time. If you go SF NG then you are enlisting for 8 years. If you had done a search on here you would have seen if you qualify. I'll let Arf have his say on the SWCC

 

DZ

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Aren't you already committed to the Navy? In your intro you said you are sworn into the Navy.
 

player1

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Thank you both for the replies.

Sounds like you want the name but don't want to do the time. If you go SF NG then you are enlisting for 8 years. If you had done a search on here you would have seen if you qualify. I'll let Arf have his say on the SWCC

I would have seen if I qualify for what exactly?

Aren't you already committed to the Navy? In your intro you said you are sworn into the Navy.

I am in DEP with the Navy currently. I'm uneducated on Army processes, but I can request a DEP discharge from the Navy at any time.
 

LimaPanther

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I would have seen if I qualify for what exactly?

If you qualify to even join the National Guard SF. Did you click on the blue tab under my message that said Special Forces Requirements -- National Guard SF .
 

Arf

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I’m really glad you created this thread. This is going to be in my benefit just as much as anyone else.

I haven’t made it a secret that I am heavily considering crossing over to SF.

I would prefer to be active duty, but my reason for going NG is purely because of location.

A point in favor of SWCC, is that they will allow enlisted NSW to pretty much decide what team they want to be at, and for the most part you will not be asked to relocate. I know guys who have spent their entire careers at one team.
That is huge for me. I understand that the military likes to give you a variety of experiences to make you more diverse. I think that this wreaks unnecessary havoc on your family and personal stability. Especially in SOF where day to day work is extremely chaotic and changing, having a stable home life is huge. If I had the stability of knowing that if I went Active Duty SF that I could choose my base and know that I wouldn’t be located, I would go SF hands down if the base locations were in a more suitable location.
@Ooh-Rah I know you asked for green tags only, but I have a question for guys with black tags. I’m hoping to hear from guys who have been in both the Navy and Army.
I know we have it better in SOF than in the conventional military as far as the “bullshit” goes. What I keep hearing from guys is that there is a lot more “bullshit” in the Army than in the Navy. The only “bullshit” I know of is Navy “bullshit” so I’m curious if anyone can confirm for sure that the Army’s “bullshit” is indeed higher than the Navy’s “bullshit”.

Now that I have confused all of the military hopefuls who are reading this thread, I’ll recap on some of my reasoning for why I want to be SF, but also tell you why I love SWCC, while attempting an honest review of some of my personal issues that I have.

I’m going to break this up between posts to make it easier to read.
 
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swcc

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I went from swcc to SF guard and my experience is that SF is better. I learned more during my first SF deployment than I did during 3 swcc deployments. Not to mnention every SF deployment has been more fun, exciting, etc.
As a swcc, the skill set is very narrow. You are an insertion and extraction platform. I know all the things swcc "can do", but my reality when even deployed to a combat zone was strictly drop guys off and sit on the boats until they called for pickup. If a love of boats is your jam then swcc is the way to go.
If you want to be part of a small team working with more autonomy, and having more responsibility, SF may be the way to go.

The army bullshit is about like the navy bullshit.

Arf, how long have you been at the boat team?
 

Arf

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Well there you have it ladies and gentlemen.

@swcc I haven’t deployed yet. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I wake up in a cold sweat at night with nightmares that my deployment is going to consist of strictly cold insertion/extraction missions. I did not join the military to be an Uber, and I hope that isn’t what happens.

The boys coming home from deployments recently are working a lot in NON-insertion/extraction missions depending on the area of operation. I’m debating in my head whether or not to be more specific with what they are doing, but they are doing a lot of work solo, as well as jointly with other special operations units. There are some areas of operation where the guys came home mad that they were bored though.

I’m not sure when you left or what your class was, but SWCC has gotten a major overhaul, most notably in the pipeline. That being said, my personal opinion is that we have a long ways to go in our evolution. The senior guys insist that everything has gotten much better though.

@player1 Not many of the newer generation has seen combat in my community, but lately things have been getting tense, and in areas where our very unique skill set is a serious asset. Who knows what will happen in the near future. Knowing my luck, as soon as I leave SWCC, they will be flooded with combat stories.

A big reason why I’m hoping to go SF is that I’m hoping that my chance to see combat is going to be higher than where I am at in SWCC. Realize though that things are slowing down everywhere. My SEAL brethren are barely getting any combat time either. My personal SF buddies are frustrated with lack of combat too.


It has come to my attention through the SOF rumor mill that the general belief is that Rangers are the best chance for combat opportunities.

You mentioned to me personally that you were concerned with the absolute beating that we take out on the boats at the coastal teams. Yea... there is that. It’s pretty bad. It is fun as hell though! I can’t express that enough. It. Is. Sooooo much fun. Flying (and yes I mean flying) over the waves at the speeds that we take them, and AT NIGHT with NO LIGHTS! You will never experience anything like that anywhere else unless you are lucky enough to work with SWCC as another unit. You are going to be sore as hell though.

You better not get sea sick. If you do, then the river team at Special Boat Team-22 doesn’t have to deal with waves as much. They shoot a lot more also because of how up close and personal their potential combat situations could be.

I’m not done ranting yet. More to follow.
 
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Arf

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Hey all, I'm seeking some advice here.

I'm a bit torn at the moment between pursuing Navy SWCC or Army SF in the National Guard. I'm from California and love surfing and being on the water. I like a lot about what SWCC seems to offer. I could acquire some solid medical skills, some language training, and spend a lot of time on the ocean. The idea of committing for 6 years seems crazy to me though, as I'm in my late twenties and unsure if I want to commit that much time active.

In the National Guard I could get more extensive medical/language/culture training, but then I'm looking at three or so years in North Carolina which seems like a bummer to me. I know I would have a lot of flexibility and could apply for all kinds of schools and deployments once I came back to California.

When all is said and done, I plan on pursuing a career as a firefighter/paramedic.

If anyone was willing to share their thoughts on this I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks everyone

I think you should quit thinking about the time. Being military, much less SOF is going to open so many doors for you, especially in (loose) paramilitary affiliations such as the fire department.

I don’t want to get to into my non-military civilian past to keep me anonymous, but getting hired to be a firefighter can be difficult. Even as a paramedic. You become SOF and that won’t be a worry anymore. You will be one of the top picks. That seems to be more or less the general feeling around most people getting hired anywhere at all as they leave our various SOF communities.
If you want to be SOF, being a city/county firefighter paramedic will be there waiting for you when/if you choose to get out.

The time spent with us is going to be worth your time, and the amount of time it takes to fulfill a dream to serve with one of us is nothing compared to the rewards.

On the other hand, I do think that location could make things easier for you. You being from California, I would recommend going to the 19th Group Special Forces in Los Alamitos, Orange County California, or Special Boat Team-12 in Coronado, San Diego County California. The beauty of NG versus Active Duty SF is that you can at least choose your location (you can choose your location, right?😂).

My personal grumbles about SWCC are in a few areas. I hate maintenance work, and engineering is not my forte. Boats are not known for their reliability and fortitude, especially salt water boats. Salt water boats, suffering what we put them through are prone to breaking. That means we get to do a lot of wrenching.
SWCC can go to Special Operations Tactical Medic School (SOTM). I really recommend checking out some of my other posts that @Ooh-Rah compiled together where I expand on that further. Special Forces goes through their equivalent and very very very much older, tried and tested Special Operations Combat Medic(SOCM). After finishing SOCM they continue with another 6 months (is that accurate?) of clinical/veterinary type medical training.

Who Attends the Special Operations Combat Medics (SOCM) Course?

A SF Med Sgt. is more of a competent stand alone medical provider than a SOCM or a SOTM. I want that.

We used to get to go to language school but that is rare now. They will offer us unlimited private tutor, but good luck going to a language school. I want to go to language schools.

We did a small amount of cultural/integration/diplomacy training, and will get more depending on where we go. We do in fact do a lot of Foreign Internal Defense (FID) but SF does a lot more. SF does much more cultural training and it may boring, but that is probably the most valuable training for real world use. If you are trying to be an urban Southern California melting pot of culture firefighter, that would be my biggest selling point if I were you.
 
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swcc

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Well there you have it ladies and gentlemen.

@swcc I haven’t deployed yet. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I wake up in a cold sweat at night with nightmares that my deployment is going to consist of strictly cold insertion/extraction missions. I did not join the military to be an Uber, and I hope that isn’t what happens.

The boys coming home from deployments recently are working a lot in NON-insertion/extraction missions depending on the area of operation. I’m debating in my head whether or not to be more specific with what they are doing, but they are doing a lot of work solo, as well as jointly with other special operations units. There are some areas of operation where the guys came home mad that they were bored though.

I’m not sure when you left or what your class was, but SWCC has gotten a major overhaul, most notably in the pipeline. That being said, my personal opinion is that we have a long ways to go in our evolution. The senior guys insist that everything has gotten much better though.

@player1 Not many of the newer generation has seen combat in my community, but lately things have been getting tense, and in areas where our very unique skill set is a serious asset. Who knows what will happen in the near future. Knowing my luck, as soon as I leave SWCC, they will be flooded with combat stories.

A big reason why I’m hoping to go SF is that I’m hoping that my chance to see combat is going to be higher than where I am at in SWCC. Realize though that things are slowing down everywhere. My SEAL brethren are barely getting any combat time either. My personal SF buddies are frustrated with lack of combat too.


It has come to my attention through the SOF rumor mill that the general belief is that Rangers are the best chance for combat opportunities.

You mentioned to me personally that you were concerned with the absolute beating that we take out on the boats at the coastal teams. Yea... there is that. It’s pretty bad. It is fun as hell though! I can’t express that enough. It. Is. Sooooo much fun. Flying (and yes I mean flying) over the waves at the speeds that we take them, and AT NIGHT with NO LIGHTS! You will never experience anything like that anywhere else unless you are lucky enough to work with SWCC as another unit. You are going to be sore as hell though.

You better not get sea sick. If you do, then the river team at Special Boat Team-22 doesn’t have to deal with waves as much. They shoot a lot more also because of how up close and personal their potential combat situations could be.

I’m not done ranting yet. More to follow.

I was a swcc at the height of two wars and there were no real war stories to talk about. If combat is what you are seeking, swcc isn't the unit. When I preformed swcc missions at the the height of the Iraq war there wasn't much combat. That was literally the best combat mission swccs can get.
I know swcc's hate to hear that or admit it but that is the long and short of it.
Nothing was worse than dropping off some guys and watching them walk off into the night to do hitter things while I sat in relative safety on the boat.

Something I wish someone told me or I was smart enough to figure out before joining is to look at what organizations guys go to, or attempt to join, after they have been in the service a few years. To my knowledge there has never been a SOF guy that leaves his current position to go swcc. People leave swcc to go to other SOF units, but never the other way around.
If Arf, who is a new guy at the boat teams is already looking for the next thing and would normally just be super pumped about the job he got, listen to him and don't make the mistake he, I, and quite a few of my buddies did. Go ahead and go for that next thing and learn form us. Don't waste 4-6 years at a job that isn't really what you want.

Again, if someone really loves boats then swcc is it. But if not, I highly recommend looking at other SOF units.
 
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Arf

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I’m trying really hard to choose my words carefully on an open forum.

SWCC is capable of a lot more today than we were capable of in Iraq. I would love to rattle off about what exactly our guys are doing but I just do not think it is worth it for me to lay out our capabilities when we are a much more valuable asset right now as a mystery. It’s frustrating to me that I can’t just say it outright, but I can assure you that we are no longer just an insertion/extraction platform.

Of course we are an insertion/extraction platform. However we are now much more than that, and we are operating solo in capacities that no one else can.

Now that I have said all of that. I want to reiterate and say I still want to be SF.

There are SWCC who do see combat. They have seen combat with a Special Boat Team. On the water and on land.
However, the majority of guys who have seen combat are Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC), SOTMS/SOCMs (we used to send guys to SOCM) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) controllers who are augmenting with SEALs, Rangers, SF, and MARSOC Raiders.
 
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