Officer roles that see combat

rc330

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Hi everyone. I am a new member to this forum but I have been a reader for a while now. I have a question that I have researched extensively but I have not been able to find anything definitive, so I decided to ask here to see if anyone could shine some light on this. As a disclaimer, I have no military experience, so excuse me if I misuse any terms and please feel free to correct me.

To get straight to the point, I am trying to find out if there are any officer roles that fall under AFSOF that actually see combat. Do TACPOs or STOs see combat?

As some background on where I'm coming from, I am a 29 year old software developer, married, and have a son. Despite currently having a desk job, I am not the kind of person who wants a desk job or manager type role. I want to do something where I am actually on the field, something combative, but possibly more of a support role as opposed to "regular soldier" , which is why the AFSOF roles catch my eye, like TACPs, CCTs, etc.

With wanting more of a "hands on" role, it makes me want to go the enlisted route, That being said, I have a 4 year degree and as a software developer, I am making really good, and going enlisted would be financially a huge problem to take that much of a pay cut. Plus, everyone I know who was in the military tells me to go officer because of the pay and I won't get as much crap from people as I would as an enlisted.

My only problem with going the officer route is that it seems that most officers don't get to be on the field at all. From all my research, it seems that combat rescue officers don't do work on the field. I cannot really find too much information on what STOs do and whether or not they see combat, but it seems like they don't, what what I gather. TACPOs, I know used to be Air Liaison Officers and recently got renamed to TACPO but I cannot find any information on whether or not this was nothing more than a name change or if the role itself changed too. And whether or not they actually see combat like enlisted TACPs do.

Sorry for the long post but any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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Sorry for the long post but any help would be greatly appreciated.
Your reasons for wanting to go in as an officer are broken. Maybe you are a good leader, I dunno. I'm sure lots of others went in because of the money, but I would keep that one to yourself for about...ever. One thing about the airmen I've know who work in Battlefield Airmen roles...they can suss out a bad leader with a quickness.

Do you want to lead? Do you want the burden of leading or do you want to avoid "crap" which you're going to see plenty of anyway? Crap comes in different smells, but they all smell bad. Do you like meetings and Powerpoint and paperwork? Do you want to accept the risk that a 19 YO airman can do something which ends your career even if you were nowhere near whatever happened? What are you going to do if you never see combat because of the VERY dwindling combat opportunities available? In fact, you stand a really good chance right now of never seeing combat. I know two ALO's on their first deployment and they are riding a desk. What if that's you on your only deployment?

Some things to consider.
 

JedisonsDad

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Also wanted to add that while rank does exist in operational units (flying/can’t speak for battle field but would assume the same), experience is king. It’s not unheard of to see an experienced E-4 educating an O-2 and putting them in their place (most of the time) respectfully.
 

LimaPanther

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Why is it that I see so many post on here of young studs that want to go into combat? Of course I was young once and wanted the same thing. Once you have been in and tasted the adrenalin there is somethin about it that does draw you back but that is when you are young and dumb. Fear is there though as explosion's are going off and bullets are cracking around your ears. But then there is no fun when that bullet slams into you or the shrapnel covers your body. You pick up team members bodies, or what you can, to make sure there is something to send back home for the family to mourn over as the casket is sealed so they only remember them as they were when they left. I for one, on this site, know because I have been there and have 2 Purple Hearts to show for it. Combat isn't fun. If you go then be well prepared physically and psychologically but don't go because you want to or you will make mistakes and it can mess you up.
 

Cookie_

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Why is it that I see so many post on here of young studs that want to go into combat? Of course I was young once and wanted the same thing. Once you have been in and tasted the adrenalin there is somethin about it that does draw you back but that is when you are young and dumb. Fear is there though as explosion's are going off and bullets are cracking around your ears. But then there is no fun when that bullet slams into you or the shrapnel covers your body. You pick up team members bodies, or what you can, to make sure there is something to send back home for the family to mourn over as the casket is sealed so they only remember them as they were when they left. I for one, on this site, know because I have been there and have 2 Purple Hearts to show for it. Combat isn't fun. If you go then be well prepared physically and psychologically but don't go because you want to or you will make mistakes and it can mess you up.
This is something I tell my new dudes when they get too excited about wanting to go overseas and "light shit up with the team guys"; it's all cool to engage the enemy, but it loses its luster the first time you hold a memorial in front of your buddy's boots.
 

Jaknight

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This is something I tell my new dudes when they get too excited about wanting to go overseas and "light shit up with the team guys"; it's all cool to engage the enemy, but it loses its luster the first time you hold a memorial in front of your buddy's boots.
I wonder why so many people who have never been to war romanticize it so much. Despite All the Evidence and People who have fought in war describing it as a hellish ordeal
 

amlove21

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The young man always yearns for combat and the righteous fight. There’s no shame in that.

The older dudes bear the scars and marks of war. We know what it feels like- the loss, the fear, the sadness. We project that when we try and mentor the younger lions.

But, that’s why we are here, ladies and gents. To provide valuable insight and counterbalance.
 

Arf

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I joined to fight. Not just to kill anything. No, not that at all. In fact I hate the idea of hunting, but respect the necessity of it. I hate the idea of killing to kill. Yet my blood boils at what I have come to believe is injustice, and I feel pride when I hear the stories of our forefathers who bled for our country. I aspire to honor those men who fought before me to allow me to live in the country that I do today.

Have I seen combat yet? Nope. Does it bother me? I’m ashamed to admit that it does. Maybe some of you veterans can help me figure out why, because being bothered about not seeing combat is something I feel guilty about often. Maybe it’s the war-fighting mentality of the community I am apart of. I have to say that everyone in my community going a little stir crazy during this peace time.

@rc330 None of us are here for the cash. This is a passion. Officers get paid more than the enlisted, but being enlisted gives you a lot more opportunity to just get your hands dirty and do the grunt work. Officers are there to worry about the big picture, and that inevitably means giving up your rifle to sit at a desk, no matter what community you are a part of. That is just as important as what the enlisted do. One can’t function without the other.

I can’t speak for the other communities, but SEAL officers get to do maybe two deployments, and then they go to an admin position of some sort. Even on those deployments, the enlisted guys are the ones who get to go to most of the awesome schools that you are probably hoping for.
 
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Bypass

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I joined to fight. Not just to kill anything. No, not that at all. In fact I hate the idea of hunting, but respect the necessity of it. I hate the idea of killing to kill. Yet my blood boils at what I have come to believe is injustice, and I feel pride when I hear the stories of our forefathers who bled for our country. I aspire to honor those men who fought before me to allow me to live in the country that I do today.

Have I seen combat yet? Nope. Does it bother me? I’m ashamed to admit that it does. Maybe some of you veterans can help me figure out why, because being bothered about not seeing combat is something I feel guilty about often. Maybe it’s the war-fighting mentality of the community I am apart of. I have to say that everyone in my community going a little stir crazy during this peace time.

@rc330 None of us are here for the cash. This is a passion. Officers get paid more than the enlisted, but being enlisted gives you a lot more opportunity to just get your hands dirty and do the grunt work. Officers are there to worry about the big picture, and that inevitably means giving up your rifle to sit at a desk, no matter what community you are a part of. That is just as important as what the enlisted do. One can’t function without the other.
I've been blown up 3 times and been shot at more than a few. You served and should be proud of that. You were there and you tried. I have no purple hearts and no medals other than an ARCOM for NOT killing a guy to show for my time in service but I don't care because I was there and I did my job to the very best of my ability.

Reminds me of this MEME I saw once. Doesn't matter what you chose as a MOS if you are destined to see combat you will.

1600395907401.png
 

LimaPanther

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The older dudes bear the scars and marks of war. We know what it feels like- the loss, the fear, the sadness. We project that when we try and mentor the younger lions.
And we would do it again if called on. After my 1st deployment, when I picked up my 2 PHs, I was assigned for a short time as a DS. I pushed them to their limit, and was not liked for it, because I knew where most were going and hoped what I taught them would bring them home alive. When I headed back for my 2d deployment I was an E-6 and knew what my role would be, thus before leaving the wire I made sure everyone was trained and knew their job but not everything works as you hope. I have a number of team members on the Wall and have learned to live with it. PTSD is a bitch.
 

amlove21

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And we would do it again if called on. After my 1st deployment, when I picked up my 2 PHs, I was assigned for a short time as a DS. I pushed them to their limit, and was not liked for it, because I knew where most were going and hoped what I taught them would bring them home alive. When I headed back for my 2d deployment I was an E-6 and knew what my role would be, thus before leaving the wire I made sure everyone was trained and knew their job but not everything works as you hope. I have a number of team members on the Wall and have learned to live with it. PTSD is a bitch.
Well said. And thanks for sharing man, I know it’s not easy.
 

LimaPanther

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Doesn't matter what you chose as a MOS if you are destined to see combat you will.
As the old saying goes, it takes 10 individuals to support one combat trooper. Somebody had to feed me, fly me to where I was inserted, put me back together when I got hit, pay me, drive me around, etc., you get the idea. All have a role so be proud of where you fit in the scheme of things.
 

amlove21

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I've been blown up 3 times and been shot at more than a few. You served and should be proud of that. You were there and you tried. I have no purple hearts and no medals other than an ARCOM for NOT killing a guy to show for my time in service but I don't care because I was there and I did my job to the very best of my ability.

Reminds me of this MEME I saw once. Doesn't matter what you chose as a MOS if you are destined to see combat you will.
Lol that shit is more true than you think.
 

LimaPanther

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Well said. And thanks for sharing man, I know it’s not easy.
I still have some problems, but I git pissed off when I watch individuals on this site argue over politics or what is going on around the US. We should all be adults and know that nothing is going to change, regardless of who is in power. Those of us from the Nam era remember the protesters and how we were spit on when we came back. We would much rather hear "Welcome Home" than "Thank you for your service". There will always be a war so accept it. There will always be an uprising of some sort in the US because someone is always against the government, military, or LEOs. History shows that no government has stood for long, the Roman Empire and the Soviet Union are 2 examples. Just be prepared for what may take place in the present because you are not going to change the future.
 

Bypass

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I still have some problems, but I git pissed off when I watch individuals on this site argue over politics or what is going on around the US. We should all be adults and know that nothing is going to change, regardless of who is in power. Those of us from the Nam era remember the protesters and how we were spit on when we came back. We would much rather hear "Welcome Home" than "Thank you for your service". There will always be a war so accept it. There will always be an uprising of some sort in the US because someone is always against the government, military, or LEOs. History shows that no government has stood for long, the Roman Empire and the Soviet Union are 2 examples. Just be prepared for what may take place in the present because you are not going to change the future.
GOD bless you Brother and thank you from the Son of a Vietnam veteran. I'm proud of you guys.
 

JedisonsDad

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Granted it was as aircrew, but I still heard the bullets cracking over the radio, smelt the gunpowder from the 105mm, and saw the post-engagement SSE photos the next morning so that we could study weapons effects, and see what 105mm Prox does to a group of insurgents after the round detonates in a thick tree line. My first shoot was a different feeling for me. Throughout the deployments, it felt more and more like a responsibility to me. What started off as a young and ignorant thought of a responsibility towards my country, turned into a responsibility towards the guys on the group to get them home. Then by the time of my last deployment, it was a responsibility towards my guys. After seeing multiple 20 something year olds deal with depression and then suicide, it felt like it was my responsibility towards them. I knew what I was capable of accepting, so why not take that unknown from them. I never told anyone that they couldn’t go, but I always offered to let them sit a flight out and I’d go in their place. Some guys would need to take a knee after their first ramp ceremony. Others would get a light in their eyes that made them want to go back out. No one was wrong, people just process it different. Maybe it helped me that I always saw our mission as protecting the good guys. Some guys saw the mission as killing the bad guys. Who knows. What I do know, is that after 250 combat missions, I’ve had my share of war. I’ll take seconds if the plate is handed to me, but I’m not going up to the buffet anymore just to get my money’s worth.
 

Teufel

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I know it’s been said already but let’s not pretend that many of us here didn’t also harbor visions of combat glory when we were young. Societies have glorified battle since bards sang songs of Gilgamesh.


I can’t blame a young man for wanting to go to war. It’s our job here to educate our young members on what awaits them in battle, and help prepare them if they are called to serve in that capacity
 
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