Hey there. I'm 30 years old and currently entertaining the idea of enlisting in the reserves as psyops to stay close to home. I have read a little about it, but I'd like to hear from people who have done it, or worked closely with them. Spent 8 years active duty and ets'd as a sergeant, so I'm familiar with general army culture and lifestyle. But wondering how demanding it is physically. What is their promotion process like? What are their deployments like? What kind of atmosphere is it/what kind of guys typically are in those units? I get along with most people fairly well, but by nature I am a foul mouthed red neck. Anything else I didn't mention that may be good to know? Stories or anecdotes also appreciated!
Depends on what kind of unit it is. I was a member of a PSYOP company that was a tactical company. Which means we were broken into detachments made up of four, three man teams (E4/ SGT/SSG,) with a Detachment NCO (E-7) and each detachment commanded by a CPT. Minimum PT score was the SOF 70%, but everyone pushed for better. Good promotion potential, but a lot of the guys did not want to promote past SSG, as they wanted to stay on one of the three man teams. At the time we had some females, but they were all assigned to the production detachment and could not be on a tactical team. The detachments are pretty close, because of our size. But deployed, you might not see them again until you come home, just your team and whatever unit you had been assigned to, SOF or conventional.
Our unit was on jump status, so we would get a lot of former AD guys.
Deployments vary, my old unit was very busy....from 2002 to 2010 you were deploying every other year, I think it has slowed down a little. This doesn't include training schools. This wasn't a one weekend, two weeks a year unit.
There are some other PSYOP guys with more recent experience who will probably weigh in.
I have served in conventional forces in the Regular Army and also many years in PSYOP. I really enjoyed being a (TPT) Tactical PSYOP Team Leader. The task organization for PSYOP is different from conventional forces. In PSYOP instead of six man squad it is a 3 man team led by an E-6 Staff Sergeant. Instead of a platoon it is a detachment led by an E-7 Sergeant First Class and a Captain as the Detachment Commander and the Company Commander is a Major. When deployed the teams are attached to a subordinate unit as a force multiplier. Because of this type of task organization there is far less direct supervision and far more responsibilities. As a Team Leader you will be tasked to do many things that an Officer would do in conventional forces. Also you must regularly maintain SOF Validation by completing the water survival course, 10K ruck marches with a 55 lb. ruck and achieve a minimin of 70% in all categories on the APFT. If you don't mind multiple deployments or conducting missions outside of the wire every day and you are a PT stud then you will really enjoy serving in PSYOP. Its a great job and I really liked serving in PSYOP and would highly recommend it.