Sf/ranger question (civilian)

157bear

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I have a question that I can’t really seem to find an answer for online. For the past couple months I have been dead set in the 18x program. Recently a new guy came into my local mma gym and he happened to be a former Army guy. He had been to sfas but was a 21 day non select. He later gave me some advice... go 68w with option 40 (since my goal is to be an sf medic and later transition to the civilian med feild). He continued to tell me that this would allow me to insure I’d be a medic and I could later go to sfas and I’d be better prepared. To me I feel like I’d be playing into fears of not passing sf selection instead of fully committing to sf. A little background on me is I’m a college grad, 25 years old, and healthy, I’m not looking to make a career in the military but to find my limits/grow and service with those fighting. I really like the work sf does especially the medics. I also would like to go to halo and dive. I think I’d like the rangers and I’d probably have more respect in a sf group if I was a rangers but still can’t find the clarity I need before I sign. What would be your advice/thought?
 

Cookie_

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None of the guys I've met in 19th felt Ranger time was significantly important before getting their long tab; maybe it's just the guys I've met, but it's the overall perception I've gotten. As far as 18B/C/D/E, other than then guard units, I've never heard of an 18 hopeful getting the MOS they want as a guaranteed hard choice. @DeadZeppelin would be the best reference for that.

ETA: When I say SF mos, I mean feeder MOS. I've met an 18B who was a 92G his first enlistment. First enlistment MOS seems to be less important (overall) than some make it out to be.
 
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157bear

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That makes sense. Maybe the ranger route isn’t a bad one with the 68w contract.
 

DZ

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First of all, don't listen to someone give advice about SF if they failed Selection.

Do you want to be a medic, or a shooter? SF medics are unique in that they are shooters first and medics second. We have some of the best medics in the world. You will learn more about medicine as an 18D than you will as a 68W W1 in Ranger Regiment. A lot of 18D's go on to become PA's and Docs. It's an awesome gig being an 18D, I am jealous of their skill set.

The chance of you becoming an 18D, or a Medic in Ranger Regiment is pretty slim. How much are you willing to bet on yourself? If you go 18X it's statistically unlikely you'll get Selected, and if you do their is no guarantee you'll get 18D as your MOS (although if you volunteer for it, and you have a high GT score you'll probably get Delta). In the more likely chance you fail along the way you'll be reclassed needs of the Army and sent along your way.

With 68W Opt 40 you'd at least be a medic in the (likely) chance you fail.

Again, how bad do you want to be an 18D? How much do you believe in yourself?

As far as Halo and Dive go, you could have both within a year of graduating the Q course. It would be a lot harder to get either of those schools at Ranger Regiment.
 

157bear

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That answers my question! Bottom line I wanted to be a sf guy before I even thought of rangers; regardless of my 18 mos. I like the work the group guys do therefore I don’t think it be smart to waste my time going through rasp. I appreciate your input!
 

x SF med

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@157bear … first thing you have to do is tighten up your shot group in the written language department, capitalization, spelling and grammar show attention to detail, as an 18D that's a key soft skill. SF, Ranger, MOS, RASP, Group... NOT the lower case versions you used.

This seems like a small thing, but spiders will kill you as fast as bears.
 

157bear

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@157bear … first thing you have to do is tighten up your shot group in the written language department, capitalization, spelling and grammar show attention to detail, as an 18D that's a key soft skill. SF, Ranger, MOS, RASP, Group... NOT the lower case versions you used.

This seems like a small thing, but spiders will kill you as fast as bears.
Will do. I can see how this is important. It’s the small things that add up.
 

LongHiker

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So I'm in a similar position to you and I'll share some thoughts that have helped me clarify my decision immensely.

I'm prior service looking to come back into the Army as an 18D. My initial plan was to sign an 18X contract but found out I'm too old for that. Now I've been debating Option 40 active duty, National Guard Try One contract, enlisting back as a 11B active duty then dropping a packet when I get to my duty station, or picking up a new MOS like 35P active duty.

I've been having this internal debate on which route to take for a good month now but realized last week that all the debate boiled down to one thing: uncertainty. And that uncertainty was pushing me to make compromised decisions in order to mitigate the potential what-ifs.

My moment of clarity was this: My ultimate goal is a career with Special Forces and I need to be willing to do whatever it takes to achieve that goal, even if it means attending SFAS multiple times over many years and getting recycled through courses. If I'm not willing to stick to my goal through failures, setbacks, and obstacles then I shouldn't re-enlist.

That cleared all the internal debate for me because it removed that uncertainty of "what if I join up then fail selection." Now I have a good answer.

If I fail I'll volunteer for as many schools as I can. I'll PT my ass off. I'll train for the events I was weak on and I'll try again. And I'll keep doing that until I make it or am told I can't come back.

I was too myopically focused on a smooth first-time go. The Army is a big place with lots of opportunities for people willing to work for it. If I don't make it the first time around there's still loads of opportunities to take advantage of(like Ranger school) in the interim before I give it another try. And ultimately if I just can't make the cut I'll have set myself up for success in a different capacity within the Army.
 

157bear

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Thanks man, that helps a lot. Especially if it’s something I really want I have to be willing to try as many times as it takes and not be worried about making it through the first time.
 

Box

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I'd like to interject a few points that might help - don't take any of it as a personal thump - but as advice from an old guy who has a son in the Army - a son that I tried to steer AWAY from following in my footsteps and encouraged to be his own man. He is now a leg infantryman of his own choosing even though I tried to get him to join the USAF as an MP.

...I have been dead set in the 18x program.
If you are dead set - then go talk to a recruiter and enlist as an 18x. Don't pussy-foot around - do it.
Consider the following statement: I have been dead set on having a steak - I'm going to eat some pork chops.
Just like 18x doesn't "buy" you a slot on an ODA - Option 40 doesn't buy a ticket into the 75th. You still have to pass RASP; I suspect RASP is difficult because the non-select rate is significant. Take option 40, fail RASP, and then you end up working "where ever" as a 68W - maybe you get lucky and score a sweet job as a paratrooper medic in the 82d. Maybe you don't get lucky and you get a job working at a basic training TMC helping with sick call. Enlist as an 18x and the FIRST thing you need to do is finish infantry boot camp before the number "18" gets anywhere close to your MOS. If you don't get selected and you are an Infantryman - you can turn right around and try to go to RASP - or down the street to the 82d. Who knows -

Recently a new guy came into my local mma gym and he happened to be a former Army guy. He had been to sfas but was a 21 day non select. He later gave me some advice... go 68w with option 40 (since my goal is to be an sf medic and later transition to the civilian med feild).
A few things from your post you should keep in mind:
former Army guy: that means he was not happy enough to stay in the Army - now he is giving YOU advice on how to be happy?
non-select: he never learned the secret handshake - that is no different that me giving you advice on how to play lacrosse - ignore his advice on how to navigate the SF pipeline
my goal is... ...the civilian med field: if your goal is not, "serve as an SF guy" your head is in the wrong place to be in SF. We don't need folks that just want to have an adventure before they go to med school -that attitude gets good men killed. SF is not an adventure - it is a calling - or at least it SHOULD be.
There is NO shame in joining to be a medic and focusing on medicine. If your GOAL is being a health care provider, 3-4 years as a rifleman is not leading you down that road.

He continued to tell me that this would allow me to insure I’d be a medic and I could later go to sfas and I’d be better prepared. To me I feel like I’d be playing into fears of not passing sf selection instead of fully committing to sf.
Your friend is wrong - you are correct. If you are "dead set" now and worry that you are not prepared, going somewhere else in the Army thinking that you will get "better" prepared is a fools errand. As well - just because you get selected - it doesn't mean you will get EXACTLY the MOS you want. You could end up as a Communicator, Engineer, or Weapons Sgt just as easily as you could end up as a medic.
Don't play into your fears - commit - do it - don't look back - don't quit - focus on success.

I’m not looking to make a career in the military but to find my limits/grow and service with those fighting.
I had no intentions on making a career in the military. It has been my experience that very few career Soldiers joined the Army as their primary career path. If you really really really
really
want to 'find your limits' - then military service will provide that opportunity.
Then, just as you think you have found "your limit" you'll realize - there are no limits.

I really like the work sf does especially the medics.
Truth be told - you wont know that until you are on your team in a foreign land trying to figure out what the fuck is going on around you. Everything else you have in your head right now is a slightly romanticized version of reality. I started off as a support guy in SF - I was certain that I also "really like the work sf does especially the medics" and much to my chagrin - I didn't know as much as I thought I did. I spent 16 years as an 18D and within the first year I was annoyed at grown men expecting me to carry their moleskin, band aids, and aspirin.
I enjoyed working as a part time Paramedic and didn't mind doing detail work at the ER - everything else about being an 18D was boring as fuck - until it wasn't.
Disappointment - in its most tragic form - is a huge part of being an SF Medic.

I also would like to go to halo and dive.
Why? MFF and CDQC are just the Army proving that they can take the fun out of anything. Try civilian skydiving and scuba diving - they are both a lot more fun and don't require an enlistment commitment that might get you killed or dismembered.

I think I’d like the rangers and I’d probably have more respect in a sf group if I was a rangers but still can’t find the clarity I need before I sign. What would be your advice/thought?
I cant count how many douche bags I have met over the years that thought a "tab" somehow bought them some preconceived level of respect. Don't buy snake oil - don't take any wooden nickles - don't buy into the rationale that you need some type of patch or tab to earn 'more' respect. The best way to earn respect in SF is to be yourself and adopt a preference for being hated over who you are before you spend time trying to be liked by pretending to be someone who you aren't.

Don't waste your energy thinking about what you will do if you fail - suck it up and keep moving forward towards the goal line. I think it was Shane Falco that said, Pain heals, chicks dig scars, glory lasts forever.
 
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policemedic

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go 68w with option 40 (since my goal is to be an sf medic and later transition to the civilian med feild).
Why leave the Army to become a doctor, particularly if you succeed and make it into Special Forces? Why not continue to serve, and let the Army fund medical school? Research this guy and you'll see what I mean:

COL Robert Mabry, MD, MC, USA
 
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