Son considering TACP

casjoker

Army
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My son who is 20 has narrowed his choices to Army Infantry or trying for AF TACP. The infantry contract would either be 3 or 4 years, 20k and 30k bonus, which he says is really the only thing really making him consider 11b over TACP. All things being equal he would choose TACP no question. He was trying for a scholarship in hockey, hasn't worked out so now he wants to try the military. He has no idea what he wants for a civilian career and wants TACP because it has better training and mission than regular infantry. I prefer TACP because he will not be kicking in the doors but a few yards away, lol. Honestly, don't really want him to do either.

His profile 20 years old, 6' 175 lbs and has been a high-level hockey player for years. Has taken the ASVAB (64G). Currently, 10:03 on 1.5 mile, 42 push-ups, 47 sit-ups, and 5 countable pull-ups. His swimming sucks and can only do around 200 meters before he needs a break. Treads water for 7 minutes. He hasn't worked out much since his season ended in April. I am thinking the right program he could bump up everything pretty quickly.
We have talked with a BA and regular AF recruiter but wanted to double check a few things with people who are currently doing the job/working at the schoolhouse.

1. How good of a swimmer does he have to be for TACP? I have heard the 500m swim is not mandatory but used to select some recruits over others when training slots are limited?

2. For the AF he goes to MEPS and tells them he wants TACP once he clears medically he is placed into DEP program and assigned a trainer/mentor? My understanding is a regular AF recruiter can handle his packet up to this point?

3. If he goes to MEPS and doesn't pass medically (no reason he shouldn't but want to double check) is he still obligated to the AF and has to give AF his list of 12 other jobs (which he hates the not being able to select a specific job)?

4. How many times will he have the chance to take the PAST test while in DEP? Is it one and done or train until the BA recruiter feels he will meet the standard?

5. If not selected out of DEP for TCAP (gets hurt, doesn't want to do it, etc) is he obligated to regular AF or can he go back to the Army?

6. Being prior combat arms I do not want him to do either and prefer he choose an AF job none BA related. I can think of no good reason for my kid to potentially lose a limb or worse. This has really made me understand what I have put my parents and wife through. However, having to choose 12 jobs and not knowing what he will get is a big turn off to him. If I could find another job he found acceptable is there a way to "game" the AF system to pick a specific job? I have tried to push cybersecurity but he wants nothing to do with an office job.

I am using the search function to answer some of my questions but wanted my thoughts all in one place. Thanks, Cory

<Mod Edit to add some much needed paragraphs>
Ooh Rah
 
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casjoker

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Knoxville, TN
He is currently in the middle of the woods in Maine fishing and has limited to no cell/internet service. He won't be returning until after the 4th. He is hoping to make his decision sometime next week, he gets home Sunday. I stumbled across this board Thursday researching some workouts for him and I figured I would post to try and get any additional info possible. We have been visiting recruiters and researching for a couple of months. He qualifies for a bunch of Intel and cybersecurity jobs (as well as all kinds of mechanical etc) but it's not what he wants. I think he is being very short-sighted on future earnings if he gets out of whatever branch he chooses. He says he doesn't want to do any of that and wants to kick in doors for a few years until he figures out what he wants to do in life. Originally he was looking at an 11b contract with option 40 then he researched TACP which piqued his interest. I have suggested 13f (forward observer) but he said it was dumb to do Army and not take the 11b with larger bonus.
At this point, he told me he is split between infantry because of big bonus or TACP. He liked the CCT job description better but he knows the swim requirements would be very difficult for him. He missed the cut off for 18x by 1 point on his asvab or I am sure he would have tried that route.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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When it comes to the military "you pays your money and you takes your chances." The best laid plans can disappear based upon the needs of the service. For example, the AF has pretty good crosstraining options, but those vary by job and from year to year. He could enlist as a TACP and then crosstrain to cybersecurity in 3-4 years OR he could see that window close out OR he could be denied the ability to crosstrain at all.

...takes your chances.

No one is safe. Trucks rollver, 'chutes fail (or the jumper doesn't react appropriately), planes and helos crash, your buddy DUI's you into a tree...life can go sideways. You can do everything right and still die. If safety and well-being are priorities then a blue vest greeter is a strong candidate.

Ante up, go all in, and hope the cards are on your side.
 

casjoker

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Knoxville, TN
I have been in the Army active/NG/Reserves off and on for the last 30 years and have seen people get hurt/killed from all manner of stupid shit. Yes, you join and roll the dice no matter the career field. Having lived the life style my son says he wants is why I caution him to be wise in his choices. Not only are you in a higher risk career field (infantry/spec ops) but it takes a long term toll on your body (sometimes mind) too. Anyway, I wanted to say thanks for the feedback. He has decided to go Army Infantry, 3 years with a 20k bonus. It's my understanding if he meets the physical requirements he can volunteer for RASP and see where it leads. He ships August 20, 2019.
 

Ranger Psych

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If it's not in his contract out the gate, he's going to be regular infantry in at best the 82nd, at worst the Cav. Neither will give him the experience nor true post-service networking that being a billy badass rates, when applied to the civilian sector eventually.

If he wants to Ranger up, then he needs to have an 11x option 40 Ranger contract. If he hasn't signed anything yet, looking at Ranger Forward Observer aka 13F with an option 40 would give him a solid balance of things and experiences.

He should join here, he's the one making the choice in the end.
 

DasBoot

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If it's not in his contract out the gate, he's going to be regular infantry in at best the 82nd, at worst the Cav. Neither will give him the experience nor true post-service networking that being a billy badass rates, when applied to the civilian sector eventually.

If he wants to Ranger up, then he needs to have an 11x option 40 Ranger contract. If he hasn't signed anything yet, looking at Ranger Forward Observer aka 13F with an option 40 would give him a solid balance of things and experiences.

He should join here, he's the one making the choice in the end.
Regiment is pushing for more “in service” recruits, whether that be from OSUT or AIT. Same goes for getting personnel in from the Guard, Reserve and Active Force. The Option 40 is slowly being restricted and eliminated.
 

Hungry_Dog

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Regiment is pushing for more “in service” recruits, whether that be from OSUT or AIT. Same goes for getting personnel in from the Guard, Reserve and Active Force. The Option 40 is slowly being restricted and eliminated.
What's the purpose behind that? I thought RR preferred having people grow up in the unit?
 
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