Weighing OCS vs enlisting

Koochiching

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Nov 14, 2018
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Hi all, I'll try to keep this short.

I'm a senior in college right now and I'm set to graduate in May. I've been heading toward medical school but the military has always been a goal of mine. I was going to head in after medical school but I would like to fully commit to trying for the special forces before I want to settle down. Medical school is still the ultimate goal.

That being said, 18D (while I'm sure it's competitive) is very enticing. However, I'm wary about enlisting. I'm a beginner in all of this. My brother has gone to USAF OCS and I would like to follow suit. However, I have learned that to be eligible for SOF as an officer, I need to be a 1LT (promote-able to Captain) - I also would not be eligible for 18D.

Realistically, what are my options? Is there any way I could be in medical school by 30 and have served in the SOF?

Thanks,
Ethan
 

Ocoka

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Judging by your last sentence, you're already planning your departure from the Army. I can't help you with specifics, but generally speaking, both of your goals require incredible commitment. Pick one, focus on it like a laser and worry about what comes after down the road.
 

Cookie_

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Dec 19, 2017
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.

Realistically, what are my options? Is there any way I could be in medical school by 30 and have served in the SOF?

Thanks,
Ethan
You could serve and still accomplish Medical school(though at whatever age is up to you) if you want to. Just focus on your stuff and make it happen.

That's what Hoot did.
 

Devildoc

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When I worked in the Surgery-trauma ICU at UNC Hospitals, we had two residents, one a surgery resident, the other a gas-passer. The surgery resident was a former 18D, the gas-passer, a former PJ. The SF guy was close to 40, the other, young, maybe 30ish (this was 2003/4 or so).

@Ocoka is right: focus on what you want to do. It can be done (enlisted SOF-to-MD), but if you choose to go officer, while rewarding and fulfilling blah blah blah, you have different options.
 

Koochiching

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When I worked in the Surgery-trauma ICU at UNC Hospitals, we had two residents, one a surgery resident, the other a gas-passer. The surgery resident was a former 18D, the gas-passer, a former PJ. The SF guy was close to 40, the other, young, maybe 30ish (this was 2003/4 or so).

@Ocoka is right: focus on what you want to do. It can be done (enlisted SOF-to-MD), but if you choose to go officer, while rewarding and fulfilling blah blah blah, you have different options.
Thanks, this is really encouraging.

You want SOF right away? then enlist.
You want it down the road, go OCS and take your chances.
What is your current major?
After doing my research and deliberating I've decided to enlist. OCS, while enticing, doesn't fit with my goals as well. I'm currently a geography major at a large state university. A little off topic: I'm really interested in political geography and geopolitics but unfortunately academic geography is mostly (annoying) critical theory and your garden variety humanities major. It's a little disappointing and if I could do it again I'd do history.
 

ecag

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The only thing I can say with my limited experience is, if you want to do the job more enlisting is the way to go. If your degree is more important and commisioning matters, go OCS.
 

AverageGuy

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Jan 24, 2019
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Hey man, I'm on almost the exact same page. I am a Molecular Bio major, senior in college. I've always been planning on medical school but SOF crept up on me and now that is what I want to do more than anything. Still planning on going to med school after (but like @Ocoka said, that's down the line now).

I'm still planning on doing OCS, as I don't mind spending some time in other units before getting a chance for SF, but I'm beginning to understand that OCS is far from a guarantee for getting to SFAS, etc.

Congrats on your decision to enlist. Keep us updated, man.
 

Koochiching

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Nov 14, 2018
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Hey man, I'm on almost the exact same page. I am a Molecular Bio major, senior in college. I've always been planning on medical school but SOF crept up on me and now that is what I want to do more than anything. Still planning on going to med school after (but like @Ocoka said, that's down the line now).

I'm still planning on doing OCS, as I don't mind spending some time in other units before getting a chance for SF, but I'm beginning to understand that OCS is far from a guarantee for getting to SFAS, etc.

Congrats on your decision to enlist. Keep us updated, man.
Hey man, good luck. I enlisted, and now I'm (technically) in the army. As you know, your best bet to be a green beret is enlisting. If nothing else, 18D can scratch that medical itch for me. I graduate in May and ship a couple months after that. Let me know what you decide. Too bad we aren't in the same part of the country - we could train together.
 

AverageGuy

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Jan 24, 2019
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Hey man, good luck. I enlisted, and now I'm (technically) in the army. As you know, your best bet to be a green beret is enlisting. If nothing else, 18D can scratch that medical itch for me. I graduate in May and ship a couple months after that. Let me know what you decide. Too bad we aren't in the same part of the country - we could train together.
Congrats, bro. Wish I were there to send you off and help you get ready. I totally respect your decision. Enjoy and just get through it .

I would love to be 18D so we'll see what happens on my end. Still planning on 18A though. Maybe I'll see you down the road..
 
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