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Discussion Starter #1
I realize this is not exactly sniper-related and apologize in advance.

I am seriously considering joining the US Army and have been eyeing the Special Forces branch (18-series of MOS). While I have a rather good understanding of what it'd take to prep for the boot camp - I've been running, gym, the usual, the information on what it'd take to get into SF is barren, and I cannot find any reliable sources of information of what it takes (both on a mental aspect and on a physical one) to pass the qualification course. Normally, I'd rummage through the pertinent FM(s) to see what kind of training will be conducted, but they are unavailable through the usual sources. Any information would be helpful (including "You won't cut it" if you tell me why you feel that way).

Hoping for SF is already high enough, I won't fixate on the sharpshooter qual within SF, though I'd like to try.

On a separate note, while I know how I feel about the military and joining up, I am having a hard time articulating it when asked. The closest I've come up with is "There is evil in this world. Great, unspeakable evil. And it is perpetrated by people, so it can only be stopped by people. Perhaps I have skills that would be useful to this purpose. Only one way to find out". Certainly, that is not my one and only reason to considering joining up, but it is one of the biggest one. Those of you who have served or are serving - what are your reasons for signing up? Am I completely naive? All information/opinions are welcome.
 

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If you are looking for a good reason to join the military how about this one.

Because you want to and its your god given right as an American citizen to join or not join.

Good luck with it and I hope you make it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
badshot said:
If you are looking for a good reason to join the military how about this one.

Because you want to and its your god given right as an American citizen to join or not join.

Good luck with it and I hope you make it.
Grin. Fair enough. Thanks.
 

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Okay, SF qual is an interesting beast.

1st, you cannot enlist to go SF, they don't do that. So first, you enlist and go in the Infantry, Rangers is even better if you can get a shot at ranger school (you can enlist with an 11X slot that allows you to attend RIP, Ranger Indoctraination Program. If you pass RIP, they'll send you to a ranger battalion while you prepare to attend ranger school).

Once you have many years of infantry under your belt, and I believe you have to be E4 promotable or E5, then you can volunteer to attend SFAS, special forces assesment and selection. Its 3 weeks of not very much fun. If you pass SFAS, you can then attend qualification school, or "q-course". Depending on your specialty depends on the length of the school. Demolitions and Small Arms expert is 6 months and by far the most popular and swamped with candidates. Communications is 1 year schoo, Medical is about 18 months if memory serves me correctly. SF is in constant need of commo and medical, and there are few candidates and its a very hard and long school for each. You have a better chance of making it to an A team if you go with one of the latter, as the competition to get to the q-courses is very stiff for small arms and demo.

After your q-course you have to complete your "robin sage" 2 week field exercise in north carolina, which is difficult in and of itself. After all that, you go to an A-team and then start your real training. Specialty schools, to include language schools come at that point also. Cross training into other specialties is also a given.

It is very difficult to get into and pass q-course, but certainly not impossible. Keep in mind, the Army SF is more teaching/training with guirellas than it is commando operations, though you get more than your fair share of those operations while working with guirillas also.

MEL
 

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re

If you don't mind my asking, what makes you want to go special forces over more conventional branches of the military?
 

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Re: re

Yimmy said:
If you don't mind my asking, what makes you want to go special forces over more conventional branches of the military?
If your going to be in the military you might as well surround yourself with some of the most trained operators around. Just a higher level and not as much grunt work
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: re

Yimmy said:
If you don't mind my asking, what makes you want to go special forces over more conventional branches of the military?
What FLEA said. :)
 

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Don't forget the best reason of all.

BECAUSE YOU WANT TO
 

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Discussion Starter #9
mele said:
Okay, SF qual is an interesting beast.

1st, you cannot enlist to go SF, they don't do that. So first, you enlist and go in the Infantry, Rangers is even better if you can get a shot at ranger school (you can enlist with an 11X slot that allows you to attend RIP, Ranger Indoctraination Program. If you pass RIP, they'll send you to a ranger battalion while you prepare to attend ranger school).

Once you have many years of infantry under your belt, and I believe you have to be E4 promotable or E5, then you can volunteer to attend SFAS, special forces assesment and selection. Its 3 weeks of not very much fun. If you pass SFAS, you can then attend qualification school, or "q-course". Depending on your specialty depends on the length of the school. Demolitions and Small Arms expert is 6 months and by far the most popular and swamped with candidates. Communications is 1 year schoo, Medical is about 18 months if memory serves me correctly. SF is in constant need of commo and medical, and there are few candidates and its a very hard and long school for each. You have a better chance of making it to an A team if you go with one of the latter, as the competition to get to the q-courses is very stiff for small arms and demo.

After your q-course you have to complete your "robin sage" 2 week field exercise in north carolina, which is difficult in and of itself. After all that, you go to an A-team and then start your real training. Specialty schools, to include language schools come at that point also. Cross training into other specialties is also a given.

It is very difficult to get into and pass q-course, but certainly not impossible. Keep in mind, the Army SF is more teaching/training with guirellas than it is commando operations, though you get more than your fair share of those operations while working with guirillas also.

MEL
Aha, one crucial piece the recruiter forgot to mention - no direct enlistment into 18X. Yeah, Comms or Intel were on the top of the list of specialties I'd try to get. The recruiter said that if I go into Ranger, it'd be difficult for me to get into the qual because the unit won't want to send me and that it is expensive - is there truth to that?

Also, you said "competition is fierce" - of what does the competition consist? How are people scored? In what should I start trianing now so that my chances are better?

As if all those weren't enough - a buddy of mine said that since the drill instructors are aware of the specialty in one's contract during boot camp and lavish extra tender love, care, and attention onto the recruit - is that true?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
badshot said:
Don't forget the best reason of all.

BECAUSE YOU WANT TO
:lol: Damned straight. Then, of course, comes the question of "but why do you want to?" and we go round and round again. hehe. Thanks for the support :)
 

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Heh, recruiters lie. Don't let anyone tell you different. You cannot enlist with any guarantee of getting to try out for SF, period.

Ranger battalions hate to lose troops, but many many SF soldiers come out of ranger battalions.

Drill Sgts give you grief for everything, it aint nothing but a thing. Basic is such a short period of time that who cares if you are smoked 24/7, it'll just make you better. The best you can do is 11X which means unassigned and the Drill Sgts will probably mention it once in a while, but thats generally it. We had a few 11X's in my training battalion and it wasn't an issue for the most part.

Usually you get 11X if you have RIP in your contract. If you flunk RIP, they get to send you WHEREVER THEY WANT, and there is a chance it might be mech infantry. Many still get 11B with Airborne, not a bad route either. Sorry, no sniper school and no special forces in your enlistment contract, its against the rules.

MEL
 

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Basic is easy, just have fun. It will be over before you know it.

You can't go SF without the tower-of-power, so go airborne, ranger, then SF, that is a pretty easy route to take, and it will give you the right expirence needed.

Get airborne / rip in contract, or both would be better. Some people just sit there and go, "yeah ok, whatever." at MEPS. I told the guy straight up (a ret. major, I scored 98% on asvab) I wanted infantry, and I wanted airborne, if he didnt like it, I was walking.

And low and behold, 11x w/airborne in black and white.

Oh, have fun @ E&E :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
mele said:
Heh, recruiters lie. Don't let anyone tell you different. You cannot enlist with any guarantee of getting to try out for SF, period.

...snip...
MEL

Yeah, I figured as much. Doing my homework :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
subThermal said:
Basic is easy, just have fun. It will be over before you know it.

You can't go SF without the tower-of-power, so go airborne, ranger, then SF, that is a pretty easy route to take, and it will give you the right expirence needed.

Get airborne / rip in contract, or both would be better. Some people just sit there and go, "yeah ok, whatever." at MEPS. I told the guy straight up (a ret. major, I scored 98% on asvab) I wanted infantry, and I wanted airborne, if he didnt like it, I was walking.

And low and behold, 11x w/airborne in black and white.

Oh, have fun @ E&E :lol:
So it is at the MEPS that I talk to whomever is there about MOS and what I'd like to do? Excellent. Recruiter says my ASVAB score allows me to pick whatever, so I'm hopeful on this one.

Any other information is, as always, much appreciated. Do's/Don't's for boot, et cetera.
 

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Just to toss in the Physical stats, so that you know what to aim for (These are APFT tests. They work off of age group, and assign a number score. If you get over 100 on the scores, you add 1 for every 6 seconds off the jogging time, 1 every 1 pushup you do, and 1 for every situp you do);

You'll need at least a 230 to qualify, and at least 70 on each score

Jogging-
17-26 - 2 Miles in 13 minutes will net you 100, and 2 miles in 15:12 will net you a 70.

Pushups -
17-21 - 71 Pushups in 2 minutes will net you 100, and 49 will net you a 70
22-26 - 75 Pushups in 2 minutes will net you 100, and 49 will net you a 70
27-31 - 77 Pushups in 2 minutes will net you 100, and 49 will net you a 71 (Put in to show the MAX score you will ever have to aim for)

Situps -
17-21 - 78 Situps in 2 minutes will net you 100, and 59 will net you a 70
22-26 - 80 Situps in 2 minutes will net you 100, and 58 (?) will net you a 71
27-31 - 82 Situps in 2 minutes will net you 100, and 54 will net you a 70 (Once again, quoted to give you an idea of maximum score. I don't know what is up with the declining minimum point score while increasing the maximum)

Simple stuff to aim for. Situps have to be done with hands locked behind your head, and you need to go down until your arms are parallel to the ground with the pushups.
 

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Recruiters lie, im pretty sure im the most recent go-through here, so I can attest to that.

Yes, the guy at MEPS will try and say just about anything to get you into a "smart" position, like commo, computer tech, stuff like that. Mine tried to get me to be commo w/ RIP contract, he almost **** himself when I told him I wanted airborne infantry or I was walkin.

Basic tips? Bring that crap on the list they give you, I didn't (per my brothers advice) and I was shaving dry with a borrowed disposable razor.

Don't goto Benning in the winter (like me), dont go in the summer either try to late feb or early march. If it seems like it is far off, get a job to wait until then. PT in the cold wet rain sucks. PT in the hot humid air sucks.

You will find people that will do anything to go back home, ignore them, don't associate with them, you might want to go back home, hell, I cried on my one phone call we got. Suck it up, drive on.

At the CS chamber, dont hold your breath, take small shallow breaths, and don't eat the eggs at breakfast that day.

Keep your locker LOCKED, I say again, keep your locker LOCKED. A lot of people will just unlock it and turn it to make it look like it is locked. Don't make this mistake.

Try to stand as close to whatever instructor you can during training so you can hear them teach you what you need to know. Half the time I couldn't hear what was going on. I had to ask my buddies how to aim with the 203 because I didn't hear the instructor.

Make sure your boots at reception are a little snug, (refer to the basic post about my boots).

Don't pretend to know more than you do, chances are your all wrong to some degree.

Don't try to be a badass, but do push yourself and everyone else for good PT. Just because it is easier to run with the C group doesn't mean you shouldnt run with the A group if you can. If your having a bad run, fall back to B group, if it gets bad, fall to C. But don't ever drop.

If you are smart, like you are, they will probably try to make you an 11C. Talk to your Drill Sgts. request time to talk to the sgt major, he can ammend your orders, or get a loophole, something to make you an 11b. I'll be damned if they wanted me to jump a plane with an 80lb baseplate.

If I think of some more, I'll post it.
 

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The army has recently changed the policy for recruitment of soldiers into SF. Essentially they do consider people "off the street".

- E3 to E7
- ASVAB General Technical score of 110 or better and Combat Operation score of 98
- Take the DLAB or DLPT (foreign language aptitude and proficiency tests)
- Eligible for Secret clearance (initially based on a National Agency Check which means they look for a state/federal criminal record- later a more thorough background investigation may be done)
- Airborne qual'd or volunteer for airborne training
- score of 229 on the APFT

Remember, SF has their own recruiters!

regular SF recruitment briefings are held where SF units are stationed
(FT Lewis Wa, Ft Bragg NC, etc.). Call the contact number found at the following links:

http://www.bragg.army.mil/specialforces/

http://www.lewis.army.mil/sfrecruiting/

http://www.goarmy.com/special_forces/qualifications_and_benefits.jsp

General info on the Special Forces:
http://www.soc.mil/SF/SF_default.htm

http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/BOOKS/Vietnam/90-23/90-23C.htm

-Todd
 

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Discussion Starter #18
subThermal said:
Recruiters lie, im pretty sure im the most recent go-through here, so I can attest to that.
Hehe. That's why I am asking in a forum where people's goal is not a given quota.

subThermal said:
Yes, the guy at MEPS will try and say just about anything to get you into a "smart" position, like commo, computer tech, stuff like that. Mine tried to get me to be commo w/ RIP contract, he almost **** himself when I told him I wanted airborne infantry or I was walkin.
So it is at MEPS that one gets to make the final call on the MOS. What about those (in)famous contracts that people sign at the recruiters?

subThermal said:
Basic tips? Bring that crap on the list they give you, I didn't (per my brothers advice) and I was shaving dry with a borrowed disposable razor.
Hrmm... why'd he tell you not to bring the crap they told ya to? (Just curious as to the reasoning). Ordinarily, I shave with a straight-edge, but I do not think it'd be a good idea to bring that along into Basic... Grin.

subThermal said:
Don't goto Benning in the winter (like me), dont go in the summer either try to late feb or early march. If it seems like it is far off, get a job to wait until then. PT in the cold wet rain sucks. PT in the hot humid air sucks.
I've been running during the day out here (California, LA, has been a bit... umm... _warm_ lately. But it is relatively dry, from what I understand.) Cold rain/Cold - no problems - I *am* Russian, and as much as I dislike stereotypes, this one is true - cold I can take :)

subThermal said:
You will find people that will do anything to go back home, ignore them, don't associate with them, you might want to go back home, hell, I cried on my one phone call we got. Suck it up, drive on.
Hehe. Yeah, I've encountered that in the past at summer camps and such, though I suspect it'll be a lot more pronounced at Basic.

subThermal said:
At the CS chamber, dont hold your breath, take small shallow breaths, and don't eat the eggs at breakfast that day

Keep your locker LOCKED, I say again, keep your locker LOCKED. A lot of people will just unlock it and turn it to make it look like it is locked. Don't make this mistake.

Try to stand as close to whatever instructor you can during training so you can hear them teach you what you need to know. Half the time I couldn't hear what was going on. I had to ask my buddies how to aim with the 203 because I didn't hear the instructor.
Excellent tips, I'll make sure to keep those in mind.

subThermal said:
Make sure your boots at reception are a little snug, (refer to the basic post about my boots).
Why?

subThermal said:
Don't pretend to know more than you do, chances are your all wrong to some degree.
Good reminder. GRIN.

subThermal said:
Don't try to be a badass, but do push yourself and everyone else for good PT. Just because it is easier to run with the C group doesn't mean you shouldnt run with the A group if you can. If your having a bad run, fall back to B group, if it gets bad, fall to C. But don't ever drop.
The different groups, I assume, for different skills/speeds? Can you give me an approximate differences? Say, group A will do the 2 mile jog in 20 minutes, whereas C will do it in 30 or is it not as spread out?

subThermal said:
If you are smart, like you are, they will probably try to make you an 11C. Talk to your Drill Sgts. request time to talk to the sgt major, he can ammend your orders, or get a loophole, something to make you an 11b. I'll be damned if they wanted me to jump a plane with an 80lb baseplate.
11C - Indirect Fire Infantryman
11B - Infantryman. Yeah, I can see why the 11C will have the 80lbs baseplate for the mortar.

subThermal said:
If I think of some more, I'll post it.
As always, anything will be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
truewarrior said:
The army has recently changed the policy for recruitment of soldiers into SF. Essentially they do consider people "off the street".

- E3 to E7
- ASVAB General Technical score of 110 or better and Combat Operation score of 98
- Take the DLAB or DLPT (foreign language aptitude and proficiency tests)
- Eligible for Secret clearance (initially based on a National Agency Check which means they look for a state/federal criminal record- later a more thorough background investigation may be done)
- Airborne qual'd or volunteer for airborne training
- score of 229 on the APFT

Remember, SF has their own recruiters!

regular SF recruitment briefings are held where SF units are stationed
(FT Lewis Wa, Ft Bragg NC, etc.). Call the contact number found at the following links:

http://www.bragg.army.mil/specialforces/

http://www.lewis.army.mil/sfrecruiting/

http://www.goarmy.com/special_forces/qualifications_and_benefits.jsp

General info on the Special Forces:
http://www.soc.mil/SF/SF_default.htm

http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/BOOKS/Vietnam/90-23/90-23C.htm

-Todd
Todd,

So your recommendation is not to deal with the local recruiter at all, just contact the SF forts you've listed?
 

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Contract at the recruiter? I don't remember that, but then again, my Reruiter was ate up from the floor up. No, anything you sign at the Recruiters dont mean jack crap, in fact, until you swear in the second time, nothing means jack crap.

Until they have you on a plane headed to Ft. Benning you can still change your mind.

When I went through, we had a whole plt. of 18 series going through, although, once 99% of them failed sf they would become 11b.

You want your boots snug, if you get crappy boots you would rather castrate yourself than have the blisters I did. Boots are leather, they stretch, you want them snug at the start so they will mold to your feet.

Minding the cold is one thing, minding the cold at parade rest for 1.5 hours in the sleeting rain at 0400 is different in PT gear (shorts and a thing long sleeve Tshirt).

All that bullshit crap the army puts out about basic is true... except for any infantry MOS, then it gets harder. You got your signal core pukes in thier polypros, and your freezing your ass off.

As far as Cali heat, you get no sympathy from me, Tejas gets hot as well my friend.
 
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