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rblockmon
05-22-2008, 14:18
Can't find a solid answer for this, but here's the question.

I'm given the option, that once I commission I will have the Master Program offered to me about 4 or 5 years into my service obligation. The Master Program is 2 years at any school that accepts you into their masters program. Then you owe the army I believe 2 years for every year of school, so total of 4 all together.

Now my question is, going through SFAS and SFQC, and getting selected to lead a team, does this option still lay open to do? When the Army asks me do I still want to do the Master program, and I do and complete it, can I still return to SF and on a team?

Blueboy
05-22-2008, 15:58
I recommend that you focus on the 25 meter target instead of trying to map out how you can stack your resume with graduate degrees, White House Fellowships, astronaut training, etc, etc. First, you have to earn your commission as an officer. Then you have to serve successfully in a troop unit for a couple of years (preferably as a platoon leader of some sort) before you can submit your SF packet. Your packet then has to be approved by Special Forces Branch before you are given an SFAS class date-----not everyone gets a shot at our try-out. SFAS comes next. If you are selected, then you have to make it through the Q-Course. Are you picking up what I'm putting down?

Yes, SF officers are eligible for Advanced Civil Schooling (graduate school in civilian-speak), but only after they prove their mettle on an ODA.

Peregrino
05-22-2008, 16:15
----- only after they prove their mettle on an ODA.

SF needs proven, quality officers with higher education credentials too. In fact, considering the future and what I see every day at work, we will need all of them we can get - and some of the best will have to be drafted kicking and screaming "for the good of the regiment". You have a long way to go and a lot of hurdles to overcome before a Master's Degree is an issue.

Jack Moroney (RIP)
05-22-2008, 16:18
Can't find a solid answer for this, but here's the question.

I'm given the option, that once I commission I will have the Master Program offered to me about 4 or 5 years into my service obligation. The Master Program is 2 years at any school that accepts you into their masters program. Then you owe the army I believe 2 years for every year of school, so total of 4 all together.



Congratulations.

Do you see yourself as having a graduate degree important to your success as a military officer or as a civilian? The only time my graduate degree came into play as being a necessary evil was for a nominative assignment that really did not have a whole hell of a lot to do with making me a better officer or soldier. This is your choice, but if you are looking to advancing your civilian creds, especially if they have nothing to do with your military performance, then perhaps you should commission into a branch that will be of benefit to both you and the Army. If you are more concerned about building your resume for when you leave the service, and I do not want to sound callous, then do your time and go join the civilian world in the discipline of your choosing. SF does not need anyone who is not totally committed to SF. I am not saying that an advanced degree will be of no benefit, but unless it somehow enables you to do a better job in ensuring those for whom you will be responsible are better able to succeed as soldiers then it is of no use to SF and is certainly of no value to those soldiers who will be looking to you to take care of their needs and not yours. Just two cents based on having dealt with more egg heads than MIT who couldn't tell you the time without telling you how to build the friggin' watch first.

rblockmon
05-22-2008, 17:09
First of all, I just want to say thanks for the replies.

QP Jack Moroney - I have no intentions of leaving the Army at all. I would like to retire at a full 30 years of service. The reason why I am looking for a masters degree is just that I want to challenge my progress in education. The reason why I asked my question earlier because I had come to reason that since it was a rigous task to get into SF, that I would be hard to take a 'two year' break, and then come back in. I know for other branches it wouldn't be a problem. I will be dedicated to my team, I am a team player - but if that means I have to skip on the master program, then so be it. I can always get it when I retire.

I want to branch Infantry, by saying this my degree that I will recieve next May will have zero use. Computers was always my hobby.

QP Blueboy - I understand everything that you say and mean. I am focused on the 25m target.

v/r

rblockmon

Jack Moroney (RIP)
05-22-2008, 21:13
First of all, I just want to say thanks for the replies.

QP Jack Moroney - that I would be hard to take a 'two year' break, and then come back in.
rblockmon

Actually it is not that hard. When I was but a young CPT on orders to go to 46th Company in Thailand, Infantry Branch came around to visit some of us to tell us that we needed to get a Master's Degree if we were to be successful in the military. At the time I was in the 10th SFG and was determined to stay in SF as long as I could. As this was before there was an SF Branch, Infantry Branch had control of my young butt. When I told the COL that I really wanted to go to another SF assignment and stay SF as long as I could in my career, the nasty COL replied that the needs of the Army came first and that if I turned down this wonderful opportunity to go to Harvard for an MBA my career was over. I told the COL that having an MBA in the Infantry was about as much value as having herpes and then proceeded to ask him if it was the academic discipline (a masters in business) or the fact that the Army wanted their officers to have Masters degrees. He told me that it was the degree and not the academic discipline. So I told him I would resign my RA commission, take a USAR commission, go back to college for a Masters of my choosing, and then come back in. He told me that was fine and that was what I did. During that time I did not divorce myself from my military skill sets-I maintained and enhanced them as best I could. When it was time to come back in and continue along the way I was in a bit of a trick as my year group was over strenght and it took me a couple of years to get my Regular Army commission reinstated. The break did not hurt me or my career and the Masters ensured that I remained competitive with my peers but it never did anything for my military career save one assignment that required a Masters of any discipline. The negative aspect of this two year hiatus was that times had changed, the Army was in a draw down and those that had not been fortunate enough to have fullfilled the necessary career management gates according to the Branch requirements got their pink slips and left the Army. So, if you are going for a Masters and it is not under the umbrella of an Army program you are pretty much on your own and you may find that when you come back in, if you are allowed back in, your status as well as your future may be altered in a manner that does not fit your game plan. If the Army is sending you for a Masters you can be assured that there is going to be a utilization assignment for that degree so that they can get a return on their investment not just in time but also in the discipline so you can assume your assignment will probably not be with an operational SF A, B, or C team.

rblockmon
05-22-2008, 21:31
Roger QP Jack Moroney. Even though times have changed, time doesn't really change with us. I appreciate your experience that you have given me.

v/r

rblockmon

Gene Econ
05-22-2008, 21:56
SF needs proven, quality officers with higher education credentials too. In fact, considering the future and what I see every day at work, we will need all of them we can get - and some of the best will have to be drafted kicking and screaming "for the good of the regiment". You have a long way to go and a lot of hurdles to overcome before a Master's Degree is an issue.

PG:

May I say 'hooaah'? He, he, he.

RB:

Get a Masters of Science specializing in Sport Psychology. Take my word for it -- not only will it bring you and your unit to a higher level of expertise, it is also how the Army and SF will be training in the near future.

I use these techniques exclusively with Infantrymen and they absolutely work. No question what so ever in my mind as I see them work damn near every single day.

Of course the Army won't fund you for such a degree so kill two birds with one shot and get the degree on-line from a on-line university that the VA accepts as legitimate.

Or you can accept what ever Masters program the Army wants you to take and then dedicate three or four years as pay back. Not a good idea in most cases if you desire Command positions and like Jack -- I believe the purpose of an Officer is to lead men. Anything else you do distracts you from your purpose in life.

Jack was not only successful in his career as an Officer -- he was also a highly respected man and leader of men. He remains a true Leader to me as you don't shed your responsibilities as an Officer just because you retire; and Jack has proven that he retains his responsibilities via this forum.

If you want a Masters -- be a master of your future. Choose a program that you want and fund it yourself. Anything else may be making a pact with the Devil himself.

Command your future and you will never regret it. To the Army, a Masters is a Masters. Maybe an edge in terms of selection to Command but how you lead men in the here and now is the focus.

Didn't really say much at all I guess.

Gene

jsragman
05-23-2008, 22:06
Do you see yourself as having a graduate degree important to your success as a military officer or as a civilian?

Sir, looking at the former option in your question - I'm considering getting an MA in Military History or Military Studies - Asymmetric Warfare through the American Military University. It would be online, part time, allowing me to continue my career but focusing my free time on things related to my long term goals. I feel like this would be helpful to a military career, but I'm just curious if any QPs have any input on the benefit of studying something like this or if my free time as a young officer could be put to better use.

Thanks,

-Derek

Jack Moroney (RIP)
05-24-2008, 07:31
Sir, looking at the former option in your question - I'm considering getting an MA in Military History or Military Studies - Asymmetric Warfare through the American Military University. It would be online, part time, allowing me to continue my career but focusing my free time on things related to my long term goals. I feel like this would be helpful to a military career, but I'm just curious if any QPs have any input on the benefit of studying something like this or if my free time as a young officer could be put to better use.

Thanks,

-Derek

Derek,
Education is a continuous process in most professions and the military is no different. Anything that will contribute to your ability to enable those with whom and for whom you work is of value. Maintenance of skill sets necessary to perform at your current level is always necessary, but growth to expand your potential to ensure that you are best able to perform at the next level and/or understand and act on your commander's intent and vision will not only make you a better leader but will contribute to survival and success for those you are charged to lead. I believe that there are many here that can remember saying to themselves, "Damn he was a great CPT, but then he got promoted and what the hell happened?". The promotion system is supposed to promote those that show the best potential to succeed at the next level, however many times folks get promoted because they excelled at what they did rather than what than might be able to do. Efforts at education should be focused to make you better at what you do and lay a solid foundation for performing your responsibilites for the next logical step in your career-but not at the expense of your men nor your current responsibilities. While I do not advocate some 2LT laying out his career path to Chief of Staff you can only be a better leader by being able to empathize with those who serve above you because it allows you to excercise intelligent initiative in the absence of orders or guidance. I hope that answers your question.