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R3V3LATIONS
02-02-2011, 21:49
I employed the use of the search function, but did not yield any similar threads.

This is the first of perhaps a two part question... so here goes. After "leaving SF" or retiring from the military, what options did you have open, or life paths (occupations, activities, hobby adaptation etc) did you take on and how do you think your being on the teams affected what you looked for in a passtime, job or were/are qualified (in the civilian sense of the word) for. In a condensed version, when you finished with your military/sf career, what did/do you do, and how did your military experience affect your descisions?

R3V sends. Hopefully not a re-post, but strappin on the nomex suit JIC

wet dog
02-03-2011, 01:46
....after "leaving SF" or retiring from the military, what options did you have open, or life paths (occupations, activities, hobby adaptation etc) did you take on and how do you think your being on the teams affected.....

This question is often asked of all young men on the cusp of manhood. It is in these moments that represents a transition period from one point in your life to that of another. It can be a wonderous adventure, but also a time of serious pondering and reflection. I do not take your question lightly, and will do my very best to answer in a manner conducive to learning and productivity.

All things come to an end, be it, childhood, summer camp, your first girl-friend and perhaps your best friend saying, she doesn't want to see you anymore. It can be emotional. Your educational path will also cause reflection in choice and options for occupation.

For me, Special Forces was the accumulation of childhood dreams of manhood. It represented my path in obtaining the 'Warrior Spirit' of those who served before me and my admittance to a franternity of greater men than I.

Special Forces embodied complete service to my fellowman, to free the enslaved, to liberate the downtrodden who are opressed. Special Forces allowed me to champion women and children worldwide, to feed the hungry, cloth the naked, to lift the spirits of those who have been denied opportunities to live enriched lives.

Special Forces service does not end with the turning in of equipment, weapon or discharge papers. If I have been true to my calling as ZonieDiver calls it, if I have truely learned the occupation of service, then I am of value to teach my craft to those who will serve long after I leave this mortal existance.

Do not think of your life as a continum of career choices, occupations, etc., you will have many. Think of your life as a means of providing service to others. Measure your life, as, "What good have I done? What service have I provided?"

For many of my SF brothers, a series of career themes continue to be evident. They all remain educators, teachers, mentors, gift givers. Some are artists, chefs, knife makers, mechanics. Some are authors, most are fathers, brothers, a few remain husbands and sons. Some live to be old, some die well before their time. All are loved and none will ever be forgotten.

Choose now, today, the man you want to be. Allow yourself to be open to opportunities and the path will rise to your feet.

In the end, and if you've prepared wisely, you will have lived an enriched life.

I surround myself with greatness, I live in a majestic realm.

Buffalobob
02-03-2011, 05:59
WD covered things very well. I will add in a couple of points which may or may not be applicable to you. The source and quality of the clay is important when one begins to work and affects the end result. So your personality and reasons may be different from mine.

With that said, what one learns is the value of principle and the value of other men’s lives and the value of one’s own life. If what you believe in is not worth more than your life then you believe in very weak principles or you do not possess the basic fundamental courage needed. The thing that may sound corny or Hollywood is that I truly believed that the little silver bar on my collar was important and that what I had promised to do in return for that officers symbol was a commitment more important than my own blood. Once you have lived a life of principle and have offered your life for that principle, you may find years later that you have had a lot of trouble with getting along with bosses who change direction every time the wind blows from a different quadrant.

As a team member you must look around you and decide what your teammates are worth to you in comparison to what you are worth to yourself. If the team is not worth more than you then you should consider going into politics or some similar field where you trample on people daily. I suspect that loyalty and sacrifice and only partially learned attributes and that the original clay is important. One thing that you will find post SF is that the ability to expect that each person will perform their duties will be the first thing to crash and burn. In civilian life, the team you will be with has a high percentage of slackers no matter what profession you enter. This will always cause you grief and sorrow.

A lecture I gave my son after he signed his 18X contract and before he left home. It is a simple sentence that means a lot of things. “Don’t dishonor the Beret”. Remember what it means and the price you paid for it and do not kill civilians women nor children. You are a warrior and behave like a warrior, not as a murderer. A man’s worth is measured by the greatness of his enemies, not by how many children he has killed. You must be able to look in the mirror every day of your life and respect the person you see. Life is long and the memory of poor decisions and actions lives with you forever.

In summary, post SF, you will know who and what you are and you will understand the meaning of principles and the value of those principles versus your next promotion. You will be disillusioned with the rest of the world to an extent, but you will understand the benefits of hard work. If you are a wise person you may come to admire your enemies and even regret the ones you killed. You may understand that the opposing soldiers were men like you and just wished to have their five acres of rice paddies, grow old and have some grandkids to play with.

35NCO
02-03-2011, 07:13
Those are some remarkably inspiring words gentleman. Thank you for that. Very fitting for my own personal choices. I will remember that wisdom you have passed on in my own future journeys.

Dusty
02-03-2011, 07:43
Most simply take advantage of opportunies to make connections as they present themselves in a particular line of endeavor (18E, 18D, Security, Protection, Instruction) as retirement approaches.

1stindoor
02-03-2011, 09:46
This is a good thread and one that carries a lot of weight with me as I near the twilight of my time in the Army. I had a difficult time emotionally when it came to leave the teamroom, I know it's going to be equally hard to hang up the uniform. But for me, I look forward to being a full time husband and father. I jokingly say that I'm ready to be a 24/7 irritant to my wife.

akv
02-03-2011, 10:32
The wisdom on this site never ceases to amaze me, thank you gentlemen.

Peregrino
02-03-2011, 12:02
To suppliment what Dusty said:

Network before you retire; stay connected after you get out.
It's usually not who you know, it's who knows you.
It's not what you did that's important, it's how you did it.
Reputation is important; it is literally be worth its weight in gold (or "organic fertilizer" if you've been careless with it).
Keep a sense of adventure. SF experience applies to more than just military related jobs.

Richard
02-03-2011, 12:50
My time in SF and the military helped me mature and better understand just who I was - strengths, weaknesses, interests, capabilities.

Upon retirement, I used that self-knowledge to research, plan, and systematically prepare for and pursue a follow-on career that allowed me to best utilize both my broader level of experience and narrower range of personal interests.

Richard :munchin

ZonieDiver
02-03-2011, 13:26
Special Forces is much more than an MOS or a job. It is a way of life. I think the attitudes and skills you develop in Special Forces training and on a team can and will have value in everything you do later in life.

It has helped me in the classroom, immensely. It helped me be a better father. It has framed every conversation I've had about a myriad subjects. It made me who I am today, and who I will be tomorrow. If I had to boil it all down and pick the ONE thing I think Special Forces taught me above all else, it would be the importance of detailed prior PLANNING! (I already knew about "don't quit"!)

I owe a debt to SF that I can never fully repay.

Scimitar
02-03-2011, 13:28
Damn Wet Dog,

I have never seen that said better....anywhere.

You just crystallized exactly what I believe.

Thank you. Great thread.

Scimitar


This question is often asked of all young men on the cusp of manhood. It is in these moments that represents a transition period from one point in your life to that of another. It can be a wonderous adventure, but also a time of serious pondering and reflection. I do not take your question lightly, and will do my very best to answer in a manner conducive to learning and productivity.

All things come to an end, be it, childhood, summer camp, your first girl-friend and perhaps your best friend saying, she doesn't want to see you anymore. It can be emotional. Your educational path will also cause reflection in choice and options for occupation.

For me, Special Forces was the accumulation of childhood dreams of manhood. It represented my path in obtaining the 'Warrior Spirit' of those who served before me and my admittance to a franternity of greater men than I.

Special Forces embodied complete service to my fellowman, to free the enslaved, to liberate the downtrodden who are opressed. Special Forces allowed me to champion women and children worldwide, to feed the hungry, cloth the naked, to lift the spirits of those who have been denied opportunities to live enriched lives.

Special Forces service does not end with the turning in of equipment, weapon or discharge papers. If I have been true to my calling as ZonieDiver calls it, if I have truely learned the occupation of service, then I am of value to teach my craft to those who will serve long after I leave this mortal existance.

Do not think of your life as a continum of career choices, occupations, etc., you will have many. Think of your life as a means of providing service to others. Measure your life, as, "What good have I done? What service have I provided?"

For many of my SF brothers, a series of career themes continue to be evident. They all remain educators, teachers, mentors, gift givers. Some are artists, chefs, knife makers, mechanics. Some are authors, most are fathers, brothers, a few remain husbands and sons. Some live to be old, some die well before their time. All are loved and none will ever be forgotten.

Choose now, today, the man you want to be. Allow yourself to be open to opportunities and the path will rise to your feet.

In the end, and if you've prepared wisely, you will have lived an enriched life.

I surround myself with greatness, I live in a majestic realm.

Guntry Kong
02-03-2011, 13:45
All I can say is WOW.

R3V3LATIONS
02-03-2011, 21:36
Thank you gentlemen, I value the wisdom very much on this site, as it is a rare breed of site, from a rare breed of men; a group of men I will never understand, but always respect and support.

The reason I posted this thread, was becuase in reading threads post to post, it was clear that the path leading to the teams, and when (if) on the teams, would be ardous and obviously, for a select few. However it was not clear to me what options one had after serving in Special Forces. I hope this is not too long winded, but I thought that by posting this thread, it may help complete the portrait of the life of an SF soldier from Q course graduation all the way till your time in the Army is finished. I hope the nature of this thread is helpful to others. Regardless, your answers have helped me.

I conclude with yet again, a sincere thanks, and a wish for nothing but the best for all of you on here, QP or otherwise. I am indebted to you all, for the knowledge each and every one of you continues to share every passing minute you allow me membership on the professionalsoldiers forum. My S.A. tells me its what the SF do, among many things, they Teach. My common sense tells me: show respect...show thanks. They (Qp's, those in the service)have earned both innumerable times over.

R3V humbly sends....

-Edited for Spelling errors.-

Jack Dale
02-06-2011, 13:20
I've known, and had the privilege of observing, Wet Dog in action for a while now, and I think Buffalobob's insight that the quality of the clay counts is right on the money. I think the clay is molded and improved to a exceptional degree by SF training and experience, but without that initial internal quality, the training is like putting croutons on a cow pie or lipstick on a pig.

The kind of man Wet Dog decided to be when he was a boy made him the kind of man who could become a Quiet Professional, rather than the other way round.

Just my thoughts and observations. You people who've been through the experience think about the people you've met, who has made it and who hasn't, who exemplified your standards and ideals and who didn't. Then, you decide which came first, the clay or the training. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

albeham
02-06-2011, 13:47
With all that has been said I live that feeling.

It took a lot out of me to leave. It was hard fitting in to the world I served.

A lot of ups and downs. But great men have helped me grow even after leaving in 04. My skills that I have learned and sharpen while I walked with giants has and will always keep me centered in what I now do.

I always reverted back to the skills we learned to learn others so to help them learn there leadership, team work.

I miss the help out it, being home to be a part of a bigger team is the best adventure yet.


Helping the JR team mate when he gets out is also full-filling, being a Scout Master and helping to grow leaders of tomorrow is great.


Like what I told a fellow Commutator , no matter what I tell you on its going to be OK, you will still go thought the pains, the doubts , the adventure of re-learning the ones that love you.

And when you do fill it hitting you hard...Take a knee and drink some water, re-group and focus on why your here today...

AL

Dusty
02-06-2011, 14:10
I employed the use of the search function, but did not yield any similar threads.

This is the first of perhaps a two part question... so here goes. After "leaving SF" or retiring from the military, what options did you have open, or life paths (occupations, activities, hobby adaptation etc) did you take on and how do you think your being on the teams affected what you looked for in a passtime, job or were/are qualified (in the civilian sense of the word) for. In a condensed version, when you finished with your military/sf career, what did/do you do, and how did your military experience affect your descisions?

R3V sends. Hopefully not a re-post, but strappin on the nomex suit JIC

:confused: Musta thoroughly misunderstood the OP's question.