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View Full Version : Stuck in the Crossroads of Enlisting or Officer Route


bc211
12-02-2012, 20:57
Good Evening,
Just a little bit about me: My name is Ben and I am currently a high school senior at my local high school. I am the Epee Captain of the high school varsity fencing team, Vice President of the Armed Forces Club at my high school, and was President of the Teen Leadership at the local YMCA.
I apologize for the long thread but this has been eating away at me for awhile:
All my life I wanted a career of service. Initially I wanted to pursue this through law enforcement. But as I grew older, I became interested in the military. I discovered that the military possessed alot of what I was looking for-honor, a sense of duty, commitment, brotherhood, etc. Through my research I came across Special Operations and its units. Their sense "eliteness", tight-knit brotherhood, and long history woven together with an everlasting tradition really appealed to me. So at first I found this to exist within the SEAL community. By the way I was a sophomore in high school when this took place. However after much self-evaluation and time, I realized that I would not be able to fully commit to the SEAL training due to its level of difficulty and mission. So I restarted back to step 1 and looked at all branches and their special operations units and stumbled upon U.S. Army Special Forces. Now I have always been aware of SF through movies, high school classes (Vietnam Class specifically) and books that I have read. However it didn't dawn to me how much the SF mission related more to me than the SEALs did. Not only did I firmly believe in Honor, Courage, and Commitment, but I also love to help people, which is the very mission of the SF (aside from being a bunch of badasses as well). So now I am a senior at high school, which means applying to colleges. However my strong desire to serve within Special Operations still sticks with me since I first discovered them during my sophomore year. Now I'm at the crossroads in my life of either enlisting or going to college. I fight with my parents all the time since they want me to go to college. They always tell me that enlisting will be a big mistake. But after researching about how limited SF officers are, I'd rather enlist so I can experience the tight-knit brotherhood I had earlier mentioned about and full spectrum of being in an ODA in SF. Please this has been eating me away for a long time now and I need some closure so any advice will be great. It never ceases to amaze me the wisdom and experience that resonates through your messages on these threads to those that seek advice such as I. I'm usually hours on end on this website.


Thank You

mark46th
12-02-2012, 22:46
Enlist as an 11B. Go to Airborne training. Do your 3 years humping a ruck, then ask yourself if this is really what you want to do. No more questions for 3 years...

DRP2189
12-03-2012, 04:05
.

Richard
12-03-2012, 07:27
FWIW - I was drafted (goofing off in college), was a 12B1P and then a 91B4S (18D today), went to OCS and returned to SF as an 11B5G (later 18A) (SCUBA ODA CDR, ODB XO, ODC ASST-3).

If I could do it again, I would finish my college first - having the degree in place and a bit more maturity would have been of benefit.

Remember - there is also the 180A route for SF NCOs which was not available back then.

However, it's your life and your call. Consider carefully all the options - but if you fear failure (SEAL, SF, Army, whatever) before even trying, you'd better be prepared to have a lot of backup plans because you're gonna need them.

"99% of the game is half mental."
- Yogi Berra

Richard :munchin

JimP
12-03-2012, 07:27
Did no one catch the fact that she stated he didn't think he could get through the seal training so he's looking for something easier??

Let me clue you in sunshine, the water is a horrifically unforgiving environment and I sincerely respect the time/effort SEAL's put in to physical training to accomplish their missions. But if you think SF is 'easier'...than you have a very rude awakening coming your way.

There's a LOT more to warfare than "Sleep, Eat And Lift". :D

koz
12-03-2012, 07:57
Assignment -

What is the SEAL mission vs the SF mission?

Why would one be easier / take less commitment than the other?

Go read the book "No Way Out" - how were they trying to help people?


I enlisted after college and I wish I had served before I went to college. I would have gotten more from school being older, wiser, more committed. If you want to go to serve first, make a promise to your parents that you will earn your degree after your first enlistment.

As Jim P said, it ain't easier. If you want easier and more helpful to people, Civil Affairs is part of the SOF community. It may be what you're looking for.

ZonieDiver
12-03-2012, 09:12
mark46th said it best.

I'm reminded of this ditty from the 60's (paraphrased of course):

Where have all the "Stickys" gone,
Long time passing?
Where have all the "Stickys" gone,
Long time ago?

Where have all the "Stickys" gone?
Ignored by Newbies, every one.

When will they ever learn?
When wil they everrrr learn?


As to the OP:

Where has the "Search Button" gone,
Long time passing?
Where has the "Search Button" gone,
Long time ago?

Where has the "Search Button" gone?
Still in the Upper Right corner,
Where it's been all along.

When will they ever learn?
When wil they everrrr learn?

Richard
12-03-2012, 10:11
I'm reminded of this ditty from the 60's (paraphrased of course):

Boomer, hippy, libtard. ;) :D

medic&commo
12-03-2012, 13:00
As with Richard I started out enlisted, but was equivilent to 18X - enlistment w/SF option. I went through 91B (18D) and afterward finished college, got commissioned (25A/25B - SC) and came back to SF.
Because I wasn't combat arms, it was different for me then, the options weren't there for support officers.
My advice would be to go in enlisted first. Build your experience, your credibility, insure SF is what you are 'called' to do - then go the warrant or commission route.
If you really are thinking of going to SF vs SEALS because one is easier, then IMO neither is a right choice.
m&c

blue02hd
12-03-2012, 14:01
Two comments that jumped out at me while reading his post and one observation.

1. "I realized that I would not be able to fully commit to the SEAL training due to its level of difficulty and mission"

and

2. "But after researching about how limited SF officers are, I'd rather enlist so I can experience the tight-knit brotherhood I had earlier mentioned about and full spectrum of being in an ODA in SF."

3. This is his second post in our community.

I believe that our young jedi is lacking in SA (situational awareness for you Padi-wans), research, and desire.

If any comment on this site can either deter or build confidence in this young man about his own personal inner fire, I would rather he join the Peace Corp.

bc211, if your statement is an accurate reflection of your attitude and how easily influenced you can be, then this community is not for you. Hell, you are not prepared to join the regular Army as Infantry training most likely will be a rude awakening for you.

Forget a Commission. No easy way out there, the NCO's would eat you alive.

This point of view is from my "Limited ability" to respond to you, so I will defer back to the NCO's who have had a fuller spectrum from which to respond from.

I love this new Call of Duty generation.

charlietwo
12-03-2012, 23:26
I fight with my parents all the time since they want me to go to college. They always tell me that enlisting will be a big mistake.....
I'm usually hours on end on this website.


Good luck with your parents. Your recruiter is going to enjoy that house visit.

You spend hours on this website, but you've never seen someone being eaten alive for asking a question without following the rules or reading the stickies?

Put the shovel down. Your hole is deeper than you realize.

Enlist, and you will likely grow up faster than your peers. You may even develop some SA before the day is through! :D

airbornediver
12-18-2012, 18:53
Enlist as an 11B. Go to Airborne training. Do your 3 years humping a ruck, then ask yourself if this is really what you want to do. No more questions for 3 years...

Could not agree more with this, hell even try to get into Ranger Rgt in your contract. (I wish I would have gotten RIP in my contract, but didn't so oh well.) Do this, learn what the Army is all about, then go to OCS after you went to college in your "spare" time for free (yeah, Uncle Sam pays 100% when you're on active duty).

I was enlisted (91B, then 11B) for a long time before I commissioned, however I believe that time gave the maturity and wisdom to do the things at the officer level that I am now expected to do.

Believe this though, I'm now busier as an officer than I ever was as enlisted. Shitton more planning, etc.

As far as the SEALs vs SF thing, I'm not QP so I won't speak on that, but its generally never a good idea to start doing the comparisons on who is "harder" or more "cool/badass/etc".

Back to the hide site.

ThinAir
12-18-2012, 22:44
I would not join the military, and certainly not SOF.

We could give you the answers to the "What should I do?" test, but it wouldn't help you. If you're worth your salt, you'll figure it out on your own.

This reminds me of the scene in that movie "Waiting"...