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eneq
02-27-2013, 12:57
Hello; this is my first "real" post and I just wanted some insight. As of right now, I plan on attending SFAS and attempting to become a SF soldier. My dilemma is I am not sure my path before I enlist. If I had to decide today, I would go to college for four years, and then enlist. However, I am considering spending a couple years in North Dakota working on the oil rigs, making some good money before I enlist. Not only would it help me physically prepare for SF, but I feel like I would enjoy it. If I were to do that, I would spend a couple years as an enlisted man, and then try my luck at an appointment to West Point. I want to be an Officer, but I don't want to spend my career in the military. I've always admired the USMA and I've dreamed of going there, but I don't feel like I could get in as of right now. So I guess my question is, as an enlisted soldier, how hard is it to get an appointment to West Point? Another question, and it is somewhat related to the previous one. As an officer, how long do you spend leading an ODA? I've recently read "The Only Thing Worth Dying For," and "Horse Soldiers." In both of those books, the leader of the ODA was a commissioned officer. In both of those books, that officer was the "face of America." If I was a SF soldier I would want to be the one discussing plans and conversing with the local leaders, and I would want to represent our nation. When those leaders heard the word "America" I would want them to think of how well I represented the country. So, my second question is, are the COs the only ones who really deal with the leaders face-to-face, and what is the average length that an officer spends leading an ODA? I apologize for the lengthy post, I just have not had anywhere to ask these questions. Thanks in advance

Kyobanim
02-27-2013, 13:17
Search button works pretty good here. You need to use it.

eneq
02-27-2013, 13:34
I did, but I couldn't find anything that pertained to my special circumstances.

JimP
02-27-2013, 14:08
1) decide what you want to do and THEN simply go and do it. Right now, you sound a bit like Jethro Bodeen: "I'm either gonna be a double-nought spy or a fry-cook". Having said that - only YOU can decide what it is you want to do and therefore you get to decide. Life's not a rehearsal. You need to do what you consider to be worthwhile, fun, and rewarding.

2) I joined right out of High School. In fact, I think the only reason the school let me graduate was because they did NOT want me around another year. Although I was a major screw-ball in HS and barely graduated, I did very well on the ASVAB and other testing. As I did so well, I was offered a slot at USAMAPS (West Point Prep School) when I was in basic training. I turned it down because I was focused on being "John Wayne" and going to SF School. (I made the right decision.)

3) As far as the "face" of America....., in MY opinion, the Team Leader has little to do with the overall effectiveness/efficacy of the team. Again, in MY opinion, it is the Team Sergeant and the senior leaders of the team who determine whether the team will be successful or not. They have been there for years and years. The TS and the Warrant most likely can do and HAVE done ALL the other jobs on the team and done them in many cultures and countries. The Team Leader will get to spend a year, maybe two years on a team and then he's off for "career progression" and 'really important thinking stuff'. I'm not so much slamming the O's so much as recognizing the reality of what goes on - I can't tell you how many times I've heard Senior SF leaders lament the fact that Team Leaders have to spend ANY time on the teams....they claim to need them on staff and not to be "wasting their time on a team". (If I'm lying I'm dying).

Of course, my information is dated as I've been piloting a desk in the conventional side for a few years now.

On West Point, I'll shut up at this point. I've most likely already ticked off way too many people in this post alone; I'll not add the ranks of "Hudson High for Boys" to the tally. Just suffice to say that were my son offered a slot at the USAMA, I'd heavily encourage him to go try the Air Force Academy or the Coast Guard Academy.

eneq
02-27-2013, 14:28
2) I joined right out of High School. In fact, I think the only reason the school let me graduate was because they did NOT want me around another year. Although I was a major screw-ball in HS and barely graduated, I did very well on the ASVAB and other testing. As I did so well, I was offered a slot at USAMAPS (West Point Prep School) when I was in basic training. I turned it down because I was focused on being "John Wayne" and going to SF School. (I made the right decision.)

3) As far as the "face" of America....., in MY opinion, the Team Leader has little to do with the overall effectiveness/efficacy of the team. Again, in MY opinion, it is the Team Sergeant and the senior leaders of the team who determine whether the team will be successful or not. They have been there for years and years. The TS and the Warrant most likely can do and HAVE done ALL the other jobs on the team and done them in many cultures and countries. The Team Leader will get to spend a year, maybe two years on a team and then he's off for "career progression" and 'really important thinking stuff'. I'm not so much slamming the O's so much as recognizing the reality of what goes on - I can't tell you how many times I've heard Senior SF leaders lament the fact that Team Leaders have to spend ANY time on the teams....they claim to need them on staff and not to be "wasting their time on a team". (If I'm lying I'm dying).

Of course, my information is dated as I've been piloting a desk in the conventional side for a few years now.

On West Point, I'll shut up at this point. I've most likely already ticked off way too many people in this post alone; I'll not add the ranks of "Hudson High for Boys" to the tally. Just suffice to say that were my son offered a slot at the USAMA, I'd heavily encourage him to go try the Air Force Academy or the Coast Guard Academy.

2.) If you don't mind me asking, do you have a college degree? I don't plan on spending my entire career, so I would like a degree to use after I get discharged.
3.) Thanks, this insight helps a lot. This is just the answer I was looking for.

JimP
02-27-2013, 14:52
I have four degrees; two of them professional. The Army really pushes education and you will be afforded $$/incentives to take advantage of the schooling. Finding time can be a bit difficult.

The Reaper
02-27-2013, 17:01
I did, but I couldn't find anything that pertained to my special circumstances.

I don't think you looked hard enough.

How many hits do you get for "enlisted officer college"?

BTW, have you read "A Message to Garcia" yet?

TR

Dozer523
02-27-2013, 19:31
Now this is the kind of post I stay awake hoping for! Even if the search button is a friend :D Hello; this is my first "real" post and I just wanted some insight.
As of right now, I plan on attending SFAS and attempting to become a SF soldier. My dilemma is I am not sure my path before I enlist. As they say, if you don't know where your'e going any path will get you there
If I had to decide today, I would go to college for four years, and then enlist. it is today, but the real question should be why go to college? Do you have something in mind to study ar to meet pretty girls and learn drinking games? -- all worthy endeavors.
However, I am considering spending a couple years in North Dakota working on the oil rigs, making some good money before I enlist. Do you need money that badly or do you want money or are you looking for an adventure? Nothing wrong with any of these either.
Not only would it help me physically prepare for SF, not if you lost a few fingers.but I feel like I would enjoy it. Ever been to North Dakota in the winter? been outside in a North Dakota winter?
If I were to do that, I would spend a couple years as an enlisted man, and then try my luck at an appointment to West Point. I want to be an Officer, are you sure? again, you better ask yourself why, especially as the length of team time looks like it matters to you later in your post.but I don't want to spend my career in the military.Twenty years is sufficient length of time to change your mind
I've always admired the USMA and I've dreamed of going there, but I don't feel like I could get in as of right now. So I guess my question is, as an enlisted soldier, how hard is it to get an appointment to West Point? It's never going to be easy unless your parent has the MOH, but enlisted Soldiers are eligible for West Point Prep. If you don't think you can get in now you probably won't get in after a few years on an oil field what with all the distractions to a self-study plan.
Another question, and it is somewhat related to the previous one. As an officer, how long do you spend leading an ODA? 12-18 month if your good and lucky I've recently read "The Only Thing Worth Dying For," and "Horse Soldiers." In both of those books, the leader of the ODA was a commissioned officer. That's why he's called the Team Leader. . . I always liked the term "Commander" better.
In both of those books, that officer was the "face of America." If I was an SF soldier I would want to be the one discussing plans and conversing with the local leaders, and I would want to represent our nation. You're kind of missing why we call it a Team. When those leaders heard the word "America" I would want them to think of how well I represented the country.
So, my second question is, are the COs the only ones who really deal with the leaders face-to-face, NO. but they are responsibe for everything that happens or fails to happen and what is the average length that an officer spends leading an ODA? you asked this already
I apologize for the lengthy post, I just have not had anywhere to ask these questions. Thanks in advance We're hear to help:)

11Ber
02-27-2013, 20:43
I did, but I couldn't find anything that pertained to my special circumstances.

What makes your circumstances so special? Either you want to be an SF Soldier and will make it happen or you don't and won't. I can't wait to have someone like you walk in to my team room telling us how you will be the one dealing with regional leaders and explaining to us your goals post team time and how they are superior to team/mission success.

Trapper John
02-27-2013, 20:52
eneq-

I can only wholeheartedly agree with what JimP and Dozer have said to you. Take their advice to heart. It seems to me that you don't know what you want and as Dozer said, "If you don't know where you are going, any path will get you there."

I also believe SF is a "calling" not a career choice. I am not certain that you feel the "calling". I have said before that SF will select you and not the other way around. I would suggest that you gain a little more insight into the SF mission and its culture. Reading some more on this site will be helpful to that end.

eneq
02-27-2013, 21:29
Just to clear things up, JimP's post helped me a lot. As far as North Dakota goes, I've never actually been there in the winter, but my dad grew up there so I have first hand info. I would only go to West Point after spending a couple years as an enlisted soldier so not only would I be commissioned, but I would also have a degree for when I'm out of the military. If I decided against being an officer, I would go to college before enlisting, then spend my career as a sergeant. Now that I think about it, I guess my situation wasn't so different as I previously thought. For that, I apologize. I have read a message to Garcia, but I guess it didn't totally sink in. When you say SF is a calling, do you mean that you hear about what they do, and you just know that it is the job for you? I know that I want to be a SF soldier, I'm just not exactly sure how I'm going to get there :rolleyes:

SF_BHT
02-27-2013, 23:35
Just to clear things up, JimP's post helped me a lot. As far as North Dakota goes, I've never actually been there in the winter, but my dad grew up there so I have first hand info. I would only go to West Point after spending a couple years as an enlisted soldier so not only would I be commissioned, but I would also have a degree for when I'm out of the military. If I decided against being an officer, I would go to college before enlisting, then spend my career as a sergeant. Now that I think about it, I guess my situation wasn't so different as I previously thought. For that, I apologize. I have read a message to Garcia, but I guess it didn't totally sink in. When you say SF is a calling, do you mean that you hear about what they do, and you just know that it is the job for you? I know that I want to be a SF soldier, I'm just not exactly sure how I'm going to get there :rolleyes:

Young man, Please stop posting and just read all the threads on the board and learn some SA. You keep missing the point. This board is here to help but you have to do some work we will not spoon feed you every inch of your travels. Good luck now go do PT and read a lot......