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Santi
05-19-2016, 17:02
Good Afternoon,

For some time now I have looked for threads and posts pertaining to my question to no avail. I then registered to use the search function but still no luck. My question concerns the specific challenges of owning and managing a family business (facility management, commercial cleaning, construction) and serving in the National Guard Special Forces. The posts I found involved civil service occupations (Police/Fire).

I am aware of the initial SF training pipeline of 2 1/2 years that would place me on active duty and halt any civilian responsibilities. I spoke with my father and he suggested that I invest more time in the business first, as I've recently graduated, and then consider serving. Therefore, he is very supportive and I accept his advise. My main concern is wether its possible to run a business with the reality of deploying for over a year, in addition to the extra training demands of a SF Team down the line. All this is assuming I pass SFAS and complete the Q. With time I will take on more responsibilities in the business, especially after my father retires, but I also have an intense desire in my heart to serve in the military, and after extensive research, with a Special Forces Team.

I wasn't sure if I should ask or contact the NG SF 20th Group first here in Chicago. Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Any input would be much appreciated.

Respectfully,
Santi

VVVV
05-19-2016, 17:22
Good Afternoon,

For some time now I have looked for threads and posts pertaining to my question to no avail. I then registered to use the search function but still no luck. My question concerns the specific challenges of owning and managing a family business (facility management, commercial cleaning, construction) and serving in the National Guard Special Forces. The posts I found involved civil service occupations (Police/Fire).

I am aware of the initial SF training pipeline of 2 1/2 years that would place me on active duty and halt any civilian responsibilities. I spoke with my father and he suggested that I invest more time in the business first, as I've recently graduated, and then consider serving. Therefore, he is very supportive and I accept his advise. My main concern is wether its possible to run a business with the reality of deploying for over a year, in addition to the extra training demands of a SF Team down the line. All this is assuming I pass SFAS and complete the Q. With time I will take on more responsibilities in the business, especially after my father retires, but I also have an intense desire in my heart to serve in the military, and after extensive research, with a Special Forces Team.

I wasn't sure if I should ask or contact the NG SF 20th Group first here in Chicago. Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Any input would be much appreciated.

Respectfully,
Santi

Choose one or the other!

Premsore
05-19-2016, 18:06
Santi, nothing more than an educated opinion on my part, but when it comes to SF, you're either all in or you aren't. If you aren't, the odds are that it will be too convenient to drop out and you'll be breathing someone else's air that would have been all in. I'm sure your heart is in the right place, but to make it through the Q and beyond, if your brain isn't 100% committed you'll be wasting yours and other's time.
When I joined the army, before day 1, I was 100% positive that I wanted to be a part of the elite brotherhood of The Green Berets. As a result there was NEVER even a thought of quitting nor a doubt that I would successfully get to Group. And this was in "the old days" before contracts. I can't imagine I would have even made it through Phase 1 at Mackall, since there were guys a lot stronger than me falling out like flies and quitting on day 1, if my mind hadn't been all in.
I understand you feel torn in a way, my advice would be that as long as you feel the way you currently do, continue to work in your business and do that better than anyone else could, including your seemingly wise father.
Still, at the end of the day, it's your decision to make. Again, only an opinion. Good luck in whatever you choose the be the best in.

(1VB)compforce
05-19-2016, 20:08
Good Afternoon,

For some time now I have looked for threads and posts pertaining to my question to no avail. I then registered to use the search function but still no luck. My question concerns the specific challenges of owning and managing a family business (facility management, commercial cleaning, construction) and serving in the National Guard Special Forces. The posts I found involved civil service occupations (Police/Fire).

I am aware of the initial SF training pipeline of 2 1/2 years that would place me on active duty and halt any civilian responsibilities. I spoke with my father and he suggested that I invest more time in the business first, as I've recently graduated, and then consider serving. Therefore, he is very supportive and I accept his advise. My main concern is wether its possible to run a business with the reality of deploying for over a year, in addition to the extra training demands of a SF Team down the line. All this is assuming I pass SFAS and complete the Q. With time I will take on more responsibilities in the business, especially after my father retires, but I also have an intense desire in my heart to serve in the military, and after extensive research, with a Special Forces Team.

I wasn't sure if I should ask or contact the NG SF 20th Group first here in Chicago. Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Any input would be much appreciated.

Respectfully,
Santi

Santi,

I was a support guy for 20th and owned (own) a business. As a support soldier, I had regular access to phones, email and such while deployed. After my second deployment, my business was nearly dead and I was one step from bankruptcy. Today, several years after my deployment, me and my business are still struggling to recover from the loss of momentum (and the debt I incurred to partially replace myself while I was gone).

Bottom line from my perspective... All in or all out. You can't halfass both and expect to survive. As a business owner you have responsibilities to the employees. As a soldier you have responsibilities to your team mates, even more so as an SF Soldier. There isn't enough time in the day to do both.

Santi
05-19-2016, 20:34
Thank you very much for all the input, though to be honest, its what I feared I would hear. In regards to doing one or the other, Does this apply only to the demands of Special Forces or to the National Guard in general? I ask because there are Commissioned Officers in the NG that own businesses and meet the demands of having to lead, granted comparing Officers to SF soldiers may be apples to oranges.

I also asked the original question because there is a great deal of flexibility in the business. I would also not be alone and am fortunate to have a great support staff, to whom I would delegate responsibility. Pardon my ignorance regarding the demands of being in the SF community, but serving part time in such capacity leads me to believe it might be possible to also run a business that affords a very flexible schedule.

(1VB)compforce
05-19-2016, 20:47
Thank you very much for all the input, though to be honest, its what I feared I would hear. In regards to doing one or the other, Does this apply only to the demands of Special Forces or to the National Guard in general? I ask because there are Commissioned Officers in the NG that own businesses and meet the demands of having to lead, granted comparing Officers to SF soldiers may be apples to oranges.

I also asked the original question because there is a great deal of flexibility in the business. I would also not be alone and am fortunate to have a great support staff, to whom I would delegate responsibility. Pardon my ignorance regarding the demands of being in the SF community, but serving part time in such capacity leads me to believe it might be possible to also run a business that affords a very flexible schedule.


I appreciate your desire to serve. It doesn't matter how flexible the business' schedule is. If it's a real business with employees, you have a responsibility to them. You can't serve both them and the service and do either one justice. There's a difference between a 1 person consulting or reseller business and a company that is doing facility management with a work force.

I'm not an officer. That said, the training requirements for even lower enlisted are much more than one weekend a month, two weeks a year. What are you going to do when you get back from a deployment and then have to go to the Captain's Career Course? What about OBC? MOS school? If you go to an Airborne unit, then you have Jump School...what about that? Then there's your civilian education, which you will be required to continue in order to advance... All of that on top of running a business?

It sounds like you *might* be able to walk away from the business for your 6 (is it 6 or 8 for officers?) year commitment and then come back to it. Don't try to do both, pick one or the other and put 100% into it. It would suck to try to do both and end up spreading yourself too thin and failing at each of them.

Santi
05-19-2016, 21:20
Compforce,

Thank you for your sensible and practical advice. Growing a business can be very demanding, as well as excelling as a soldier. In one of my military courses while in college we had a guest speaker who serves in Special Forces and is also pursuing an MBA at Harvard. He shared that being business minded can be greatly beneficial to a SF team and with the execution of missions alongside foreign allies. I was greatly inspired by what he shared because it resonated with me, but I now realize that actually owning a business presents unique challenges and is different than studying business. Once again, thanks for shedding some light into all of this.