View Full Version : Green to gold program?

05-20-2017, 07:48
I'm shipping to Ft Benning in July for BCT with an 18X contract. I did two years of college but for personal reasons am choosing to enlist now instead of when I graduate. I know I will want to finish my degree at some point but am also considering a career in the Army, should I make it through the pipeline. I am trying to find some info on the G2G program but it doesn't seem like there's a lot of info out there specific to SF and my recruiter didn't know anything. I'd appreciate some help with these questions:

1. Do you have to have to spend a certain amount of time with your unit following training before you can apply for this?

2. Is it extraordinarily difficult to do this? Not sure how the application works and how many people they're willing to send. I know there are three options that are part of the program and I imagine some are are easier to get than others?

3. I did read somewhere that once you commission, you'd have to be promotable (ie 1LT) before you can rejoin SF. Can anyone confirm? I assume you'd be at the needs of the Army until that point - any idea where they tend to put people? Would you have to repeat any part of Selection and/or the Q course?

Thank you for your help!

05-20-2017, 08:22
How about you concentrate on making it through the first part of the course before you focus on something 5+ years down the road.

05-20-2017, 08:49
Listen to the Joker. He is wise.

05-20-2017, 16:55
1. Do you have to have to spend a certain amount of time with your unit following training before you can apply for this?

A: YES. It varies and it depends upon your CoC being willing to support such a packet... which depends upon what a stellar SF troop you prove to be. Down in the weeds, not on paper. If you are commissioned material, you'll get supported. If not... you won't.

2. Is it extraordinarily difficult to do this?

A: That depends almost entirely upon you. SF Commanders & Sr NCOs are usually supportive of quality NCOs going the commissioning route. Even if it means losing a good future leader to another branch. If you've got what it takes to be SF, it won't seem particularly difficult. Just another navigation of bureaucracy & administrative packets.

Not sure how the application works and how many people they're willing to send. I know there are three options that are part of the program and I imagine some are are easier to get than others?

A: I have no personal experience with the application process. Group willl send any qualified enlisted Soldier to Green to Gold on a case by case basis. It's not a quota system in SF and it's fairly rare for people to do. "Easy" should not be in your vocabulary. If you've truly got the bone between your teeth for a commission, most commands would support your applying for OCS rather than Green To Gold. BTW: With two years of college under your belt, you can finish a BA easily enough while still AD enlisted.

3. I did read somewhere that once you commission, you'd have to be promotable (ie 1LT) before you can rejoin SF. Can anyone confirm?

A: There aren't any SF tabbed jobs for you (as an O-1/O-2) until your year group is eligible to try out for SF. You owe the Army ~3 years as an officer before they'll look at your packet for SF.

I assume you'd be at the needs of the Army until that point - any idea where they tend to put people?

A: Yes, you would. Actually at the needs of your assigned Branch. Typically Infantry (or another combat arms branch). They put you where they put all new officers... right in the middle of a hard job. With a hard Boss to answer to. A good time to shoot for assignment at 75th Ranger Regiment.

Would you have to repeat any part of Selection and/or the Q course?

A: Selection NO, SFQC YES (less a few phases exempted like SERE & SUT).

As wiser heads have noted, focus on your 5 meter targets (BCT, Airborne) and then your 25 meter 18X pipeline requirements. IF you manage to graduate the SFQC, you'll have ample time to research hypothetical commissioning prospects. Nobody wants to hear about your officer goals until you've proven yourself as an entry level SF NCO on an ODA. That'll take a few years. Most of your first SF enlistment.

I can appreciate trying to map out a future, but your immediate concern is to become a quality enlisted Soldier. Then prove yourself as a superlative Junior NCO 18X. You haven't yet gotten through Basic Training. Put away the Officer Dreams except in the abstract. Admirable back burner goal... but not important now.


05-20-2017, 19:32
Thank you all for the advice. I know I am looking quite far in advance, but the withdrawal process from my university is different depending on whether I'm planning on returning in the future on not. I realize there is no way to know that for certain at this point, but since it's a good school, I'd like to keep that door open. Since I doubt there is any harm is a temp withdrawal from school and it sounds like the G2G program is not entirely unfeasible, I will probably go that route. I appreciate the help!

05-20-2017, 21:33
Be the best danged troop you can. Be at the assigned place ahead of time in the right uniform and stay in shape. Focus on the task at hand. When you get to the team, be the best danged NCO. Then see if you want to go O or WO (I encouraged several to do so).

Best of luck.

05-20-2017, 21:50
What Joker said.

09-03-2017, 19:22
I believe major post and division commanders have Green-to-Gold Scholarships for worthy Soldiers. You apply like any other Army ROTC Scholarship.

This is one of my guys (his Purple is under his lapel -- he was shot all-to-hell and we didn't know whether or not he'd be commissionable -- he is):


09-05-2017, 14:56
As a lot of people here have noted, you need to focus on the 25 and 50 meter targets - getting through the Q course and onto a team. Not to throw cold water on you, but the last time I looked, most 18X candidates don't make it all the way through the pipeline (I've heard the 18X program described as "a terrific tool to improve the quality of junior NCOs in the 82d ABN.") I know that you're motivated and above average, or you wouldn't be in the pipeline in the first place, but I've known a lot of really switched on, motivated candidates who didn't make it through the 18X / REP63 pipeline for one reason or another - so get through that first. It's going to take everything you've got, and if you do, you're going to show up at your first team with zero reputation one way or another, and if you want your CoC's endorsement for going the commissioned route, you're going to have to build a terrific reputation as a performer, a team player and as a leader -and you're going to have to do it while surrounded by the highest quality peers in the Army.

On the other hand, as long as you don't anticipate and throw the round, I don't think that it's necessarily a bad idea to know which way to shift the barrel for the 300 meter target, so here are some things to think about in terms of going the commissioned route, whether OCS or green to gold.

First, your question seemed to be asking how quickly you could return to school - understandable if your college has a time limit on a leave of absence vs. having to reapply and be re-admitted. If you get the opportunity to transfer to an ROTC program before your enlistment is up, I'd urge you to think hard about it - assuming you do get selected to come back to SF as an officer down the road, a captain is going to get 18-24 months team time - in that time, you'll likely get a JCET or a combat rotation, but probably not both. An 18X contract is what, six years, and two of that will be in the pipeline, so probably 4 years or so (less specialty schools and whatever other time sucks you run into) of team time. I'd take advantage of every minute of that if I could instead of trying to cut away too early. Short of going to an SMU or the like, you're going to get less than two years of O time doing the fun stuff out of a 20 year career. I wouldn't shortchange myself on my enlisted team time without a lot of thought.

That's especially important if you end up spending some time in the 82nd before you re-apply for SF. If it happens, that time will be valuable - I don't regret having been an SF baby, but I would definitely done some things differently, and probably done them better, if I had had some conventional experience first. But if you do end up in the 82nd, you'll probably rate higher among your peers than you would in the Regiment, and the choice may come down to going back to try SF again, or going green to gold out of the 82nd.

09-05-2017, 15:01
If and when you do get to a team, if you're still interested in the commission route, some things to think about:

I'd urge you not to make a final decision on whether to go for a commission until you've been around a while and can talk over a couple of things with yourself (and maybe your mentors.) If and when you do get to a team, you need to look at your team sergeant, your warrant and your peers, and honestly assess whether you have what it takes to lead men of that caliber well.

Also, that’s when you have to decide what you want to do with your life - the best piece of advice I ever heard on the enlisted / warrant vs. commission route was "You have to decide what you want to look back on when your military career is over. Do you want to have been a shooter and a doer, or someone who managed the shooting and doing?"

That's a deeper question than it seems - and not only because managing pays better in the long run. A senior NCO or warrant in SF may have developed a lot of informal (referent and knowledge) power over their career, but they're not going to be making the final decision when it comes to the force - that's for senior officers. A lot of junior officers and NCOs will look at a given situation and say "the Regiment should do that better", but only the officer will ever eventually be in a position to really do anything about it.

09-05-2017, 15:08
Browser ND deleted . . .

09-05-2017, 15:21
If you make it to a team, and you still want to go the commissioned route, take full advantage of the chance you have of being on a team as an enlisted guy - and not only by being the best SF NCO you can be (although that goes without saying.)

Getting to see how an SF team works before taking one over is an invaluable opportunity - don't let it detract from doing your job, but take every opportunity to learn how a team works: learn MDMP and get involved with the planning process, even if you just become the expert on how to do graphics in whatever system SF is using that day to get your foot in the door. Keep your mouth shut until you know what you're doing, but watch and learn how to plan. Not only will it set you up for success down the road, it will make you a better SF soldier in the short term. It's easy (especially if you're the 18E, D or C) to spend so much time working your specialty that you don't step back and learn the bigger picture.

Ditto for the intel process. Get to be friends with the 18F and help him out. Intel-ops fusion is hard, and it's harder if you don't know intel. Usually, the Fox goes into a dark room and only comes up for TIPs and to play the threat during COA war-gaming, and it's easy to be on a team for years and not know how any of that works. If you do take command of a team, you'll be making the "develop to strike or strike to develop" decisions, and your intent will direct where the Fox focuses. (You'll hear throughout your career that intel drives ops - true to a degree - but what no-one explains to you is that commander's intent drives intel.)

Learn how the team manages itself and its relationships with the Co and Bn. staffs. Offer to help the WO plan the next JCET - knowing how the budgeting process works, and the timeline for all the minutiae that has to happen when you're going somewhere not to fight a war (country clearances, OpFund requests, training plans, shipping, ammo requests (both kinds) etc.) will be invaluable. Same for training management - help the warrant with FUOPS and the tm sgt with current ops training planning. Understanding the details of ranges, training schedules, mandatory training, METL, training CONOPs, etc. will not only make you a better SF NCO, but it will be invaluable if you ever command a team. There’s a limited pool of training dollars and opportunities, and being the guy who can jump on a CONOP to make it happen for your team can’t hurt your career.

Last, but definitely not least, learn accountability and property management from the 18C, and help him out where you can. You'll appreciate having had some experience the first time you find yourself signing off on a team property book (forward), a team property book (rear det), a house property book, and an OIF/OEF/ONR/Operation Whatever property book, all stuffed with hand receipts and sub-hand receipts. As a commander, you won't have to know how to do it yourself, but you absolutely have to know what it looks like when it's done right.

All that, without neglecting your day job, and while learning about the rest of the team's day jobs, and while developing the tact and people skills to work on the bigger picture without alienating your peers or the team leadership. It could be the shortest four years of your life.

Good luck!

09-06-2017, 11:45
Went to selection in '92 with a 11B fresh out of Ranger school. Starting with the cattle car ride to Mackall, talked non-stop about how he was going CAG as soon as he could, trash talked SF, all that. No one said a thing. Dude was in super shape, didn't wear socks (impressive), sandbagged a bit (not appreciated), but generally smoked SFAS. Turns out he was ID'd from day one as a non-select for, well, you can guess.

Remington Raidr
09-07-2017, 05:18
my time, unfortunately, has passed. I WISH this was a resource back in the day. This site is GOLD!

09-07-2017, 06:43
Excellent advice from HardRoad... for any team member at any position or rank.