View Full Version : Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated

03-21-2005, 13:24
Here is some background information... I joined the National Guard last May as a 19D cav scout. I was not set to ship to OSUT training until mid February so I attended a semester of college and was a ROTC cadet during that semester. My plan was to come back from training and finish college and ROTC.

During break before i was to leave for OSUT training I decided to go speak with an active duty recruiter and learned about the 18x enlistment. This interested me because the whole reason i joined the army was to eventually make my way into Special Forces. I had always thought that i would go to the training about ten years in my future (I am only 18 at the moment). I went through the entire enlistment process and finished everything about a week ago. I am now an 18x and I am set to ship to training on March 31st. I am not yet obligated and all I have to do is tell my new recruiter that I do not wish to ship and I will go back to my old guard unit and go back to ROTC.

This is what I am hoping to get some advice on. I acknowledge that a college education is very important, and I plan on getting one sometime in the next ten years. Also I am somewhat afraid that I am not yet in the physical shape that I will need to be in to be successful in Special Forces training. I am 6' tall and weigh less than 145 pounds. I am in fairly good shape and can score in the 260's on the APFT but I am afraid that my lack of strength, especially in my legs, will cause me problems, especially since from what I hear I will have to have a ruck that is more than half my weight for most of the training.

I think I have pretty much narrowed my options down to about three routes, i was hoping that someone would be able to help me out on narrowing it down even further.

1.) Take my chances with the 18x training and go back to college in five years when my enlistment is over with.

2.) Turn down the 18x enlistment and stay with the guard, go to training to be a Cav Scout, and become infantry in about a year. (all of the 19D's in my unit are changing over to 11B in about a year) Stay in ROTC and finish college, then go to Special Forces training as a First Lieutenant.

3.) Stay in college and the guard for now, and when I feel I am ready for Special Forces training and have reached at least the rank of specialist or sergeant switch over to active duty as infantry and keep applying for SF training until I am accepted.

I feel that the second and third options would give me the best chances of making SF because they would give me more time to get into better shape, I will only have a little over a week to further prepare for training if i take the 18x enlistment since they found me a training slot so soon when i finished the enlistment process last week.

I am also afraid that if I leave now for active duty I may never come back to college, and I know that college is very important.

I was also curious as to how difficult it is to get accepted into SF training as a 1st Lieutenant or either a Specialist or a Sergeant in an infantry unit. If it is extremely difficult I don't want to throw away my chance at going now as an 18x.

I have a strong desire to eventually be Special Forces, and I am not going to let anything stop me. But i need to figure out which route would be my best bet.

Sorry this was so long, I guess I have a lot on my mind.

03-21-2005, 13:35
Get your education. A lot of people say they will go back - not a lot do. College will mature you and broaden your thinking. You will be exposed to different people with different ideas. All this will make you a better SF soldier if you ever become one.

There will still be people that need killing in 4 years.

03-21-2005, 14:41
NDD hit the nail on the head. :)

3.) Stay in college and the guard for now, and when I feel I am ready for Special Forces training and have reached at least the rank of specialist or sergeant switch over to active duty as infantry and keep applying for SF training until I am accepted.

These groups are just across the way from you.

HHC 5th Bn/ 19th SFG(A) is located at Watkins, Colorado For all inquires please contact (S-3) (303) 261-2600 ext. 353

C Co. 5th Bn/ 19th SFG(A) is located at Colorado For all inquires please contact 303-677-8150

If its something you would be willing to move for. If it were me, and it was about a year ago. I am glad I stuck it out just to say "yeah I finished School". :lifter stay in school. its alot more difficult to "Go Back" than it is to stick it out right now. finish up. and see what how you feel when its all said and done.

As far as your physical conditioning, that will come over time with Drills and such. I was the most out of shape aspiring turd you could meet :D my first APFT test I got laughed at. and now I can Max it. its not that hard, just a couple of months of training and sticking to it. Also your ROTC program should have a PT program. Mine did just ask around.

But no one here is you. and you'll have to make the choice based upon what you really want and what your gonna do to get it. It sounds like your a little on the confused side. 18x is'nt going anywhere and as NDD said "There will still be people that need killing in 4 years." or contact the 5/19th and ask them all your questions. the Guard pays for school no matter what state :D

Just my .02

03-21-2005, 15:34
Thank you both very much for the advice.

Also, if i were to switch over to active duty as an 11B in a couple of years how hard do you think it would be to get accepted into SF training?

03-21-2005, 15:41
Read all the stickies in the pipeline and all the posts. Your questions have been asked and answered.

03-22-2005, 02:30
Just my .02 Brendon. NDD, who has BTDT gave you good advice, based on your questions and thoughts. So did Hooahman as a SF canidate. As a FOG, I had gone through two years of college. Bored me to tears. Viet nam was goin'n on and I wanted to be there. '67 and '68 was about the time of the hippie/peacenik crap and it pissed me off. I just didn't want to go over there to play "Redcoat". I wanted to go with the best. Anyway, that's neither here nor there. I realize your wreslting with this and wondering about your own physical capabilities. When I went in I was 6'4 and sround 145 lbs. During Phase1, I helped one guy (that looked like he'd been born at Gold's Gym) over two obstacles. Slowed me down, but damn, we were all there as a group, with the same goal. BTW, he was cut 2/3 weeks later. This site is FANTASTIC, but one thing I've seen is this. A whole lot of you younger guys looking to go through it.... THINK TO FRICKEN HARD... I thought about it for months sure. but don't drive yourself nuts with all sorts of complications. Hell, you can go THERE forever. You're 18, so to make it simple. If you do 4 years of college, get a degree.... great! Do ROTC, work out, play sports. Say you graduate when your 22, you can still go in and go SF. I went in when I was 21. That way you have a degree (if it's a four year type) plus you are in the NG. If College bores you like it did me... then go in now. We're all different and times change, but people are people, no matter what decade. There ya go, best I could do with my shortcut typing style.

03-22-2005, 04:54
Awesome advice 12B4S! What NDD and 12B4S said.

03-22-2005, 05:08
What are your majors?

03-22-2005, 10:38
I'm in a similar situation, I'm in the middle of a 4 year program, and I don't feel like I'm getting anything out of college right now. As NDD mentioned, the first year I definately matured quite a bit after meeting so many new people, especially with the cultural diversity at my school. I decided to enlist because I'm bored out of my mind, and I just don't feel like I'm getting anything useful out of my degree program and college experience. Rather than sit around brooding and hopping around majors, I decided to enlist, taking a route I know will be largely beneficial and that will I'll get something out of from what I put in.

Good luck on whatever path you choose.

03-22-2005, 11:13
You will get out of college what you put into it. Are you really interested in the degree field you're in? Do you engage your fellow students and instructors in debate? Do you participate in college activities? If you can't stay focused on the classes do you really think you're going to be able to stay focused on SF training that requires classroom work? Especially when you're running on 2 hours of sleep? That's something you really need to think about.

One of the greatest things a young person will get out of college is patients. Most people under the age of 25 want everything right the hell now. Life isn't like that and the Army sure as hell isn't like that. Hurry up and wait should be the official motto.

Something that's written all over this site is focus on the 25 meter target. That not only applies to your SF training, but everything else you'll do with your life, college included.

Besides, like NDD said, There will still be people that need killing in 4 years.