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Old 12-09-2011, 16:46   #1
Rmack
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From ROTC to SF

Hello All,

I'm currently a contracted cadet in Army ROTC, just looking for some suggestions in my situation. I am a sophomore and just finished my 3rd semester of college, I'm on full scholarship however every day I ask myself if it's all worth it.

I question whether this path will lead me to my dreams, to be SF.

I am in good standing as a cadet(3.4 GPA) and have no problems maxing a PT test, however I find that a majority of the kids in ROTC are just that, kids. It seems nobody takes things seriously.

Anyways, I wish to drop-out and try to pick up an 18x or something along the lines of that. Since I am contracted I have to pay back the money in full or repay with enlisted duty (if I payed in full I would enlist anyways). I'm just wondering how likely I am to even pick up an 18x. I don't want to end up getting an unwanted MOS. The only way I would take this risk is if I could be guaranteed the 18x, or even an option 40. Is it likely? I've been thinking about this for about a year now. Feel free to ask me any more questions about myself to get a better understanding as to where I'm at.

Thanks.
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Old 12-09-2011, 17:34   #2
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A long time ago, in a universe far far away.... I ran out of cash to finish my degree - I was not contract, but I had gone to Advanced Camp, CTLT and BAC. I was also close to an early commission. I got discharged from the SMP program and ROTC, then enlisted with an SF contract (98 hrs of college, good ASVAB scores, and able to max the 5 event PT Test helped the recruiter hit every quota) ... I awas not the only guy in my Infantry Basic in the same boat, one guy actually had both ABN and AAslt.


It can be done.
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Old 12-09-2011, 18:10   #3
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Originally Posted by Rmack View Post
Hello All,

I'm currently a contracted cadet in Army ROTC, just looking for some suggestions in my situation. I am a sophomore and just finished my 3rd semester of college, I'm on full scholarship however every day I ask myself if it's all worth it.

I question whether this path will lead me to my dreams, to be SF.
Check it out. I am a Special Forces Officer and was commissioned through ROTC.

I, like you, had a plan coming out of high school to be an Army Officer in Special Forces. Everything I did in college was geared towards achieving this goal. I created what I called my "10 Year Plan." I tailored my college education and activities in ROTC to get me where I wanted to be. I studied Criminal Justice, Spanish and Psychology (I wanted to go to 7th Group, which I did). While in ROTC you should go to Airborne School and learn the basics of leadership. I recommend studying International Relations, get at a MINIMUM a MINOR in a foreign language (I chose Spanish), and take all the Psych classes you can.

I recommend going Infantry get to Ranger School and go to a unit like the 82nd or 101st. By no means is that your ONLY options. It just worked well for me. Work hard and learn what you can from your NCOs as a LT and train hard for a chance to go to SFAS. Don't place too much emphasis on your career aspirations in your basic branch. Instead focus on doing the right thing for the men (or women) that you will lead and learn. If you focus on the right things good things will happen.

I sincerely believe that I have not gotten where I am at today if it wasn't for the men I led. I was fortunate to have outstanding Rifle and Mortar Platoons in the 82nd Airborne and great NCOs in Special Forces. All of my success has been because of the NCOs I was fortunate enough to be in charge of for a short period of time.

Just because you think that your fellow cadets are "kids" doesn't mean that your fellow 18X's won't be "kids" too. There are good sides and bad sides to EVERY situation no matter where you are at. If you really want to be an SF Officer then stick it out and set yourself up for success. It may seem like a long journey to get to SF (I know I was there too) but I am now looking back a decade and can't believe how fast time has flown by.

Good Luck.

Zorro
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Old 12-09-2011, 20:04   #4
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I agree with Zorro. Finish college (it's paid for), join the Infantry and get your formal training done. Like Zorro, that's what I did and I strongly recommend it. What you learn in institutional training is the bare minimum. When you get to your unit, listen to your platoon sergeant and learn with/from your soldiers and other NCOs. Earn their respect and good things will happen. The 4-5 years will go by fast and you'll have the chance to take on increasing levels of responsibility (company XO, scout PL, mortar PL). Then, if you make it through SFAS and SFQC, you'll be better prepared to join the NCOs on a team. That's my recommendation--good luck.
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Old 12-09-2011, 20:39   #5
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Like x SF med, except in a universe even further away, I was an Army ROTC 4 yr scholarship holder who decided the war (VietNam) would be over before I got into it. Halfway through my junior year, with a 3.2 gpa and being #2 in my ROTC class, I decided to drop out and enlist in the Army. There was no 18x, and to be honest, it wasn't on my radar in December, 1969. I planned on airborne infantry, and OCS. When, during Reception, I was offered SF, I jumped at it... mainly due to exposure to a great SF officer in ROTC.

Given all this, and the advice already given, I would advise 'staying the course'. Quality SF officers are vital. Serving time in an infantry unit, which I didn't do until after my SF time, will be greatly beneficial to you later.

In short... kinda 'been there, done that' - stay the course!
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Old 12-09-2011, 23:05   #6
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Hmm.

Did you try the Search function before starting this new thread?

I suspect that you are probably not the first guy to ask that question here.

And BTW, quitting gets to be a habit.

TR
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Old 12-10-2011, 14:56   #7
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go talk to your PMS and the Commandant of Cadets at your program about this. if you are contracted, you might already be obligated and that has consequences. if you quit now you might have to serve "at the needs of the Army.

when I was working ROTC, we had a few cadets drop out and still get an MOS they wanted (even Ranger BN) and some got stuck in less exciting assignments.

one Cadet, who was not contracted by the way, left school joined as an 18X and is now in my Guard unit with his tab.

the common thread was that the cadets who realized that they did not want to be an officer but were good performers and went about their decision the right way, ended up where they wanted to be.
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Old 12-10-2011, 15:57   #8
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One task at a time, Son. One task at a time.
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Old 12-11-2011, 00:50   #9
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Don't forget it's finals week.
You might feel better about this after Christmas, some family/friend time, and a few beers. No it's not pink.
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Old 12-11-2011, 20:07   #10
Hollywood6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rmack View Post
Hello All,

I'm currently a contracted cadet in Army ROTC, just looking for some suggestions in my situation. I am a sophomore and just finished my 3rd semester of college, I'm on full scholarship however every day I ask myself if it's all worth it.

I question whether this path will lead me to my dreams, to be SF.

I am in good standing as a cadet(3.4 GPA) and have no problems maxing a PT test, however I find that a majority of the kids in ROTC are just that, kids. It seems nobody takes things seriously.

Anyways, I wish to drop-out and try to pick up an 18x or something along the lines of that. Since I am contracted I have to pay back the money in full or repay with enlisted duty (if I payed in full I would enlist anyways). I'm just wondering how likely I am to even pick up an 18x. I don't want to end up getting an unwanted MOS. The only way I would take this risk is if I could be guaranteed the 18x, or even an option 40. Is it likely? I've been thinking about this for about a year now. Feel free to ask me any more questions about myself to get a better understanding as to where I'm at.

Thanks.
I will shed some light on this. I normally read and do not reply. Having said that.

I am in ROTC and involved in SMP as a contracted non scholarship cadet due to year group numbers. I was an E4 before I went to dot status.

Bear in mind you have a 4 year full ride for the Army, take it and use it. Coming from a military family and my own personality I feel the same way you do however I have many group friends who have been great mentors to me and are the finest group of NCO's and Officers I have had the pleasure of meeting.

SFAS, Ranger School, deployments etc will always be there. We will be somewhere else some other time. Those schools are not disappearing. The demands for special soldiers will not be disappearing any time soon. College however can go somewhere it is very hard to go back to school, things can come up, life can change, you can get married. It is all up in the air. I almost did not contract to take a promotion, ranger school slot and to deploy as a fire team leader but those NCO's told me to wait for precisely those reasons. Do not jump the gun, one step at a time.

A first group guy who was also an evaluator for SFAS and a Major who is in the guard both said this: Just carry on being the type of leader and soldier you are. You cannot just commission glide through then turn on a switch come SFAS to become the type of leader that is needed then. It starts now. Continue conducting yourself in the manner fitting to be a leader of some of the most capable soldiers in our army.

In ROTC you find all kinds of people, clowns, morons, wanna be tough guys and those who just want the free degree. I personally do not like most of my fellow cadets and feel they have no idea what they are getting themselves into /have no business being a combat leader but that is for someone else to decide not me. Ignore the clowns, self study, know the material to a T, help others, do not be condescending when helping, take silent pride let someone else ego stroke and yell and stomp around. Stay the course and take the targets one at a time.

And also, 18X is very tough route to take, most do not make it. Most 18x guys I have known that were not idiot 18 year olds were older guys who had the maturity level for the job they were seeking. I highly doubt you will find much difference between cadets and some PVT out of OSUT who signed a piece of paper for 18X and thinks he is a stud.
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Old 12-11-2011, 20:31   #11
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H6:

You are giving advice you arent in a position to give.

See PM and fill in your profile as you were directed in the email you received when you registered here. Then read the rules and all the stickies in every subforum here before posting again.

You have Failed To Follow Simple Instructions twice in the short time you have been posting. This isnt a good way to start.

Fix yourself.

Crip
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Old 12-12-2011, 22:21   #12
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Take it all in...

To the OP...definitely don't rush things. And by the same token, don't second guess the plan just because it isn't what constantly as great as it sounded in your head.

I can remember arriving at LDAC a few years ago and thinking, "Holy crap what can I do to get out of here. My reasoning was a bit different than yours, but, like you, I thought I had found myself in a place that was not at all for me. It was my first real "Army" experience away from home and I felt way in over my head. Now, I sit here waiting on my Captain's bars to finalize and I can't quite figure out where all my time "with the troops" went...

If you are determined to lead--if you are floored by the opportunity to take America's sons to combat against the enemies of our country then you need to continue to train as an officer. The Army could not get by without NCOs, but it is a completely different world from that of an officer. That's something you need to think about. I understand the lines are blurred in some ways in the SF world, but you should go into saying, "Where will I be happy if I don't make it to SF?" Now, I am not saying give yourself an out, but as an early post said, there is a lot between you and SF, and life often intervenes between now and then to alter the best laid plans of mice and men... So think about that, do you want to take care of Soldiers and implement the plans of another, or do you want to develop those plans and be responsible for everything those 40 men do or fail to do? That's a very blunt description of the differences between the NCO and officer world. I just want to illustrate that you need to consider what you want out of the Army long term and not rush off to SF by what seems the "shortest" route possible.

Your time as a LT will be quick, fast, and in a hurry. You get 9 months at Benning to hit IBOLC, Ranger, and ABN. That platoon will come and go and all the sudden you'll wake up as an XO. Next week it will seem like its time to be a Captain on staff or seeking command. Take your time man. Enjoy it. Get a degree. If you hate being an officer, you can always resign your commission later without having to pay the Army back and you get to keep the degree.

If the CDTs around you aren't serious then start pushing them. You'll be a senior soon enough. Change the culture. Make things better. A leader who always leaves a broken organization, rather than making it better, is no leader at all. What happens when you get to a PLT with a PSG that's tired from 4-5 deployments and Soldiers who lack discipline? Gonna leave?
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:33   #13
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advice

IMO Zorro and H6 (even if his profile is light) are right on target. My son is a SMP lkid right now and I'm going through it with him.

Zorro and H6 offer good advice.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:23   #14
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FFI

ST,

H6 has failed to follow instructions. No one said anything IRT Zorro.

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Old 12-13-2011, 08:38   #15
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Stickie at the top of this Sub-Forum reads...

http://www.professionalsoldiers.com/...ad.php?t=22758

Quote:
Originally Posted by Team Sergeant
This is a forum where civilians can "ask" the Special Forces soldiers past and present "Special Forces" related questions.

Those questions are then answered by Special Forces soldiers, period.

Questions asked by the general public should NOT be answered by the "general" public.

If you do not have the title of "Quiet Professional" you may ask a question, but leave the "answers" to the QP's.
Seems we go through this every couple months guys.

Right up to the last three of four posters it was ONLY SF guys answering...
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