View Full Version : Before you were SF....question for the QPs and Selectees.

04-04-2006, 17:31
Before you became a Special Forces soldier, or successfully completed SFAS or any other phase in the Pipeline, what kind of soldier were you? When you were in your "conventional unit", were you the guy that consistently exceeded all of the standards and out performed his peers, did you get chosen for all of the toughest tasks/assignments? I'm well aware of the fact that the "best" soldier in a conventional sense isn't always successful in SF, but I'm curious to know if those of you who've made it, saw it as a natural progression in your career, or did you just simply decide that you were capable of serving your country in a greater capacity than you were previously doing and chose the SF path? Kuri out...

04-04-2006, 18:39
I would be consided the 1970s version of an 18X. SF enlistment option, up for world wide assignment with a failure at any step.

The how, why or what never entered into the question. It was never say "I quit". Day after day, week after week and then one day I had orders for my "S".

It has been mentioned many time on this site " A strong mind will carry a weak body further than a strong body will carry a weak mind."

Focus on the 25 meter target.

04-06-2006, 02:04
Well put Pete. I just didn't think that hard about it. By the way this is a guy that hit SF training in '69. I'm still trying to catch up with all the new terms and training deals.... let alone trying to remember all of them when I got there. Think it was the same for Pete. We just got there. For me on a realllllllly fun bus trip from Benning after jump school. I, nor any of us had any idea what the hell was going to happen. We just went through it. There were no books, no hints....... oh there was talk, legends and BS, but nothing that could prepare us or get our minds in the right place. THAT happened when we jumped into Mackall, late one afternoon. Again, Pete said it best. Think I've said this out here a few times. Don't think so damn hard. Whatever comes your way is just that. Deal with it....... Then again, I'm old school. Didn't use one of these things til '93 annnnnnnnd can't type. :)

04-06-2006, 07:55
i am self-described as a left-handed non-conformist who runs with scissors...these attributes are frowned upon in the 82nd Airborne Division, or at least they were from 1972-1974...i confused the grown-ups...i would make "the Man" on guard mount, was a two-time runner up for Division Trooper of the Month, made it to the Division Driver of the Month finals a couple of times, had the highest Pro-Pay score in my platoon, but didn't take some of the 82nd stuff too seriously (haircuts twice a week, no facial hair, being a member of AUSA)...as a result, my chain of command sent me off to do "unpleasant" chores, like spend three or four weeks in the field as a "G" for Gobbler Woods...spent several "unpleasant" periods with the Airborne Test board, doing "unpleasant" things like jumping from C5As, "testing" MC1-1Bs, doing AWADS jumps...lotsa really "bad" things...

i was lucky...i wound up where i belonged...at least IMNSHO...

04-06-2006, 09:13
Gentlemen, thanks for the replies.

QRQ 30
04-06-2006, 19:36
There was nothing before or after Special Forces. I was Special Forces ffrom the beginning to the end. A good version of: "All the Way!!".:lifter

x SF med
04-23-2006, 13:09
How to describe the 'mentality' of becoming SF - I had the privelege of meeting 3 outstanding SF Sr NCOs and one odd SF LTC while i was in college doing ROTC. I was waiting for early commissioning, but ran out of $$ - so I enlisted - and got a contract for SF - the best thing I ever did for myself - I wasn't the biggest baddest guy, I was a little better educated, but I kept my mouth shut, learned the tricks from the 'older' guys, and got recycled in RS on a peer. Never quit, never feel sorry for yourself, always learn, and plan for every thing that "can't" happen... SFQC is just the start, a ticket to really get'chosen', you really learn once you get your team assignment.

04-23-2006, 13:37
One of the inteersting things about SF is that there isn't a stereotypical SF guy... although many teams may start to look like one another after a while (for example: a Team Sergeant who loves lifting, can, over time, infect his team to get into lifting and create a team of hulks). I had the full spectrum on my team...lifters & runners, introverts & extroverts, Republicans & Democrats, Bikers & Businessmen, drinkers & non-drinkers, mix of ethnicities and excentricies, you name it. One of the great things is that they all came together as a team and accomplished the mission.

Reading through the historical files, when they were starting what evolved into SFAS, they thought they'd be able to draw results from a personality test to help them figure out who had the best chances of succeeding. Guys were all over the map...they kept the personality test to help prevent anyone with psychological issues from getting into training, but other than that, the test hasn't helped them figure out who will succeed.

If I had to name one trait, it would be relentlessness.

QRQ 30
04-23-2006, 13:49
If I had to name one it would be a set: Determination, resourcefulness, adaptability, flexibility and teamwork. The "Army of One" is definitely out IMNSHO.

x SF med
04-23-2006, 14:07
If I had to name one it would be a set: Determination, resourcefulness, adaptability, flexibility and teamwork. The "Army of One" is definitely out IMNSHO.

I never agreed with that Army of one bull hockey - teamwork, loyalty, and determination are what make it work.

Excellent summation.

11-30-2006, 23:22
I was actualy out of the army for 6 years before I realized SF is what i realy wanted so i took a chance came back in the army, did basic all over again, fast tracked back to E-5 with the whole goal of becoming a QP.
In the reg infantry I was the goto teamleader/squadleader . I went to Bsept and raised my GT score to a 128 then got selected.
only have 1 regret I should have never got out the first time;)

12-01-2006, 05:43
I was an Infantry Officer. Definitely not one that was going to be selected to be a General's Aide, but one that got the job done. Overall, I was probably middle of the pack. My superiors weren't always happy with me, my subordinates knew what to expect from me, and I was well ranked by my peers.

12-01-2006, 06:04
I was in jump school in January 1966. During the first week I was told that I was going to a class room to see some SF guys. I didn't know what SF was. I and several other students listened to what they had to say....in the end I decided to try to get through this challenge they talked about...... the only common thing among those of us who were selected for that interview was our high GT scores.....mine was 133.

I have always looked for more simple ways to do things. Always hated to be told you can't do that or we don't do that here........when told that I wanted to know what policy or regulation said I couldn't. I found SF to be more of a mental challenge than a physical one....that is not to say that the ruck I humped never tired me out......or that I wasn't stressed trying to find my way at times........


12-01-2006, 15:25
I went thru Phase one and two (Q-Course) as a private in 1983 then was booted out to do the duffel bag drag down to the 82nd. Spent 2.5 years there then returned to the Q-Course and passed the second time. The 82nd was not as strict as I was expecting it to be then. In fact it was pretty wild and had a rebellious attitude at times. Still very disciplined at times but not spit shine all around is the best way I can think to put it. I did get into trouble for not walking the line all the time, but it was always the kind of ass chewing the Senior NCO'S seemed to enjoy giving. Like I reminded then of themselves. When I was going back to the Q-Course they didn't want to lose me but they said it probably would be better for me to return. I saw guys there (82nd) go from Private to BN SGM in the same Battalion. They spent their whole Army career in the same Battalion. I knew I couldn't do that. My uniform was never the best and my Boots were always marginal. I think what saved me was I was good in the field and during that time is when they had the no pressing uniform policy for awhile. Remember out of the dryer on to your body, nothing more. I did learn a lot in the 82nd about leadership. Something I saw lacking in some of the senior NCO'S in group who were SF babies. Notice I said some...... I think it was for the better I got the Boot the first time around in the Q-Course. I saw a few of my friends who passed as privates ending up getting kicked out of group with in the first couple of years. I don't think I had the maturity in me at the time. Maybe, maybe not. In those days SF Group would kick you out for a lessor incident then the 82nd would. Funny the Q-Course was changing all the time back then. When I returned in 1986 it was back to the way it was when I was there as a private the first time. Back to simple Phase I, II and III. I pretty much breezed right thru it. Phase one was the easiest part of the whole Course for me having been thru it and coming from the 82nd as an 11B. But if I wouldn't of passed the second time I would of got out of the Army. I just extended the bear minimum to return to the Q-Course. I didn't want to reenlist (Turned the bonus down. The one they would give you if you graduated the Q-Course) and be stuck in the regular Army for five years if I failed again. I went back to be in SF. I didn't care about their money offer

Matta mile
12-01-2006, 19:29
Much like GreenHat, I was also an officer. I was in the 82d and was happy but not content until I could go after the "gold ring".
As mentioned in a previous post, lots of diversity but also lots of competitive spirits.

Jack Moroney (RIP)
12-01-2006, 20:11
I was a soldier locked in an officer's body trying to break out of the everything that I saw was wrong about being an officer, where rank was status, and a "mandatory professional distance" was defined by pomp and circumstance spelled out by arcane traditions and rediculous unwritten rules of conduct that hindered good performance of the soldier and sound leadership by those appointed to ensure that the soldier succeeded.

Gene Econ
12-01-2006, 21:41
made it to the Division Driver of the Month finals a couple of times,

Wooahh there LK:

Ssssup-wid-dis? "Division Driver of the Month"? Never heard of it and I was in both Light and Mech units. So you drove a Gamma Goat for ten miles without rolling it?

I did have my 577 driver see how fast my 577 could go at Stewart once. Just out of a semi-annual service and during a real road march (the type where you regulate speed by pressure on a gas pedal). A good very gradual downhill for a straight mile or so. He floored the thing and we almost hit 40. Man that 577 was rocking. Tracks and road wheels screaming much like my knees today in fact after weeks of severe cold wet weather combined with years of light Infantry types of activities.

Lord Have Mercy -- Divison Driver of the Month.


12-02-2006, 05:27
Jack, I grew up in the military. I have never had anyone articulate so clearly why I didn't want to be an officer.



Team Sergeant
12-02-2006, 09:50
I was prior service Airborne Infantry, 1-505 for three years. Did my time and ETS'd. Was on the street for two years before I realized I really missed the military. I re-enlisted for SF as a SP4. After being on the street for the last two years I started Phase One just four days after re-enlisting.....

I would not recommend anyone try that, I talked the SF SGM into letting me go. He asked about my PT and I told him I was running about 75 miles a week as a civilian and could do hundreds of pushups and situps. He smiled and said if I could inprocess Bragg in 3 days I could go to the very next class. I did and the rest was history. Phase One still kicked my ass but it was all worth it.


12-04-2006, 11:15
That's weird...pretty much the same deal, Airborne infantryman in 1-505, ETS'd after 3 yrs and spent more time getting into Mil-related work while I was out until a unit SGM told me to I might as well come back into the fold and do it right. Will never regret it - been one hell of a ride ever since...

Funny the number of 505 guys I see every now and then. The infantry provided a great building block environment prior to going SF.



The Reaper
12-04-2006, 11:49
2-505 here.

That is strange.


12-04-2006, 15:18
I'm in phase III, and came from 1-505.

12-04-2006, 19:23
Let's see. . . before I finally tightened my shot group and went to Selection I did a few random things, to include:

1. went to college, studied lit.
2. got kicked out of the Navy (I had to see about a girl; dumb move).
3. did Americorps (like a domestic Peace Corps) for a year contract.
4. ran a non-profit, wrote grants. Started climbing mountains.
5. quit the phone company and went to sea for a couple of years as a Deck Seaman. worked the west coast, Alaska mostly.
6. worked as a carpenter for historic registry apartments.
7. got a wife, managed a printing company.
8. got back into the Navy (Reserves) as a PAC clerk.
9. Pre-nursing classes.
10. Bored with typing NAMs for undeserving pilots. Found out about Guard SF. Switched services to WAANG.
11. Managed a Fire Fighters Union. Went to SFAS/Airborne.
12. Went to SFQC (in the middle of phase three).

My first exposure to the Army (other than a few weekend drills) was SFAS and I fell in love. I can't believe it took me until I was 31 to figure that out. . .

Pretty varied. . . I guess the only consistent element to this story is how fast I bore with routine. I like physical challenges, mental challenges, people committed to goals, new experiences. I am interested in just about everything and read more than most people I know (except for a few buddies in the course, my wife and I suspect most of the regular members on PS.com). I was the smart kid in High School who got in a lot of trouble. I've since realized that compared to REALLY smart people, I'm just smart enough to get into trouble. . .

Since coming into this community, I've felt more comfortable with/committed to what I've been doing since before I can remember. It's as though every day I go to work is a step closer to "home."

Something I wish I knew when I was younger is this: just because you are skilled/talented/smart enough to do a job doesn't mean you should. I believe there is a specific vocation/avocation out there in this wide world for each and everyone of us. It is incumbent upon each of us to figure out for ourselves what that job is. So sayeth the t-shirt, "Don't die wondering. "