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Old 07-06-2009, 02:19   #34
Quiet Professional
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: NW and OCONUS
Posts: 41
Originally Posted by Para View Post
For some SFG's this is not the SF of 10 years ago where teams deployed for 3-weeks to somewhere in the Carribean teaching the indig army every other day and came home with a fist full of cash; high OPTEMPO pay, $150/day per diem, etc... if you have BTDT, you probably know what I am talking about.

Today, on some teams, you had better be a barrel-chested, steely-eyed, lead-slinging and knuckle-draggin' freedom fighter. You are going to go to one of the biggest shitholes on the planet. There will be no hotels to sleep in, no beaches to lay out on and T&A means something completely different (toes n ankles). The guys you are replacing said "it's dangerious out there sarge," and quit conducting ops 2 months prior to your arrival. The enemy is going to be so far up your ass that the only white space you have is inside your OPCEN. You are going to kit up every day and go out there and beat them off your wire. You are going to pressure, pursue and punish them. In some cases you will kill so many enemy that the senior leadership is going to ask you to stop. The only response is, "when they stop shooting at me, I will stop shooting at them." Today, teams are doing this over and over and over without a letting up. They come home for a few months and go straight into training only to deploy again. My average is 60-days home a year and I know of guys who are on there 9th combat deployment. As one team sergeant said, "you guys are some of the hardest men I have ever known. I only have to do this once, but you will have to keep coming here over and over."

Incentives come and go for various reasons. Right now it is about how do we keep these guys. Yes, we could fight this war with "nothing but M16A1's and LBE's" attitude, but what are the reprecutions of that?

18X's pretty much come around or they don't stay around. Most of the guys who reenlist are just as good as any other guy. Should see a better batch coming through the pipeline now that there is a change in leadership/direction. One of the first SFAS's under his wing had something like 26 soldiers selected.
x2 brother. Excellent post.

For the previous generations who post, "...being SF was enough", I feel you. Being a TS in the guard, I am very well accquainted with working for free or wages less than my AD counterparts. It's not right, but it's the way it is. When it comes down to brass tacks, I wouldn't give it up for the world (just ask my frustrated wife). Everything has a cost. I must contract IOT pay for being a guard SF guy. Ironic, yes. But again, that's just the way it is. I, for one, hope to God that the higher incentive pay comes through. Maybe I'll be able to afford a couple weeks at home after my next guard stint.

On the 18X note, I've inherited a few 18X's in the past couple years. These are quality, experienced guys. Most of them get out because of a shitty TS or SGM, or worse, group command climate. A small percentage get out to ride out their IRR time because OPTEMPO was too high. I only say this in hopes that leadership out there is reading it. OPTEMPO is hard to manage, but if you treat your guys like they are expendable, they will expend themselves straight to the guard. (A little off topic, but it needed to be said)
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