Old 05-19-2021, 11:06   #1
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 5
Team Moves

Hi All,
My apologies if this has been covered already, but my search on these threads returned nothing, so I figured I would start a new thread. I know this won't come into play for a while and that's even IF I get selected, but I have a question about the Army moving SF guys around. I have tried to do independent research and my understanding is that the needs of the Army trump everything else, but I am curious how often SF guys are moved around within teams or groups. I may be misunderstanding the language behind the "move" but I am wondering if this means you are switching ODA's within the same group and stay on the same base, or if they move you to a different group altogether. Sure, I am aware that either CAN happen, but I am curious as to what the norm is, as I have a school age son and he will be moving with me. For that sake, I am curious about how often they move you to different Groups altogether, which would constitute moving to a new state. Thanks for any help of guidance that can be provided, I really appreciate it.
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Old 05-19-2021, 14:11   #2
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I'll try to answer this in a broadly general manner reflective of several decades spent in SF.

SF Assignments are based upon essentially four things in order of priority:

1. Needs of the Army
2. Needs of Special Forces Regiment
3. Your Needs (Volunteered Desires)
4. Family Needs (medical situations, dependent care, school graduations, etc.)

Of these, #2 & #3 come into play (or conflict) most often. But #3 is the one which allows you the most positive impact on your own self-selected future assignments. If SF Branch does not hear from you about future assignment desires... they just go by the needs of the Army & the needs of SF. You get a vote as long as you inform your CoC & SF Branch about what you'd like to do in the future (in terms of assignments & career path).

You will absolutely come down on mid-career TDA assignments that both Army & SF Regiment require (and without which you will never get promoted). So you will eventually leave your operational ODA and report to Ft Bragg for a cadre tour at the School House, staff assignment with SF HQ elements, or far flung LNO/Advisory postings. Expect it. But... those assignments are fairly predictable and you have some say in which specific jobs you might volunteer for.

It is both common and inevitable to change ODAs. Along with Companies & Battalions within a Group. Stay in SF long enough and you will serve on several ODAs. Especially as you achieve higher rank. Nobody stays on one ODA forever.

It is entirely possible to change Groups. Not everyday common, but not exceptionally rare either. Especially if you possess a language, special skill, or shortage MOS/Rank. In other words, if X Group desperately needs Senior 18Es, you fit that bill, you are nearing tour completion at Y Group, aaand you have a rated language or specialty skill that X Group also needs... volunteering for assignment at X Group will probably happen successfully. Follow-on assignments for SF guys is as much art as science. Very much evaluated by consideration of individual qualifications, experience, & career standing. Like moving pro-athletes around a club... or a league.

In Groups with forward based battalions (1st & 10th), you can eventually expect (or volunteer for) PCS to one of those overseas battalions.

In Groups with all battalions stateside (like 3rd, 7th, or 5th), it's possible to spend quite a few consecutive years in one geographic location (Ft Bragg, Eglin, or Ft Campbell). successively changing units within the Group, but your family remaining in the same house... because you are still assigned to the same military base.

Bn CSMs & Co SGMs try to monitor the future assignment needs of their Soldiers when it comes to family situations. Things like teenagers approaching High School senior year graduation, divorce & child custody arrangements, Special Needs Family members, compassionate reassignments, voluntary geographical bachelor assignment, etc.

In other words, you can get extensions or second tours at a current duty location... or get moved to a more desirable duty location... in order to support unique family requirements. The same applies to SF officers. SF is a mostly married organization and the unit is supportive of legitimate family concerns.

You'll tend to spend the majority of your SF career with a particular Group, especially if you have a language proficiency & overseas experience useful to that Group. However, you will go to other assignments (outside of your primarily affiliated Group) over the course of that same SF career. Occasionally to another Group, but usually circling back to the Group you came from. Occasionally someone will start out in one Group, but then spend the remainder of their career in another Group entirely. Most things are possible. Most things are waiverable.

As an entry level SF Soldier, a lot of this will be opaque to you until you've spent some operational time (3-4 years) at your first assigned Group... and made some rank. The assignment game starts getting different when you make MSG, SGM, CSM, LTC, CW3, etc. You might find yourself filling a vacancy or nominative assignment in another Group. But you'll have a number of years to learn how that game is played...

25 meter Target: Become SF
50 meter Target: Be the Best SF Troop in Your Group, Battalion, Company, & ODA
100 meter Target: Worry about future geographic assignments; they'll happen, but you'll have in-advance warning and at least a 1/3 vote over where/when you go.

Good Luck.

Last edited by Astronomy; 05-19-2021 at 14:20.
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Old 05-19-2021, 14:35   #3
Join Date: Feb 2021
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Thank you so much for this information, it was a great help to understand the different scenarios. I appreciate you taking the time to write all that down, put a lot into perspective. Much love.
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Old 05-20-2021, 13:27   #4
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NoInterestInJAG don't worry about things you cannot control as these are well out in the future. Concentrate on becoming a SF troop. Don't quit. Be before time, if you are on time you are late. Be in the correct uniform. Don't quit. Once you become one (a SF troop), those questions you've asked will no longer be a concern.
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Old 05-20-2021, 13:55   #5
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Roger that, Joker. Thank you for that advice.
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Old 05-20-2021, 21:43   #6
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Originally Posted by Joker View Post
Be in the correct uniform.
Always This,

Because the guy that moves people around in the Group cares about this one.
"Make sure your plan fits the terrain or you will be slurping mud puddles”

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