Old 11-10-2020, 13:48   #1
Space Cadet
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Aviation as a feeder

Greetings exalted ones,

I have seen many threads and dumb questions from wannabees who want to figure out 'whats the best branch?' to get into SF with as a commissioned officer. These questions are typically met with answers like "any of them, focus on your 25m," Or sometimes the more pragmatic discussion of Infantry and the ability to lead troops at the platoon level.

This is not that thread.

I would like to start a discussion on the skills/knowledge of an officer coming from an aviation background that would be useful to Army SF.

At a tactical level, I think understanding the physical/logistical capabilities of both rotary and fixed wing attack aircraft would be extremely valuable to an ODA or any other type of SF team on the ground.

At a strategic level, I think understanding the capabilities of assets that deliver S2 or meet supply needs is extremely helpful in planning and supporting operations in any theater.

Have you ever met any SF officers who came from aviation? What did they bring to the table? What were they lacking? Did they have any extra rapport when working with aviators from a CAB or a sister service?

Last edited by Space Cadet; 11-10-2020 at 13:51.
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Old 11-10-2020, 14:34   #2
Peregrino
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If you want to be a staff officer and manage assets, go aviation. We need people who can juggle resources and the good ones are valued enablers. NTM - Aviators are really expensive to train; it's a poor ROI to let good ones branch transfer.

If you want to lead Special Forces Soldiers and motivate indigenous personnel to do dangerous, difficult things, in shit conditions I recommend Infantry, preferably Light Infantry, maybe even with an Airborne and Ranger component. Yes, we get all types and most rise to the demands despite their backgrounds but that's what we do when the balloon goes up and anything that prepares you for that reality will make you a better SF Officer. Anything you need to know about the other aspects of your job will either be taught to you or you will be afforded a "broadening assignment" (stuck on staff, drinking from a fire hose and left to sink or swim pretty much on your own) to learn it. MOO but I have been playing this game for a few years and I've seen generations of SF Officers come and go. And you don't need "extra rapport" to deal with Aviators - they're professionals too; they know what they bring to the fight and they want to do their job just as much as we want to do ours.
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Old 11-10-2020, 15:04   #3
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Peregrino, thanks for the reply.

Acronym questions: 'NTM'? 'MOO' ?
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Old 11-10-2020, 15:24   #4
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NTM = not to mention & MOO = my opinion only (also goes with YMMV - your mileage may vary).
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A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.

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Old 11-10-2020, 15:40   #5
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I see. Thanks for the clarification. I agree with you that there is a 'best practices'/DoD-Budgetary concern when it comes to the concept of a rated aviator branch transferring in time to make the cut off for SFQC. I suppose that decision would ultimately fall on the signing authority to determine if that dude in question would be doing ROI to the 'parent organization.' It is interesting that within just the Army I have observed people be corralled by their unit/organization to prevent them from leaving. I feel like it is an issue if the person could do greater things for the taxpayer, just somewhere else.

Anyways...

I was keeping this post generalized thus far so that it could be useful to lurkers. However, in my specific case I already have a background as an enlisted infantryman. The commissioning source I am looking at is to do ROTC through my PhD program. I am doing this instead of just OCS with my undergrad degree because of the opportunity to serve as a Warrant officer aviator while in ROTC through the SMP program. The question of what to branch when going from warrant to commissioned has me thinking about what skills could prove to be useful. For example, if I branched AV after commissioning, I could end up doing fixed wing ISR work. Does that bear any fruit to be an 18A?
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Old 11-10-2020, 16:12   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Space Cadet View Post
...I could end up doing fixed wing ISR work. Does that bear any fruit to be an 18A?
Fixed wing ISR-18A? No, it does not.

What are you trying to do? As your screen name applies, are you trying to earn everything you can on your way to the Space Command? What are your goals?
You need to think Big Picture.

What Infantry unit did you serve in? Do you honestly believe that flying or commanding soldiers who fly ISR platforms, can in any way prepare you to lead men out into any of the major operations that an SF Team could be called up to do?

It sounds to me like you want to game the system, I may be wrong. Not the first time, however, what do you really want to do? You need to figure that out. There are certain chapters you can have in the Army that will allow you to continue in the story of the book....... unfortunately the driving tanks and flying your own choppers like Rambo isn't really in the cards. I'm sure that there are exceptions, however they are very slim and at any rate not very well focused.
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