Old 02-02-2018, 16:02   #1
ic2d
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18X and Family

Seeking advice on the pros and cons of an 18X/Rep 63 contract, specifically with regard to NG candidates.

Background: I am scheduled to ship to PSBCT in about 3 weeks (SF support MOS, with the goal of attending SFAS as soon as possible). 19th SFG was not offering 18X contracts to prior service individuals when I enlisted, but apparently someone has recently "found a way." This morning, my recruiter notified me of some scheduling issues that may allow me to renegotiate my contract for 18X.

I'm inclined to NOT take the offer. But with limited time to make a decision, I'm reaching out to the BTDTs on this forum for advice.

I have been preparing my family and my employer to expect a series of 1-2 month trainings throughout the year (BCT, MOS, BAC), followed hopefully by selection at SFAS and a 2+ year PCS to Ft. Bragg. Translation: a more gradual acclimation into the Army/SF, with time in between trainings to communicate and prepare everyone for the next step...especially the PCS. The down side to this route is that I do not have a guaranteed shot at SFAS, though I'm led to believe that the 19th makes it pretty easy for support folks to try out (hopefully sooner rather than later).

18X would change all of that, and on fairly short notice. I would leave very soon for 6-8 months of training with limited contact home. Best case scenario, I am selected at SFAS and leave my wife (+3 young children) to sell a house and coordinate a PCS on her own while I'm in training on the other side of the country.

While I recognize that the SF life is generally not family-friendly, this certainly seems like adding undue stress to the situation without adding much benefit.

All that said, is my breakdown of the situation accurate, or are there additional factors I should consider? For those who have BTDT, how well did your family handle things? Thanks in advance for any thoughts or comments that you're willing to share.

(Note: I posted in the "SF Questions" forum. If you are a non-QP but have relevant experience, please feel free to PM me.)
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Old 02-02-2018, 16:31   #2
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You are asking PS/BTDT this question? My non-politically correct answer is, you are a p@%%& if you don't go for it. The politically correct answer is, your life - you decide, you wont be happy with my choice for you.

Your choice.
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Old 02-02-2018, 18:36   #3
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What Joker said.

If I wanted to be SF, and I had a shot at an SF slot, I'd take it. There's no guarantee that a slot will be there for you once you get to support company.

My advice, which is worth pretty much what you're paying for it - you need to sit down and have a candid conversation with your wife. If she fully supports you in this, she'll suck it up and do what has to be done. If she doesn't fully support you in this, you probably won't make it through the training anyway, because she'll make the burden you're putting on her a distraction for you.

FWIW, my experience is that, once you have a family, there's never a good time to go through training, If your wife isn't behind you going now now, I doubt she'll be behind you in a year or two.
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Old 02-03-2018, 00:28   #4
turboprop
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The short answer is:

18X + success = SF
something else + success = not SF

The longer answer is that 18X is the most direct route. It also is the easiest in many regards. I don't know of any other path where you are guaranteed the shot, practice and prepare for the test, and are surrounded by peers that want the same thing (which seems often overlooked, but in my opinion is the biggest benefit). Can you get prepared for SFAS elsewhere? Of course, but there is only one place where you will be living and breathing it in a field of like-minded guys under the guidance of SWTG cadre.

I think you should consider the question. Are you asking about the best route, or are you unsure of the destination?
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Old 02-03-2018, 08:55   #5
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Thank you all for the candid feedback - I sincerely appreciate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turboprop View Post
Are you asking about the best route, or are you unsure of the destination?
Great question. At this point I am simply trying to reach the destination in a manner that my family is willing to digest. My wife has been more supportive than I could ever have asked - but I do not expect her to embrace 18X so long as she believes that the support route is reasonably likely to get me to the same place (which, unfortunately, is the expectation that I established the moment I enlisted without an 18X contract).

If we can come to an agreement on that issue, I think the rest will sort itself out.
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Old 02-04-2018, 07:04   #6
7624U
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You need to know all of your routes before you pick one. Think PACE plan and know everything in detail before you pick your route. (What makes SF Special is we plan everything into detail so the unknown becomes the known and the last 10% of the unknown is covered by our training.)

Lets say you get your 18X slot and fail SFAS. Will 19th Group still honor the SF support role MOS or are you now needs of the National Guard. As so many of your Active duty counterparts are finding out, or will you have a MOS prior to going into the 18X contract?
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Old 02-05-2018, 11:08   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ic2d View Post
- ...but I do not expect her to embrace 18X so long as she believes that the support route is reasonably likely to get me to the same place...
It may or may not get you to the same place...but even if it does...all the same challenges will exist, if not more. My .02cents...jump now while you're young and healthy.
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Old 02-06-2018, 18:35   #8
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Update

Wife got back in town late Sunday. We had the talk and she's on board. She doesn't love it, but agrees that this is what we signed up for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ic2d View Post
This morning, my recruiter notified me of some scheduling issues that may allow me to renegotiate my contract for 18X.
As fate (or SOP) would have it, however, the initial report was incorrect. The scheduling issues do not affect me.

My recruiter has reached out to MEPS to see about renegotiating my contract anyway, but no response yet.

Nevertheless, thank you again for the advice...it really helped us stick to the facts rather than getting distracted by emotion.

Last edited by ic2d; 02-06-2018 at 18:42.
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Old 02-06-2018, 18:48   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ic2d View Post
Wife got back in town late Sunday. We had the talk and she's on board. She doesn't love it, but agrees that this is what we signed up for.



As fate (or SOP) would have it, however, the initial report was incorrect. The scheduling issues do not affect me.

My recruiter has reached out to MEPS to see about renegotiating my contract anyway, but no response yet. - I'm not optimistic they'll want to play ball. With less than 3 weeks until my ship date, and probably 1-2 weeks until orders are cut, I'm debating how hard I want to rock this boat.

Nevertheless, thank you again for the advice...it really helped us stick to the facts rather than getting distracted by emotion.
You had best get into the "I'm gonna rock this mother fucking boat harder than anyone to get what I want!" mindset. If not, don't waste folks' time.
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Old 02-06-2018, 19:07   #10
ic2d
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I took that part out of my post so as to not appear indecisive, but I see you had already responded.

Just meant that I'm planning on pushing some buttons, but disinclined to use the nuclear option (e.g. "renegotiate my contract or I won't ship"). I've still got a pretty good thing going, even if it isn't the best route. Not willing to risk them calling that bluff.

Anyway, I've probably posted enough. Thanks again!
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