Old 03-26-2009, 17:38   #1
version13
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Trust and SF Values?

Hello SF Community,

First of all, thank you for viewing my post. I have looked for answers to my question, but could not find them, so I decided to post it here.

Over the past few months, I have started to try and reach some of my longer term goals to lead kind of life I would like to lead. The first of which to to become a member of the Army Special Forces.

This has been a goal of mine over the past few years and has increasing become more and more important to me, moving from idea to action and obtainable. I've worked hard to get where I am today to reach that goal and started the next part of the process. I am focusing on the 25m target and I am taking each part one step at a time.

The last step I have been working on and nearly completed was simply joining the army.

While waiting at MEPS to sign my contract and receive a ship date, they gave me a ship date for the end of June. I repeatedly told my recruiter and the head Sergeant at the recruiting station that I am not available to ship until mid-August for other commitments that I have made that I cannot get out of. I even told the counselor this when he was finding my job.

There was much deliberation and trying to get me to sign this contract at this date because they said that they couldn't get any dates in the future that I requested. They repeatedly told me this, going as far to get a second recruiter from the request of my current recruiter to take me to a back room urging me to sign the contract on the premise that if two recruiters say it, it must be true.

He said that I can always "reno" my contract to push it out further over and over until mid-August, which I didn't want to accept. He tried many tactics in the back room to get me to sign the contract, ranging from guilt that they put so much time into me to lying and saying that it's my only chance ever to join like this and finally, the real kicker, that if I don't sign this now, I am not SF material because I have trust issues because I don't trust his or my recruiter's word that they can renegotiate my signed written contract that I "certainly" won't ship until August, regardless of what my contract actually says. I then mentioned something to him about what I thought some SF values were in loyalty to the commitments that I have and that were made clear for months when I first stepped into the recruiter's office and also the value of being certain of what you want and standing by that.

Once a civilian worker heard that the recruiter told me this, from his mouth, she immediately said "I never want to hear the word 'reno' out of your mouth Sargent", to which the story started changing. I stood tall in that I would not sign a contract that did not say an August ship date, leading to the ultimate question of this post comes about.

Ultimately, I talked to the 1st Sargent of the entire region and he said that he called the office and other people around the country and it was true that there weren't any jobs to ship out in August, but that is because the openings do not populate more than 90 days out, hence the latest date possible today at a June shipment. This 1st Sargent finally seemed to be the telling me the truth. This further makes sense that this be the case because they said they couldn't even pull a later ship date on an 11x or any other contract.

With the background information in place, the real question that I wanted to ask the SF Community is, was I wrong in not signing the contract and violating the recruiter's supposed values of Special Forces? Was he right in saying that me not trusting his word over a written contract at this stage is not SF material and I would fail right out of the "Q" course and finish as an 11b anyway?

I do believe that what both recruiters and the counselor were saying to me was wrong, especially in light of what the 1st Sargent said.

I am still now fully qualified to sign the 18x contract and I am still good and qualified for another two years. I simply can wait until June when 90 days out, the spots available for August will have populated and fully sign then.

I didn't mean for this post as a forum to vent my frustration. I am genuinely asking because I believe that trust is definitely a very large part of not only SF, but of the entire army and life in a whole and this kind of took me back and made me wonder if he is representing it truthfully.

Thank you very much for reading this.

version13

Last edited by version13; 03-26-2009 at 18:08.
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Old 03-26-2009, 18:15   #2
koz
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Just FYI it's sergeant not sargent....

Is your recruiter SF qualified? If he is, he may have a point. If he's not, he has no authority of what SF values are or are not. There's a reason in the SF Questions section of this board, non-SF personnel do not answer SF questions.

I would only trust what you have in black and white, not a promise by a recruiter. A written contract always supercedes a verbal contract. Would he note the change in writing on your contract before you signed?
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Old 03-26-2009, 18:20   #3
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Sergeant

Sergeant - It's Sergeant.

The search button is your friend.

"Hey koz - I see we cross posted"
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Old 03-26-2009, 18:37   #4
version13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koz View Post
Just FYI it's sergeant not sargent....
Thanks for the clarification. Being of my current generation, I rely too much on spell-checker built into FireFox

Quote:
Originally Posted by koz View Post
Is your recruiter SF qualified? If he is, he may have a point. If he's not, he has no authority of what SF values are or are not. There's a reason in the SF Questions section of this board, non-SF personnel do not answer SF questions.
He is not SF qualified; I asked him. He has the "Old Ironsides" patch signifying the 1st Armor. He said that he has talked to a coupe SF guys for a little bit, but still admits that he has had minimal interaction with them.

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I would only trust what you have in black and white, not a promise by a recruiter. A written contract always supercedes a verbal contract. Would he note the change in writing on your contract before you signed?
He would not change anything in writing before I signed it, hence I would also not take full trust in what he had to say.

Thank you very much for you help.



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Sergeant - It's Sergeant.

The search button is your friend.

"Hey koz - I see we cross posted"
Noted above on the spelling error; thank you, too.

The Search button and I are very intimate. I would go as to far as to say, we've passed the friendship phase and have moved on to bigger things.
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Old 03-26-2009, 18:41   #5
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Originally Posted by version13 View Post
He is not SF qualified; I asked him. He has the "Old Ironsides" patch signifying the 1st Armor. He said that he has talked to a coupe SF guys for a little bit, but still admits that he has had minimal interaction with them.
I think that should answer your question.

Now go do push-ups..
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Old 03-26-2009, 18:46   #6
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Sounds like a recruiter is having problems meeting "mission" and wants to get you signed on the dotted line during 3QTR. The 1SG was right; however, your problem is "the truth is a moving target". Issues beyond his control may change the truth several times before you are ready to sign. Accession missions (recruitment quotas) are based on MILPERCEN messages. The closer you get to the end of the fiscal year (01 Oct) the more likely that annual goals for accessions in particular MOSs will have been met and the career field will be closed until a new quota is established next year. Budget constraints are already affecting retention (re-enlistment) quotas. Meet your current commitments but be prepared to have to compromise the timing for the rest of your goals. Good luck.
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Old 03-26-2009, 19:35   #7
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Originally Posted by version13 View Post
While waiting at MEPS to sign my contract and receive a ship date, they gave me a ship date for the end of June. I repeatedly told my recruiter and the head Sergeant at the recruiting station that I am not available to ship until mid-August for other commitments that I have made that I cannot get out of. I even told the counselor this when he was finding my job.



version13
Just a question V13. If you had to make a decision between this opportunity vs. your commitment? If it was a onetime deal - take it or leave it - what would you do?

One thing I observed after a career in SF; the SF life does not lend itself to the best family life. Most guys I know - me included - tended to put SF in front of family. Also, lots of SF marriages end in divorce (more I believe than the regular Army). Opportunities come, in many cases, just once in a career - those who take them regardless of the consequences to their wives and family were the norm in the SF community in my time. But things may have changed recently.

Each team usually had a guy who would not deploy because his wife was pregnant - in spite of the fact that these guys were doing the right thing by their family, they left their team a man short. This was remembered.
Mitch (still married after 38 years to a true SF wife)
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Old 03-26-2009, 19:46   #8
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Thanks

First of all, thank you all again for your replies and clarifications.

Secondly and on a part of the topic, can someone explain a bit on the trust aspect of being a member of a team? I assume you would all trust each other with your life and it's importance, but how would you gauge this on importance and comparison to other jobs or aspects of life.

Thirdly:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch View Post
Just a question V13. If you had to make a decision between this opportunity vs. your commitment? If it was a onetime deal - take it or leave it - what would you do?
If it was a onetime deal, I would take it. However, from everything I've read, researched, been told, jobs do not close forever and the entire situation seemed a little off and not fully accurate as relayed by my recruiter and MEPS, so I went with my instinct... nay, my knowledge and I chose to wait.


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Mitch (still married after 38 years to a true SF wife)
Congratulations, honestly. At least from my perspective, that is true dedication.

My father spent months on end away from my mother and my 5 siblings at posts where his family couldn't necessarily go.

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Old 03-26-2009, 20:11   #9
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by version13 View Post
First of all, thank you all again for your replies and clarifications.

Secondly and on a part of the topic, can someone explain a bit on the trust aspect of being a member of a team? I assume you would all trust each other with your life and it's importance, but how would you gauge this on importance and comparison to other jobs or aspects of life.
Your word is your bond - doesn't matter where you work or what you're doing.
You don't leave your coworkers high and dry - do that more than once and you won't last in the real world any longer than in the wonderful world of SF.

Keeping promises and commitments, telling the truth, keeping quiet; someone tells you something and says keep it to yourself (or even if they don’t) you don’t talk about it until they do. Why wouldn’t you practice that at a Bank or a Restaurant, or a Factory? Of course anything less on the Team would follow you around for a Career – guys that do that usually end up as the BN armorer or work S4 (supply). They don’t usually feel welcome on the Team.

(Don’t mean to generalize – I knew a lot of S4 guys I would take anywhere – although, I can’t say the same about too many of the armorers).
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Old 03-26-2009, 20:47   #10
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Kid, you're on the right track.

Don't let yourself get railroaded. Hopefully you have the common sense to know when that is. If not, you're not going to do well in our little course.

Tell a person what you can do. Be honest. And then follow through. If its not good enough for them, they won't play ball. Then, if its worth enough to you, bend.

Trust means the same thing in the Army that it means in the regular world. And I, personally, wouldn't trust anyone I didn't know. FWIW.

They'll still need you in August.

Now go run 3 miles.
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Old 03-26-2009, 23:38   #11
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In college I had an ROTC instructor that fired me up about all things Ranger. When my money ran out and I had to look to funding the rest of my education I looked to the Army to help me out, but thanks to that outstanding mentor I knew I wanted to be in a Rgr Bn. Problem was, I weighed 125 lbs soaking wet, and the first recruiter I went to didn't want to waste a Rgr slot on the skinny geek from college. Nor did the second one. Or the third. By my fifth recruiter I had the sales pitch down pat, so I simply walked into the office, dropped my packet I had by then accumulated and told the NCO "Send me to Rgr Bn or I'll go see recruiter number 6." After he stopped laughing he simply said "You got it." I was gone 5 days later.

If you want it bad enough, then go get it.

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Old 03-27-2009, 00:07   #12
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To piggyback on what Peregrino said, they must have been short on mission that month. Your packet will not change, and it seems you already understand the validity time on your test/phys.

Don't let them stress you out. As a NG Recruiter, I've heard plenty of horror stories about Active Army Recruiters and the amount of pressure that's put on them from above.

From a professional standpoint, your recruiter should have known about your commitments and the 90 day policy before he ever projected you for MEPS. Bottom line: stay respectful, honest, and positive. You'll get to where you want to go.

c2
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Old 03-27-2009, 06:25   #13
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Originally Posted by Mitch View Post
Just a question V13. If you had to make a decision between this opportunity vs. your commitment? If it was a onetime deal - take it or leave it - what would you do?

One thing I observed after a career in SF; the SF life does not lend itself to the best family life. Most guys I know - me included - tended to put SF in front of family. Also, lots of SF marriages end in divorce (more I believe than the regular Army). Opportunities come, in many cases, just once in a career - those who take them regardless of the consequences to their wives and family were the norm in the SF community in my time. But things may have changed recently.

Each team usually had a guy who would not deploy because his wife was pregnant - in spite of the fact that these guys were doing the right thing by their family, they left their team a man short. This was remembered.
Mitch (still married after 38 years to a true SF wife)
V13 I can't add to this post much else. As to the decisions of choices, there is always a consequence. The balance of career and family is tenuous, and there are many "crossroads" in life that lead to the "end". So what do you what to see when you look back down the road.
As to Trust, other than some very specially dangerous jobs, every man is accepted by his team or not. Once accepted then trust is as reliable as the air that sustains us. It is there and and necessary for life. Our missions are long and isolated and team member trust is a part of survival and mission completness.
Hope this helps.
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Old 03-27-2009, 21:31   #14
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Its been so long that I had forgotten what those letters meant - in case I'm not the only one - here is what Google pulled up:

P—Physical Capacity or Stamina
U—Upper Extremities
L—Lower Extremities
H—Hearing and Ears
E—Eyes
S—Psychiatric.

Read more at: http://www.us-army-info.com/pages/mos/profile.html
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