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  • Joining the Guard or Army

    Hello All,

    I am new to this site and looking for solid advice/information. I just turned 30 this year in October and want to join either the Army or the National Guard. My Army recruiter has not been so aggressive about signing me up and this may be a sign of the times, but now I am looking at the National Guard in Maryland as an option. I have several questions.

    1) I would like to try out for Special Forces and know that they accept 20-30 yrs of age into the program. I have never served before, so I am wondering if I would allowed to enlist and try out for SF. I am in great shape, workout 4-5 days a week, 5'10"/172lbs.

    2) Because of my age and no prior service, would I be a good candidate for OCS? I have a college degree and applicable work experience.

    3) If these options 1 & 2 are not favorable, then I would like to enlist as a 31B.

    Any thoughts?

    Regards,

    B

  • #2
    Re: Joining the Guard or Army

    What do you want more OCS or Special Forces? If you go OCS then you will commision into a branch and then have to wait for a few years until you can go to SFAS. Read the sticky in this section about SF and the requirements for officers. If you really want to go for SF then I suggest doing it enlisted as the options and opportunities are better.

    What do you want more active duty Army or Army National Guard? The differences between the two are pretty big. If your active duty recruiter sucks then talk to a different recruiter. The active army has the 18X program which allows new recruits to enlist into the Army, go to basic, AIT, airborne school and SFAS right off the bat. Its the quickest way to Special Forces.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Joining the Guard or Army

      Between the two, I definitely want to go SF. I would prefer active duty and that's why I contacted the Army recruiter first, but I will take your advice and look for another recruiter. I guess I don't understand some of the different enlist process for SF between Army and National Guard. I will do some further research.

      Question for you SGT Juggernaut. If I enlist in NG to pursue SF, how is the process different from the 18X program for active duty Army above?

      Regards,

      B

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Joining the Guard or Army

        Originally posted by SGT Juggernaut View Post
        What do you want more OCS or Special Forces? If you go OCS then you will commision into a branch and then have to wait for a few years until you can go to SFAS. Read the sticky in this section about SF and the requirements for officers. If you really want to go for SF then I suggest doing it enlisted as the options and opportunities are better.

        What do you want more active duty Army or Army National Guard? The differences between the two are pretty big. If your active duty recruiter sucks then talk to a different recruiter. The active army has the 18X program which allows new recruits to enlist into the Army, go to basic, AIT, airborne school and SFAS right off the bat. Its the quickest way to Special Forces.
        I'm not even sure that you have to wait a few years to go to SFAS. I think the ARNG SF units handle it a bit differently. Heck, USMA can send cadets to SFAS.

        18X program is a very quick way to SF but I'm not sure about the success rate. I would imagine it's quite low.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Joining the Guard or Army

          After looking at the sticky for SF Requirements, ANG has the REP 63 contract that is comparable to active army 18X. Maryland has an SF unit.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Joining the Guard or Army

            Originally posted by bec1022 View Post
            Between the two, I definitely want to go SF. I would prefer active duty and that's why I contacted the Army recruiter first, but I will take your advice and look for another recruiter. I guess I don't understand some of the different enlist process for SF between Army and National Guard. I will do some further research.

            Question for you SGT Juggernaut. If I enlist in NG to pursue SF, how is the process different from the 18X program for active duty Army above?

            Regards,

            B
            I would ask SF Hunter that question. I'm sure he will respond in this thread in a little bit.

            Originally posted by Polo08816 View Post
            I'm not even sure that you have to wait a few years to go to SFAS. I think the ARNG SF units handle it a bit differently. Heck, USMA can send cadets to SFAS.

            18X program is a very quick way to SF but I'm not sure about the success rate. I would imagine it's quite low.
            I have heard of cadets going to SFAS but the way I understand it is if they get selected at SFAS then they still have to wait 3 years and have to be 02 before they can go to SFQC. No way around the PL time with Big Green. Probably for the best to because the time officers spend as PL's is invaluable. As for success rate at SFAS for the 18X guys I hear it is actually higher then prior service guys. Now success at SFQC is another story entirely and reading what some SF guys have said about their feelings in regards to the 18X program has been less then impressed. Getting guys who are 20 years old on a team with all that autonomy, still thinking like a PFC....

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Joining the Guard or Army

              Originally posted by SGT Juggernaut View Post
              I have heard of cadets going to SFAS but the way I understand it is if they get selected at SFAS then they still have to wait 3 years and have to be 02 before they can go to SFQC. No way around the PL time with Big Green. Probably for the best to because the time officers spend as PL's is invaluable. As for success rate at SFAS for the 18X guys I hear it is actually higher then prior service guys. Now success at SFQC is another story entirely and reading what some SF guys have said about their feelings in regards to the 18X program has been less then impressed. Getting guys who are 20 years old on a team with all that autonomy, still thinking like a PFC....
              Based on what I've read, that's how AD manages its personnel. There's more flexibility on the ARNG side. For example, you may need to be a 1LT(P) to attend SFAS on AD. I know for a fact that you attend SFAS as a 1LT in the ARNG.

              jwarren's done more research into this. I'm sure he can shed some more light.

              The way I see, more time beyond PL time in a standard ARNG infantry environment isn't going to help you for SFAS. Not being a retard and just not being terrible at life will help more.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Joining the Guard or Army

                My understanding is that 18Xs have a very high selection rate, somewhere in the 70 to 80% range (this is admittedly anecdotal and I encourage everyone to do their own research). This is the result of them going through the preparatory course which is not offered to regular active duty personnel.

                NG tends to have a high selection rate as well because the individual units will make candidates perform a series of readiness evaluations before they send them to SFAS, thus controlling the pool for both physical fitness and land navigation skills.

                The NG also seems to differ from AD in that an individual NG unit has a lot of flexibility with regard to who it sends to SFAS. This is particularly relevant for officers because the incredibly small window that officers have to apply for SFAS doesn't seem to be in effect on the NG side.

                Be advised that the NG's readiness assessments are not directly sanctioned/approved by JFKSWC, and so they differ from unit to unit. Some are more difficult than others. Some are just a single drill consisting of physical events, others involve a series of several months of drills during which you'll be evaluated on fitness, small unit tactics, fieldcraft, and land navigation (such as MD's program, which I'm currently enrolled in).

                That's just my personal experience/impression; SF Hunter will likely chime in with some more information.

                Comment

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