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National Guard Special Forces: Advice/Insight

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  • National Guard Special Forces: Advice/Insight

    I am going to Federal OCS this summer and have a long term goal of going special forces.

    I am concerned about getting the opportunity to earn special schools such as Airborne, Air Assault, Ranger, Sapper, Pathfinder…
    While working my way to CPT or 1st LT promotable (SF requirement for officers).

    I would like some advice on what path to take in regards to:
    Branch
    I'm sure certain branches on average get more special school than others, particularly combat arms. BUT I do not know which would be Ideal, and I know depending on the branch you will likely never be able to do some schools. For example, infantry officers would rarely get sapper and engineer officers would rarely get ranger.
    State
    I'm also sure that there are certain states that put more money towards their training, because of the types of units they have or the size of their forces or they simply have more funding, whatever the case may be.. I know certain states have special forces units, so is there any certain state that would provide a greater chance of getting special schools?
    Type of Unit
    I have also read that units such as LRS (long range surveillance) get more advanced training. Are there any other types of units that would get the same treatment?
    I know all of this depends on a lot of things, especially my performance to earn 1st pick at a particular branch, but overall I would like advice on a good path to the opportunity for as many schools as possible and leading up to the goal of special forces.
    Also, if there is something I am not considering or thinking of please say so!

    Pardon my ignorance if I have misspoke on any of my statements and thank you for the help.

  • #2
    I recommend you check out this thread: http://www.nationalguard.com/forums/...-to-pursue-18a

    Comment


    • #3
      What state are you joining in? (My money is on Wisconsin based on your username)

      I went through FOCS this time last year, and my state waited to put me in a slot until a few weeks before graduation. Right now I would focus on hammering PT...I had a 300 coming out and got put in a combat engineer unit, and get to go to Sapper School this summer. A few of my NG buds that branched IN have been/are going to Ranger as well. My experience (a whopping 9 months worth) has been that getting schools is a mix of merit, luck, and your flexibility.


      PS--Mods/Admins---Viewing new posts/posting on this site has become a real pain

      Comment


      • #4
        Good call enceladus.

        Although I'm currently in Wisconsin I plan to move wherever I can find a promising slot. I think my weak spot that will drag me down on the OML would be my GPA. My PT has always been 300 plus, but going to school for engineering has been rough on my GPA.

        Do you happen to know what other schools you may be offered in that engineering unit? Also, is your new engineering unit designated combat, vertical, horizontal or what type of engineering unit is it?

        Comment


        • #5
          It's a Sapper unit, so the vast majority are 12Bs (combat engineers) with a handful of mechanics, signal, and medics.

          We just sent 2 guys to EOCA course (Explosive Ordnance Clearance Agent) a few months ago, along with one or two other ASI (additional skill identifier) schools (Javelin gunner and one other I can't remember). My understanding is that your likelihood of sending people to schools increases if you unit's roster has the ASI listed. For example platoon leader slots in my company are listed ASI for Sapper Leader Course, so it's fairly easy for a LT to go (by easy I mean 1-2 slots per year).

          But like everyone has said, YMMV by state and funding availability, and all signs point to more cuts.

          Comment


          • #6
            Use the search feature.

            If SF is something you want to pursue as an officer then I wouldn't look at any other branch except for infantry. I'm a combat engineer in a Sapper company, NG Sapper companies are extremely lucky if they can send even one soldier to Sapper Leader Course. Obviously some states are better than others but since my unit was stood up in 2008 we have sent a grand total of ZERO soldiers to SLC and there are no plans of sending any soldiers in the future. As far as other schools offered to Sapper companies most are MOS specific. SLC is about as high speed as it gets for us, you won't hear about a state sending combat engineers to airborne, AAS or Ranger very often if ever.

            Infantry offers more opportunity for cool guy schools. But if you end up branching infantry the only high speed school you should really push hard for would be Ranger, and thats more for your career progression as a 11A to be honest. Either way, don't get hung up on trying to get every badge and tab under the sun. IF you end up making it through everything as far as the SF pipeline is concerned there will be plenty of opportunity and funds to go to additional schools and training. You gotta look at what is immediately in front of you. Graduate FOCS, get the branch you want, be the best damn platoon leader you possibly can.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Explosive Hazard View Post
              Use the search feature.
              Either way, don't get hung up on trying to get every badge and tab under the sun. IF you end up making it through everything as far as the SF pipeline is concerned there will be plenty of opportunity and funds to go to additional schools and training. You gotta look at what is immediately in front of you. Graduate FOCS, get the branch you want, be the best damn platoon leader you possibly can.
              As Explosive Hazard stated so well. Focus on the 25 meter target.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you for a direct answer Explosive Hazard.

                Comment

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