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  • Sapper Unit

    I am enlisted as a 12B (Combat Engineer) and hope to some day be able to get to Sapper School. My ASVAB score was an 89, and I score close to a 300 on my PT tests, so I am hoping I will be able to get in after BCT/AIT and ROTC at Ohio State.

    I am currently in RSP, but my unit is a Sapper Unit located in Amanda, OH. I may be able to transfer, however, to a unit close to my hometown. This would make it much easier to get to drill during college, since I could just come home for the weekend and head to drill.

    Does anyone know much about Sapper Units? Would it teach me much more (and be a lot more exciting to be in) and help me get to Sapper School more so than a regular engineering unit? Is it worth not being as efficient and easy to get to as the closer unit would be? Thank you.

  • #2
    I love to crush dreams so I'm gonna crush yours. Don't count on going to Sapper School while you are in the NG, ever. Is it a possibility, maybe. Is it likely to happen, slim to none. Even with a 300 APFT, a strong desire to go and if you are on top of your game the funds and opportunity just isn't there for most Sapper units in the NG. With funds drying up all over the place its going to be very hard to go to a school that isn't MOSQ or NCOES. Keep it as a goal to shoot for but don't get your hopes up, be prepared to never get the chance to go. I'm sending you a PM.

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    • #3
      I've heard this as well and understand the chances are very low. Thank you for telling me instead of listening to people who have no idea.

      As for the actual sapper unit, do you know if sapper units are very different from regular engineering units, or are the budgets so tight that there isn't much of a difference? I'm just trying to weight if going the extra couple hours every month would be worth being in a sapper unit, or if I should try transferring to a unit close to home.

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      • #4
        I'm in a Sapper company. Another platoon leader from my company and I are going to SLC this summer. Sounds like we're the exception to the rule, but it's not impossible.

        As for whether being in a Sapper company will improve your chances, I would say get in touch with guys in that unit or battalion, and ask them.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by JB_14 View Post
          I've heard this as well and understand the chances are very low. Thank you for telling me instead of listening to people who have no idea.

          As for the actual sapper unit, do you know if sapper units are very different from regular engineering units, or are the budgets so tight that there isn't much of a difference? I'm just trying to weight if going the extra couple hours every month would be worth being in a sapper unit, or if I should try transferring to a unit close to home.
          There are many different kinds of engineering units, a Sapper company will be very different from a construction company, or a heavy equipment company etc. Now a MAC company will be similar to a Sapper company as a MAC company is comprised of mostly 12B's with a platoon of heavy equipment operators. A Sapper company is a combat arms unit and therefore will be a very different experience than other engineer companies. If you end up in a battalion as a 12B you will most likely assemble tents during drill for the battalion HQ staff. Not very fun. Having been a combat engineer since 2008 and combat arms for my entire 10 year career it is my opinion that driving a couple hours to get that line experience is well worth it. All the 12B's from all over the state were trying to get into our company the years leading up to our deployment. I don't know if you got my PM, the new layout for this forum blows. But I was recently deployed on the same FOB as an Ohio NG Sapper company.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Explosive Hazard View Post
            I love to crush dreams so I'm gonna crush yours. Don't count on going to Sapper School while you are in the NG, ever. Is it a possibility, maybe. Is it likely to happen, slim to none. Even with a 300 APFT, a strong desire to go and if you are on top of your game the funds and opportunity just isn't there for most Sapper units in the NG. With funds drying up all over the place its going to be very hard to go to a school that isn't MOSQ or NCOES. Keep it as a goal to shoot for but don't get your hopes up, be prepared to never get the chance to go. I'm sending you a PM.
            I am in the Tennessee national guard. Joined out of high school in 04. In the past year I have gone to Air Assault and Airborne. Slotted for Army Mountain Warfare School in Vermont, March 7-22 and Sapper leader course this coming summer as well. Show initiative and the want for these schools. It took me a few years to finally get started in the schools but is totally worth it. My theory, keep harassing the training NCO about them. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by SGT Cobb View Post
              I am in the Tennessee national guard. Joined out of high school in 04. In the past year I have gone to Air Assault and Airborne. Slotted for Army Mountain Warfare School in Vermont, March 7-22 and Sapper leader course this coming summer as well. Show initiative and the want for these schools. It took me a few years to finally get started in the schools but is totally worth it. My theory, keep harassing the training NCO about them. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
              Show initiative and want for these schools....................... I've been #1 on the battalion OML since 2009, scored 300 on my APFT every year of my 10 year career, I've been promised by two of my former BC's that I would get to go before deployment, submitted twice, denied twice for "lack of funds", was told during deployment that I would be sent once we got back, now that I'm back I'm getting dicked around on ALC, even though I'm #1 on the OML for that as well, can't go till after the E-7 board. So I will not get to board. Was told before deployment I would go to EOCA, submitted but denied because state training didn't think it was necessary for a route clearance mission, ? Those who apply themselves, work hard and have loyalty to the unit should be recognized and awarded. Not that case for my state. To top it all off a friend of mine in battalion gets to go next summer to Sapper Leader Course and he isn't on the OML, has a profile that makes him non qualed to even attend and couldn't deploy with us due to his profile. But he is getting put in before anyone else. My slot in the UMR calls for the S4 ASI. I don't understand how this **** works in my state. I have zero confidence in my senior leadership and will not be re-enlisting. I've needed to vent for a long time.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Explosive Hazard View Post
                Show initiative and want for these schools....................... I've been #1 on the battalion OML since 2009, scored 300 on my APFT every year of my 10 year career, I've been promised by two of my former BC's that I would get to go before deployment, submitted twice, denied twice for "lack of funds", was told during deployment that I would be sent once we got back, now that I'm back I'm getting dicked around on ALC, even though I'm #1 on the OML for that as well, can't go till after the E-7 board. So I will not get to board. Was told before deployment I would go to EOCA, submitted but denied because state training didn't think it was necessary for a route clearance mission, ? Those who apply themselves, work hard and have loyalty to the unit should be recognized and awarded. Not that case for my state. To top it all off a friend of mine in battalion gets to go next summer to Sapper Leader Course and he isn't on the OML, has a profile that makes him non qualed to even attend and couldn't deploy with us due to his profile. But he is getting put in before anyone else. My slot in the UMR calls for the S4 ASI. I don't understand how this **** works in my state. I have zero confidence in my senior leadership and will not be re-enlisting. I've needed to vent for a long time.
                Holy **** man!! I was denied eeoca first try because one of my line scores was 2 points too low and that I have retaken my asvab and raised it they are re submitting it. Seems like there is definitely some "who ya know" going on in your state. My unit hates me lol. I like to have a good time and cut up but when it's time to work I'm no non sense. They don't understand that I'm able to separate the two because I guess they cant. So they think I'm not serious enough. But yet anytime they have a school slot open they put me in because they know I refuse to fail. Also, this isn't suggested for anyone, the unit told me no so I took advantage of "open door" policies above my unit CoC and kept asking until I got what I wanted. Again, I don't necessarily suggest that for anyone because there can be consequences regardless what the "open door" policy states. Explosive Hazard, what state are you in?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by SGT Cobb View Post
                  Holy **** man!! I was denied eeoca first try because one of my line scores was 2 points too low and that I have retaken my asvab and raised it they are re submitting it. Seems like there is definitely some "who ya know" going on in your state. My unit hates me lol. I like to have a good time and cut up but when it's time to work I'm no non sense. They don't understand that I'm able to separate the two because I guess they cant. So they think I'm not serious enough. But yet anytime they have a school slot open they put me in because they know I refuse to fail. Also, this isn't suggested for anyone, the unit told me no so I took advantage of "open door" policies above my unit CoC and kept asking until I got what I wanted. Again, I don't necessarily suggest that for anyone because there can be consequences regardless what the "open door" policy states. Explosive Hazard, what state are you in?
                  ​I know I sound extremely bitter, and pessimistic. My situation is why I recommend to the OP to not get his hopes up that he will get to go in his career. Its something to shoot for and strive for but for even the most high speed and capable individuals it may never be a reality. Unfortunately I'm in a position where I cannot affect change in the organization, I don't have the rank or authority to make things happen. And I no longer have friends in high places. My state recently had our TAG and ATAG fired due to corruption. Good riddance. Hopefully there will be a trickle down effect but I'm sure it wont happen immediately which is why I'm in a tough spot. There are a plethora of issues but schools and promotion is the tip if the iceberg for me and its cut my last nerve. I've considered IST but it could very well be the grass just looks greener. And this is how I have come to the conclusion that its time for me to bow out of the NG, although I don't want to give up on the military just yet. I'm close to finishing a BS and currently have a high GPA so I'll see where that can take me.

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                  • #10
                    The reality is that getting a chance to go to SLC is very low, though there are clearly people that have figured out a way to make it happen. I'm currently a sapper company commander and we have no one in the unit that has been. I believe it is going to be an ASI requirement for Sapper Companies in the next FY, so it will be interesting to see if funding is going to be made available for qualified troops going forward. I know in my state, they are projecting a pretty significant hit to training dollars next year and they have put out their plan to scale funding accordingly, with the most funding going to units in their Ready year and the least amount to units in a reset year.

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                    • #11
                      I am in a Route Clearance Unit, and I know from talking to people in Sapper units, they get slots for more schools. They get a few slots for Airborne/Air assault, while we don't. I just got back from EOCA and the cadres was talking about how Active has less funding now, so there are a greater number of slots available in schools. It's more a matter of your unit securing funding for that school.... There is a guy in my unit heading to SLC in the near future, but i beleive he is the third person from our state in the last 4 years to go. The other two were captains...Be patient, show motivation, and let everyone in your CoC know that you want to go to schools and they will come your way eventually. Also, getting to know with your training and readiness NCOs doesn't hurt either...I had to decide on choosing a unit close to school or close to home as well, and I am happy i chose close to school. now I get to escape for a guys weekend every month.

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