I am currently interested in an opportunity with the WA Army National Guard as an 18 series and had a few questions. I am going to contact a recruiter in the next couple days, but would like to have "all of my ducks in a row" before doing so. Before getting into some of the details regarding what I am seeking clarification on, I would like to provide a brief background because this is my first post on the forum (and it will provide some context for my inquiries).
I joined the Air Force in 2004 after 18 rather unproductive months in junior (community) college and served 4 years as an active duty SERE Specialist. During the early period of my USAF enlistment, I did have some maturity issues which ultimately culminated with a DUI and Article 15 which caused me to be demoted to Amn from A1C. For the remainder of my enlistment (31 months), I was able to identify my shortcomings and improve my behavior. During this period, I became a top instructor in the squadron and won a few awards (Airman of the Month and Airman of the Quarter). My performance improved extensively that I could likely get a very strong letter of recommendation from the Squadron DO that gave me the Article 15 and shortly thereafter became Squadron Commander. After my incident, I was also able to complete m A.A.S., Bachelor's degree, and MBA.
I was interested in the Blue to Green Program during the later part of my AF enlistment and performed a fair amount of research on the 11b, 19d, and 18 series career fields. Approximately 12 months before my enlistment was up, my wife and I became pregnant which cause me to backpedal from an Army transition. Upon the end of my service, I accepted a job as a Training Consultant with the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD). After 9 months with ESD, I quickly tired of sitting behind a desk all day and accepted a position as a DoD contractor at the USAF SERE School on Fairchild AFB. I currently hold that position and have been quickly promoted during my tenure as a contractor.
Other relevant information about myself includes:
My DD214 has a reentry code of 1J and a separation code of MBK, so I believe
that is a non-issue.
I don't recall my exact score on the ASVAB, but I was near the 96% percentile.
I don't have any major foreign language ability. I can understand pieces of
German and Spanish, but not enough to effectively ccommunicate.
During a self administered APFT, I scored myself at a 280 for the 17-21 age
bracket. I also feel very comfortable rucking and navigating given my
primary job since 2004.
Finally, to the questions!
1) I understand that A Co 1/19 SFG (which is the unit I am interested in) is highly selective with the candidates that they assign to SFAS. Based on the information that I have found, a prior service Soldier must enlist in the NG with another unit and hold an Army MOS before being considered for SF training. The path to SFAS through A Co 1/19 SFG (A) begins with a unit interview, based on what i have read, and approved candidates must perform satisfactorily during a 90 day attachment. Based on that information, I would assume that a SFAS guarantee cannot be written into a WA ARNG contract. However, is there any way to get the opportunity for the initial interview guaranteed? If not, how likely is it that a parent unit would be unwilling to permit a member (either brand new or at the least recent) to participate in the A Co assessment?
2) Can my recruiter take care of any of the requirements prior to OSUT? This question is related to some of the administrative procedures rather than the PT requirements enforced by A Co. I would hate to make it through OSUT and a unit interview only to be ineligible due to findings during the SFAS/SFQC physical or DLPT.
3). I have heard (I believe on the Professional Soldiers message board) that someone can enlist for SF training through the UT ARNG and transfer to any 19th SFG Unit, which would seem preferable because Utah allows individuals to go through an assessment before even signing a contract. However,... it would seem that this would be considered a back door entry (even if permitted) and might be frowned upon? I certainly wouldn't want to start a career with an SF unit in that manner. If it is frowned upon, would it still be worthwhile to attend Utah's assessment to possible develop at least a semblance of name recognition given favorable performance? I haven't seen a similar evaluation conducted in WA, but I would assume 19th Group Soldiers from Utah would talk to Soldiers from Buckley and say either, "we had a troop interested in your unit named xxx that a) did very well or b) was a worthless POS."
4). Should I forego the traditional recruiter route and contact the Operations Sgt from Buckley directly? That seems to be the most recommended course of action I have came across through my research, but it seems to step a bit outside the bounds of a military chain. I have started filling out the Path to Honor Application (and individuals have been calling to discuss/figure out why I haven't finished), but unfortunately I got called out of town for work for since that time and have had very limited phone/Internet access. I plan on calling the Path to Honor line tomorrow and if they are able to answer these questions, I will update this thread.
Thanks for any assistance you can provide!