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Subject: ARNG SF, revisited.
GOP    1/14/2008 2:11:21 PM
Yeah, I know, there are probably 100 threads on this topic made by me in the past. I think I'm mildy retarded, or just plain dumb :). Anyway, I'm sure most of you get tired of my ongoing saga trying to find an SOF route for me. You probably hate me for it. But, I have no where else to go to ask advice, as I don't trust recruiters and don't know any SOF guys around Alabama :). So, as I've matured and gotten serious about this goal, I've realized what is a reasonable goal, and what goals should be marked off the list. I wanna have a home life, and most active duty SOF units don't really provide for that...or make it difficult. So, I still wanna be a police officer and eventually work my way to SWAT. But, I know the ARNG has an SF route, where I would train monthly and do a Summer train up kind of thing. That would work great for my goals, and actually be very realistic and more doable/better for me. So, my questions: 1) What is the route? How do I go about doing this? Can someone please outline the process for this, I mean do I basically go 18x then after the SF Pipeline go into an ARNG unit? 2) How often would I train? 3) How long is the pipeline? 2 years? I plan to do this after I graduate this year, then go to college after the pipeline.
 
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GOP       1/15/2008 12:20:25 AM
This thread sucks at life so far.
 
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Horsesoldier       1/15/2008 12:21:48 AM
Better to go into things with a thorough understanding than be one of the guys who spends four years doing some job they hate because things did not quite pan out the way the recruiter said it would . . .
 
I'm pretty sure my information is correct for the following, but I may be off on some of the National Guard specific details.
 
1) If you join a line company in one of the NG SFGs, you belong to that unit prior to selection.  They send you off to SFAS and the rest of the pipeline, during which time you're assigned to SWC, but on completion of training you revert back to your assigned NG unit.  (Pretty much the same thing as would happen if you joined, say, a 'Guard infantry unit and they sent you to basic and AIT and then back to your 'Guard unit.)
 
In the NG you're technically not an 18X, you're a Rep 63 (if I remember that correctly), which is pretty much the same difference, with the same infantry basic/AIT and airborne start point for the pipeline before you go to selection and on to SF specific training.
 
2) The basic "one weekend a month, two weeks a year" thing pretty much sums it up, except that NG SF companies get some extra training days during the year (not sure how many except that the two weeks a year is usually three weeks).
 
You can do a lot more than that (the often discussed "guard bum" approach to employment), if you are willing and able to go to additional schools and/or cover down on other training or real world missions that come up overseas and stateside.  There are both voluntary and involuntary deployment possibilities out there, depending on whether it's your unit that got tapped for the deployment or if another NG SF unit (or active duty one) is looking for additional personnel to get them up to strength for a trip.
 
3) The pipeline will run about a year to two years, depending on which specialty you go in for.  18B and C are the shortest, 18E is longer, 18D is the longest with an entire year of medical training.  
 
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longrifle       1/15/2008 9:58:48 AM
GOP,
 
There's a ton of good SF info at professionalsoldiers.com.  Much more than you can find at Socnet.  I've not found a site that's more SF specific with and with so many former SF soldiers posting.
 
Warning: they appear to be unmerciful with anyone who comes across as a pretender, wanna be, or a Walter Mitty type. 
 
It would be a bad, wrong thing to go there and start asking and talking "Green Beret" this, and "Green Beret" that.  If I were you I'd go there to lurk and read.  If you spend some time there searching many of your questions will probably be answered without having to register and ask anyway.
 
I hope this helps. 
 
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GOP       1/15/2008 4:38:08 PM

Better to go into things with a thorough understanding than be one of the guys who spends four years doing some job they hate because things did not quite pan out the way the recruiter said it would . . .

 

I'm pretty sure my information is correct for the following, but I may be off on some of the National Guard specific details.

 

1) If you join a line company in one of the NG SFGs, you belong to that unit prior to selection.  They send you off to SFAS and the rest of the pipeline, during which time you're assigned to SWC, but on completion of training you revert back to your assigned NG unit.  (Pretty much the same thing as would happen if you joined, say, a 'Guard infantry unit and they sent you to basic and AIT and then back to your 'Guard unit.)

 

In the NG you're technically not an 18X, you're a Rep 63 (if I remember that correctly), which is pretty much the same difference, with the same infantry basic/AIT and airborne start point for the pipeline before you go to selection and on to SF specific training.

 

2) The basic "one weekend a month, two weeks a year" thing pretty much sums it up, except that NG SF companies get some extra training days during the year (not sure how many except that the two weeks a year is usually three weeks).

 

You can do a lot more than that (the often discussed "guard bum" approach to employment), if you are willing and able to go to additional schools and/or cover down on other training or real world missions that come up overseas and stateside.  There are both voluntary and involuntary deployment possibilities out there, depending on whether it's your unit that got tapped for the deployment or if another NG SF unit (or active duty one) is looking for additional personnel to get them up to strength for a trip.

 

3) The pipeline will run about a year to two years, depending on which specialty you go in for.  18B and C are the shortest, 18E is longer, 18D is the longest with an entire year of medical training.  


1) How does this process work? Would I go to an Army recruiter, sign up under a "Rep 63" contract, then join a SFG (2Oth SFG(A) is 40 minutes from my house, and their website lists a recruiter). Also, do I train/meet the team before I go through the pipeline, and if so any idea how that works?
2) Honestly, if I make it through the selection process, I'd probably train as often as possible. I live here, so the opportunity would be readily availible I would guess.
 
3) With my goal to be a weapons Sgt, it would take around 18-20 months. I don't really think I have much say in deciding that though.
 
Also, I just read 20th groups homepage, and it appears they do mandatory schools, are deployed yearly, and do monthly drills. Awesome. Their AOR is South/Central America...is there much action to be found there? I guess the whole 'war on drugs' thing is still active, and possibly training government forces?
 
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Horsesoldier       1/15/2008 6:27:52 PM


1) How does this process work? Would I go to an Army recruiter, sign up under a "Rep 63" contract, then join a SFG (2Oth SFG(A) is 40 minutes from my house, and their website lists a recruiter). Also, do I train/meet the team before I go through the pipeline, and if so any idea how that works?

2) Honestly, if I make it through the selection process, I'd probably train as often as possible. I live here, so the opportunity would be readily availible I would guess.

 

3) With my goal to be a weapons Sgt, it would take around 18-20 months. I don't really think I have much say in deciding that though.

 

Also, I just read 20th groups homepage, and it appears they do mandatory schools, are deployed yearly, and do monthly drills. Awesome. Their AOR is South/Central America...is there much action to be found there? I guess the whole 'war on drugs' thing is still active, and possibly training government forces?

1)  You join through a National Guard recruiter.  The recruiter POC listed for 20th Group is probably the best guy as far as recruiters go to talk to if he is the assigned recruiter for the Group.
 
As for location, you want to join one of the line companies -- Auburn, Decatur or Mobile -- not the HQ/support units in Birmingham or Huntsville.  The line companies will do a much better job of getting you ready for going to selection than the other options.

If you join a line unit you should be able to contact them directly and arrange to go meet people in the unit, observe NQP (non-qualified personnel -- guys waiting for selection and the rest of the pipeline) training, and such.  As far as I know, NQPs are not ever assigned to a specific team, but once you're in the company and get past selection you can probably sort out which ODA they're leaning towards slotting you for.
 
(Though don't read too much into ODA assignment -- these days active and reserve units are basically building ODAs for specific deployments rather than having them long-term units.  You'll move around as needed.)
 
2) If you're in Alabama, a lot of 20th Group's training is done in-state, yes.  Once you get an 18 series MOS there's a lot of money out there for training. 
 
3) 18B can be done in one year for guys who're already in, so 18-20 months sounds about right if you're coming in off the street and have basic and AIT to figure in to the mix.
 
As for the 20th Group website, it sounds like the info there is somewhat dated, but the NG SF guys are pretty busy with training and real world missions by reserve unit standards. 
 
There are also some rumors that the powers that be are thinking about bringing back 11th and 12th Groups (USAR SF), but even if they did, I don't imagine they'd be any closer or more convenient than 20th if you're in Alabama.
 
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GOP       1/16/2008 2:44:16 AM





1) How does this process work? Would I go to an Army recruiter, sign up under a "Rep 63" contract, then join a SFG (2Oth SFG(A) is 40 minutes from my house, and their website lists a recruiter). Also, do I train/meet the team before I go through the pipeline, and if so any idea how that works?



2) Honestly, if I make it through the selection process, I'd probably train as often as possible. I live here, so the opportunity would be readily availible I would guess.



 



3) With my goal to be a weapons Sgt, it would take around 18-20 months. I don't really think I have much say in deciding that though.



 



Also, I just read 20th groups homepage, and it appears they do mandatory schools, are deployed yearly, and do monthly drills. Awesome. Their AOR is South/Central America...is there much action to be found there? I guess the whole 'war on drugs' thing is still active, and possibly training government forces?



1)  You join through a National Guard recruiter.  The recruiter POC listed for 20th Group is probably the best guy as far as recruiters go to talk to if he is the assigned recruiter for the Group.

 

As for location, you want to join one of the line companies -- Auburn, Decatur or Mobile -- not the HQ/support units in Birmingham or Huntsville.  The line companies will do a much better job of getting you ready for going to selection than the other options.

If you join a line unit you should be able to contact them directly and arrange to go meet people in the unit, observe NQP (non-qualified personnel -- guys waiting for selection and the rest of the pipeline) training, and such.  As far as I know, NQPs are not ever assigned to a specific team, but once you're in the company and get past selection you can probably sort out which ODA they're leaning towards slotting you for.

 

(Though don't read too much into ODA assignment -- these days active and reserve units are basically building ODAs for specific deployments rather than having them long-term units.  You'll move around as needed.)

 

2) If you're in Alabama, a lot of 20th Group's training is done in-state, yes.  Once you get an 18 series MOS there's a lot of money out there for training. 

 

3) 18B can be done in one year for guys who're already in, so 18-20 months sounds about right if you're coming in off the street and have basic and AIT to figure in to the mix.

 

As for the 20th Group website, it sounds like the info there is somewhat dated, but the NG SF guys are pretty busy with training and real world missions by reserve unit standards. 

 

There are also some rumors that the powers that be are thinking about bringing back 11th and 12th Groups (USAR SF), but even if they did, I don't imagine they'd be any closer or more convenient than 20th if you're in Alabama.



1) Yeah, I have the recruiters name (listed at 20th's site), and he's who I would work with I guess. As far as meeting them before hand, Im sure Im gonna be heavily looked down upon, being as I'll be an 18 year old kid fresh out of HS....and they are 25+ year old guys who have been on several combat deployments and hold civilian jobs as well. No problem though, I'd expect that.
 
2) If I'm a 20 year old (by the end of selection), would it be possible to go to College as well as doing a few other schools, or is that not likely.
 
3) Yeah, 20th group is extremely close. I know exactly where there HQ is, ride by it occasionally I believe without even knowing it (if it is where it is listed). Auburn is within 2:00 from me, Decatur is 1:45 from me, and Mobile is 3:30 from me...so it's very doable.
 
Now, into the bonus questions:
 
4) Would they teach me anything that would help me get through the pipeline? Like orienteering,etc?
 
5) How is the acedemic portion of the courses? I struggle in math to be honest, so I should probably per
 
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longrifle       1/16/2008 10:26:32 AM
GOP,
 
There is a recent thread there on the 20th Group page about how long it took someone to go through the pipeline.  He said about 2 1/2 years.
 
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GOP       1/16/2008 3:13:28 PM
It appears they upped the minimum age limit to 20. That sucks.
 
Anyone know any cool jobs in the guard outside of regular infantry? I highly doubt there is a guard AB or Ranger unit, and they don't list anything other than 11b, 11c, or 11z in the combat arms side of things. I'm gonna look into USMC reserve units, etc.
 
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GOP       1/16/2008 3:21:02 PM
I wish we had an edit button here.
 
Anyway, I'll probably go 11b in the Guard and go to as many schools as possible. Would it be possible to go to jump school (that one has a particular interest to me), or many other schools once in unit?
 
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Horsesoldier       1/16/2008 4:01:11 PM

I wish we had an edit button here.

 

Anyway, I'll probably go 11b in the Guard and go to as many schools as possible. Would it be possible to go to jump school (that one has a particular interest to me), or many other schools once in unit?


 
Generally speaking the 'Guard has fewer school opportunities than active duty, and you're usually restricted to stuff that is mandatory for your MOS and duty position/rank (SF team guys are much better funded than most NG units).  So unless you joined an airborne unit, jump school is probably out, etc (unless you also do college ROTC, in which case jump school is pretty routine) -- and airborne units in the NG are pretty uncommon.
 
That said, there is an airborne infantry unit (LRS unit, specifically) in the Georgia NG.  I believe they're located in Atlanta, or somewhere in the Atlanta area.  I've also met a couple of Air National Guard TACPs who'd been sent to jump school, but I don't know how that works, exactly, as I think it has something to do with if the unit has a mission to support specific army units on jump status or something like that.
 
 
 
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