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Posted: 1/13/2011 8:38:03 PM EDT
I posted this in GD before I realized it was probably better suited for here.

I'm in Army ROTC and will be commissioning this summer, most likely mid July. Towards the end of the semester I have to sit down with my PMS and put my top choices for duty station. When everything's all said and done, I should definitely be DMG if not top 10%, so hopefully I should have a good chance of getting the station I want. My question has to do with the process of getting stationed initially as well as when I PCS.

I've for the last 2 years wanted nothing more than to go to Bragg and be a PL in the 82nd. I know that a good chunk of people also want Bragg, and there's quite a bit of competition for it. And from talking to one of our Majors who was an infantry officer in the 10th Mountain, he said that there's a good chance in a unit like that if you screw up the slightest bit they'll yank the position from you. He also was telling me about how for the most part as an infantry officer, if you go straight to a light unit you'll PCS to a mech unit, and vice versa. So in the opinion of anyone that has been through this and is familiar with this process, do you think I'd be better off going to Carson (which is my #2 choice anyway) as a LT and then hopefully get to go to Bragg as a CPT and as a Company Commander? Or would I be better off just shooting for Bragg? Is there any benefit to one over the other for a first duty station? Thanks in advance
Link Posted: 1/13/2011 9:48:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/13/2011 10:02:22 PM EDT by KILLERB6]
ALL AMERICAN, Brother.

I think you're better off starting off where you want to be, rather than some place else. You stated that you've always wanted to be a PL in the 82nd...if you don't at least try, you'll always be asking yourself "what if?".

Life has a way of injecting events into your plans...and sometimes the circle is never closed.

If you want the 82nd/Bragg, go for it...worst case is you end up mech instead of Airborne!

While a quality of life argument can be made for Carson, recommend you go with your heart with respect to what you want to do, rather than where you might want to live.

Bottom line: my 82nd "combat patch" is the one I wear.
Link Posted: 1/14/2011 12:05:51 AM EDT
Not an infantry officer but I trained a few... (no I'm not a grunt either)

You want airborne and Ranger school options. I know at least 3 LTs who went on to become PLs in the 82nd.

Either way is really a crap shoot as to where you go but you can try to get the spots by talking to your branch manager early and often and making yourself the most attractive candidate possible.
Link Posted: 1/14/2011 12:15:54 AM EDT
not an infantry officer either, but i will second airborne and ranger schools. get them out of the way after your OBC.
Link Posted: 1/14/2011 5:42:18 AM EDT
Every Infantry Lieutenant goes to Ranger school.
Link Posted: 1/14/2011 6:28:23 AM EDT
First off don't try to game the system, it has too many variables.

Second, you have much bigger things to worry about duty station....really. In the end the Army will take a look at your top preferences and then....send you where they need you. Remember just b/c you're a DMG or even #1 out of your class does not mean you're going to go to your first pick. The Army simply can't just send all the top performing guys to Vicenza while the bottom 10% always go to FT Bliss. They will break every one down and from each group send one to each place so they get a more even dispersal. Now if you are at the top it does help your chances.

Instead start prepping physically and mentally for Ranger school and if your going to game anything try to manage your time line so you hit a unit thats about to deploy to Afghanistan (light or airborne unit) - after all that should be your goal, to deploy with your PLT. As an infantry PL you earn your money in the field and in combat You sure as hell don't want to go to Iraq, shit's slowing wayyyyy down, and you will just sit on your ass or train dirty, lazy IA.

Finally, if your going to worry about anything worry about being a good PL. There's not a whole lot you can do now with refining your leadership style, its something that will just come in time and practice. Do some professional reading (as much as I hate that phrase) such as Once an Eagle and Once a Warrior King just to name two.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 1/14/2011 6:54:57 AM EDT
As a former infantry officer and PL in the 82nd, I believe it is one of the best places to begin your career as a junior officer. I may be a bit biased, but I believe it is a superb unit that provides a great basic grounding in small unit tactics and leadership. If you want a challenge and an opportunity to lead one of the elite infantry units in the US Army, then the 82nd is a great choice. I would just do your best in school, prepare yourself for OBC and Ranger school through a rigorous PT program, and let the chips fall where they may. I believe trying to wargame your second duty station as a CPT is really losing sight of whats really important, your first platoon. Who knows, IN branch policy could change three times before you make CPT anyways. As a matter of fact, I had friends who were PL's with me that got company commands in the 101st.

PM me if you have any questions
Link Posted: 1/14/2011 2:30:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/14/2011 2:31:12 PM EDT by 82nd_Sapper]
Like others have said, to lead an infantry platoon in the 82nd you will need to go to Ranger School. You will keep going until you pass. Next you will go to jumpmaster school.

Start training hard.
Link Posted: 1/15/2011 9:12:46 AM EDT
IM sent.
Link Posted: 1/15/2011 12:01:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Every Infantry Lieutenant goes to Ranger school.


Not if you fail the LTO RPFT.

(Lieutenant transition Office, Ranger Physical Fitness Test)
Link Posted: 1/15/2011 12:02:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 82nd_Sapper:
Like others have said, to lead an infantry platoon in the 82nd you will need to go to Ranger School. You will keep going until you pass. Next you will go to jumpmaster school.

Start training hard.


Those 12 high performance jumps can be a pain in the ass to get, especially if you're a leg Ranger. I probably won't get a chance to go before we deploy in Mayish because I don't have enough jumps.
Link Posted: 1/15/2011 12:07:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Pegasus6:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Every Infantry Lieutenant goes to Ranger school.


Not if you fail the LTO RPFT.

(Lieutenant transition Office, Ranger Physical Fitness Test)


Allow me to rephrase. All IN LTs will have the opportunity to go.

Unlike, say, FA, where only about 10% get the chance to go after BOLC. Although many go after the CCC, as well.
Link Posted: 1/15/2011 12:12:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/15/2011 12:56:02 PM EDT by Pegasus6]

Originally Posted By Regnar379:
First off don't try to game the system, it has too many variables.

Second, you have much bigger things to worry about duty station....really. In the end the Army will take a look at your top preferences and then....send you where they need you. Remember just b/c you're a DMG or even #1 out of your class does not mean you're going to go to your first pick. The Army simply can't just send all the top performing guys to Vicenza while the bottom 10% always go to FT Bliss. They will break every one down and from each group send one to each place so they get a more even dispersal. Now if you are at the top it does help your chances.

Instead start prepping physically and mentally for Ranger school and if your going to game anything try to manage your time line so you hit a unit thats about to deploy to Afghanistan (light or airborne unit) - after all that should be your goal, to deploy with your PLT. As an infantry PL you earn your money in the field and in combat You sure as hell don't want to go to Iraq, shit's slowing wayyyyy down, and you will just sit on your ass or train dirty, lazy IA.

Finally, if your going to worry about anything worry about being a good PL. There's not a whole lot you can do now with refining your leadership style, its something that will just come in time and practice. Do some professional reading (as much as I hate that phrase) such as Once an Eagle and Once a Warrior King just to name two.

Good luck.


This is some damn good advise IMO. For some perspective I'm an Infantry PL at Bragg.

I tried to game the system. I picked Bragg in Early 2009 knowing that a brigade would deploy some time in late 2010/early 2011. I got to the right Brigade, got an infantry platoon...and we're going to Iraq...so I lose. If I had picked Carson or Germany (2 heavyish units) I'd be slaying Talibs right now. That said, I'm not coming from the ROTC background so I don't know how you guys really roll.

As for Ranger School...Any unit i would voluntarily go to requires its PLs to be tabbed...I had a infantry type buddy that didn't tab at Hood...they gave him an Abrams platoon. That said, if you play well with others, are moderately fit, and aren't a bitch, Ranger isn't that terrible.

Yeah, worry about being a good PL. IBOLC is great at teaching you how to pass ranger school...not so great at teaching you how to be a PL (So I hear...I never went). Everyone teaches that you should go into your platoon and follow your PSG's lead. That's a great theory, but it all falls apart when your PSG sucks. My advise is not to be a douche bag, ask lots of questions, and don't be afraid to raise the BS flag.

Oh yeah, and live in Southern Pines.
Link Posted: 1/15/2011 12:14:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Originally Posted By Pegasus6:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Every Infantry Lieutenant goes to Ranger school.


Not if you fail the LTO RPFT.

(Lieutenant transition Office, Ranger Physical Fitness Test)


Allow me to rephrase. All IN LTs will have the opportunity to go.

Unlike, say, FA, where only about 10% get the chance to go after BOLC. Although many go after the CCC, as well.

You're absolutely correct. Armor is chillin' at 10% also...maybe it will change now that the MANEUVER CENTER OF EXTREME!!! EXCELENCE is getting off the ground.
Link Posted: 1/15/2011 12:16:49 PM EDT
It's actually kind of funny, because there are more FA guys in light units than AR guys...
Link Posted: 1/15/2011 12:19:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
It's actually kind of funny, because there are more FA guys in light units than AR guys...


We sent our FO to school 6 months ago and he came back tabbed...then the Fires Batallion took him back. They are switching to a maneuver unit so they recalled all their tabbed LTs and gave us the untabbed dudes. We're sending him next month. My company is a damn tab factory for arty types.
Link Posted: 1/15/2011 12:23:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Pegasus6:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
It's actually kind of funny, because there are more FA guys in light units than AR guys...


We sent our FO to school 6 months ago and he came back tabbed...then the Fires Batallion took him back. They are switching to a maneuver unit so they recalled all their tabbed LTs and gave us the untabbed dudes. We're sending him next month. My company is a damn tab factory for arty types.


I'm not following what is happening with the 18th FiB. I'm tracking that the HIMARs is going to Stewart. Are the M777A2s going to join a BCT?

I don't see where they would need a 13F in a GS or DS artillery unit...
Link Posted: 1/17/2011 7:57:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/17/2011 8:00:38 PM EDT by Old18C]
Originally Posted By Regnar379:
First off don't try to game the system, it has too many variables.

Second, you have much bigger things to worry about duty station....really. In the end the Army will take a look at your top preferences and then....send you where they need you. Remember just b/c you're a DMG or even #1 out of your class does not mean you're going to go to your first pick. The Army simply can't just send all the top performing guys to Vicenza while the bottom 10% always go to FT Bliss. They will break every one down and from each group send one to each place so they get a more even dispersal. Now if you are at the top it does help your chances.

Instead start prepping physically and mentally for Ranger school and if your going to game anything try to manage your time line so you hit a unit thats about to deploy to Afghanistan (light or airborne unit) - after all that should be your goal, to deploy with your PLT. As an infantry PL you earn your money in the field and in combat You sure as hell don't want to go to Iraq, shit's slowing wayyyyy down, and you will just sit on your ass or train dirty, lazy IA.

Finally, if your going to worry about anything worry about being a good PL. There's not a whole lot you can do now with refining your leadership style, its something that will just come in time and practice. Do some professional reading (as much as I hate that phrase) such as Once an Eagle and Once a Warrior King just to name two.

Good luck.



GREAT ADVICE, I was never in the 82 but was an infantry officer after OCS from an E-6. I never played the system but got sent back to the same SF unit I came from and got to stay there until I made Captain, my team medic (who was HALO, SCUBA, Pathfinder) got sent to a arty unit after OCS due to big army saying they needed him there
.
Link Posted: 1/17/2011 8:22:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Originally Posted By Pegasus6:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
It's actually kind of funny, because there are more FA guys in light units than AR guys...


We sent our FO to school 6 months ago and he came back tabbed...then the Fires Batallion took him back. They are switching to a maneuver unit so they recalled all their tabbed LTs and gave us the untabbed dudes. We're sending him next month. My company is a damn tab factory for arty types.


I'm not following what is happening with the 18th FiB. I'm tracking that the HIMARs is going to Stewart. Are the M777A2s going to join a BCT?

I don't see where they would need a 13F in a GS or DS artillery unit...



Note he said "Fires Bn". That's the DS FA Bn (1/319, 2/319, 3/319, 2/321 depending on what BCT he's in). They are all 119 units, and only MTOEed 4 13Fs with the highest ranking being a SSG in a counterfire cell, which is essentially just a target production cell similar to TABs. One of the biggest issues we have when transforming an FA bn into a manuever bn is where to get FOs and where to get a Fires Cell(or FECC/FEC). Normally the FECC will be made up of the Bn FDC guys and that SSG 13F from the counterfire cell. Now you need observers for your maneuver batteries; not only as FOs, but also to plus up manpower. You can pull the COLTs down from Brigade, but they are better used to augment the D companies. It goes without saying that the tabbed LTs will likely help the transition to a maneuver role.

I'm not tracking the move of 3/27, I can't really see why they would move with the mission they currently have. The two 777 bns in 18th Fires are staying put It is funny to note that 18th Fires put on 82nd patches last year. I guess they didn't like people picking on their flying dildo patch.
Link Posted: 1/17/2011 8:29:07 PM EDT
Originally Posted By FDC:
Note he said "Fires Bn".


Ah. Misread that.
Link Posted: 1/17/2011 8:30:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Originally Posted By FDC:
Note he said "Fires Bn".


Ah. Misread that.


Link Posted: 1/17/2011 8:32:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By FDC:
Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Originally Posted By FDC:
Note he said "Fires Bn".


Ah. Misread that.




One does not get to 55,000 posts by reading...
Link Posted: 1/30/2011 11:41:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/30/2011 11:49:06 AM EDT by RangerJoe11]
As a IN PL that went to Hood I wish I would have picked an Airborne Unit. Either way you will eventually do both. Wherever you go, just make sure you get your tab. If you show up without one you may not get a Platoon and if you do you will be fucked with and have to work a little harder to get that initial respect. With that said, having your tab doesnt mean you will be a great leader. So start reading and preparing for that time now.

All in all, jumping out of planes is a fucking blast, so go to where you can do that the most. Also, I dont care what anyone says the mentality and attitude is different in a mech unit.

ETA: Read "About Face." And please dont be one of those LTs that majors in biochemical nuclear spaceship engineering and earned a 4.0 gpa but cant figure out how to setup a patrol base.
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