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Posted: 6/4/2009 5:44:04 AM EST
I know there's a few folks here that are, were or have worked with CA and I would like your opinion. How different are the lives and roles of a CA officer versus enlisted? If I am considering an eventual commission in the CA field, how much of an advantage would it be to spend a few years as a 38B first? Or would those few years be better spent earning my O2 and shaping myself to get into CA?

I'm not sure if it matters or not, but I am working towards my MS in Civil Engineering and may pursue the medical field later. I mention this because I've heard your civilian job can come into play regarding what you do on a CA team.

Thanks.
Link Posted: 6/4/2009 9:57:35 PM EST
Originally Posted By foogoo:
I know there's a few folks here that are, were or have worked with CA and I would like your opinion. How different are the lives and roles of a CA officer versus enlisted? If I am considering an eventual commission in the CA field, how much of an advantage would it be to spend a few years as a 38B first? Or would those few years be better spent earning my O2 and shaping myself to get into CA?

I'm not sure if it matters or not, but I am working towards my MS in Civil Engineering and may pursue the medical field later. I mention this because I've heard your civilian job can come into play regarding what you do on a CA team.

Thanks.


you cant branch directly into CA, you have to be a CPT or higher, you can come in as a 2nd LT but you have to have a different branch, and i think they stopped doing that recently. that whole thing about your job playing into CA can be true but most times youre doing so many different things it will only come in handy for a small portion of it. civil engineering is good, but thats only good for vertical construction QAQC. not going to help you with social networking or anyone of the billion things youll do as a CA officer. as a team chief you will be as busy as you want or as bored as you want, your work load is up to you and how much if any you want to dump onto your team sergeant (me) thank god my chief doesnt do that. if you want to be a 38B first i say go for it. its a great experience, BUT if youre not a team sergeant you wont be doing much but pulling securtiy or working on a truck. youll see some CA stuff yeah, but when a CAT goes out together and we normally do, one person talks 2 stay with the truck and the team sergeant makes sure that the infantry dont forget about us and drive off. and its different if you work at anything higher than a CA company, companies go to battalions, ca battalions go to IN brigades and so on. the higher you are in a CA unit the farther from the ground you will be. keep asking questions i got a ton of answers. now if youll excuse me i have redeployment briefs to attend. XX days left.........im short baby!

Link Posted: 6/5/2009 3:11:49 AM EST
Thanks for the reply.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but are you basically saying I probably won't do much real CA stuff as an Enlisted guy (if I'm anything other than a TS, which is what, E6?)? What about this then - are there any disadvantages you can see to being an O in CA (or in other words, any advantages to being Enlisted versus O)?

Have fun redeploying, we've still got a few weeks left. What part of the country are you at?
Link Posted: 6/5/2009 8:51:17 PM EST
Originally Posted By foogoo:
Thanks for the reply.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but are you basically saying I probably won't do much real CA stuff as an Enlisted guy (if I'm anything other than a TS, which is what, E6?)? What about this then - are there any disadvantages you can see to being an O in CA (or in other words, any advantages to being Enlisted versus O)?

Have fun redeploying, we've still got a few weeks left. What part of the country are you at?


bro im in the shitty part! jk, im at taji right now. the advantage/disadvantage, if youre an officer but you have to be 01-04 youll probably be a team chief, CPT is the best rank for this. thats our TO&E anyway. you effect change in your AO, the people know you and you have the ear of the maneuver commander, in theory. however if youre lower ranking not many will listen to you, especially if its your first tour as an O. as a higher lever officer, fieldgrade and what not, youll sit in the CMOC at brigade up to corp and be bored out of your skull. a few of my buddies are up at corp and they quote "dont even stand for a 2 star when he walks in" there are that many. get used to rubbing shoulders with brass. now im an E5 (E6 gimmie 2 months) and im a team sergeant. so.......it varies, i got to do a ton of shit my last tour as a spc, but i was at a physical PRT. now i dont do much, neither do my soldiers, but remember CA is designed to work its way out of a job. weve done that here in iraq, in a new conflict youll do so much more as a spc than a maj will, at least on the ground thats true. my advice is to try CA out for a deployment (garrison doesnt do shit for you) as enlisted. get your commision in a different branch then once you make CPT come back to it if you liked it. Youll have far more respect from your team and company that way. i dont know if this answers your question. i cant be the only CA guy on here! AddictedtoGuns is CA he helped me out when i first got in country maybe hell chime in. anything else please ask!

Link Posted: 6/14/2009 11:04:15 AM EST
I deployed to Afghanistan as a PV2 with Civil Affairs (450th CA BN out of Maryland). I spent most of my time pulling security, tracking FOO funds, and handling paperwork. We did many humanitarian assistance drops and worked closely with the local governor to try and get the "city" more modernized. Drill was usually spent doing inventory or sitting through a class of some sort. We did qualifications, APFTs, and land nav. every few months.

I loved the MOS as far as our job overseas. I don't know how my experience with monthly drills compares to other Reserve units, though. I'm guessing it's about the same?

I don't even know if I answered your question, OP. All I know is that I served 4 years as an enlisted Reservist and I'm now about halfway through my ROTC program (Army Nurse Corp, woo!). I wouldn't have wanted to experience the Army any other way and I really appreciate the time I spent as a private/specialist because I think it will really help me to be a better officer in the long run.

Good luck to you in whatever choice you make!

Link Posted: 6/14/2009 1:14:49 PM EST
Originally Posted By EatWhenHungry:
I deployed to Afghanistan as a PV2 with Civil Affairs (450th CA BN out of Maryland). I spent most of my time pulling security, tracking FOO funds, and handling paperwork. We did many humanitarian assistance drops and worked closely with the local governor to try and get the "city" more modernized. Drill was usually spent doing inventory or sitting through a class of some sort. We did qualifications, APFTs, and land nav. every few months.

I loved the MOS as far as our job overseas. I don't know how my experience with monthly drills compares to other Reserve units, though. I'm guessing it's about the same?

I don't even know if I answered your question, OP. All I know is that I served 4 years as an enlisted Reservist and I'm now about halfway through my ROTC program (Army Nurse Corp, woo!). I wouldn't have wanted to experience the Army any other way and I really appreciate the time I spent as a private/specialist because I think it will really help me to be a better officer in the long run.

Good luck to you in whatever choice you make!



Thanks for the input! I'm also considering just getting out and maybe pursuing a commision in AMEDD in the future. But it's hard to turn away from a local, airborne-status unit.

BTW, your usename made me LOL!
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