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Posted: 9/18/2001 7:45:09 AM EDT
Although we don't know if our involvement in Afganistan will escalate to the point where masses of military will ne needed, I've been doing my homework on what types of units I would be interested in joining should we civilians be called upon to volunteer. The Army Airborne (101st, 82nd, etc) is what I'm reseaching right now. I have a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, but I'm not sure if I really want to be an officer (officers have to stay at least 3 years as opposed to the 2 years for enlisted?). Instead I might rather enlist but do a job that would still require a degree - are their positions like that in the Airborne? Communications, engineer, medical, etc? When/if I enlist is there anyway to ensure a place in jumpshool after completing basic, or do you need a recommendation? Also, if I wanted to have a communications (for example) related job would I enlist with that MOS first and then go to jump school, or after completion of jumpschool would they just give me whatever options of positions that are open? As more of a general question, is jump school hard to get into? Is there a waiting list or anything? Also, are Airborne divisions like 101st, 82nd, etc considered Special Forces? As you can see I'm clueless about all this, but its better to ask here than a recruiter who may not be totally informed or truthful. Thanks...
Link Posted: 9/18/2001 8:00:55 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/18/2001 8:07:37 AM EDT
I'm in the National Guard and I can answer your questions. The 31 series MOS's are Signal Operations. 31S is a satalite systems specialist. 31F is a network switching systems operator. I don't know about 31s, but as a 31F you can join the 82nd or 101st. You would go to basic,then MOS school, then airborne school. You can get airborne school in your contract. If you want to go they will definetly send you, as long as you can score a minimum of 70% in each category of the APFT(Army Phisical Fitness Test).
Link Posted: 9/18/2001 8:27:43 AM EDT
I enlisted into the 82nd Airborne in the Mid 80's. My contract guaranteed Infantry, Airborne School, & 82nd as my unit. Paratroopers are considered "elite" but not Special Forces. My buddy didn't get Airborne School in his contract. They said he could just walk across the street at Benning & sign up for Airborne after AIT. He ended up in the Old Guard in D.C. DeMarcus 3/505th P.I.R.
Link Posted: 9/18/2001 9:55:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/18/2001 9:55:16 AM EDT by WSmac]
Mind what Demarcus said about the recruiters. Now, I was 82nd - 23 years ago! Talk about outdated! Here's what I learned. Whatever you want, i.e. Airborne, specific MOS, etc., get it in writing - in other words - in your enlistment contract. Don't EVER be fooled into thinking you can just, "walk over to Smoke Bomb Hill and tell them you want to go Special Forces......", or anything else like that. I don't know if you are black or white. If you are an "African-American" and have the sickle-cell trait, you won't be jumping out of any military aircraft! A buddy of mine wound up in the 101st that way. Think about your ultimate goal. Figure out, as best you can; what steps you need to take to get there, and how long it will likely take, and the commitment required of you after you get there. An example of this is The Green Berets, and what TimJ said. For some occupations, you have to have a certain time-in-grade, MOS, and maybe a certain number of years left in your enlistment. Don't rely on the recruiters for ALL your info. There may be military units near you with a retention NCO who can give you the real scoop, plus some advice. Check the websites listed under the unit name you are wondering about. Many of these are unofficial sites run by active duty, or ex-military members. WSmac 3/325th 82nd ABN. INF.
Link Posted: 9/18/2001 10:31:17 AM EDT
I know they like to save the "good" training for people with four year commitments. My friend joined the Navy on a 2 yr enlist, and spent it scrubbing pot and heads. Since he was only in two years, they didn't want to waste a slot in an "A" school on him because he's gonna leave 16 months after he finishes it. If your really looking for soemthing good to do consider a 4 year enlistment.
Link Posted: 9/18/2001 10:50:17 AM EDT
REMEMBER...Airborne, are only a small portion of the military and it is very very lucky to actually get the training unless its in writing in your contract before you join. lots of guys put in for it in my old units none ever went and these were squared away soldiers.
Link Posted: 9/18/2001 2:18:43 PM EDT
Thanks for the advise. Whats the minimum year enlistment to still be able to get the airborne guarantee in the contract? I understand they prefer 4 year enlistments for the jobs requiring long training, but Jump School only lasts around a month. Is there some additional training involved after jump school?
Link Posted: 9/18/2001 2:26:19 PM EDT
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