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Posted: 9/22/2004 11:07:14 PM EDT
Ok let me start with some basic info. I'm starting OSUT at Ft. Sill on 27 Oct, and am due to finish 18 weeks later, around the 3rd week of March. I'll be a 13F, a.k.a. fire support specialist for those who don't know the codes. I need some insight/foresight here.

Now don't jump to conclusions, making me out to be one of these pussies who joins the Army and then whines and cries about being scared and not wanting to go fight. I want to fucking go, and I want to get a piece of the action. I wanted to join the Army about a year ago and just now got in because my recruiter spent forever dicking around.

Basically, I just want to know what my chances are of there still being shit for me to do (meaning in my particular MOS's field) over there by the time I'm done OSUT, or will the political climate and our level of action over there be calmed down too much by then? If it helps, my recruiter gave me a list of bases who have what he called "openings for my MOS around the time that I'll be finishing training" which included: Ft. Hood, Ft. Carson, Ft. Campbell, and Ft. Drum.

So like I said, I just want to know what my chances are of being able to get myself over there to help blow shit up even though I won't be ready to roll till early next year, and what bases would be most likely to send me over there from (what ones I should try to get into). Thanks for any kinds of heads up guys.
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 1:17:39 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 2:15:41 AM EDT
Don't go to Drum unless you want to freeze your ass off in the winter, Colorado springs and Ft Carson is a beuitiful place, my daughter was born at Ft Carson Army hospital 20 years ago, you would be right on the front range of the Rockies, and if you like mountianeering, North Cheyenne canyon is awsome.
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 3:58:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CeeDub:

So like I said, I just want to know what my chances are of being able to get myself over there to help blow shit up even though I won't be ready to roll till early next year

Don't worry. It looks like there will be plenty left for you.
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 5:11:28 AM EDT
A friend at Drum who is a 13F, said they might get to see Iraq in the spring, just got back from A'Stan. $th ID at Carson is in Iraq now along with the 3rd ACR I think. Dunno about the others. Pick Carson if you get a choice. I loved it there.
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 9:17:30 AM EDT
If you think you have what it takes volunteer to go Ranger. You are guaranteed to do some cool shit, stuff regular 13Fs would never dream of doing.
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 9:47:58 AM EDT
Thanks for the insight and advice guys, and thanks for the positive comments.

As far as the cold at Ft. Drum goes, well look where I'm from, Maine, cold isn't an issue if I HAVE to deal with it, but I joined the Army partly because I want to travel and get AWAY from the ugly Maine winter, so that said, I'm thinking about Ft. Hood, TX as being one of my first choices, or Ft. Campbell, KY. Any thoughts on these two choices?

I'm going to try and get into RIP at some point if I can for sure.

My recruiter told me that any base will have units going over, but damnit I just want to make sure I don't miss all the fun.
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 7:43:44 PM EDT
Well, Ft. Campbell is pretty decent. I only got to spend a few months there before heading overseas. Theres a whole lot of division pride, and division expectations, etc etc. I know a lot of people end up coming back to Campbell over time. Theres also a very good chance of you going to air assault school. I know that when I get back to the states my name will be on the list to go. The area around the base is pretty decent. Its no high class living, but theres at least a mall, and some stores.
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 8:17:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/23/2004 8:18:01 PM EDT by CeeDub]
I like the fact that Lightfighter has a shop at Campbell

Anyone have any experience to share at Ft. Hood?
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 9:50:57 PM EDT

Ft.Campbell is at times a pretty good assignment. If you do get stationed there, you WILL HAVE TO DROP ME A LINE, THAT'S AN ORDER SOLDIER!!!!! I'm a former 13F2 (E-5), who was stationed at Ft. Campbell for 5 1/2 years and I now live just over an hour away. Oh yeah, I'm also from Sanford, Maine.

If you come to Campbell, I guarantee you will go to Air Assault School, whether you want to or not. You will have zero choice in the matter! The 101st will most likely redeploy to the middle east in the not-so-distant future. They are one of the more powerful divisions, with the ability to deploy anywhere in the world VERY quickly. They also have a LOT of recentcombat experience, both in Iraq and in Afghanistan.

If you want, you can send me an IM and I'll give you my snail mail address. If you'd like, you can then send me your address once you get to Ft. Sill. If you're going to OSUT, things have changed since I went thru, so your address will most likely be different. Back then, I went to one unit for BCT, and then moved down the road to C/2-80 FA for AIT.

If you're going to be a Fister, I hope you have a good memory and are good with math. You'll need to be in order to be successful. One thing you'll really need to pay attention to is the proper order for the 15 subsequent corrections. You'll find out soon enough what I mean. Just remember, they are VERY IMPORTANT for a FISTer to know by heart.

Take care,
HSB/3-320 FA, 101st ABN DIV (AASLT), May 97 - OCT 02
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 10:53:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/23/2004 10:53:28 PM EDT by CeeDub]
Frank, thanks for the continued good info I've been getting from everyone here on the things I'm about to walk into :) You've got a PM

Still looking for anyone who has some experience/advice concerning Ft. Hood to share...????
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 9:50:33 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 11:06:36 PM EDT
Maine gets extreme at both ends of the weather spectrum

It gets far below zero and well into the 90's-100's here, seriously

I'd consider myself pretty damn well aclimated to damn near every kind of weather there is.
I just am not a 'fan' of winter and if given a choice, will choose a base somewhere that doesn't get as cold in the winter as say, Ft. Drum or Carson.

I think I've narrowed my top three choices (My recruiter says I'm almost 100% sure to get one of my top three) down to Ft. Bragg, Ft. Campbell, and Ft. Hood. (Maybe in that order, maybe not)
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 11:40:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/24/2004 11:42:17 PM EDT by OEF_VET]
If you don't have Airborne School in your contract, your chances of being assigned to Ft. Bragg are marginal at best. Most of the 13F slots at Bragg are with the 319th AFAR (Airborne Field Artillery Regiment), so you'd have to be Airborne qualified to be assigned there. There are a few non-airborne slots with 18th ABN Corps, but not many. Besides, being at Ft. Bragg and being a leg (non-airborne qualified) is a Hell slightly better than being a white, heterosexual, christian male at a National Organization for Women convention. If somehow, you do get assigned to Bragg as a leg, you will possibly get the chance to go to jump school.

Ft. Hood is supposedly a good assignment, especially if you like being mechanized. They have the B-FIST, or Bradley FIST vehicle. It's a pretty awesome piece of equipment. However, that piece of equipment comes with a price. You'll spend almost as much time in the motorpool, breaking track and doing PMCS (Preventive Maintainence Checks and Services) as doing anything else. Of course, Mexico and all its' 'attractions' are just a hop, skip, and a jump away.

I've already given you the run down on Campbell thruPM, so I'll spare you the reiteration of its' attributes and downsides.

Link Posted: 9/25/2004 5:54:03 AM EDT
With the optempo being very high and no break to be seen it the immediate future, you are probably going to deploy at least once during your active duty time. Iraq dosen't have alot of uses for artillery due to the political issues of shelling peoples houses to the ground, but Afganland is a different story. Study hard, you will be using your skill before too long. Good luck, it takes serious balls to enlist during wartime.
Link Posted: 9/25/2004 9:36:59 AM EDT
Thanks yet again Frank, and Sgt_Gold
Ft. Campbell is looking more and more like my favorite option every day.
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