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Posted: 1/23/2006 7:16:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/23/2006 7:16:45 PM EDT by Hoplite]
This may seem like a noob question, but I am just curious. I currently have a career, am 27 years old, and just have been brainstorming ideas on a career change. Any info provided would be appreciated.

EDIT: Attn Mods, I just realized i put this in the wrong forum. Should probably be in Brothers of the Shield.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 9:57:57 AM EDT
It's kinda like being a sniper in the military! Just tell the recruiter that's what you want to do, and the rest is history.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 10:12:52 AM EDT
Kind of wish I could do it on a part-time basis. Go through training as in military style bootcamp, and then still stick with my career, but also be on a team when needed.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 11:54:01 AM EDT
you can its called the reserve
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 12:48:19 PM EDT
Yah, the Reserves will do yah.

Just be clear that Special Operations and Special Forces are different animal in the same kennel. The tips below only applies to Army as that is what I know.

In the Reserves you can do a few things (Military Intelligence, Civil Affairs, Pschy Op.) all of which are Special Operations and usually Airborne, but they are not Special Forces. That being said I know of more than a few of them working with SF on a regular basis. A portion of any CA company comprises of SF qualified individuals. SO if you want to be a badass on the weekends one of these will do yah, just be warn that all of them are on cycle deployment (one element of the unit is always deployed) at the moment and you will see alot of activity. Some might like that but most won't as it'll mess up your civilian life. You also need to make about a 6 months commitment to finish Basic, AIT and Airborne school. Most CA units will send you to Ranger school if your physically fit when you sign up.

Now to be an actual Special Forces guy there is no other way but to be Active DUty. You can sign up for the 18X pipeline which will put you into Basic all the way to finishing SF schooling. But be warn that 95% of these individuals will flunk out and end up a grunt in an infantry unit, far from being SF. So unless your just one bad mother (mentally, physically they can train you) with no emotions and a brain smart enough to get into college you'll make it. But again, statistics said you won't, especially at your age and lack of progressive training. And the main reason SF are only available to Active Duty soldiers is because the training pipeline is over 3 years to even wear the badge and a few years more to be considered a true "operator."

And of course there are the joint task force special teams that seems to exist but not really. They usually recruit out of Ranger, BUDS, Force Recon and Forward Controller schools. I don't even know how you would get selected for that, I do know a few individuals that were assigned to them. Their service records are certainly interesting with all sort of weird foreign medals.

That's it as far as getting into the Special Operations community for the Army side.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 1:32:55 PM EDT

How do you become a SWAT officer, or Special Ops?



Its a mindset. For SWAT, you need to be rock solid and dependable understress. Be a good cop first, and SWAT will come looking for you.

Special Ops from the LE side of things also starts out by being a damn good cop. Dependable and reliable are once again highly important aspects. Once again, you need to be a good cop first before you are considered.

I am guessing that in Special Ops and SWAT that you meant LE and not MIL. In many cases SWAT & Special Ops are part of the same team, but in larger departments they tend to be two different units. I don't think most people are even aware of Special Ops as a concept in LE work.

Good luck on your soul searching. MIL and LEO are always needing new people, and they have both been very satisfying career fields that I would do again in a minute. The different Teams are just a bonus.....
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 2:55:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/23/2006 3:01:36 PM EDT by Freakzilla]

Originally Posted By bobfried:
Yah, the Reserves will do yah.

Just be clear that Special Operations and Special Forces are different animal in the same kennel. The tips below only applies to Army as that is what I know.

In the Reserves you can do a few things (Military Intelligence, Civil Affairs, Pschy Op.) all of which are Special Operations and usually Airborne, but they are not Special Forces. That being said I know of more than a few of them working with SF on a regular basis. A portion of any CA company comprises of SF qualified individuals. SO if you want to be a badass on the weekends one of these will do yah, just be warn that all of them are on cycle deployment (one element of the unit is always deployed) at the moment and you will see alot of activity. Some might like that but most won't as it'll mess up your civilian life. You also need to make about a 6 months commitment to finish Basic, AIT and Airborne school. Most CA units will send you to Ranger school if your physically fit when you sign up.

Now to be an actual Special Forces guy there is no other way but to be Active DUty. You can sign up for the 18X pipeline which will put you into Basic all the way to finishing SF schooling. But be warn that 95% of these individuals will flunk out and end up a grunt in an infantry unit, far from being SF. So unless your just one bad mother (mentally, physically they can train you) with no emotions and a brain smart enough to get into college you'll make it. But again, statistics said you won't, especially at your age and lack of progressive training. And the main reason SF are only available to Active Duty soldiers is because the training pipeline is over 3 years to even wear the badge and a few years more to be considered a true "operator."

And of course there are the joint task force special teams that seems to exist but not really. They usually recruit out of Ranger, BUDS, Force Recon and Forward Controller schools. I don't even know how you would get selected for that, I do know a few individuals that were assigned to them. Their service records are certainly interesting with all sort of weird foreign medals.

That's it as far as getting into the Special Operations community for the Army side.




There are 2 national guard SF groups,

19th and 20th SFG, they are pretty high speed BUT, It can be a career killer if your boss isnt cool with it, as they are gone a good while. Even so, a lot of the missions are optional, youll get a call about going to south america, and maybe the wife is annoying you, so you pack your bags for three months.

good stuff
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 3:51:43 PM EDT
Statistically it may seem that you are a little long in the tooth for 18x (eighteen x-ray).

But fuck that. I believe the age cutoff is 32, and beyond that a good friend of mine has just completed SERE school and is getting his beret next month.

He sold his house, quit his job, got his FATass in shape, sucked up his fear of heights, and joined under 18x when he was 26 he is now 28. From start to finish with no hitches it takes about 2-2.5 years.

While younger guys may have a physical advantage by virtue of maybe already being in shape from highschool, older guys tend to have something better: maturity and mental discipline.

Just get in shape while researching it and then talk to a recruiter.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 3:56:37 PM EDT
Oh by the way you can also check out the "SEAL challenge contract".

Got a few friends in that program too, possible myself included.

The age cutoff however is 28 (though 29 and 30 year olds may be eligible for a waiver).
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 4:33:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Freakzilla:

There are 2 national guard SF groups,

19th and 20th SFG, they are pretty high speed BUT, It can be a career killer if your boss isnt cool with it, as they are gone a good while. Even so, a lot of the missions are optional, youll get a call about going to south america, and maybe the wife is annoying you, so you pack your bags for three months.

good stuff



Yah, I trained with the 19th for a few weeks out in Utah. Unfortunately, like I said earlier, you can only become an 18 series as an AD soldier. There are no ways around it, once your SF qualified than you can join them in the NG. Of course you could also join them in a support capacity, but than your not actually Special Forces.

Again the average SF pipeline is about 3-4 years long and most are committed to a 6 years contract. A regular enlistment can be from 1-4 years which you would barely be finishing the 18X pipeline. Maybe one day they'll open up SFAS to the Reserves but until then there's only one way to BECOME an 18 series and that's to go active duty.

If you ever talk to a 19th Rentention officer they don't even accept you into their group as an 18 series until you've got about 8 years of AD under your belt and have already finished SF pipeline.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 4:44:13 PM EDT
Well you probably have the cart before the horse here... You need to become a police officer first.. (full time, not reserve as most large agencies will not allow reserve officers on the swat team) then work hard to learn that job and be respected by your peers. SWAT may or may not be in your future after that.....
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 4:54:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bobfried:

Originally Posted By Freakzilla:

There are 2 national guard SF groups,

19th and 20th SFG, they are pretty high speed BUT, It can be a career killer if your boss isnt cool with it, as they are gone a good while. Even so, a lot of the missions are optional, youll get a call about going to south america, and maybe the wife is annoying you, so you pack your bags for three months.

good stuff



Yah, I trained with the 19th for a few weeks out in Utah. Unfortunately, like I said earlier, you can only become an 18 series as an AD soldier. There are no ways around it, once your SF qualified than you can join them in the NG. Of course you could also join them in a support capacity, but than your not actually Special Forces.

Again the average SF pipeline is about 3-4 years long and most are committed to a 6 years contract. A regular enlistment can be from 1-4 years which you would barely be finishing the 18X pipeline. Maybe one day they'll open up SFAS to the Reserves but until then there's only one way to BECOME an 18 series and that's to go active duty.

If you ever talk to a 19th Rentention officer they don't even accept you into their group as an 18 series until you've got about 8 years of AD under your belt and have already finished SF pipeline.

That's not true, either. There's something called the "Rep-63" program or something similar, which is the National Guard equivalent to the 18X program. It's not the exact same, but it puts you on the track to going to group as an operator. You probably end up enlisting, then once you get your E-3 you go to selection, get selected, go to MOS course, and go to group. I do know they have a program in the NG SF units where you train up for SFAS.

Talk to a National Guard recruiter in a state (ideally city/unit) which has an SF company. He'll best be able to give you the answers.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 6:07:47 PM EDT

older guys tend to have something better: maturity and mental discipline.


This is kind of what I was looking for. I am not a naieve dipshit just looking to shoot a gun. I just would like to help out society, and feel I have the mental ability, as well as feel I am not only a straight shot, but also know the ways of the world. At least as much as one can at my age.

I appreciate all of you guys' help. I will defiently do some more looking into this.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 6:09:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/24/2006 4:27:06 AM EDT by dpixel8]
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Link Posted: 1/23/2006 6:10:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/24/2006 4:26:54 AM EDT by dpixel8]
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Link Posted: 1/23/2006 6:11:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/24/2006 4:26:42 AM EDT by dpixel8]
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Link Posted: 1/23/2006 7:16:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 8:42:23 PM EDT
You want to go SWAT LEO or SF, and keep your current career? Not gonna happen, choose your path.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 8:15:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/24/2006 8:18:24 AM EDT by gtcrispy]

Originally Posted By bobfried:

Yah, I trained with the 19th for a few weeks out in Utah. Unfortunately, like I said earlier, you can only become an 18 series as an AD soldier. There are no ways around it, once your SF qualified than you can join them in the NG. Of course you could also join them in a support capacity, but than your not actually Special Forces.

Again the average SF pipeline is about 3-4 years long and most are committed to a 6 years contract. A regular enlistment can be from 1-4 years which you would barely be finishing the 18X pipeline. Maybe one day they'll open up SFAS to the Reserves but until then there's only one way to BECOME an 18 series and that's to go active duty.

If you ever talk to a 19th Rentention officer they don't even accept you into their group as an 18 series until you've got about 8 years of AD under your belt and have already finished SF pipeline.



First off.. an 18x contract is 5yrs. I have one. Second: I will be finishing the pipeline in about 23months. This including Basic Training and Airborne school etc. If you end up a 18D Medic you would be spending an extra 9 or so months learning your MOS so yes the pipeline would be longer. It can only be longer if you recycle phases or have to wait till the next class begins.

We also have NG guys in the course. They have Rep-63 contracts which is pretty much the NG version of 18X. They will be going to their groups after they complete the course and either deploy or work/go to school while fullfilling their commitment.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 8:25:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dpixel8:
This may seem like a noob question, but I am just curious. I currently have a career, am 27 years old, and just have been brainstorming ideas on a career change. Any info provided would be appreciated.

EDIT: Attn Mods, I just realized i put this in the wrong forum. Should probably be in Brothers of the Shield.



I am Kinda in the same boat as you. I'm 31, and tired of working my tech career. And I have that little voice in the back of my head telling me to do something for the good of the country, and designing networks isn't it. I've been waffling between Army Infantry or trying to go to the local police academy. Of course in arfcom tradition I could do both.

My question would be, does anyone have any experience being around my age and joining the military? Or knew someone who did, and their experiences
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 8:30:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Gaz:
I am Kinda in the same boat as you. I'm 31, and tired of working my tech career. And I have that little voice in the back of my head telling me to do something for the good of the country, and designing networks isn't it. I've been waffling between Army Infantry or trying to go to the local police academy. Of course in arfcom tradition I could do both.

My question would be, does anyone have any experience being around my age and joining the military? Or knew someone who did, and their experiences



Exactly my situation. Granted I am a bit younger than you, but its the same deal. I make decent money in the tech field, am engaged to be married (she supports me no matter waht I do, even after asking what she would do if I up and joined the military), own a home, etc. Like I said though, I just wish I could do it on a weekend basis or something.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 11:24:03 AM EDT

I am Kinda in the same boat as you. I'm 31, and tired of working my tech career. And I have that little voice in the back of my head telling me to do something for the good of the country, and designing networks isn't it. I've been waffling between Army Infantry or trying to go to the local police academy. Of course in arfcom tradition I could do both.

My question would be, does anyone have any experience being around my age and joining the military? Or knew someone who did, and their experiences



A friend of mine who is 33, a well-to-do chiropractor, married, has 4 children under the age of 5, was way out of shape, and a house just recently joined the army, went to OCS, and is currently trying to get a shot at Ranger school.

Your domestic commitments do not own you.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 11:42:09 AM EDT
Tag
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 11:45:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SWATH:

A friend of mine who is 33, a well-to-do chiropractor, married, has 4 children under the age of 5, was way out of shape, and a house just recently joined the army, went to OCS, and is currently trying to get a shot at Ranger school.

Your domestic commitments do not own you.




Being that he is a "well-to-do chiropractor", he was probably more financially able to do this at that age.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 11:50:22 AM EDT
Wow, I thought I was the only one!!! I'm 33, have a decent job (business management) and have worked at the same company for almost 16 years. Pay is decent but I'm wanting to do something that really matters, not analyze sales forecasts, profit & loss statements, inventory forms, etc. I am also in a dead end relationship. All of these things add up to me just wanting a major change in my life. I've been talking to the local police department and think about it every day. I'll have to dump off the excess baggage but I think that is coming no matter what happens. I want to do something that really matters and may actually make a difference one day.


-REAPER2502
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 12:03:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Stickman:

How do you become a SWAT officer, or Special Ops?


Its a mindset. For SWAT, you need to be rock solid and dependable understress. Be a good cop first, and SWAT will come looking for you.

Special Ops from the LE side of things also starts out by being a damn good cop. Dependable and reliable are once again highly important aspects. Once again, you need to be a good cop first before you are considered.



I'd agree to what Stickman said. I know one SWAT guy pretty good. It happened for him just like Stickman said. His supervisor recommended him because he was a kick ass deputy.

IMO those kind of jobs will find you, If you have what it takes.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 2:30:53 PM EDT
I've been training with guys as old as 34 just coming into the Army. My Team Leader (Captain) was 38 but he had been in the military quite some time and went from an E7 NCO to become a Officer through the OCS route. If you think you can deal with the aches and pains and want to do it...Then do it.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 7:50:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Gaz:
I am Kinda in the same boat as you. I'm 31, and tired of working my tech career. ...

My question would be, does anyone have any experience being around my age and joining the military? Or knew someone who did, and their experiences


A guy I worked with about 5 years ago tried that. We worked at a tech/computer company and he decided he was going to join I think it was the Marines. He was right at the age cut-off and he worked with the recruiter to get in shape and pass the physical. He never made it through Basic. He grew up on a farm, had good morals, and was definitely not a slacker so I think he could have made it if he was really set on it. He didn't talk much about it, but what I could get was that after so many years of running his own life and making the decisions at work the culture shock of being a recruit was too much and and he decided it really wasn't going to be what he wanted.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 5:12:21 PM EDT


Now to be an actual Special Forces guy there is no other way but to be Active DUty.



Actually, there are 2 National Guard SF groups that are just like active duty ones, all 18 series, organized under SOCOM. My PSG was in one but transferred to our unit for this deployment.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 12:35:33 PM EDT
You can go into Special Forces in the guard. It's called the REP 63 program and you go right back to 19th or 20th group. You don't need to be active duty to go to the SFQC.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 1:01:09 PM EDT
Neither of those are the easiest jobs to get into.

For Special Forces you are going to need to be in the best physical condition you could ever think of. I know a little how the Marine Corps does theres, and i'm sure that if i'm wrong someone will correct me. You must first enlist as an 0300 - Infantry. This does not garauntee you SF. Once you're done with Basic Training you will go to the School of Infantry. At SOI there will be several opportunities for you to attempt to get into a Special operations unit. Whether it be FAST or a Recon Battalion. If you don't get that opportunity you end up going to an infantry battalion, and occasionally opportunities will come up for several guys to go transfer to a Recon Battalion. Once in a Recon Battalion you will usually spend a couple months before you actually go to recon school. You may also go straight to a Recon Battalion from SOI, but its unlikely. However, just becuase you're in a Recon Battalion does not mean you are Force Recon (Special Forces). YOu have to be allowed to go to Force Recon. Occasionally an opportunity may come up for some of the top Marines to get to go to Force Recon School. Once you finally get to Force Recon School, be prepared to spend the next 2-3 years in training, i.e. Jungle Warfare School, S.E.R.E. School, Mountain Warfare School, etc. You also have to been in extremely good physical condition. You must run a near perfect PFT when you are dead tired. If you can't, you will fail. You have to be able to swim amazingly, if you can't you will fail. If you drop out of one run/hump/training excercise you will fail. Special Forces is not something that a recruiter can gaurantee anyone. And it is extremely hard to get into.

For SWAT, you must also be in amazingly good condition. You need to into a Police Department that actually has a SWAT unit to get started. You will spend roughly 4-6 years, depending on the department, as a patrol Officer before you are even eligable for SWAT. Then you would have to apply for SWAT. Depending on the Department you may have to take several tests around the same time you apply. I don't know exactly what you have to do, but i do know that they look for Officers that know how to handle themselves, maybe who are ex-military and have some of that training already, and who are in amazing physical condition. ultimatly it is SWAT that picks you, not the other way around.

Either way, it is not guaranteed that you would ever be able to get into either one of those jobs. Special Forces, there is an age limit. I don't know what it is, but i believe it is either 28 or 32. However, you could get a waiver for that. Both SWAT and SF are extremely physically demanding. You must be in awesome physical condition. You must know how to handle yourself in the most extreme of circumstances. It is tough to get either one of these jobs. And positions usually open up when someone else gets out. So there aren't very many openings. And when there are, a lot of people apply.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 4:37:01 PM EDT
Plus One for all you! I love to hear all this talk on Special Forces. All this discussion is great, not all of the issues are exactly correct...but close. Check the internet and visit an Army webpage called S O R C. Special Operations Recruiting Company, Fort Bragg, NC. They are the Army Recruiters charged with recruiting the 'right' person for the job.

Bottom line up front, Special Forces might just be the BEST job in the world. Ive been in SF for about 13 years and it is worth the pain. Thanks guys, see you down range!
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 11:02:36 PM EDT
Looks like they are looking to expand the SF ranks by 15% now too!
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 11:04:58 PM EDT
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