Airborne and Air Assault

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Jspar16, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. Jspar16

    Jspar16 Member

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    My main goal while at USMA is to complete Airborne school. Ultimately, I would like to be an Airborne officer in the Army, and completing the training while at USMA would just make it easier for me. I would also like to attend Air Assault school, but I know going to both while being a cadet is unrealistic. When do cadets usually go to these schools? How tough is it to compete for a slot to there schools?
     
  2. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    Many cadets complete one or both of those trainings during their summers. It depends on scheduling, funding, etc. Some years the number of slots is reduced. Your TAC will help you sign up for the training that you need. If you do not complete these as a cadet, if it's necessary to your training, the Army will send you post-graduation. My son did neither as a cadet, but as an aviation officer, he has now completed Air Assault.
     
  3. Stevewar2

    Stevewar2 Member

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    ABN

    Your "main goal" should not be to finish some three week long, fairly simple school. How about getting prepared to command the world's finest Soldiers as a main effort?

    P.S. I'm ABN/AASLT/Jumpmaster with over a 100 jumps and five years on status.
     
  4. Jspar16

    Jspar16 Member

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    That's not a goal but a standard!
     
  5. Jayceguy

    Jayceguy Jayceguy

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    Good answer!
     
  6. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    My cadet days, the conventional wisdom was do Air Assault as a cadet.

    For my class, 1994, anyone that wanted Airborne school after graduation got it. If you branch Infantry and are non Airborne, you attended it before or after IOBC for Ranger school. Doing Airborne as an officer is nicer, don't stay in the barracks.

    More Airborne units than Air Assault units in the Army.
     
  7. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Your question is a common one, so I'll try to address how it works:

    Your first shot to apply has typically been after winter break as a plebe. You'll have the opportunity to express your ranked preferences for specific slots. Pay attention to those emails from your chain of command and TAC-NCO!!! And bulletin boards!

    Your chances of getting what you want as a rising yuk are largely influenced by your overall rank (Academic/Military/Physical) with a heavy emphasis on Military. (can vary by years and TAC/TAC-NCO's)

    So your CBT (beast) performance and 1st plebe semester will largely determine what you get. This surprises some cadets who are running under the radar. There appears to be a structured approach to selection, but it's also clear that TAC-NCO's have a good bit of influence. Can fight for exceptions, newly opened slots, etc. And they tend to do that based on cadet performance.

    There are other gates:
    - Have to have passing APFT, and will have to take one before you leave. So can't be borderline.

    - Can't be on profile (injured), "conditioned" (under performing academically, military, or physical), or in trouble for specific actions. Many injuries occur in CBT, and your physical condition can impact that. So physical condition matters more than most realize. Ex: many cadets who have problems with pullups have problems with CBT confidence courses and get injured. I know of a dozen or more cadets this has happened to.

    The number of slots has been trending down, and it's now very hard to do two MIAD's.

    Airborne and Air Assault have become quite competitive as a rising yuk, typically just 2-3 sessions of each are available because you also have CFT that summer.

    It will vary by year and number of slots, but typically the top third to half of the class will get ABN or AASLT if they want it. (Only workable slots for about a third typically, but not all want or can take them)

    It's also worth thinking ahead... if you plan to branch infantry some select Air Assault over Airborne as USMA infantry grads are normally automatically sent to ABN if they do not have it.

    But there are tradeoffs as well... if infantry w/o ABN it will delay the report to your first unit, etc. And there are pro's and con's of attending Ranger School w/o ABN yet.

    But if you are branching non-infantry, this may be your best shot to get your choice in the current military budget situation.

    If you are not ranked high enough to be competitive there are other MIAD options, as well as AIAD's (study abroad, etc).

    Lately the emphasis has been on getting each cadet at least one *IAD. You will have later chances, but it gets harder, as for upperclassmen firsties without an IAD get first priority after plebes. (more complicated than that, but there is a priority)

    It can vary by year and individual session, but the general theme has been that ABN is more fun, AASLT is typically much harder. Two years ago cadet AASLT experience was a huge smokefest. Things changed, last year they smoked less but the testing was much stricter. So YMMV. ABN is generally more popular and is sometimes seen as a proxy for class rank. (Not always true)

    This is general flow. Any individual experience can vary, even between companies/reg or year to year. The gates and process are fairly consistent of late, but can change at any time.

    so the short version is, if you want your pick, be an exceptional cadet in CBT & 1st semester. That's in your control. Balanced across the three towers. The opportunities will come.
     
  8. Jspar16

    Jspar16 Member

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    So I would have better luck of doing Air Assault as a cadet and Airborne as an officer?
     
  9. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Very consistent with input from recent grads and other serving junior officers.

    Yet most cadets appear to go for Airborne 1st, go figure.

    Also hearing many tradeoffs around Ranger School with or without ABN of late. Not worth a cadet trying to plan that far ahead, just that it's also not the end of the world to do RS w/o ABN.
     
  10. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Hindsight, I think Ranger school without ABN is better - less chance of getting hurt. Old days, supposed to jump ever phase, but I only jumped once. I remember correctly, non ABN Ranger student got trucked into the drop zone.
     
  11. educ8

    educ8 Member

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    They were trucked in ..in 1985...Funny, I was AB before Ranger School. I remember wishing I had been trucked in and a buddy of mine who wasn't was wishing he had jumped in!

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  12. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Recent word is that non ABN get special details and attention so as not to have a sleep advantage, but they still have a long ride from N GA to FL.

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  13. Jspar16

    Jspar16 Member

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    So all you need to go is competitive grades and standing in your company? I was told in AROTC there was something like a 12 mile ruck march, is it the same at USMA?
     
  14. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Don't confuse getting a slot with the screening which occurs before you go.

    There are competitive MIADS available once you complete one allowed for plebes that do have rigorous tryouts. (Sapper, etc)

    But for the plebe options, it's largely your CBT & 1st semester performance. But way more than grades. Ex: Your mil grade at that point is dominated by your reviews by your raters. Demonstrated leadership, duties, uniform, COR's, etc.

    So much more complicated than academic grades, though that can factor in if they use cadet rank. (CPS- Cadet Performance Score). You'll want strong performance in Academic, Military & Physical.

    Once selected, you'll be prepped/screened near the end of the semester. Have to pass another APFT, and you'll need to pass the big physical things the course requires. Ruck marches, confidence courses, etc.

    But you have much ground to cover before having to deal with that. Short term, want to hedge your chances, start training for the APFT. You'll take one for score in CBT, and that prep will make the physical stuff easier. This far out there is time to really improve situps and pushups for sure, and probably running. Remember that a regular Army passing APFT net's a low C at USMA. And you'll need decent APFT scores to offset the challenging DPE courses (plebe beating, mil movement, etc)
     
  15. 845something

    845something Member

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    Pretty sure rocking a 60/60/60 on your APFT at West Point gets you a D. You can't get into the A range until you max all the events.
     
  16. oldcorpsdad

    oldcorpsdad Member

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    Correct... From the DPE testing book (those who have the current book, feel free to correct)

    APFT Scores:
    180 pts = D (regular Army minimum pass) with at least 60 pts in each event
    250 pts = C
    280 pts = B
    300 pts = A- (regular Army max)
    325 pts = A (requires you to max all events first and then go beyond max in one or more)
    350 pts = A+
     
  17. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    My mistake, long day. 240 is where it crosses into C-
     

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