Combat Rescue Officer competition

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by navyorairforce19, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. navyorairforce19

    navyorairforce19 Prospective Cadet/Mdshpmn

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    I was just wondering if anyone knew about the competition for spots in the Combat Rescue officer training program out of USAFA?
     
  2. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    It is highly competitive.
     
  3. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    You have to be pilot qualified for it, right? One of my friends was interested in that but went Security Forces/ALO instead...
     
  4. 2bornot2b

    2bornot2b Member

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    ALO=Air Liaison Officer, right? I thought ALOs were also pilot qualified. How did that go?
     
  5. 2bornot2b

    2bornot2b Member

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    NVM, I looked it up. since 2009 there is a new career field for non-rated ALOs, although they still want 30% to be pilots on loan. Officers in the new 13LX field go through the Schoolhouse TACP training with the enlisted, as a start. Not as HOO-AH! as PJ/CRO training, but still very challenging/competitive. Good luck to your friend.
     
  6. Romad

    Romad Member

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    I haven't even seen this thread till now! Being a former TACP'er myself, the field has seen some serious changes in the decade since I've retired. TACPs are primarily assigned to the Army's combat units and can be assigned to other services as well. The function of TACPs is to provide Air Liaison functions (planning, integration, and support) to the assigned unit , as well as terminal strike control of Close Air Support missions requested by that unit. Many JTACs (both enlisted and officer ) are also qualified in other means of firepower control such as Spectre Gunships, Army Attack Helos, Artillery and Mortars, as well as airlift and airdrop mission control (up to 3 ship missions) by getting the Pathfinder Torch - anything above 3 ships is the pervue of CCT (or was when I retired).

    All of the ALO slots used to be filled with rated officers and quite frankly many were not happy to be there. As the career field
    evolved, the enlisted guys took on more and more responsibility and now, they actually have an officer ALO career track to move up to if they meet the educational requirements. Much better to have motivated ALOs who are either volunteers or up from the enlisted ranks than folks who are mad to be there.

    The reason the Schoolhouse training is not as extreme as the PJ and CCT version (although all go through much the same training) is due to the fact that TACPs mirror the capabilities of their supported units. Much of their training takes place after they leave as opposed to while they are there at Hurby. Being Airborne myself, my assignment track naturally trended towards Airborne, Air Assault, and Ranger units - many TACPs aren't interested in jumping and they are assigned to heavy armor and mechanized units for example that don't need jumpers.

    The Schoolhouse provides a baseline of training for everyone, selects the best to go on to pipeline specialty schools such as jump school and when the baby 1C4s get to their first base and finish OJT upgrade, they are then sent on to training the reflects the needs of the unit they are at.

    As you progress, you then pick up your JTAC quals, more specialized training (I did Air Assault and Pathfinder for example because I worked heavily with choppers and small mission airdrops at one assignment and then went to Marine Naval Gunfire Spotters training at another because we worked with the Marines and USN often) you get the picture. All of the STS Squadrons have imbedded JTACs as well as all the Ranger and SF units. On the flip side, we have guys with 1st AD and 1st Horse who can drive any armored vehicle on the face of the planet and are experts at controlling air from 40 miles an hour from the turret of a track.

    Very interesting career field with a whole bunch of great opportunities - we have been heavily involved in the last decade of war and our guys have won many medals in direct ground combat, many awards for excellence, and we've received an enormous amount of recognition - The ACC CCMSgt is a 1C4 - never would have happened years ago.
    Yes, we've also lost a few guys as well, but far fewer than you'd expect with such a hazardous job. reflects on their great training and leadership...

    If you aren't interested in a 9-5 type job and like to mess it up in the mud with the shooters - you might consider being a career ALO.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIHbIbABe9c

    Best

    :biggrin:
     
  7. dagger

    dagger Member

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    Are you talking about CMSgt. Parsons? He's a great guy, a southern gentlemen.

    He was here a few weeks ago.
     
  8. Romad

    Romad Member

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  9. dagger

    dagger Member

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  10. Romad

    Romad Member

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    Heheh, well you're THERE so I probably haven't been paying attention, Marty's probably retired now like the rest of us oldtimers...:rolleyes:

    Time marches on!

    :shake:
     
  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Damn; you all are making me miss the days of being a dart and living in the mud. But alas; I'm too old and fat to be having so much fun. But it was fun.
     
  12. Romad

    Romad Member

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    "Ditto"

    Best

    :shake:
     
  13. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Not sure how old I am. I came in 1978 and retired 1999. Most of that time we didn't refer to them as TACP. For us, they were simply FACs. "Forward Air Controllers". Also, in my earlier years, AFSC's weren't as specialized. Meaning, one assignment I could be working traditional ground radio/ATC/CP/OPS; the next I could be working with Combat Comm with the 5th at Robins. After that; working ABGD at Bergstrom, or loaned out to the army at Ft. Hood or to the DEA and State department for a 3 month TDY down south. And then off to GLCM in europe. Go figure.

    I think the establishment of specialized AFSC's for some of these careers was definitely a good thing. I know it sucked for me when it came to WAPS. I was testing against those who had been working on the "Standard/Traditional" CDC equipment for years; while I hadn't seen most of the stuff in my CDC in many years. CDC emphasized prefixes like ARC/GRC/GRT/GRR/etc... my world revolved around prefixes like PRC/MRC/SRC/and all that "Off the Shelf" that didn't exist.

    The world definitely has changed. But that's ok. And you are so right ROMAD. If you're not the 9-5 type and like playing like what every little boy use to like doing; then this is definitely a fun life. But don't forget that it's also a very serious and potentially hazardous lifestyle too. But I wouldn't trade that time for anything.
     
  14. Romad

    Romad Member

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    Yeah, in the space of a few years at the turn of the 70's and 80's I went from being a 304 M to CCT to TACP. Made my head spin... ProfSparrow had the same experience.

    It really was a different world back then, most of the NCO's were highly decorated Vietnam combat vets (my supervisor was a legend, he was CCT and had had the control tower of the airport at Phnom Penh shot out from underneath him as he ran for the last chopper out of Cambodia - got demoted about 5 times too) - most of them were like that. Hard living, hard drinking, utterly competent men. Nowadays, they wouldn't make it 5 minutes... :rolleyes:

    Best

    :biggrin:
     
  15. profsparrow

    profsparrow Member

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    Brought an extra beat to this old heart, y'all speaking my lingo. BTW...is it just me, or are there an awful lot of USAF "communicators" on this forum? That would make sense I guess. Also, terms like MRC/PRC/FACs, sure dates us! How 'bout KWM2A? I loved playing with that radio, but it really was a POS. Those were the days when (in TAC at least) it didn't really matter what your AFSC was, if you knew how to do something you just did it, or pitched in with the others who did. I played in the tech control van, manned the "bubble," radio maintenance shack, antenna field, generators, ran field phone lines (and used them to play practical jokes), MRCs, put up tents, helped out other squadrons with their duties on just a phone call, no orders required, "Prime Beef" and "Perimeter Defense," those were the days!
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  16. Romad

    Romad Member

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    Worse thing I ever jumped was the accessories kit (NOT the transceiver - that was big but easy - the accessories kit of the PRC-47) The amount of STUFF that entailed, the wet batteries, and the weird shape trying to get an equipment harness around (I did airdrop my MRC 107 system once - it was never the same...:rolleyes:). Yep - a different world...

    :biggrin:

    Best
     
  17. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I actually liked the KWM2A. Of course, replacing crystals and tuning caps were a biotch. On the other hand, if you ever played with a T6 HF rig, you'd appreciate the K2. I had one at Bergstrom, and assisted the navy on the Forestal with fixing one.

    My favorite was probably the PRC-113 to carry and the TRC-176 in the vehicles. DAMN, I'm old!!! :thumb: When we started buying off the shelf, I got the LST-5 before it entered normal inventory. Nice little Sat.
     
  18. Romad

    Romad Member

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    The TRC's were too big for our unit, but we got among the first PRC 113s and PRC 119s to replace our Army PRC 25 FM portables and PRC 66s. I remember the early LSTs too, we used chalk orientation marks on the hood of our vehicles and align our parking N-S so we could quickly get the little antennas up and aligned. The PRC 104s were a HUGE improvement over the 47s too - those things were bears and would shock the p**p out of you when you were tuning them with the double dials...

    Nowadays, the kids have got that stuff ( Laser/IR Target Designator, Data Burst, and GPS based laser target coordinate ID) that would classify as Star Wars to us old timers. Too easy, but what happens when your tech breaks and you're back to paper, compass, airspeed ruler, pencilled DD1972 request sheets, and visual strike controls over voice trx (at night RR flares dug into 3 pits in a "enemy that way" orientation as a nav aid)?

    :eek:
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  19. lcsguthrie

    lcsguthrie 2016 Appointee

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    CRO

    It was mentioned that the combat rescue officer spots for academy grads are highly competitive. What can a cadet do to get ahead?
     
  20. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Get into incredible shape (including swimming) and join the "club" training for CRO/STO.
     

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