Plebe MIADs

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by hawk, May 2, 2012.

  1. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Moved out of the appointment thread as it's off topic

    This year it appears that for plebes the mainstream assignments were Airborne, Air Assault, and OPFOR. It varies by year, but apparently this year AAS was harder to get in as the class sizes were smaller and fewer offerings.

    The first are two highly contended for, and assigned primarily based on CPS or Military score one. Was not briefed on specifics, but implied and understood that cadet performance has a big role. So want to go to the training of your choice? Do well during fall semester as that increases your odds of getting your 1st or 2nd choice! :thumb:

    You'll put your preference in mid-year (early Dec this year), and most likely meet with your TAC or TAC NCO to discuss. This year most cadets heard by Feb what their assignment was, which was not long after CPS was made available.

    I have not heard of any plebes (soon to be yuks) being assigned to the more advanced MIAD's, and have been told that most are not allowed till later.

    For cadets willing to commit to majors there were apparently some overseas "experience" options sponsored by their dept (forgot the acronym), but it's pretty uncommon for plebes.

    Realistically, there is not much time for more than one MIAD and CFT between plebe and yuk years. even with the additional week. (And you gave up a week of winter leave for that!) It was technically possible to do both Airborne and AAS with a particular class combination, but I've not heard of any plebes who got that. (But some TAC's did at least allow that request)

    The good news (again, from a recent TAC briefing), the Army RIF-lite has not impacted summer training negatively. It may actually increase available slots over time, and there will for sure be better international options as the pool of money/slots is spread over fewer cadets.

    They did lose the mounted option. Calvary commanders training in Bradleys?? Forget the name, they just called it "Mounted"

    One last input: While all cadets seem to want Airborne, many TAC's and RA officers recommend trying to get AAS if you can. It's much easier to get Airborne both as a cadet and upon graduation. (DS was told it's almost automatic). But if you don't have AAS as a cadet, it can be very hard to get it as an officer unless in a helo unit. But without Airborn you limit some of the foreign options as a upperclass, so there are tradeoffs for sure.
     
  2. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    It's actually the exact opposite. In the real Army, AAS is much easier to get. Airborne is almost impossible unless you're on orders to a unit on jump status, or can snag one of the few branch-allocated slots during as a TDY-Enroute student. The only guys who can get it somewhat easily are IN officers. Airborne school gets backlogged so timing becomes a factor. Air Assault is automatic if you go to the 101st. You can also attend at a number of divisional schoolhouses such as Drum or Benning or Schofield. Some are run in-house and some are MTTs.

    The school that is very hard to get is Pathfinder. In most places, AAS is a pre-req. The course with Brads was likely either Bradley Leaders Course or the Cavalry Leaders Course.
     
  3. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    It is technically possible but realistically it doesn't happen because CFT is right in the middle of the Summer and 4 weeks long with pretty much interferes with all the competitive schools. There are a few random schools you didn't mention that Plebes can get such as Mech Leader's Course (not sure on slot numbers this year)

    I believe the term you are looking for is AIADs (same as MIAD except Academic instead of Military). I know of a couple of Plebes going abroad this Summer but it is rare because upperclassmen get priority (within the upperclassmen, the people majoring in the particular language of the host country get priority) and because a lot of TACs prefer they complete a MIAD before going to an AIAD.

    A few Plebes do that every year but they really cut down on Airborne slots this year so it is that much more rare this year.

    Not sure if RIF related but as I mentioned above, the amount of Airborne slots was cut by a large amount (I remember my class had roughly 600 and this year it was more like 200). As a Cadet, Airborne has traditionally been harder to get simply because it has less slots than Air Assault (especially this year since Air Assault slots didn't seem to change). In the Army, they tell us Airborne is much easier to get for branches like Infantry while you're sitting around at Fort Benning before and after BOLC.
     
  4. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Interesting, observations on this seem to vary based on timeframe/rank, and also whether USMA grad or not. Outside of USMA, one LTC friend stated he has still not been able to get in AAS and is having challenges getting his troops in. Another MAJ (ret) indicated it was opposite for him, he had to fight to get ABN. I guess it just varies depending on the needs of the Army and what's going on at the time.

    One TAC's observation was that AAS does have the advantage of multiple sites are you mention, where ABN is only done at Benning. In one of the briefings they said that was offset by the difference in class size. Many more run through ABN every year, and they run more in parallel.

    Recently had a couple of RA double stacks indicate they felt AAS was the harder school of the two, both physically and academically. Any thoughts? I'm sure they are both challenging.

    Any insight on cadet treatment during ABN, last summer there were some interesting stories of interactions between RA types and cadets!
     
  5. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Same data I heard via cadets & briefings. I specifically asked the TAC's about RIF impact because of the reduced ABN slots and they indicated that if anything RIF helped cadets getting slots due to reduced demand from the RA. The exception being if they cancelled a class outright like mounted. So they acted like the reduced ABN slots was an anomaly unrelated to RIF.

    I've also heard it stated multiple times from multiple directions that lately if a USMA grad goes combat arms they *will* be prioritized for ABN if they don't have it. And if infantry it's almost automatic. (As much as something like that can be). Don't know if this is policy, TAC tales, or what.

    But all the cadets I know do not want to chance it, and will try (or tried) for ABN anyway.

    Hopefully the MIAD situation will improve, as I know some unhappy plebes doing OPFOR this summer!
     
  6. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    AAS is definitely the more physically challenging of the two, and requires study. Airborne doesn't require study. There are no academic skills involved, really. It's all reactive skills.
     
  7. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016

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    Awesome info :thumb:

    Well, my preference could change in the next 4 years and that life gets in the way, but... say I wish to become an Infantry Officer. What MIADs should I choose?

    ("Career path" - All I know is from what I've read and heard... and probably LOTS of cadets say they wish the same career path, and you all just :rolleyes: (roll eyes) when you see someone saying this... But let's say I wish to become an Infantry Officer, go to Ranger School and then Special Forces. What MIADs should I choose?)

    Thanks haha :cool:
     
  8. Kendr

    Kendr parent

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    Air Assault and Airborne are terms I have become familiar with through my plebe cadet, but I had not heard of Opfor until reading this thread. I tried googling it, and learned that it's an acronym for 'Opposing Forces', but little else. Would anyone mind giving this non-military Mom a brief and simple explanation of Opfor? Thanks much!
     
  9. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Sure thing. OPFOR are essentially the role players who provide a competent and realistic enemy force for a unit to train against. In situational training exercises (STXs), the OPFOR is "the bad guys." The Army even has units that are permanent OPFOR, such as the 11th ACR at Fort Irwin (though they have done combat tours in OIF/OEF as well).

    The downside of OPFOR is that there is no badge or skill identifier gained. The upside is that a cadet can learn a ton from seeing what units do right and wrong, and from employing friendly and enemy doctrine in tactical play.

    I will caveat this with the fact that I don't know where the OPFOR assignments will be. Perhaps a current cadet knows.
     
  10. jake s

    jake s USMA Cadet

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    Those who got OPFOR for their MIAD are doing OPFOR for CLDT, which is upperclassmen training here at West Point for cows and firsties.

    Cadet rumor has it that they're bringing in some Special Forces teams from 5th Group to teach the OPFOR Cadets for a week before CLDT starts. I can't confirm this though.
     
  11. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    I'll call my old ops guys and see if they're sending anyone.
     
  12. jake s

    jake s USMA Cadet

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    Sir if you can confirm that information I'll pass it along to a few of my OPFOR friends.

    And also for an update I haven't heard of any 2015 plebes getting Airborne and Air Assault this summer. It's either one or the other, or neither. For instance, Some (like me) have Air Assault, others have Airborne, an even smaller group has slots for OPFOR or a number of other things, and I know of a few plebes who only have leave in addition to Buckner.

    There's a very small number of guys (I know of like 3) who have an Airborne slot and are on the wait list for Air Assault after CFT, but it is unlikely that an Air Assault slot will open up for them.
     
  13. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015

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    There are two SF teams coming to work with OPFOR this summer -This is straight from the team leader from one of the teams. I'm not sure which group they are from, although I think they are from 5th Group
     
  14. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    So you talked to the team leader but don't know what group he's from?
     
  15. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015

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    The team that we met and got to train with in the fall was from 5th Group. I do not know what group the other team that is coming for OPFOR this summer is from. :thumb:
     
  16. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Yes, 2nd Battalion, 5th SFG has that tasking. Enjoy the training!
     
  17. USMA2016

    USMA2016 Appointee - Class of 2016

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    I hate to revive dead threads, but I thought of something and I feel it is fitting here.

    With CFT and airborne school would there be any room for leave at all?
     
  18. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    Yes, still time for about 3 weeks.
     
  19. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    they moved a week from winter to summer to allow for more training opportunities. This summer here is a typical PLUK schedule:

    1 wk leave after graduation
    2-3 wks ABN/AASLT
    2 wks leave
    CFT
    2 wks leave before dodgy

    Leave timing would vary depending on which training slots you get. Be lucky enough to get a 2nd MIAD or AIAD and leave gets pretty tight
     
  20. BigNick

    BigNick Member

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    Here is what my son and his roomates told me:

    Every Plebe put in their preference for the summer - Airborne, Air Assault and OPFOR. Airborne was the most sought after summer activity. Selections were made based on Class standing and military ranking. With a few exceptions, the top-ranked people got Airborne - the second tier got Air Assault, and the remaining got OPFOR. They (my son and his the roomates) were told by thier TAC that you had to be in the top 400 ranked Plebes to get Airborne. Some top-ranked Cadets asked for Air Assault or OPFOR but they were the exceptions.

    There are two airborne courses. The plebes in the first course - about 220 Cadets including my son - traveled by charted bus 17 hours from WP to Ft. Benning arriving today (28 May) to start Airborne tomorrow. The second group got two weeks leave and will start Airborne in 2 weeks.

    All of the new Yuks attend Summer training at Camp Buckner from July 1-27
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012

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