Sappers

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by cajuncarrier, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. cajuncarrier

    cajuncarrier Member

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    Hey all,

    I have a question about Sappers. Today is the first time that I’ve ever heard this term.

    Had lunch with DS who is now a freshman cadet with AROTC. He mentioned an interest in this section/dept. of the Army once he graduates in mechanical engineering. So I went online and researched. The descriptions that I found seem right inline with what he has been telling me was his desire to do in the Army.

    “Such tasks typically include bridge-building, laying or clearing minefields, demolitions, field defenses as well as building, road and airfield construction and repair.”

    I was so surprised when I read this. For years whenever I would ask DS what he wanted to do, this was his answer. It’s like this has his name written all over it!

    So as I continued to read, I found this statement:

    The course is open to enlisted soldiers in the grades of E-4 (P) (in the Army, specialist on the list for promotion to sergeant) E-5, and above, cadets, and officers O-3 (Army, captain) and below.


    I see cadets and officers listed above. Does this mean that the school is available to him? Before he commissions? After he commissions? Could he take this as a summer training? If so, when? If he is not eligible, is there another branch/section/dept. that is compatible to this? Your guidance is greatly appreciated.

    As I’ve mentioned above, I’ve never heard of it. Also, sorry I don’t know the correct terminology for areas of the military. All of this is new to me. I read this forum everyday and have learned so much. I thank you all for your knowledge and your willingness to share.
     
  2. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    Others may have more specific info, but basically Sapper school is a skill school that your son is in fact *eligible* to attend as a cadet. Whether or not there will actually be any slots available due to budgets is another story.

    If your son wants to work in this field, he would request the Engineer branch, and would likely have the opportunity to attend Sapper School after BOLC (the school where he learns how to be an Engineer officer). Engineers is usually a very competitive field to branch, so he needs to be sure he's got a top notch ranking when accessions time comes.

    I also believe his choice of major can help him branch Engineers, as they set aside a certain # of slots for engineering grads.
     
  3. cajuncarrier

    cajuncarrier Member

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    DS definitely does want the engineering branch.

    So BOLC is after LDAC and commissioning? I'm not familiar with the order of schooling.
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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  5. fxrocks8

    fxrocks8 Member

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    Yes, BOLC is after he commissions. He probably already knows this, but Sapper school is very rigorous both physically and mentally. Some people have told me, that it can even be compared to Ranger school in terms of toughness. Being is top shape is very important, best of luck to him!
     
  6. cajuncarrier

    cajuncarrier Member

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    Oh WOW!! That rigorous huh??? Well it will be a challenge for him. He has 4 years to think about it and learn more. Me too. :shake: Found some other sites that explain it as well. We shall see what happens. That is definitely a goal for him to work towards.

    One more question. After commissioning, how soon would he go to BOLC? On another thread I read that assignments can be anywhere to immediately to one year. Is this what they were talking about?
     
  7. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Don't tell anyone with a Ranger tab that! :wink:

    Any tabbed guy will tell you that Sapper = Sorry-*** Piss Poor Excuse for Ranger

    In all seriousness, though, it is supposed to be a rigorous and mentally/physically demanding school. Definitely not one most people will have a chance to attend.
     
  8. fxrocks8

    fxrocks8 Member

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    Hahaha i would never say that to a ranger, you should see the arguments my combat engineer buddies have with our infantry buddies. If you have Netflix, you can see what Sapper school is like on the the tv series surviving the cut, though I suspect there only showing the mild parts of it. Four years will be a good bit of time for your son to become a pt stud, along with keeping a good GPA!
     
  9. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    I've dealt with the Surviving the Cut people. Don't take what you see as gospel.
     
  10. cajuncarrier

    cajuncarrier Member

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    I saw that documentary Surviving the cut on youtube. but it was 43 min. long, so I'll have to watch it later.

    The next four years for DS will be very interesting. I'm sure he will learn so much more about the different options available upon commissioning. I can't guide him in any direction so I'm leaving that up to the cadre. All I can do is support and encourage.

    DS told me today that he is getting dress blues tomorrow. He was beaming. I so want a pic.
     
  11. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    Not all sappers are in tip-top shape. Here's a link to sappers (pionniers, that is pioneers) of the French Foreign Legion in a July 14th parade. Because the sappers traditionally lead the way, they have the honor of marching at the head of the Legion, carrying axes and wearing leather aprons. I believe the beards are mandatory.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KOD7NboKPI
     
  12. cajuncarrier

    cajuncarrier Member

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    I saw they carried axes. That's really funny...

    I'm sorry. I'm not a fan of the beards.. Even the ones on Duck Dynasty. And I love those guys..

    As for this: Any tabbed guy will tell you that Sapper = Sorry-*** Piss Poor Excuse for Ranger

    I think anyone who completes such a program deserves a tab and can definitely hold their heads high. But I totally understand the bashing that happens between different units/military branches. DS has trouble understanding why anyone would want to go into another branch besides the Army. There was never any question as to which branch is for him. I'm sure most service men/women have their loyalty to their branch, so I can understand how that can transfer into specialized fields. Competitive...
     
  13. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    According to my son, the Dive School episode of Surviving the Cut skipped from day 2 to about day 30 and again to day 46. Good for entertainment value, but not so much for education about the course itself.
     
  14. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    Aside from Engineer officers, I know it's relatively common for Ordnance officers that go the EOD route to become sapper qualified.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Sir Ernest Benn
     

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