SFAS and Ranger School

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by AcademyHopeful_50, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. AcademyHopeful_50

    AcademyHopeful_50 Member

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    Hey guys! Received my appointment and now am looking into opportunities while at USMA. Have wanted to go SOF my entire life, and I have heard things about Cadets being able to go to Ranger School and attend SFAS, albeit only a select few Cadets. Can anyone give me info on this?
     
  2. Art.Perea

    Art.Perea Member

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    No you can not attend Ranger School over summer. Summer leave is not long enough for cadets to attend Ranger School.
     
  3. AcademyHopeful_50

    AcademyHopeful_50 Member

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    What about SFAS? Also, will opportunities open to attend RS after graduation? I am hoping to branch infantry.
     
  4. GoArmyBeatNavy

    GoArmyBeatNavy Member

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    I am not sure about SFAS. I know in the past they could, but a current cadet can answer.

    If you get an Infantry slot, you will be expected to go to Ranger school.
     
  5. Ken2012

    Ken2012 Prospective

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    Pretty sure you need to be a Captain or 1LT (Promotable) to attend SFAS, on the officer side.
     
  6. mvt93

    mvt93 Member

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    You can attend SFAS as a cadet, or at least you were able to before budget cuts. Not sure if money will be allotted for cadets to attend in the future though.

    Provided they haven't stopped funding for it, you will compete for it and only as a yuk or cow.They only take 1 or 2 cadets, if at all.
     
  7. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015

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    Not true. There are a multiple (10+) slots for SFAS and CDQC available. You have to try out, as someone mentioned earlier, during your yuk or cow year. They also have tryouts to go to CTLT with SOF units. The number of slots changes from year to year, so no guarantees.

    If you branch infantry, you will go to Ranger school after graduation and IBOLC.
     
  8. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    If you pass SFAS, are you guaranteed a Q course slot?
     
  9. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Perhaps the question that should've started this thread is...

    Why have you "wanted to go SOF your whole life"?

    Do you have any idea what that means? Do you know what you want to do? Do you know what is required?
     
  10. GoSox

    GoSox Member

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    Outstanding! I'm really happy for you, Mooradian -- the Army is getting a good one, I think. Good for you for keeping your head up and eyes on the prize.

    Have a great time with Sprint Football, too -- great sport -- all the best of football without some of the negative collateral effects.
     
  11. jake s

    jake s USMA Cadet

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    Mooradian,

    Scoutpilot makes a very good point. There's different types of SOF with different mission sets-- there's a lot of literature out there on the different types of SOF units and what they do, and they're a good place to start learning. If you want some pointers based off of my limited knowledge, I can pass along some books that have been recommended to me.

    As a Cadet, there are different opportunities to learn about SOF like CTLTs, MIADs, etc.; however, these things only provide you a glimpse of what could or could not be a possibility 4-5 years after commissioning. There's a lot to be said for focusing on the 5 meter target of what you'll do as a PL, but it is also good to be thinking ahead a little bit. Just make sure you keep it all in perspective based off of what you'll be doing right after graduation.

    And to answer the SFAS as a Cadet question: if you pass SFAS as a Cadet, you get a 60 month window to attend the Q course. If you don't get there within the 60 month window of SFAS selection or if the folks in charge at the time decide not to honor your selection, then you have to go through SFAS all over again.
     
  12. mvt93

    mvt93 Member

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    There's a difference between slots available and how many they actually send.
     
  13. AcademyHopeful_50

    AcademyHopeful_50 Member

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    My dad is a USNA grad and until a few years ago I had wanted to become a SEAL officer. I really did as much research and reading as I could, and met several SEALs, including a former DEVGRU operator during the Navy Football Camp I attended. I also met Army Rangers from the 75th. I absolutely idolized these men and what they did, and especially the level of professionalism that they had, as well as the aura they carried. From a young age, my dad also had me listen to the Ballad of the Green Berets. As a kid, I didn't know much about what being a SOF officer actually entailed but nevertheless I grew up heavily influenced by that lifestyle. I can only see myself being the best, and up until this point I've put in the effort and work to be better than my peers and perform better everyday. Really, SOF is where I believe I belong and I am willing to work my tail off, physically and academically, before, during, and after I reach my goal.

    I posed the question not to put my motivations out for critique but rather for a bit of information on what opportunities I could have while at USMA. I am keeping my focus on both the near future and the far future. Too much effort spent focusing on either one over the other would be detrimental to my development.
     
  14. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Ok, so that's a long way of saying "no" to all the questions I asked. That doesn't bode well.

    It seems to me that you've fallen into the all-too-common trap of "SOF is cool and they get recognition for being different/better and thus I want to be there." If you don't know what the missions entail, or even what you're saying when you say "SOF" then you're only chasing an image...a mythos of being the guy all the bad girls want, so to speak.

    The fact that you listened to a song or met some guys you idolized is not a reason to, at the tender age you are, be worried about attending SFAS as a cadet or becoming a "SOF officer" 8 years from now. Step one to any of those things is graduating. Step two is commissioning. Step three is performing well in your primary job and being allowed to compete for assessment/selection/accession into the broader SOF community. Step four is being chosen.

    You're right to focus on both near and long term goals, but if you don't know what that goal actually means then you're not doing yourself any kind of service.
     
  15. AcademyHopeful_50

    AcademyHopeful_50 Member

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    Unless I've already experienced what a Special Forces officer or a Ranger has gone through, how am I supposed to fully understand? I'm a high school kid. I have aspirations and have men I look up to for what they do. I do my best to know what the path is like and what it entails, but I have no actual experience with it. What else do you expect me to know or understand to make my goals valid? Why is my motivation less appropriate than someone else's?
     
  16. Frankie

    Frankie Member

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    I once asked an E-5 who's in Recon Marines why he joined and went Recon, his answer was "It's the hardest thing in the hardest branch". He was also a
    Combat diver.

    I doubt anyone here would find someone in a SpecOps community who's answer as to why they wanted to be in that community is anything but "I thought it'd be cool" or somewhere along or related to those lines.
     
  17. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    That was my original question, wasn't it? "Do you know what you're saying you want to do?" If I ask you what Special Forces does and you say "I dunno, they go shoot bad guys and stuff" then I'd say that you're definitely a victim of the mythos. If you said "they conduct missions across the full spectrum of SOF capabilities, with emphasis on direct action, unconventional warfare, and foreign internal defense," then I'd say you've done your homework and have some idea of what you've decided your life is meant to be. Neither of those answers would require any firsthand experience, but one is certainly more informed than the other.

    My point isn't anything personal against you. You're just the latest in a long line of kids who come to SAF and proclaim that they've always wanted to be the next beret-wearing / trident-sporting / knuckle-dragging (Marines) maniac. Most have almost no concept of what the term SOF even means. When you say you want to be SOF, that means nothing. Do you want to be a Special Forces officer? Do you want hand out bags of seed and teach women how to use cloth diapers? Do you want to drop leaflets out of airplanes? Do you want to make propaganda broadcasts in foreign languages? Or do you want to teach Iraqis how to fly helicopters? Every one of those jobs is a "SOF" job, but only one of them is in line with what you seem to want to be.

    In a larger sense, you're putting the cart before the horse. It's not a terrible thing, nor are you the first to do it. It's great to have goals and I applaud you. Make sure you know what the goal actually is, for one. Secondly, worry about doing your best for your first two years at USMA. If you get a chance to go to SFAS as a cadet, great. But doing so isn't an advantage. I know two guys from my class who went as cadets. Neither is in SF now. Neither is even in the Army now. Things change.

    Be patient.


    One of the dumber remarks I've heard on here in awhile. Most of us had intensely personal reasons for joining the communities we did, and wanting to do it "because it's cool" doesn't get one in the door.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  18. jwizzle11

    jwizzle11 Member

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    I dont get why you are being so hard on this kid scout pilot. If he wants to go SF then he wants to go SF. He doesnt have to answer to you. Maybe he wont be SF in a few years, but why do you care? He has 4 years to figure it out, but for now thats what he wants to do.
     
  19. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Jeez. I think all Scout is telling the kid is to approach the problem/goal in a rational, thoughtful manner and know something about what he's getting into. Perhaps along with a bit of don't worry about it yet, just do your best for now, because without that you won't even get an opportunity.
     
  20. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Perhaps he cares. Some of us make certain comments not because we think we are better. Rather we learned thing or two from our life experience and we want to share our knowledge earned, in many times by making mistakes, to make things easier or better for future military officers.

    I have noticed that many candidates get defensive when someone questions what they say. Afterall, this forum is about change of ideas. Why bother asking questions if you already know the answers or disagree with any answer you construe as negative. Some of us have already got the t shirt and more (I.e. graduated from a SA, military career, and etc).
     

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