T Nation

Any Honest Army Recruiters Around?

I’ve got the desire to be a Green Beret but I’m afraid my medical history will disqualify me. I’m going to graduate in a year with a degree in international security and was in army ROTC for 2 years before I decided if I wanted to be in the military it was this route. I’ve torn my ACL, broken my knee cap, and had compartment syndrome. Any info if I could get waivers? Thanks in advance

“Honest” and “Army Recruiter” are pretty mutually exclusive.

Being SF is a lot more than physical stuff. I had to learn Farsi and arabic, for example. I was a fine Ranger, but what got me “in” was the inate ability to free climb/free solo, have ground directions in the woods, and ride horses, all of which I’ve been doing since I was a little kid because I literally grew up on a moutain with nothing better to do and had zero parental supervision.

A lot of whether you make it depends on what is needed. Afganistan is basically a big mountain range where horses are still the ride of choice. So I was needed.

With the downsizing of the Army, there will be a lot of recruits looking at moving toward the SFs, so the non-specialized slots will be very limited.

All that said, to answer your question, just keep you mouth shut about your physical stuff unless it shows up on your ROTC record or something. I am not going to encourage you to lie, but they will strike you for any reason. Some things should not be volunteered.

Also, if you are hurt or likely to get hurt, don’t bother.

Finally, the recruiter will lie to you.

Are you already humping a ruck and running? If not then start training. If you’re, how’s your training going? If you’ve trouble with your body now it’ll be infinitely worse at SFAS. If your body is banged up there’s no shame in choosing a different MOS. All the mentors I’ve spoken with will respect a guy that doesn’t waste the Army’s time and money or deny a healthy guy a slot rather than somebody that thinks they can just tough it out or isn’t prepared.

Either way, good luck. I’m not looking to go the SF route but we’ve a similar interest. But let’s say I can’t hack it in a SOF unit, I’ve a back up plan and will serve in the military in a different MOS doing the best job I can and take pride in my service.

Thank you for your responses and advice guys, I appreciate it. And thank you for your service thirdruffian. I’m naturally a strong guy and I think I’d handle myself well. Small unit tactics and land nav came pretty easy to me in ROTC, and I’ve spent a lot of time hunting and handling firearms. It’s just a thought that keeps lurking in my mind as I go through school. I’m just going to try to prepare myself as best as I can through this year before graduating and see if it’s still in my heart to do. I had a roommate that was a 13f and I think that’d be a cool MOS too.

And I’ve rucked before with a 100+ pound pack and it was terrible. I had all my weight at the bottom though and it wasn’t tight. I have a buddy that’s still in ROTC, I’ll go ruck with them.

It’s a good thing that you’ve spent some time thinking about it. I know when I was 17 I went to talk to an Air Force recruiter and I wanted to be a PJ because the pamphlet made it sound cool, I was just lucky enough to have a good recruiter talking to me. When I told him I wanted to be a PJ he said “Man, that’s pretty high speed… You in good shape?” and in my infinite teenage wisdom I said “Yeah” since I could do a little bit of push ups and I was a better runner than my friends. Needless to say I wouldn’t have lasted long, I would have been lucky to even pass the PAST test.

[quote]Tyrus63 wrote:
I’ve got the desire to be a Green Beret but I’m afraid my medical history will disqualify me. I’m going to graduate in a year with a degree in international security and was in army ROTC for 2 years before I decided if I wanted to be in the military it was this route. I’ve torn my ACL, broken my knee cap, and had compartment syndrome. Any info if I could get waivers? Thanks in advance[/quote]

From my understanding, a medical waiver of any kind disqualifies you from any special contract. I believe that includes the option 4 (Airborne,) option 40 (Ranger,) and the 18x contract you are hoping for. The best you could hope for if you are forthright with your medical history is 11x, the enlistment designation for Infantry, and attempt to volunteer for airborne towards the end of OSUT. If you don’t have a paper trail or significant visible scarring, you may be able to keep mum about it. You are studying International Security, have you considered the 35 series?

[quote]thethirdruffian wrote:
“Honest” and “Army Recruiter” are pretty mutually exclusive.

Being SF is a lot more than physical stuff. I had to learn Farsi and arabic, for example. I was a fine Ranger, but what got me “in” was the inate ability to free climb/free solo, have ground directions in the woods, and ride horses, all of which I’ve been doing since I was a little kid because I literally grew up on a moutain with nothing better to do and had zero parental supervision.

A lot of whether you make it depends on what is needed. Afganistan is basically a big mountain range where horses are still the ride of choice. So I was needed.

With the downsizing of the Army, there will be a lot of recruits looking at moving toward the SFs, so the non-specialized slots will be very limited.

All that said, to answer your question, just keep you mouth shut about your physical stuff unless it shows up on your ROTC record or something. I am not going to encourage you to lie, but they will strike you for any reason. Some things should not be volunteered.

Also, if you are hurt or likely to get hurt, don’t bother.

Finally, the recruiter will lie to you.[/quote]

You’re a Native Indian. Ofc they’d let you in.

You’d probably know more than they did at the start.

[quote]thethirdruffian wrote:
“Honest” and “Army Recruiter” are pretty mutually exclusive.

Being SF is a lot more than physical stuff. I had to learn Farsi and arabic, for example. I was a fine Ranger, but what got me “in” was the inate ability to free climb/free solo, have ground directions in the woods, and ride horses, all of which I’ve been doing since I was a little kid because I literally grew up on a moutain with nothing better to do and had zero parental supervision.

A lot of whether you make it depends on what is needed. Afganistan is basically a big mountain range where horses are still the ride of choice. So I was needed.

With the downsizing of the Army, there will be a lot of recruits looking at moving toward the SFs, so the non-specialized slots will be very limited.

All that said, to answer your question, just keep you mouth shut about your physical stuff unless it shows up on your ROTC record or something. I am not going to encourage you to lie, but they will strike you for any reason. Some things should not be volunteered.

Also, if you are hurt or likely to get hurt, don’t bother.

Finally, the recruiter will lie to you.[/quote]

Interesting that they had you learning Farsi, do you think this was purely for afghanistan or also possible contact with Iranians?

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
Interesting that they had you learning Farsi, do you think this was purely for afghanistan or also possible contact with Iranians?[/quote]

No. All SF is required to have a target language. What it is depends upon the Area of Responsibility in which you are assigned.

My recruiter told me that if you have ZERO medical DQ factors when you sign up, and all past injuries are fully healed then you should be fine. However, I have no idea how the Army will interpret past history like ACL injuries. There’s really no harm in talking to a recruiter anyway. If you don’t like the answer someone gives you, ask another.

I will say this though: If you willingly hide your history and one of your conditions comes back after you’ve enlisted, then you run into some shit.

Some additional info below:

[quote]Legionary wrote:

[quote]Tyrus63 wrote:
I’ve got the desire to be a Green Beret but I’m afraid my medical history will disqualify me. I’m going to graduate in a year with a degree in international security and was in army ROTC for 2 years before I decided if I wanted to be in the military it was this route. I’ve torn my ACL, broken my knee cap, and had compartment syndrome. Any info if I could get waivers? Thanks in advance[/quote]

From my understanding, a medical waiver of any kind disqualifies you from any special contract. I believe that includes the option 4 (Airborne,) option 40 (Ranger,) and the 18x contract you are hoping for. The best you could hope for if you are forthright with your medical history is 11x, the enlistment designation for Infantry, and attempt to volunteer for airborne towards the end of OSUT. If you don’t have a paper trail or significant visible scarring, you may be able to keep mum about it. You are studying International Security, have you considered the 35 series? [/quote]

A waiver will keep you from getting any kind of airborne contract. It really comes down to whether or not he’s to get a waiver.

[quote]b89 wrote:

[quote]Legionary wrote:

[quote]Tyrus63 wrote:
I’ve got the desire to be a Green Beret but I’m afraid my medical history will disqualify me. I’m going to graduate in a year with a degree in international security and was in army ROTC for 2 years before I decided if I wanted to be in the military it was this route. I’ve torn my ACL, broken my knee cap, and had compartment syndrome. Any info if I could get waivers? Thanks in advance[/quote]

From my understanding, a medical waiver of any kind disqualifies you from any special contract. I believe that includes the option 4 (Airborne,) option 40 (Ranger,) and the 18x contract you are hoping for. The best you could hope for if you are forthright with your medical history is 11x, the enlistment designation for Infantry, and attempt to volunteer for airborne towards the end of OSUT. If you don’t have a paper trail or significant visible scarring, you may be able to keep mum about it. You are studying International Security, have you considered the 35 series? [/quote]

A waiver will keep you from getting any kind of airborne contract. It really comes down to whether or not he’s to get a waiver.[/quote]

Not in all cases. He could make an Exception to Policy request at MEPS that would likely be sent to the Infantry Branch for a go or no-go. When I was attempting to enlist, my ETP was denied. I’m sure he will get a waiver. At the worst I think perhaps his waiver would disqualify him from MOS’s with a Very Heavy Physical Demand Rating. Another reason he should look at the 35 series.

I was cleared for my ACL in ROTC. Took about a year, but the waiver went through. My other injuries didn’t go on paper, even though I had compartment syndrome surgery while I was in the program. I was never told I could’t commission into the infantry. In fact, that’s what I wanted at the time. I think I could hide my injuries other than the ACL, my only fear is that if I was injured they’d show up and get me into trouble.

As far as another MOS, I know it’s stupid but I would like to go into a combat arms MOS. I thought about military interrogator but I’ve seen documentaries where they said that work was mostly given to contractors now and those with the MOS didn’t do their job. Of course, that could be completely wrong.

I hope I’m not derailing but for a scientist position I would imagine the physical requirements are much lower? Do they even have to go through basic or just officer training? Maybe I should just talk to the recruiter or officer in the field I’ve been in contact with… I’m just not absolutely sure about how honest they are but my gut tells me the officer has been straightforward.

Can you run over 5 miles daily without getting knee pain?

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:
I hope I’m not derailing but for a scientist position I would imagine the physical requirements are much lower? Do they even have to go through basic or just officer training? Maybe I should just talk to the recruiter or officer in the field I’ve been in contact with… I’m just not absolutely sure about how honest they are but my gut tells me the officer has been straightforward. [/quote]
Scientist position? Is that even an MOS?

OP - there’s actually some lines getting blurred with what you want to be. On one hand, you state you’re in ROTC and finishing your degree. This implies that you will be entering the service as an commissioned officer? If so, you should research how your branch and time in service works. If you class as an 18A(SF), you’re looking at about 2 years of team time on an ODA - then you’re on staff the rest of the way.

If you class as an Infantry Officer - you’re infantry Army wide. Which means your PL and Command time will vary by units. The Regiment takes PLs and Commanders that have had successful commands in conventional units previously and are selected from a pool of successful candidates, so you would find yourself in and out of the Rangers as your career progresses if you’re fortunate.
If you’re looking at being SF or in the Regiment longer than that, more a full time action guy that isn’t 1-3 years here and there, you need to be enlisted - which you refer to with the Ranger and SF contracts.

BLUF - regardless of the path you take, you are only given the OPPORTUNITY to try out and be selected (this is what’s gauranteed in your contract), it is up to you as an officer or enlisted to test out and be accepted. If your medical history precludes you from being able to perform at a high standard - you’ll wash and go on world wide assignment in the Big Army under your branch or MOS.

Only you know what you can and can’t do medically - but remember the wellbeing of the guys next to you are dependant on you being able to pull your own weight EVERY day.

thirdruff - what BN were you in? Were you with 5th group as well?

I really don’t know. We’d do maybe around 12-15 miles a week in ROTC. I’ve been trying to focus on adding strength to my leg that was injured, and then start back to endurance work.

Thank you darthmason. I didn’t mean to confuse, but I got out of ROTC. I feel like I could perform, I just don’t know if my prior injuries would keep me from even getting a shot.

[quote]darthmason wrote:
OP - there’s actually some lines getting blurred with what you want to be. On one hand, you state you’re in ROTC and finishing your degree. This implies that you will be entering the service as an commissioned officer? If so, you should research how your branch and time in service works. If you class as an 18A(SF), you’re looking at about 2 years of team time on an ODA - then you’re on staff the rest of the way.

If you class as an Infantry Officer - you’re infantry Army wide. Which means your PL and Command time will vary by units. The Regiment takes PLs and Commanders that have had successful commands in conventional units previously and are selected from a pool of successful candidates, so you would find yourself in and out of the Rangers as your career progresses if you’re fortunate.
If you’re looking at being SF or in the Regiment longer than that, more a full time action guy that isn’t 1-3 years here and there, you need to be enlisted - which you refer to with the Ranger and SF contracts.

BLUF - regardless of the path you take, you are only given the OPPORTUNITY to try out and be selected (this is what’s gauranteed in your contract), it is up to you as an officer or enlisted to test out and be accepted. If your medical history precludes you from being able to perform at a high standard - you’ll wash and go on world wide assignment in the Big Army under your branch or MOS.

Only you know what you can and can’t do medically - but remember the wellbeing of the guys next to you are dependant on you being able to pull your own weight EVERY day.

thirdruff - what BN were you in? Were you with 5th group as well?[/quote]

I guess the answer is “at what time.” I started plain old 5th Ranger Infantry BN, then I made 5th Group, 5th BN, then they moved the entire group to 5th Group, 1st Regiment.

Paxton/Muholland/Pagan, if that helps you.

You were probably my boss.