T Nation

Special Forces Training

Vanilla soldier= Plain old guy with m16, not with any particular group or speciality.
I thougth mustangs were warrant officerss?
As long as they will teach me to swim, then it wont be so bad. Er, teach me to swim better per se i guess. They should teach me to bond my words into conscious grammatical thoughts too. This is crap, ignore this post

I definitely want to go the Ranger route. Can you elaborate on why it would be better to go in as enlisted. Ive heard officers have only ten MOS’s to choose from upon completion of OCS, but dont I still have the Airborne and Ranger options.

I started my career in a Ranger Battalion almost 19 years ago now, and I have to tell you, everything I’ve made of myself and my career is because of what I learned there. As far as officer or enlisted, that’s up to you. If you look at a 20 year career an “O” may have only 4 or 5 years in a true trigger pulling job, but the pay and the way you’re treated is much better. If you show up as a private in a Ranger Battalion, expect to be treated like a turd for the first 12-18 months, but as an NCO a little bit down the road, you lead your boys in combat, and you will be a trigger puller probably at least 16 or 17 years of your career, more depending on where you go from battalion.

As far as being ready to show up on day one. If you can do 70-80 sit-ups and push-ups in 2 minutes, run 2 miles under 15 min. and 5 miles under 40 min. you will be light years ahead of these Nintendo pussies that come through the door every day.


Roper is right! The man reason for going enlisted instead of officer is you get to be there. Roper will most likely tell you that the most pissed off officers you will meet are majors. Why is because they can not be “with the Troops” only one in six LTC will every get to command a battalion and if you don’t command a battalion then you retire, if you are luck at twenty-six. Also if you are and E-5 (Sergeant) or and Officer you are not allowed to make any mistakes in today’s army. Finally, as a officer (Combat Arms) you will be expected to complete airborne and Ranger Schools (no pre-training like in the battalions), if you don’t you will not make Captain. And as for getting to a Ranger Battalion, you had better know somebody.
If you want of experience Rangers and Special Forces, the enlisted route will be better. You are also going to find that many of the NCO’s have college degrees and you can always switch to the Warrant Officer or Officer Route.
Best of Luck

Andrew, Andrew, Andrew. If you have the time get your hairy ass to a pool and learn to swim. Crawl, side-stoke, and breast stroke and a minimum. Then start doing laps. Work-up to a quarter mile of each. PS - Swimming is great for the Delts. Find a shooting club and learn to target shoot with a .22. Work on the prone, sitting and kneeling. If you can find somewhere to practice Foxhole supposted prone do so. I have an AP-79. It is basically a cheap .22 cal verison of an M-16 made by an Italian company (adds to the training realism). Now start reading all the factual materials you can find on the USMC. You have a lot of false ideas to get out of your head. Best of Luck.

For those of you interested in attending US Army Special Operations Courses you might want to check out this book. The HOOAH Schools : U. S. Army Special Operations Courses and Units Prerequisites by Robert S. Bertrand. Best of Luck.

Understand something very clearly. Your chances of succeeding in the special operations community coming in off the street are very low. For a Ranger Bn., for instance, only 1/3 will graduate RIP and, of those, only 1/3 will survive the crucial first six months in the Bn. If you should quit or be dropped (performance or medical) you will be reassigned per the needs of the Army. Don’t kid yourself into believing this can’t happen to you as most of those included in the 90% attrition outlined above didn’t think it could happen to them, either. Make sure you are willing to acdcept the consequences of failure before you sign on the dotted line or you may be in for 4 miserable years.

The claims of one individual who has replied to this thread with respect to his service record and military schooling are highly suspect.

I back skeptical on what it takes to get through–washout rate for my pj group was 96%, we had 104 in the initial training group; we started with 106, ended 8 months later with 7…I won’t address the credientials of those that respond here…it shows if do or do not know and they have to live with themselves…their buds no longer depend on them…

I am afraid I must agree with Skeptical and Charlie. It took me more than one try to get through the Ranger Course. That is why I recommend that anyone attempting this life style become firmly based in the reality of it and get as ready as possible for it. If you plan to enter this life style you must have a realistic understanding of what is expected and then prepare, prepare, prepare. As always, Best of Luck.

Thanks again for the info, I think you helped me make up my mind.

Unfortunately, I live in Rural kansas. We have no nearby swimming pools, and I only get to hunt when i go to my grandpas, any alternative ways of getting better at swimming and shooting?

Ummm… Lakes and target practice maybe?

Guys, Gentlemen and Sergeants,

The truth of the matter is that the washout rate for damn near any school is very, often sadly, high. For example, when I went through Airborne school a few years ago (Georgia in July is HOT, but not as hot as Lopburi, Thailand), my class started with about 200 soldiers and 400 students (ROTC don’t count as soldiers, in my book). By the end of the first two, rather easy weeks, that 400 was down to 250. By the end of the third (jump) week, only 202 got their wings. And that was an easy school. I believe that anyone who enlists for the sole purpose of going SF had better look into the National Guard (Colorado, Washington, and Utah, on the West Coast, have SF units), because you won’t even be able to try out for SF until about one and half years after your Initial Active Service Date, just a thought.

Just so you all don’t think I am some complete arm chair soldier, I will tell you about me. I am a member of the Psychological Operations branch of the Army, which is controlled by the same command that controls SF, Rangers,(sadly) Civil Affairs, and the little old unit that doesn’t ‘officially’ exist, but has a huge compound on Ft Bragg, guarded by guys who drive almost silent motorcycles and don’t like drunk, joyriding privates to be anywhere near said compound. (Note: I’m talking about Delta Force). I am a Reservist, but have been deployed to Bosnia, Thailand (twice), a Joint Task Force (Special Operations) Training Exercise, as 1st Ranger BN diversionary force, and am now an alternate for a group heading to Kosovo, though I am holding out for the next SE Asia flareup. When I was in Language School in Bragg, I was too young be admitted to SFOQ (they were only taking E-5’s at the time). When I got back from Bosnia, I had been accepted for training with the local (Portland, OR) PJ Unit, but they were shut down, so I didn’t get to go. So, I think I’ll be a pilot, after I graduate.

I agree with every post, so far, about endurance being paramount. However, I don’t agree that long, steady-state running, repeated daily, is the way to go. I think that it has held on to the ‘de facto’ primary conditioning role for the same reason that flutter kicks are assigned for attitude readjustment. I think this reason is that most leaders hold on to these because:1)it ‘always been done this way’ and people fear change, 2) no E-7 or O-2 or 3 is going accept a temporary potential drop in performance (it doesn’t look good on the ER’s) and 3) most soldier (and most people) just aren’t creative.

I found, when I was in charge of soldiers PT in Bosnia, that their were better ways to develop endurance. Running was necessary, but only once a week, so that the soldiers still knew how to do it. The rest of the time, endurance was developed by HARD exercise. This meant sledgehammer, FAST calistenics (jumping jacks, burpees <a ‘favorite’ from high school football and basketball>, wheel barrow walking, sandbag throws and HMMWV pushing. I guess I was a ‘renegade’ before the term was popular. I also found that, if sledgehammering was done, with some other, proper core work, situp were not only unnecessary, but just too damn easy. Just my ramble.

you might try bike riding; it partially simulates the leg work. The other half, learning to breathe (building up the muscles supporting the lungs); don’t know…

Okay, Andrew, Lets start with some easy shooting exercises. I will assume you have access to a rifle with iron sites? Yes, great! Here are two dry fire exercises for you. Place a target on a near surface (You can download targets form several different websites). Work on getting a good sight picture in prone, sitting, kneeing and if you can fox-hole supported prone (Check out the TraDoc library website for M-16 shooting manuals, they also include a lot more exercises and drills). Your second drill, is call the dime drill. Assume your firing position and have a friend balance a dime on the very end of your barrel. Now carefully, using the eight steady hold factors (what are they? Read the book!) pull trigger. Remember you are dry firing at this time. If you have good trigger control the dime will remain on the end of your weapon. Best of Luck.

There is no such thing as a “Ranger Option”–it’s just a way for Recruiters to get guys fired up enough to join. I’ve seen guys trade away guaranteed financial benefits for this so-called “option.” If you have the nuts, THEY WILL FIND YOU. I remember the last day of Infantry School (ARMY): a bus pulled up, a bunch of Rangers jumped out, and simply asked (as only Rangers can do) if anyone here is hard enough to get on that bus. Several of our guys did–I later heard they went on to do some serious ass-kickin’ with the Rangers. BTW, one of them I considered to be a real wimp. However, he is a guy who proved that he just NEVER stops. That’s what it will take.

In regards to the post about the attrition in airborne school, first it’s very surprising as the attrition only ran about ~10-20% in the past two decades. More to the point, the attrition figures I gave above are derived after the soldier has completed Basic/AIT or OSUT and jump school. If the numbers included the drops prior to RIP they would be even greater than those delineated.

To become an officer in the Ranger Regiment you must first succeccfully complete an equivalent command in a regular unit before being considered for the same position in the Regiment. As the saying goes, an officer comes to the Regiment to do a job not to learn it. Hence, the likelihood of an officer ever securing a command or leadership position in the Regiment are dramatically smaller than succeeding as an enlisted man. But just as enlisted can be relieved for substandard performance, so can an officer. In other words, if your dream is to become a Ranger your best shot is the enlisted route. If you should decide to go for a commission thereafter the word is that you will be shown preferential consideration for an officer’s slot in the Regiment.

Yeah well americans never “break” down. We adapt and overcome. especially in the infantry

The way to go would be go down to the local recruiter take the test and see what you can do. The Army has a Pre Ranger contract. Meaning you go to basic, AIT, airborne school then RIP (pre ranger course) if you pass each school then you are off to Ranger Batt. At which point you learn and move up in rank, wait about 9 month to 1 then off to Ranger School to hopefully to get the tab of gold. The whole process takes about 2 years if you don’t get hurt or recycled. Ranger is the fastest way to move up in rank in the military period. You can go from being a E1 to E5 in little over 2 years like I did. After you get your tab, you can pretty much pick what schools you would like to go to. The reason I joined the ARMY is because they have all the schools for SF training and have the FUNDING for you to go to the schools. Other services put you on waiting lists and empty promises. The Army always has schools taking place(sires, sniper, pathfinder, ranger, airborne, air assault, EIB, combat lifesaver, SF, etc. etc.) I am so glad I went the direction I went. Got out 4 years ago as a E6 P in 4 years. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Far beond driven

There certainly seems to be a tendency to join the Rangers here, just curious if there any other services represented here??