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Joining The Military


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Its why i decided to go Army, i believed it was somthing i would like to do. instead of making a lot of money, i'd rather be satisfied with what i do.

granted, money on deployments isnt bad at all, even as an enlisted rank. get into nco pay, with seperation, bah bas, hdp, all of it coming in, making some money on deployments.

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First off, I'm new to the boards and would like to introduce myself. Hatchetforce recommended this site as a good site for GR and other R6 type games. Currently I'm a 22 y/o Computer Engineering student at a major 5 year university in Boston, MA. I'm also minoring in Computer Science and Business Administration. For the past couple of years I've been sort of disillusioned to working in an office for the rest of my life and have decided that I would like to enter the military as an 18x (for personal reasons), but I want to get my degree first. I graduate Spring '06 and plan to enter by Fall '06 after some last minute training for a few months.

I'm currently in excellent shape as far as cardio and muscle tone is concerned, but I'm a little on the light side (5'10" and 155lbs). I do a lot of distance running and weight training, but I with so many training programs available to train for SFAS, I'm unsure as to which one would be right for me. Many of them are meant for people who are heavier and not toned, whereas I'm the opposite. I saw this workout (http://www.usarec.army.mil/hq/sfas/prepare.html) and am planning on giving this a try. My only concern is that if I start it this September, will I burn out by next September?

Also, I have yet to see a recruiter, as I wasn't sure if I should go now or wait until next year when I'm closer to graduation. I've read a lot of material on what to expect from recruiters and whatnot, but if anyone could give me some insight based on their experience I would be grateful.

Thank you for taking the time to read and answer my questions. Any advice is greatly appreciated. I look forward to my time on these boards and hopefully surviving SFAS and the Q-Course.

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I wouldn't worry about your weight. You are pretty much average weight for your height. I weighed maybe 130 pounds when I joined and I was 5'9" tall. I ended up putting on some weight while I was in. As long as you are fit and run as much as you say, you will stay a bit on the thin side anyway.

What kind of distances are you talking about running? 3 miles, 5miles, 10 miles or more and how frequently, a day, weekly, or less?

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Spydre,

dont worry so much about your weight, when you go through basic, with your physique, you will gain weight, most likely. dont worry about running as much as you need to worry about land nav, and rucking.

you can get caught up on all the am i strong enough, physically, or worry about what matters the most(not saying being physically strong doesnt help), being mentally strong. when you go through SOPSE they will make you want to quit, buddies i went through basic witho who originally had a Ranger contract, were given the oppurtunity to switch to 18x option. we kept in contact as they went through SOPSE, and they do some pretty wicked stuff there. nothing anyone cant handle, if your mind can handle it.

just dont quit, thats the way i look at all the training, its all just a big mind game, dont quit and you'll do fine.

as far as pt though, before i joined up, i was following a recommended pre-BUD/S workout, 6 miles a day, 6x30 pushups, situps, and 24 pullups. i recomend rucking a lot, as in SFAS, thats what you do, you ruck, everywhere. instead of doing 6x30 pushups, i'd do pyramids, 30-3-30, by 3's. the pt standards for SF arent difficult at all, 70% all the way, here we go up to 90%, in order to go to pre-Ranger.

land nav, if u can get all the points on the star course, right off the bat, you will be sleeping next to a tree while everyone else if humpin a ruck through the woods, so learn land nav, pay attention to the classes given in basic, and sopse.

if you have any questions, ask HF, i only know a small amount of info about this training, but anything i can do to help, i will, any questions about Ranger Regiment, i will be more than happy to answer.

good luck dude.

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@Spydre

I would echo what Marcinko said. Military training, IE Boot Camp and etc...., is largely a big mind game. They are going to put you in stressfull situations to see how you handle it. Some of those situations will include physical endurance. You will likely be pushed to the very edge and then pushed some more. It's what you do and how you handle that second push that will determine whether you realize your goal or not. Even though it was just boot camp for me I saw more than a far share of those people who couldn't handle that anymore and in some rare cases simply refused to do anything else (instant ticket home) or fake some sort of injury (knee injuries seemed to be the most favoured for some reason) to get out of the "rougher" stuff. My step-son just completed basic for the RCNR and I told him the same thing that Marcinko said to you. Be prepared physically but more importantly be prepared mentally too.

Stout Hearts

|RE|Warhawk

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Thanks for all the advice. Right now I'm doing PT every other day and running on every non-PT day for varying distances depending on whether or not I'm doing a hill workout, slow distance day, or whatever. Typically my runs are from 3-6 miles, but I plan on bumping up my distances early next year since I'm planning on running the Boston Marathon next spring. My PT workouts are typically Pyramid sets (1-2-3-4-5-6-5-4-3-2-1) of 1x Pullups, 2x Dips, 2x Pushups, 3x Situps, 3x Lower back with some light weights if I didn't feel it was enough. When I want to switch it up, I will typically do 5x30 pushups, 5x10 pullups, 5x20 dips, and a bunch of ab/lower back exercises.

As for rucking, I'm picking up some danner desert acadia's later this week and will be working on my rucking along with daytime land nav from then on. I'll probably follow the workout schedule I posted earlier and see how that goes ( http://www.usarec.army.mil/hq/sfas/prepare.html ).

As for the land nav. I've read that the star course is something that a lot of people fail just because they can't navigate at night. To be quite honest, while I have some very basic land nav skills, I am aware that I am severely lacking in land nav skills (especially at night). I was wondering if anyone could recommend a book or should I search around for local land nav courses and sign up for one?

Thanks again for the help. It's greatly appreciated

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Also, I have yet to see a recruiter, as I wasn't sure if I should go now or wait until next year when I'm closer to graduation. I've read a lot of material on what to expect from recruiters and whatnot, but if anyone could give me some insight based on their experience I would be grateful.

I would start working with a recruiter now so that you have the time to get the job you want as some are quite popular and there is a "waiting list."

There is never any commitment until you sign on the dotted line, so educating yourself now is always a plus.

Good luck.

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Does rucking mean carrying rucksack? Cause that's important to excercise, even more than running according to my officers. :) Maybe it's more important to you americans though.

For you guys who are talking about how many push ups you can do. Make sure that you know how to do them right. A year ago back in high school I thought I could do around 30 pushups, but at this test a teacher taught me how to do them right, and it turns out I could only do 4! :rofl:

-Zax

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For you guys who are talking about how many push ups you can do. Make sure that you know how to do them right. A year ago back in high school I thought I could do around 30 pushups, but at this test a teacher taught me how to do them right, and it turns out I could only do 4!  :rofl:

Yeah, doing only a few pushups with good form is much more beneficial than doing a lot of them with bad form.

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If I may toss something in here...

If you're 17, 18, or even 22, and you want to join the military, do yourself a favor - go talk to a recruiter. Don't put things off. If you wait ten years, you'll find that it's probably too late, and you'll regret it. I don't say this to be melodramatic, but I will regret for the rest of my life my decision not to join when I was 18 and had the chance to join up.

Edited by Parabellum
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I cant speak for every Marnie Recruiter but... when I went through my processing stage my recruiter told me that if they didnt have the slot I wanted to tell them I was going to wait until they did.(it was almost guarenteed that they would have it though because they get x amount per month and it was the 3rd of the month.)

again I cant speak for every recruiter but so far my recruiter has told me Nothing that hasnt been benificial to me.

(this goes back to Marinko who said that recruiters were known to do a lot to get people to join.)

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@Zaxis, yes, if you are to participte in any pt, build your muscles up. dont start out with 65lbs rucking 12 miles, you'll heat cat. unless of course you are already in good enough shape, and have been rucking. i'd start out with 35lbs or so, go 6 miles, at your own pace(this doesnt mean slug along). EIB(expert infantry badge) standards is 12 miles 35 lbs 3 hours, not hard at all. was our standard for RIP, but we lost 12 people on that one event, because they were weak minded.

and zaxis makes another good point, be sure your form on your exercises is precise, on pushups, look forward, rather than at the ground, it will cause you not to go down far enough, make sure your arms go parallel with the ground, and you go all the way back up, locking your elbows out. situps, keep fingers interlocked behind your head, come all the way up(dont lower your self back down, fall back down) and go back down, tips of shoulder blades must hit the ground. pullups, not part of a standard pt test, but is part of ours, and in order to go to basic airborne school you must pull yourself up and hang for 10 seconds.

also, on rucking, if given the option, put your heaviest items in the top of your rucks, the alice rucks have radio pouches in the top, i put all my weight in it.

as far as land nav, i'd ebay some books, wouldnt suprise me if there was a land nav for dummies. dont go to your recruiter, as most likely he wont give a rats ass if you pass or fail, i cant say that about all of them, as Dakota pointed out, some are good people, but some just want the points. read, read as much as you can, learn the major/minor land features, what they look like on a topo map, learn the colors, how to shoot an azimuth, back azimuth, learn gm angles, different quadrants of maps. it sounds like a lot, but its all on one map.

sounds like your pt is pretty good, add some long distance runs in there, like every other weekend i went at least 10 miles, just go at nice pace for that long a run, i was about 7:30, nothing crazy.

but once again, this has to be somthing you want, a lot, or you will not make it, you have to want to be there, otherwise, one day, on the weekend, while the guys who quit the training, awaiting orders to another unit, get released(yes, you will be put on lockdown), and your still there, picking up leaves until 12 at night, you will realise, this is absolutly retarted, i didnt join the army to be a glorified jainitor. dont let that be you, i saw it happen to perfectly capable people, who could have been Rangers. and thats just one example, of the mind games, the situation i described to you, happened to us, and we had probably 5 guys quit that weekend, including the mayor of chicagos son(thought his master degree granted him a more privlidged life, and he didnt deserve to be picking up leaves), he didnt want to be there.

its all to prove a point, not just to you, but to everyone, dont join because you think ghost recon was cool, join because you want to be SF, a Ranger, Marine Recon, whatever.

i'd concentrate on rucking, wheres Hatchet, he can vouch, you will ruck everywhere you go in SFAS, everywhere. team building exercises, you will carry a trailer missing a wheel for 3 miles wearing a 60lbs ruck, thats just one scenario.

if your going to ruck, get a alice ruck, try ebay:

Alice Ruck

thats what you'll be wearing, find yourself a frame, and you'll be set.

Para also makes a good point, putting off joining, especially for somthing like SF, is a bad idea. guys i work with wish they would have joined at 17/18. i stay in i'll be a First Sergeant by the time i'm in my late 30's, early 40's. thats not the only reason to join younger, obviously, your body isnt as "mobile" when your older. at any rate, make your decesion, but make sure you make the right one, you can tell the guy at your civilian job whos giving you a hard time to ###### off, but it doesnt work that way here, you can quit your civilian job, doesnt work that way here. think your decision through, there are a lot of ups and downs to being in the military.

i hope i was of some help, anymore questions ask away.

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Ah, the Alice. Hated and feared.. :D Looks like the "Ludvig" that's being phased out here.

I have been taking long walks without rucksack for two weeks now (and I used to bike before), but I don't know how long the route is. It's a forest path up into the mountain to practice stability in the back because I sit around too much. I don't think it's hard enough though, so the rucksack is coming along soon. Just not looking forward to bringing it through the neighbourhood. The armyboots are hard enough to explain as it is. :) That might be another good tip, get used to wearing armyboots (I use Alfa M77).

How much is 35 lbs in metric? And 6 miles is 10 km, right?

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Thanks for the tips Marcinko i'm defiantly going to start doing the rucking when i can but first i gotta get my weight off . I'm 6'1 and 265 so i know i'm a big guy and i've been trying to jog every other day but its been so hot here this summer and this month the average day was 99 to 102 . So i've been doing pushups and situps everyday and went from being only able to do 5 in a set to 35 - 40 in a set . I'm trying to do pullups but since i cant seem to pull my self up , im going to start doing negative pullups to help untill i can pull my fatass up .

I'm waiting for the weather to cool off before i start jogging again and im following this program http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml . When i feel comfortable enough ill start rucking . I still have to get through school so it'll be another year to 2 years before i join so i should be good to go by then if i keep it up

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Almost forgot, one of, if not the most important key to PT...

hydration. drink drink drink. make sure you maintain a good level of electrolytes though, no point in being hydrated if you have no energy.

this is serious, we had 2 guys nearly die in the 12 mile, one had a core temp of 108.9.

over the summer at ITB(Infantry Training Bat) several kids died because they werent hydrated.

as far as pullup, do spotted pullups, swing your leg up behind you and have someone help you lift up.

i was never any good at pullups myself, but doing them everyday helps.

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In other cases 35 lbs would be 77kilograms and the poor soon to be army, navy or marines would be on their knees  :P

:rolleyes:

Let me translate for you. :P

Whisper said that 1 lb = 2.2 kilos, which is incorrect (close but more like the other way around). Snowfella was saying that if you used this formula than the people wouldn't be able to carry it.

So if you want to get technical, whisper's post was 50% right while Snowfella's post was 100% right... you just need to know how to read it. :D

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