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Discussion in 'US Army Forum' started by Fox, Jul 1, 2007.
Ex-Navy veteran, I am now joining the Army National Guard.
Anyone else gone from Blue to Green?
Actually, I went the other direction. I went from green to blue. Now I'm in the Air Guard.
DON'T DO IT........I MADE THAT MISTAKE AND HAVE REGRETTED IT EVER SINCE.
I can't speak for the guard, but since they are using the guard as much as the regular Army in Iraq, I'm guessing it will be similar.
I was a Corpsman for 8 years. I was stationed on a base in Okinawa with some Army guys and saw how easy they had it. Promotions were real fast for them. My intent was to switch services with a different MOS and use that to get into Special Forces, or at the least the Rangers. I never was able to test, because my supervisors wouldn't approve the requests for me to get tested. All because I'd been in the Navy.
I caught hell from day one. Not for lack of competence, but for being what they termed a "damn swabbie." I was stationed on three major Army posts, and on the first two, when I reported in, I heard the 1st Sgt tell the CO "another damn swabbie." Each time, the standard answer was, "S---, F---'n Navy."
I took a demotion to E-4 when I switched, and had to go through basic again. Army basic is much easier than Navy. Interesting note. Not much grinder time in the Army, so they can't keep in step for more than 4 paces without somebody calling cadence. After basic, the Army marches everywhere.
I went 4 years without a single promotion. Not for lack of skill, they had me doing everything that needed done, even outside of my rating, but others got the promotions and medals for the work I did. I even had to keep a copy of my Navy DD-214 in my pocket to be able to wear my Navy ribbons. Even with that, they tried to make me take them off several times. I had a copy of the army's regs authorizing other service ribbons in my pocket along with the DD-214.
I aced their PT tests, and their promotion boards. The way they kept me from getting to the required school for promotion was by ordering me to stand at attention on the scale, and stepping on the rear of the scale to add weight and put me over, or they would just add 6 inches to the waist measurement. I used to be a gym rat, so I weighed right at 200 lbs. For my age group I only had to do 72 or 74 pushups & situps in 2 minutes for each. I'd quit at 80 each so I wouldn't be too winded for the run. I never did higher than 14 minutes flat on the 2 mile run.
As for discipline, I had been a Corpsman, so I was used to the way the Marine's got the job done. I knew the Army was less disciplined, but not to the level it turned out. It is a miracle they get anything accomplished.
They finally wanted to send me to PLDC (the school required to be promoted) after I got rotated back to the states from Korea with only 6 months left on my enlistment. I would have had to reenlist to go, and I had had enough, so I turned it down.
If I had it to do over again, I would have either stayed Navy, or just got out.
So let me get this straight, you believe Navy Training is harder than Army, I won't even touch that one. I somehow think this post is a bit jaded. First off you were not even eligible for PLDC or promotions until you completed the needed time in service and grade. There is also no reason to send you to school unless you had the promotion points to even make the secondary, I thought you said it was easy to get promoted? It is, if your technically proficient, score well with your weapon, pass the board, and have some college. You cannot just take a written test. As far as cadence and marching, how far is it from one end of the boat to the other? You should have spoke with more combat, team oriented Marines to get a better idea of what it is like as a ground fighting force and what true discipline is and why it is more critical in a fighting force than it may be in your previous environment. I feel any medals or awards that you have earned should have never been questioned by a competent NCO. Federal services is federal service, certainly you are entitled to wear them. Your PT will only gain you 50 points towards promotion even though you easily maxed it. Your body fat index should not come into question as they measure your neck and chest to check for this, so you must have been border line for height/weight if they had you flagged for over weight, stepping on the rear of the scale is not going to make night and day difference in readings. Ok as far as training I will say this, Army Basic is longer in duration and more physically challenging. I believe you perceived it as easier due to your prior service and adjustment to military service. This is not a fair comparison to Joe walking in off the street as we all were at some point. I suppose you just read those Army Medics all wrong, thats unfortunate you re-classed into something you were not prepared for, however I do not believe that out of your 3 Army stations you were simply blacklisted for being prior service. I have worked for and worked with several prior service soldiers and each have had pros and cons, but none have ever complained about being singled out and not fairly treated. My guess is your attitude is what kept you from what you have described as good career in the Navy, from accelerating a career in the Army. I would do my best in these times to encourage anyone who wanted to serve in another branch to do so. If the Navy was so good to you, why did you leave? Please don't let negative opinions or experiences lead you to believe this was an "Army" thing. It was just "Your" thing, according to your post. Let me thank you for your service, it is hard to get most people to enlist at all, let alone twice. You did your job well, but I do not believe that the Army failed you, I feel that you failed to adapt to the Army, and it is a different animal than the Navy. That being said, let's all go shoot something.
Sounds like you were a REMF in the Navy and switched over to a REMF Army unit. Personal problem, I think so.
-Not worth getting my blood pressure up over. Just remember, I warned you.-
I failed to mention however, you never qualified to attend Special Forces training nor Ranger training. Ranger training slots are most exclusively for 11 series soldiers, with the occasional exception of 12 series or other related "Combat Arms" MOS period. SF "Q" course training is offered to any solider with a GT (ASVAB Cumulative) score of 110 or better when a slot for your unit is available in a qualifying MOS with the required time in grade and service as noted. With completion of Q course you may attempt the school. With a 14 minute mile I would have not recommended even submitting paperwork. As the prior post stated, REMF jobs are not top of the Combat elite schools "A" list. That adjective may be inappropriate these days as the need for solider out weighs the need for name calling, but you either are are you are not. Combat Arms, Combat Support and Combat Service Support all have they're share in the fight but I won't win this argument anymore than than you will, being a Combat Engineer (CS/12B)even if I was ahead of Infantry on 3 separate battlefields in 3 separate conflicts :> deal with it I did.
Sapper 6 say again your coming in broken and stupid.
-Not worth getting my blood pressure up over. Just remember, I warned you.-
Just be aware of where your recommendation came from Fox, The Army is not the Navy, Air force or Marines. We fight on our feet and we are the oldest fighting force next to Revolutionary forces. Of course I am biased and everyone will have a different experience coming from different forces, but they are similar as you will make of it what you will. Promotions are as stated. You have a promotions cut off score (enlisted) this is dependent on how many positions the Army needs. It will be filled by the above stated requirements. You are either at the top of your game or you wait. There are of course other variables, but I have listed the main ones. You can be promoted without the required schools. You will attend the school if you are promotable and make the cut off and have been selected (E4-E6) College will give you the best edge if your cut off score is maxed out, 795? (never happens in CA CS 450-550 avg.for SGT/E5) You have been trained, can you be retrained? Do you want to be retrained? Pay's the same, no more silly dungarees or silly ass hats :>. What do YOU want out of your service? Other than that? The choice is all your and if you were here I'd shake your hand for serving.
checkout the unit u want to join before signing up.
EXCELLENT advice. And be sure you understand that NG recruiters don't recruit for the whole NG, but only for the unit they're assigned to.
I spent 8 years in the Navy (submarine service). After being out more than 10 years I decided to go into the Guard in 1990 for something to do. The only NG I even knew about in my area was a light infantry unit. So at age 42 I became an 11B. The only real problem I had was that I was expected to know all the NCO stuff an Army E6 learns on the way up - none of which is remotely akin to things under the water.
After a couple of years I learned of a Maintenance unit just a few miles from where I lived. Much more to my taste. I switched over, then later moved to the Air National Guard, and retired last year.
Sound advice but in practice I'm not sure how this would work. Unless they allow you to spend a few days in garrison aswell as how they run their field problems from battalion on down to platoon SOP then you're not going to get much more than a guided tour of the company area.
Talking to the guys would be good, as most are pretty honest about what sucks and what's good about the unit. Just remember privates complain about everything, because they're usually on their way to clean something
Also syntaxerrorsix outlines things pretty well.
Squid complains about no Ranger or SFAS slots available to him, but as an 11B with the 82nd, they throw Ranger, Sniper, Sapper, LRS leadership, etc at you anytime you want, provided YOU pass the prereq courses (PRC, etc) and the school has the slots.
I want to know what MOS the unhappy sailor turned soldier transfered into. No lie I've seen a mess hall NCO Ranger tabbed, so it happens.
Hell senior NCO's get a hard on for anybody showing interest in high speed schools if you serve combat arms.
Also, I made E5 in 3 years. Relatively standard for 11B, at least in the 82nd.
Point being, is the above complaint post about the Army just sounds like it's full of bias from a Navy sailor who hated the switch in culture the Army provided.
Military life is what you make of it, but being in certain units affords you more opportunity.
(Edit for a typo.)
Something to remember about the Army's promotion system is cutoff scores for Sergeant and Staff Sergeant. If you pick an MOS with a high cutoff score you will be an E4 for some time. In the Army Reserve I was a 92A. Active duty cutoff scores are usually high for Sergeant and around max for Staff Sergeant as a 92A. In the Army Reserve or Army NG, where the unit vacancy system is used, E4 is as high as you're going to go as a 92A (possibly E5). I spent 4 years as an E4 in the Army before leaving for the Air Guard. The Army Reserve had cutoff scores for their battalion-level boards also, but the cutoffs were lower than equivalent active-duty. But you still have to find a vacancy for your rank and MOS, and be willing to transfer units.
If you're going to the Army NG, remember that each unit recruits only for itself. Also, do some research about what each unit does. If you want to make E5, pick the same MOS that most others in the unit have. If it's an infantry unit pick 11B, if it's a chemical unit pick 74D. Don't do what I did and pick a wierd MOS with no chance to move up- there were three people in the company with my MOS and no other slots anywhere, hence no E5.
You're either FOS or were a bad Soldier...
Edited to be nice
I am Prior Navy (AO2) and got out in july of '01 in July of '06 I went into the Guard as an 11B, mainly because I really regretted not going into the Army in the first place. I had a good time while I did it and made some pretty good friends in just one short year.
Unfortunately My E.T.S. is in 8 days and I'll be done. You may want to try the same program that I did just to see if you like it. I went in under the "TRY 1" program, it is a one year enlistment which is only offered to prior service. If you like it you can re-up at any time during that year if you don't like it... you do your year and you're done.
I would like to stay in, but my wife says she wants me to be a husband and a father and not have to worry when my unit deploys to Iraq. I fought every testosterone filled urge I had to re-up and told her if she wasn't behind me 100% I'd get out. Good luck, I'm sure you'll make the best out of it.... Sailors and Soldiers always do.
A long time fellow soldier began his career is the USMC. Got his butt shot up pretty good in Vietnam. On ETS, he joined the Air Force straight across. Four years later, he did the same thing going from AF to Army. Finally, just shy of 30 years, he had a deal to lateral to the Navy, but the Chiefs (and rightly so) objected unless he lost a grade and went through a real Chief's initiation. He went ahead and retired. Having been an invited guest of such an initiation, back in the early 60's.......He made a damned good choice. But then again, I was an Army wuss..... There is no grade on planet earth that has the horse power of a Navy Chief......Stay Safe!!!
With your atitude, I can't imagine why they didn't promote you. When was this, anyhow? It's been a while since people going from the Navy to the Army went to basic instead of the 4 week WTC. My USAR unit has former Navy and Marines and they seem to like it just fine.
The flip side of that is I enlisted in the Army Reserve as an E4 in an E6 slot - they tried to promote me to E5 before I even met the secondary zone minimums, but they can't do that, so I get E5 at the next board and I'll get E6 as soon as I meet the seconday zone minimums. Another guy just joined my company as an E5 coming from regular Army, he has the minimums for E6, so he will get it at his second drill, next month. They promote fast (it's an Institutional Training unit that has almost no lower enlisted positions - the majority of my company are E6 and E7 with only 2 E4's and none lower).
The only other USAR unit in the area was an IT unit. They were part of a different RRC than we were. I remember there were some forms in my promotion packet regarding an agreement between our RRC and theirs for situations like mine (transfer for promotion). The other option for me was to reclass. For various reasons I saw the Air Guard thing as the best option for me for the next 6. I felt bad after I got such good recommendations in my packet but my NCO's were all still supportive of me re: switch. I still miss those guys and may end up going back next time around. But I'll know to pick a 74D slot if I go back (it was an NBC unit).
My experience is quite different from the former sailor's, so it'll be a very different viewpoint. I got out of the Army after 3 years in the Infantry and 3 years as a photographer, then about 3 years later I enlisted again, right back into the Infantry. I didn't have to go through any more training(although sometimes I think maybe I should have ). I ended up going from being a civilian to being out in the field with an Infantry battalion at Fort Carson, Colorado in less than 2 weeks. Because of my prior service(and a few other factors such as my own performance ) I got promoted fairly quickly and went from E-2 to E-5 in about a year or so. I'd say being prior service helped me a lot, but then my prior service WAS in the same service(and branch), too, so it would have been different for me, but I did know guys who had prior service in other branches and I don't remember anybody holding that against any of them. The things that people usually held against soldiers were bad attitudes and bad performance.