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Discussion in 'US Army Forum' started by chR|5, Jul 23, 2007.
I want my wings, do I have to re-up, or is there an "easier" way to obtain a slot?
I worked as a BN schools NCO for a year in a light infantry BN.
Airborne is a difficult school to get without getting it in your re-enlistment contract. The Army uses it as a recruiting and rewards tool so there aren't many slots handed out to non-Airborne units.
Are you are good terms with your 1SG? If so, talk to him about it (go through your chain of command of course). He can find out if there are slots available and push for you to get one if available. Don't talk directly to the Schools NCO or your 1SG. If you are on bad terms with your 1SG then just forget about it because he will have to push to get you a slot.
Feel free to PM me if you want further advice.
Getting the SCHOOL used to be easy. Getting assigned to an airborne unit used to be a bit tougher. I had no problem when I put in for Airborne School. I typed up my 4187 and gave it to the battalion commander(I was working in the S-1 shop at the time ). He asked me if I wanted to get out of his unit that bad. I told him I had been thinking of going Airborne for years, which was true. He signed the paperwork, and a few months later, I went to the school.
I had assignment instructions to go to an Airborne unit after completing Airborne School, but when I got to Germany(where they sent me), they said they didn't have any Airborne units there. They said they could either send me to an Airborne unit in Italy or keep me in Germany. I decided to stay in Germany.
Do you want to be a paratrooper or just wear the wings of one?
Now after thinking over it, I want to get stationed at Fort Bragg. I am at my first duty station, is there a minimum amount of time I have to be here? I would like to actually re-up with Ft. Bragg in my contract.
When I went throught Airborne School, the black hats let us know that once you pinned on those wings you became a paratrooper. You're not just a leg wearing the wings. That description is for people who go to the PX and buy jump wings.
To chR5, once you're eligible for re-enlistment you can re-enlist for that unit-of-choice option, but you don't have to wait that long for the school. Requesting the school only takes a 4187, but that won't guarantee you a slot at Bragg.
There used to be an informal(unspoken) rule that you had to be at a unit for a certain amount of time before you could request reassignment, but it wasn't written in stone. I was at Fort Carson for 3 months(back in 1984) when I put in my 4187 requesting Airborne School. Of course, I had an inside track since I was working in the S-1 section at the time(that was the reason I wanted to get reassigned,- I wasn't a Clerk/Typist by MOS).
Typically you will spend 3 years at an assignment (there are exceptions such as Korea). What duty station are you at? How many years do you have left on your contract? This will all make a big difference in how to go about getting airborne school and to Ft. Bragg. If you have senior NCOs in your chain of command who are old 82nd Airborne guys, they will typically try to help young soldiers who want to go there (at least that was the way they were in my unit). Ask one of them, that's better than the internet. As long as you are respectful, they should be happy to help out a soldier who wants to re-enlist and go to Bragg.
If you wear wings and never served in an airborne unit then you're airborne qualified, which does not a paratrooper make. Just like if you complete ranger school and tab out, you're ranger qualified, not a ranger unless having served in the 75th.
Disclaimer: being airborne qualified and not a paratrooper is in no way shape or form an insult, but no they are not the same thing.
Of course the black hats tell everyone they're paratroopers now. They also took the black beret from the 75th and gave it to every leg walking to raise moral and "unify" the army.
My suggestion to the OP is if he wants his wings and wants them to really count, he reup for an airborne unit and put that P identifier on the end of his MOS.
I really enjoyed my time at Bragg. What's your MOS?
Actually, I had a black beret they gave me back around 1988(in a cav unit) which I never wore because I thought it was a bad idea back then. I got out of the Army before they issued the black berets to everybody and I was glad I did.
BTW, I was "paratrooper" enough to be invited to be an instructor at Airborne School while I was stationed at Fort Benning, but I declined the offer. It didn't look like a job I could take for too long. The classes had to be given verbatim, with every gesture and word by the book. Not my idea of a job I'd enjoy. I stuck with Infantry Officer Basic Course. At least there we had some fun, shaping future platoon leaders.
Three years?! Holy crap. I'm currently at Ft. Irwin.
I have like 1 year and ~4 months left on my contract. I had a 2 year contract. My MOS is 11C. I don't think any of my NCOs came from the 82nd, actually, I can't think of one with his wings. Going there seems like a good move to me, closer to home, getting my jump wings, being at a unit that I know will deploy, which I would hope means alittle more comradery then what I'm used to here.
You'll get your fill of deployments at the 82nd, but as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for. I've had some incredibly awesome times though such as training West Point cadets in NY and cross training with the British Parachute Regiment where we got to go to England for 3 weeks to drink, train, and jump for our Brit wings. Experiences and friends I miss daily.
Also as an 11 series with the AA count on plenty of field time.
You will definetly make life long friends though, who would lie in traffic for you when the time comes.
When yer forty, three years will be a short time.
When yer fifty, it will be a very short time.
When you have 1 year left, you can go talk to the re-enlistment NCO. Yes, there will be better comraderie at a deployable unit - and a greater proportion of NCOs who have seen combat and know how to take care of their soldiers. To me, what is the point of being infantry if you don't see combat?
So just tell your re-enlistment NCO that you want an airborne assignment - either 82nd Airborne or 173rd Airborne. And sign up for the minimum number of years available (shouldn't be more than 3).
Lastly, even though you have a "2" year contract, if you don't re-enlist you will be in either the National Guard or Reserves and go to Iraq anyway.
Jammer - 1/9 IN was our sister BN in Iraq. "Keep Up the Fire!" , right?
I got my wings by failing pathfinder (2nd phase) and literally walking over to airborne school as a walk on
I was under the impression you had to be airborne qualified for a slot at badgefinder school
Probably just a lie the schools NCO liked to tell to get out of paperwork.
Like I said in my ealier post, there are all kinds of lies told in lots of places.
Many people get told that you can't request reassignment until you've been at your current assignment a certain amount of time, and when I was working in the S-1 shop as a clerk-typist, my boss told me to tell people that too, even though it wasn't true. He just didn't want us wasting our time typing up paperwork for people who didn't like the unit even though they had just arrived there.
Some of those lies get repeated so often that people start believing they're true. My boss in that S-1 shop was very squared away. He knew the regulations VERY well, and even though I didn't like working as a clerk/typist(my MOS was 11C), I did admire his knowledge of his job.
I was working as the battalion finance clerk and we had a lieutenant who was getting overpaid(yeah, imagine that ). The lieutenant tried to correct the problem every month, but the people at the Finance office couldn't see his point and didn't agree that he was getting overpaid, so they kept overpaying him every month. After a long time of doing this every month, we took him up to the Finance office again, but my boss brought the regulation book with us to show them where they were wrong. They finally got the message, and told the lieutenant he'd have to pay back all the money, but my boss had a surprise for them. He showed them another part of the regulations that said the lieutenant didn't have to pay the money back. Sure pays to know the rules.
Most paratroopers who have served in airborne units do not share the black hats' opinion - I suspect the blackhats don't either, but they have to motivate the troops.
As for going to jump school, I waited until I was near the end of my tour in Europe and told my chief I'd like to go to jump school when I went back to the states and we did the paperwork and I went. On the other hand, I am currently in the Army reserve and this weekend my CSM asked one of our sergeants if he wanted to go to jump school because we had a slot nobody was taking, so they can't be that rare.
No, slots in Airborne School aren't too rare(at least they weren't during the 2 years I spent at Benning ). They have some BIG classes going through there, and they're good at getting them through in a week(or less). I did Jump Week during Thanksgiving week, so we did our 5 jumps in 3 days. It was hectic, but we got it done. There are a lot more slots at the school than there are slots in airborne units.
As for whether I'm a paratrooper or not, well I guess everybody can have their own opinion on that. I'll keep my wings, though, since I earned them. I understand the snobbery thing. I ran into that in the Army. Most of the combat arms looks down their noses at the REMF MOS's, and the active duty guys look down their noses at the guard and reserve guys. Of course, the "REMF" MOS's look down their noses at the combat arms guys, too.
I spent most of my time in the Infantry, but did 3 years in a Signal battalion, so I got a little taste of the non-combat-arms life.
When I worked at the Infantry Officer Basic Course I was pleasantly surprised to see that one of the hardest charging lieutenants that I helped train there was a National Guard lieutenant, and one of the biggest duds that I saw in 2 years there was a graduate of VMI(he was voted,by his own platoon-mates,as the "Lieutenant Most Likely to Get Fragged in Peacetime", and he was active duty. I was also "fortunate" enough to enjoy the experience of working with a class of West Point graduates.
There were always slots to be filled in my platoon/company, on the infantry side of the house. I don't know where you're getting your sitrep from but I've never heard of anybody getting turned away from the 82nd because it's full.
Listen man, nobody is insulting you when they're saying you're not a paratrooper. You seem to be very defensive. Be proud of the fact that you got to go to school for your wings.
Being a paratrooper is a way of life, that you have to be in unit to experience...jumping in ABN school is almost nothing like jumping in an ABN unit. If we talked about it would you have much of an idea about what I mean or would all your stories refer to a 3 week course? How many jumps do you have outside of airborne school? Did you wear the maroon beret? I'm trying to say this without "snobbery" as you put it.
Oh and edit, the REMF's can look down on 11B's all they want, because they're still REMF's.