Saturday, July 28, 2012
So I know that it helps not at all to have a "goal" without having a plan of how to get there. That's what we call a "dream". So, I'm going to outline my plan for how I am going to become a Delta Operator.
Step 1- Army Prep. I currently weigh about 105 pounds. I am 5' 9". This means that in order to enlist in the US Army, I have to gain about 23 pounds. Let's round it up to 25. Now, I realize that I could enlist with a waiver after gaining 13 pounds, and I probably will. But I want to keep pushing and get as close to that 25 mark as I can. In order to gain weight, I need to take in more calories than I'm burning. I used to think I took in a TON of calories, but after looking at what I was eating, and what my eating habits were, I've realized that I have a lot of room for improvement.
The second part of my preparation for enlisting is that I need to prepare for the rigors of physical training. In order to qualify just to start the Special Forces training, I have to be able to get at least 229 points out of 300 on the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT). My goal is to be able to get all 300 points by the time I finish training. Once I've enlisted, this will be easy, since Physical Training (PT) will be a required part of my daily schedule. But until then, I am running every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning, and strength training every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning. I take Sundays off to give my body a chance to recover. Currently I'm trying to run two miles. When I can run two miles without stopping, I will move to three, then four, etc. For strength training, I am doing pushups, situps, pullups, and various weight machines. Each day I will be pushing to increase my limits.
Step 2- Enlistment & MEPS. I am currently facing two obstacles in my enlistment process. The paperwork and the medical history. My paperwork is taking a while because I have moved frequently, and my parents held on to my copy of my birth certificate and my diploma for me. So, nothing too difficult, just time consuming. Because I have a history of asthma (that is no longer affecting me), at MEPS they will probably require me to come back with results from a pulmonary function test. I simply need to be certain that I am in peak physical condition for that, so please refer to my PT schedule.
Step 3- Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) Choice. My next difficulty will be in choosing an MOS that I will enjoy and want to be trained in. Not that I am all that picky, but because there are so many options! I have narrowed the list down to three options, though. First is 35M, Human Intelligence Collector. A 35M is mainly tasked with interrogations, interviews, debriefings, etc., to collect intelligence for later analysis. My second option is 35P, Cryptologic Linguist. A 35P primarily collects intelligence by decrypting/translating foreign language signals, although they also contribute to intelligence collections on the ground in their assigned language. My final option would be 89D, Explosive Ordinance Disposal. An EOD soldier is tasked with the identification and neutralization of any unexploded incendiary device, including improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
I know I would enjoy any of these jobs immensely, and I am qualified to do any of them. I'm just having trouble deciding which to do.
Step 4- SF Prep. All through training, and through the remainder of my first contract, I need to strive and push to be an exemplary soldier and leader. I will need to support every soldier in my unit; push myself harder, faster, and longer; and show an immense amount of potential and resolve. By doing this, I will gain ranks faster and show my superiors that I am ready for the increased responsibilities. I will do everything I can to get an Airborne billet, as this will help me prepare for the difficult missions ahead and mark me as a uniquely qualified soldier. At the first opportunity, I will put in a request to attend Special Forces Assesment and Selection (SFAS)
Step 5- SFAS & SFQT. At SFAS, I will strive to be giving 110% at every minute. I will focus on supporting my fellow candidates, and learn everything I possibly can. If I do successfully pass SFAS, then I will study and train as I prepare for Special Forces Qualification Training (SFQT). If I don't pass, then I will return to Step 4 and try again. In the SFQT, I will continue to be an exemplary soldier, and will keep in my mind the idea that my success depends on that of my fellow unit members as well.
Step 6- Delta. If I am able to qualify for Special Forces by the time I am 29, then I will continue training and pushing to become the very best. After four years in an SF position, I will have one opportunity to attend an SFOD-D Selection, where I will be assessed and, with a little luck, chosen to join Delta as an operator. From then on, my primary focus will be to serve and protect my country in that capacity as the very best soldier I can be, continually training and seeking improvement.
So there you have it. Those are my career goals in a nutshell. There are other special duties and training schools that I would like to attend if given the chance, but those are secondary goals at best. As ever, if you have any ideas or suggestions, just let me know.