Enlisted PsyOps With a College Degree - What to expect?

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Spencer1996
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Joined: 07/13/2017

@MSG GLENN, this is Spencer96 from the previous thread about college enlistment, I got locked out of my account and the email would not go through for me to reset the password...so I made a new account...

Well, I signed the dotted line today after many years of contemplation. Since childhood, the military was always my dream. My parents convinced me to try going to college first and then see how I feel about it, so I did. I worked a full time job and went to school full time all the way through, paying my own way.

3 years later, I'm preparing to graduate in December, a full semester early, with my BS in Criminal Justice from the University of Tennessee..

I thought for my last two years of college that I'd apply for OCS. Then, looking at the rather low selection rates and heavy focus on STEM majors, I figured why bother. I may stand a chance, but what if I put all that effort in and don't get selected? I'd end up enlisting anyways, so why not go ahead?

That's been the mindset this whole time. I was sitting in the waiting room at MEPS today wondering what the hell I was doing. I gave up being an officer in the army, which I firmly believe I'd be capable of, just to get it over with.

My first choice job was 35M, human intel collector. Of course, my dlab was just a hair under the requirement, so I was not qualified. My asvab was high, and I did research for months and months. Finally, since my dream job was no good, I found 37F, psychological operations. It sounded like the next most appealing thing to me.

After a few more weeks of trying, the recruiters finally figured out how to get me in that job which is very uncommon. The recruiters said they'd never even put someone in that job before, despite many years recruiting. They'd never even seen an opening. It is supposedly the only job in the Army where Airborne doesn't come as an "option", but is a mandatory part of the training.

They called around to make it open for me, and according to my recruiter ( no idea if it is true ) they had to create a new class for next year basically because I said I'd walk without the job and they didn't want to lose me. So I've got it...but not until next Spring.

I actually met multiple people at Meps who were college grads as well who were either enlisting or going enlisted reserves. That was comforting to know I wasn't the only idiot to sell myself short.

So my question: What do you think the odds are of being selected for OCS after enlistment? I plan to drop a packet after I get through training and make some good connections for references. OF course, that depends on my job. I my love my job enough to not care about being an officer. After talking to a prior PsyOps guy, I feel that it is a possibility. He had a degree and stayed in 20 years enlisted.

One of the main guys at MEPS said either I'll love the job and stay, go OCS, or go CID since PsyOps go through a lot of MP training.

Other Question: Does anyone know anything about the actual selection process for 37F PsyOps? I have 23 weeks in missouri, airborne school at Benning, and then a week long selection course at Bragg, but nobody knows anything about selection. Nobody. Even the guy I know that did the job, because they didn't have selection when he was in.

Thanks in advance!

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MSG Glenn
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Joined: 08/31/2010
@Spencer

First off - Congratulations! You'll be surprised how fast the time will go from now until spring. This gives you time to prepare yourself physically & mentally.

I know absolutely nothing about MOS 37F. I think it's in the Army Special Operations family. The fact that Airborne School is a requirement reinforces that. It sounds like a very interesting job & the reason I don't know much about it means it's a very sparsely populated MOS. I don't think I ever knowingly met one. I'm sure it's a job that's highly classified like intelligence MOSs.

Changing MOSs can be tricky at times. If the job comes with a bonus that means you'll have to wait until reenlistment to make a change but I have a feeling that you'll be happy in that MOSs. Going to OCS is always a possibility with a college degree. Of course a lot depends on the needs of the Army for Officers. Everyone who I know that went to OCS from the enlisted ranks have told me that OCS is much easier for those who served some years in the Army. You might not be assigned to PsyOps after you're commissioned.

Any MOS you serve in should not affect your selection as a Police Officer when you get out of the Army. In fact our local PD prefers that a Veteran didn't serve as an MP. That does not affect selection, though. That preference is from the instructors at the Academy & not department policy. Maybe some PDs prefer prior MPs.

Good luck & stay in touch!

Spencer1996
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Joined: 07/13/2017
@MSG Glenn

Thanks for the response! That's some good information to know. I didn't get a bonus with the job, unfortunately, and I forgot to ask to try and get one at meps...oops...

Anyway, the OCS plan I suppose is just something I'll decide on later. I have a lot of time between now and then to prepare, and time to decide in my months of training. I may want to just stay psyops enlisted for all I know. Only way to find out is to do it. I'm just happy a decision has been made and I can focus on what I should be focusing on.

MSG Glenn
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Joined: 08/31/2010
@Spence

Focusing on the info you have instead of the "what ifs" is always a good plan. Being physically ready for BCT, AIT & Airborne School should be your main goal at this time. You have plenty of time to achieve that gradually. If at all possible try to go to BCT being able to ace the PT test. That goes a long way toward future promotions. Your jump wings also help. For the duration of your career those wings will give you 5 promotion points. Airborne School will also add to your military education points.

I'm pretty sure that if a bonus is authorized you would have gotten one without asking for it. That's pretty automatic & your Recruiter would have told you & also the MEPS Counselor would have written into your contract.

My son just reenlisted in the Reserve. This will take him beyond the 20 year point. He was promoted to SFC last year & is preparing himself for MSG/1SG. He recently became a Tactical Enforcement Officer (what we call SWAT) in the PD. Out of the 50 or so candidates only 2 were selected. He always keeps himself in Ranger shape & that went a long way.

Spencer1996
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Joined: 07/13/2017
@MSG Glenn

That's good to know on Physical fitness. I didn't realize it played such a big role in promotions. I'm definitely aiming to ace the PFT when I get there, and I should definitely be able to with the amount of time I've got to prepare.

And that's great for your son. That sounds like a heck of a good position!

MSG Glenn
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@ Spencer

That's the job he wanted after getting out of the 75th Ranger Bn, going to school for his degree, & then the Academy. He was hoping he wouldn't lose his Ranger edge & made sure he didn't by working out & running every day. So far it's mostly getting guys with high risk warrants. He's waiting for his 1st standoff. He does the same thing he did as a Ranger - kicking doors in. He's strong enough to really kick them but has tools & explosives at his disposal. He just has to be more careful when breaching. It wouldn't look too good if he blew the suspect, his family & half the neighborhood away, LOL. When he was on active duty in a combat area they could call for a chopper with a rocket if they wanted to.

Physical fitness s very important to the Army regardless which MOS but SpecOps takes it to a whole different level.

When you're preparing yourself be careful not to cause any injuries. Start of with a mild run immediately followed by 2 minutes each of pushups & situps. Do 2 miles even if you have to walk part of the way at first. Try to improve your speed & then tack on a longer distance until 2 miles seems easy. Alternate running days until it becomes easy for you then go every day. On non-running days do some other form of cardio like swimming, hiking (preferably with a ruck on your back), lifting weights or biking. While watching TV do pushups alternating with situps each time an ad comes on. Make sure you're well hydrated & stay that way when you do PT.

Spencer1996
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Joined: 07/13/2017
@MSG Glenn

That's great that he gets to keep such an exciting job after the military.

And yes, physical fitness is going to be my biggest problem. I'm a tall and slim guy. It's very difficult to gain muscle for some reason for me. I take in lots of protein and everything, but I've never been able to gain much weight. Although, with 8 months or whatever it is to train, I think I'll be fine regardless. 4 years ago I was a distance runner and ran in a few half marathons with good time. I just need to get back to where I was, and then some. And of course, work on my pushups and all. That's where I am waaay behind.

As far as your comment on swimming: do you think that there will be swimming anywhere in my training? I ask because I am a very bad swimmer. I plan to work on that anyways, but I'm just wondering so there aren't any surprises when I get there. My university has a huge pool for students to use, so I plan to utilize that quite a bit. But currently, I am a very bad swimmer. I don't want to get set back in training to take a swim course and be behind.

MSG Glenn
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Joined: 08/31/2010
Spencer -

You don't need to be a muscle man in the Army. Running well is always a good thing, though. Make sure you can do the required amount of pushups & situps in the time allotted, 2 minutes for each right after the run.

My son & I, although we're not real muscular (at least I'm not) both were wrestlers & martial artists mostly Judo, & the skills & strengths helped us in Special Operations. I was a Navy Frogman (later an Army Paratrooper, not SpecOps) & my son was a Ranger. Both of us were martial arts instructors & wrestling coaches. As I was aging I tried to keep in shape so I could keep up with my students. A track man will be able to run long distances with a heavy ruck on his back. I feel the cardio will get you through not that a little extra muscle (or more realistically strength) won't help. I've known many a person that were very strong but looked like a stiff breeze would knock them over. My grandson is quite strong but is willowy. He started in Judo but was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes in 1st grade. It was risky for him due to a sugar low at the wrong time so we got him out of it & doesn't do sports but can run like the wind. He put his mind to academics & robotics/engineering.

I would do lots of research on what PsyOps entails physically. I don't know if there is any swimming involved. I know that in the Rangers my son had to take a Combat Swim test. All that he was required to do was a little swimming, pick up his gear at the bottom & show no fear in the water. Since Rangers use rubber rafts that makes sense. In any event swimming is always a good thing to know.