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Old 28 September 2013, 13:07
Octoberfest Octoberfest is offline
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Any merit to this guys' story?

I ran into a guy at the gym yesterday wearing a brown shirt with his last name stenciled in black letters on the front and back. I had a suspicion he was military and my mind wandered enough that it might have been a brown shirt from the BUD/s program. Seeing as I am interested in it, I decided to strike up a conversation with him. I asked if he was/is military and he told me that he was in the Air Force. We chatted for a bit and parted ways. He caught up with me outside the gym and posed a question, basically having picked up on the fact that I had made some assumption because of his shirt. We started talking again, this time about SOF related things and he said that he was/was almost a CRO. Here is what he told me:

He got out of the AF in 2011 or 2012 (I don't recall) after serving 6 years, so the information he provided me on things would be for "how things were" sometime in the span of 2005-2009 or 2010. He started out in security forces before getting a slot and going to PJ school (forgive my lack of knowledge of the proper name for the Pararescue pipeline). He said he got all the way to 4 weeks before graduating, that he had Advanced SERE and something else left before becoming "mission qualified", and he left the program because, "He was getting orders to the Pentagon" and he really didn't want to go to the Pentagon, he didn't want to be in an office. He said that he went back to security forces and led a CT team in Afghanistan. He said that he DID wear the maroon beret (before going back to security forces). In explaining things a little, he said that CRO's were expected to be the "enablers" if you will, the ones who got the PJ's the funding, did the planning, took care of the bureaucracy side of things while the PJ's were the ones who took to the field. He also said that O's were sent to "Phase 2" BEFORE Indoc because they really wanted to weed out the worthless guys, because as soon as they got to Indoc the O's were team leaders and they wanted solid guys to lead the other trainees. He said that Pararescue and BUD/s are the two programs that use the white shirt/brown shirt depending on the phase of training. He also told me that he dropped paperwork this summer with 19th Group in Washington to try and get back into the service. He "has to get his rank back (Captain) and then go to SFAS and then the Q course after that".

I ask for some verification on this story because I have discussed doing some training with this guy in preparation for my own military service. He seems like a genuine guy, I have no reason to doubt anything he has said, mostly because I know very little of the workings of the CRO pipeline/how things are in the Air Force. I don't want to be taking advice or training with a guy if he is FOS.

If you guys have time to address this I would really appreciate it. Thanks
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  #2  
Old 28 September 2013, 13:58
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I'm sure a PJ will be along shortly. Smells fishy to me.
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Old 28 September 2013, 17:30
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Sounds like BS, any way to get his name?
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Old 28 September 2013, 21:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octoberfest View Post

I ask for some verification on this story because I have discussed doing some training with this guy in preparation for my own military service.
Does verification of his background affect what training advice / assistance he can give you?

I'm ASSuming you're referring to physical training....
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Old 28 September 2013, 22:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJ1 View Post
Sounds like BS, any way to get his name?
Just got it, PM inbound

Quote:
Originally Posted by nofear View Post
Does verification of his background affect what training advice / assistance he can give you?

I'm ASSuming you're referring to physical training....
The biggest thing affected would just be time spent in the pool. I asked if the PJ's use the CSS and he said that they do, so I was hoping to have him critique my stroke as well as just help me work on some water confidence type stuff (no breath holding or legs or arms tied stuff). Simply as a training partner his credibility isn't all that critical when it comes to having someone to run with or PT with, it is the pool portion that is most dependent on it.
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Old 29 September 2013, 13:17
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Capt going to the Pentagon as a 1st assignment out of school? Very fishy as he would have zero experience, unless he wasn't liked and they "voted him off the island" STS.

One of our resident "J's" should be along soon.
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  #7  
Old 30 September 2013, 00:29
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PJ1 is looking into it.
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Old 30 September 2013, 04:12
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Two very close friends of mine were instructors during that timeframe.

According to them, there was one CRO that stood out during their time there as being a complete liability. He was released from the course after a massive bureaucratic/political nightmare according to them. IIRC they were told to make a decision between the CRO and an enlisted guy who had recycled, but was also grossly incompetent. The CRO was canned and the enlisted guy is still in the Reserves, unfortunately.

Once PJ1 gets on here I'm sure we'll have the straight gouge.
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  #9  
Old 30 September 2013, 14:43
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Originally Posted by MixedLoad View Post
IIRC they were told to make a decision between the CRO and an enlisted guy who had recycled, but was also grossly incompetent. The CRO was canned and the enlisted guy is still in the Reserves, unfortunately.
The officer was the greater incompetence risk and unsuitability to perform duties problem as both performance and conduct issues were likely involved. The enlisted trainee was unlikely holding NCO rank and performing NCO duties and thus was likely salvageable to perform enlisted duties. It’s a no brainer, which of the two military members had the least suitability and greater performance and behavior shortfalls.

If the enlisted guy is still in the reserves it can only be presumed he is sustaining his core mission ready skill tasks and knowledge proficiencies.

However, the claim:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Octoberfest View Post
He said that he DID wear the maroon beret (before going back to security forces).
can’t be true. He was not authorized to wear the PJ/CRO maroon beret if he never completed required qualification training.

THE CRO student in training hold the AFSC 13D1, the “1” after the “D” indicates an entry status. It is similar to the PJ enlisted AFSC of AFSC 1T211, where the “1” after the “2”indicates being an unqualified student. The wear of the beret requires being qualified to perform duties and performing duties which for the enlisted means award of 3-skill level (1T231) or higher skill level AFSC and for the commissioned officer award of the qualified AFSC (13D3).

The history of involuntary elimination for cause within the student’s control 4 weeks before completing the CRO/PJ courses at Kirtland AFB indicates he does not complete initial skills training required for approval and authorization to wear the PJ/CRO beret uniform. The PJ/CRO does not enter into mission qualification training until arrival at first operational unit after completing required initial skill training. He never was awarded the enlisted 1T231, 1T251, 1T271, or 12T291 AFSC or the commissioned 12D3 AFSC and thus was never a PJ or a CRO. He was at least 6 months shy of completing mission qualification training (entered into at first unit of assignment) or at the Special Tactics Training Squadron prior to duty assignment at an STS.

The claim has to get back Captain is a troubling explanation as such wording is indicating some sort of significant unsuitability administrative or punitive action short of a Dismissal separation (officer version of Bad Conduct/Dishonorable Discharge) removed the Captain appointment. The wording in the suggestion must get Captain back has appearances he no longer holds any inactive reserve status that allows retention of the commissioned grade should he ever return to serving an active military obligation. Make me wonder if he resigned his commission during the separation/discharge process.

Regardless the story of “he left the program because, "He was getting orders to the Pentagon" and he really didn't want to go to the Pentagon, he didn't want to be in an office.” is clearly BS as the departure from required training couldn’t be one of a voluntary nature and unlikely involved an imminent assignment to the Pentagon.

The what PJ1 finds out ought to be interesting.

Last edited by johca; 30 September 2013 at 16:24. Reason: Special Tactics Training Squadron added
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  #10  
Old 30 September 2013, 15:13
Octoberfest Octoberfest is offline
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Johca-

I was a little confused when he was telling me all that he did... When talking about the training that PJ's and CRO's did as far as water competency he did refer to those doing it as "them" and "they" not "we". I will chat with him more when I meet with him to get in the pool tomorrow. Are there records of who STARTS the pipeline and if/why they leave? Or just if they complete training and receive the designation?

Last edited by Octoberfest; 30 September 2013 at 15:29.
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  #11  
Old 30 September 2013, 16:02
johca johca is offline
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HQ AETC does maintain such records, typically however due to privacy policies and laws they do not get public release.

It is typically sufficient to stick with who completed training and was awarded the AFSC and avoid getting into specifics of why there was a failure to complete training that involved an involuntary removal from training.

There was an enlisted classmate (no officers/CRO students back in years past) in my class involuntarily removed from training two days prior to graduation and it was certainly due to bad conduct and not a lack of ability to technically do the job. Anybody telling me they got eliminated four weeks or less before completing the PJ/CRO school at Kirtland AFB is personally causing me to see all sorts of red flag as this is not a Indoc course SIE or any PJ/CRO required course SIE situation and circumstances being suggested in the story you were told.

I presume PJ1 will be able to tell a bit more about this story in a few days.
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Old 30 September 2013, 16:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johca
It is typically sufficient to stick with who completed training and was awarded the AFSC and avoid getting into specifics of why there was a failure to complete training that involved an involuntary removal from training....
+1. Who gives a fuck what the reasoning was, once the comment is that X never completed training, why would a wannabe continue the convo? Such silliness....
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  #13  
Old 30 September 2013, 19:36
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Seems to be a poser. If he would like to call me let me know
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  #14  
Old 30 September 2013, 20:25
Octoberfest Octoberfest is offline
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Appreciate you taking the time, PJ1.

I am meeting him tomorrow at the pool, and that in of itself should be telling. A bit that I forgot to mention, as we were talking about swimming and pool work he said "Yeah we had to swim a 1800m... or actually it might've been 18,000m... I just know I was in the pool for a long time". Seems to me like something you would know. He said he has been wanting to get back into the pool and get back in shape, but I think from just seeing his CSS technique I will be able to tell a lot. Not that it matters at this point, but I'll come back tomorrow with how it went.
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Old 3 October 2013, 17:25
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Get his name, PM me, and I may/ may not be able to clarify this. I was a Kirtland Instructor during that timeframe...
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  #16  
Old 4 October 2013, 12:38
johca johca is offline
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It appears Octoberfest is MIA? On 3O Sept he promised an update on 1 October, today is 4 October.
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Old 4 October 2013, 13:26
Octoberfest Octoberfest is offline
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Sorry Johca-

I messaged AFpj yesterday with the information.

I met with him in the pool and the primary thing we worked on in the 30 minutes we had was extending the length of glide of strokes in the pool. In discussing important things to work on he said, "Like i've said, I don't know what all they do over at BUD/s. I know the stuff from 2nd phase and Indoc". He said that there were 3 big things to remember:

1. Get used to swimming in a shirt, because, "at least in the CRO/PJ pipeline a lot of time was spent swimming in shirts"
2. Get comfortable being uncomfortable
3. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast

He discussed some of the things done as far was water confidence in his experience with the CRO program. These included "over unders", swimming the length of the pool (25m) underwater then immediately sprinting back across on the surface. He said that usually it started on 3 minutes intervals for a set of 10 and then the time of the interval decreased.

His side stroke was different from the side stroke I know ( as seen in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lUHudMN1TU). He never rotated fully so he was flat in the water, stomach facing the bottom of the pool. His pulls also happened more at the same time, much less of a distinct pull 1, pull 2. It honestly struck me as much more of a traditional side stroke than the CSS. He explained that it was the way he was taught/was comfortable for him, and when you had gear/weight on it worked much better. His major critique of my CSS was that I had a lot of movement up and down in the water, sinking maybe lower than ideal when I was stretched out in the glide portion of the stroke and having to come back up when doing my pulls and breathing.

Sorry for the late update.
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Old 4 October 2013, 13:54
johca johca is offline
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No worries as it appears both PJ1 and AFpj are taking lead and both can ferret out the info of his alleged CRO trainee background.

I was more interested if you confronted him for more info on how far through training he got and his reaction.

Second Phase is referring to the two phase officer screen and selection process to be, if selected, put into the Indoc Course which must be successfully completed to proceed into the other required courses (airborne, MFF, SERE, Combat Diver, CRO/PJ school).

I don't give a hoot about his swimming techniques or yours. I was actually worried the guy drowned you or hit your head with a baseball bat after you confronted him.
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Old 5 October 2013, 12:52
Octoberfest Octoberfest is offline
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I didn't come out upright and say "I went to have you vetted and they said you are full of BS". When I met him initially I told him about SOCNET and suggested that there may be some people on here that he knows. What you are describing about the two phase officer screen sounds in check with what he was saying. Sounds like he may have done that, gone to Indoc, and dropped or something. I haven't had contact with him since the day in the pool on Tuesday.
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  #20  
Old 5 October 2013, 13:24
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no problem, no worries-just curious of what went down after "you" asked about him here as it seemed you were intent in confronting him.
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