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Old 23 August 2005, 17:50
AffordableLuxury_In_A_Can AffordableLuxury_In_A_Can is offline
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Question PSYOPS vs. MI

I am a 21 yo male in socal. It has always been my dream to serve in the Army.

I have been seriously considering signing up in the reserve, and I have narrowed my MOS choices down to either PSYOPS or MI because I believe the two are the closest match for who I am and what I am all about, both from the official goarmy descriptions and from my outside research

I have done a lot of research, and have found lots of answers here. I have more new questions though.

From what I gather, MI is mostly a paper pushing/ inside analysis/ interrogation job and tactical missions are extremely limited, however I am also well aware of our shortage of HUMINT volunteers and the high demand for them along with the presense of intelligence elements within many SF units. I don't understand the relationship, btw. I understand that OPSEC limits the explicit details regarding this area, but what can be suggested if I am interested in an MI career that puts me close to tactical missions? I have no james bond fantasies but I am know damn well that their are elements of civilian and military intel that see plenty of trigger time.

Now, in regards to PSYOPS: from what I gather PSYOPS would afford more opportunity for tactical missions, but is this true?
Is their anything I am overlooking in general? Am I asking the right questions?
I feel confused and I need help from you folks! I know I will make fine soldier but I want to make sure I sign up for the right MOS for the right reasons. Thanks in advance!

Last edited by AffordableLuxury_In_A_Can; 23 August 2005 at 18:32.
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Old 23 August 2005, 18:31
AffordableLuxury_In_A_Can AffordableLuxury_In_A_Can is offline
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ok after further research I see that HUMINT is 97E, a seperate MOS from that of an analyst. Don't beat me up over it please. I used google, doogle, and the like before posting and I still didn't feel I had the direction and answers I was looking for.
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Old 23 August 2005, 21:00
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use the search. there is a good topic title psyop enlistment questions or something like that which is about a week old, if that. tons of good info there
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Old 23 August 2005, 21:01
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here is your freebie http://www.socnetcentral.com/vb/show...ighlight=psyop
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Old 23 August 2005, 21:05
SMGCat SMGCat is offline
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MI vs. Psyops

Loads of info here so hang on...

MI first...

A lot depends on what MOS you pick and then what unit you go to and what missions drive that unit. A MOS description sometimes is so broad as to be worthless. get comfy with a prospective unit first and ask what they can show and tell you as far as their mission(s) go as a prospective recruit.

rember you will be EXPOSED to lots of things in training, but what you REALLY will do depends on the units.

If you are wanting tactical stuff, look towards something thats in the MI field, but has direct tactical applications or is required for collection, i.e., electronic intercept stuff. If you are looking to SF it later on, this is a good feeder MOS, as you can occassionally get SOT-A assignments and work with ODA's and higher as an attachment. BTW, SOT-A's are electronic intercept teams of 3-4 in strength who do electronic intercept and translations. If there is an MI unit nearby, ask the 3 if they get tasked for teams. I believe they may be organic to the SF Bn's now, but there's been lots of reorganizations since I was around.

Most of the interrogator slots will be rear area and the furthest forward would possibly be POW collection points. I did a stint with some Foreign Technology Collection guys in Korea, but they were mainly desk spooks who came up with 1/2 assed reasons for a DMZ tour.

The same above goes with the Interregator/Humint, etc., MOS's. A lot depends on the unit and it core mission(s).

Psyops...

Don't be misled by "Tactical" psyops in the unit designator. You'll be in the field, but it won't all be blasting AC/DC and Marilyn Manson tunes at the bad guys. Tactical is used only in the sense that the unit is used in support missions of combat arms units.

Now don't get me wrong, Psyops is under the cloud, so you may get chances to work with SF units, but it will most likely be in Civil Affairs type missions, or to support tactical ops with leaflet/phraseology support.
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Old 23 August 2005, 21:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AffordableLuxury_In_A_Can
I have been seriously considering signing up in the reserve
you'll be restricted to the MOS choices in reserve units in your area. something to think about.
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Old 23 August 2005, 23:19
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Quote:
Most of the interrogator slots will be rear area and the furthest forward would possibly be POW collection points.
We had several of those right in Baghdad. There is no definitive "Rear Area" anymore.

Quote:
Tactical is used only in the sense that the unit is used in support missions of combat arms units.
More appropriately, tactical in the sense that you will find yourself assigned to support an Infantry, Armor, Cavalry, or Stryker unit. Until you get to the location where you are deploying your louspeaker or passing out your leaflets, you are just one more rifle on the patrol. If it goes to shit, you are one more rifle on the defense/counter-offensive. You damn well better be able to shoot, move and communicate or you are a liability in the field. Individual Movement Techniques, Immediate Action Drills, Fire and Maneuver, these are the basics, they come first no matter what. And No, Basic training is not enough. You will, if your unit is squared away, spend more time doing 11B/19D skill level 1 and 2 tasks than you will doing 37F skill level 1 and 2 tasks.

You wanna know what Tactical is? Be the only non-Cavalry asset recognized by the 2ACR Regimental Commander as the Regiments "Top Scouts" 3 months in a row in a combat zone.

Quote:
so you may get chances to work with SF units, but it will most likely be in Civil Affairs type missions,
largely yes, but we also got to go play with the guys with velcro nametags
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Old 24 August 2005, 01:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GackMan
you'll be restricted to the MOS choices in reserve units in your area. something to think about.
That could also work in his favor. Pick the unit he wants to join with a certain MOS, get interviewed, submit sf86 and get slotted for school.
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Old 24 August 2005, 01:35
Jedburgh Jedburgh is offline
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Operational HUMINT in the conventional Army has changed a great deal since OEF kicked off; with extremely rapid changes since the beginning of OIF. Much of this is reflective of the way SF has always used its HUMINT assets, although there are some significant differences. Most critically, HUMINT now has a much closer working relationship with the infantry and other units in a direct combat role than has previously been the doctrinal norm (doctrine still hasn't caught up with current ops). Right now is a very opportune time to enter the field - positions available (and thus promotion opportunities) have been nearly tripled to meet operational needs, and those demands are very heavy.

The operational missions for 97Es are many and varied. THTs, first developed operationally in support of conventional units for ops in the Balkans, are the bread-and-butter of HUMINT ops in Iraq. A THT may be operating in conjunction with infantry patrols or as an independent entity. Much of that depends on the how the Commander decides to use his HUMINT assets. There are many instances of THTs coming under fire in Iraq. Their primary mission is to collect intel, not to engage the enemy, but they damn sure have to be able to get themselves out of a hot spot when it goes down.

97Es conduct on-site personnel screening ops during raids and cordon-and-search operations conducted by combat troops. Language-qualified HUMINTers may move through the buildings with the combat troops as they are cleared in order to be immediately available to question individuals or screen documents found at a suspected bad guy's hangout.

Language-qualified 97Es will work with MPs and combat troops at checkpoints, to assist in questioning individuals and in the search of their persons and vehicles.

HUMINTers will conduct screenings of local national hires at the various camps and FOBs in-country. This is not only to ensure qualification for the job and conduct a basic background check, if done properly, the individual interviewed can always be returned to as a source of local information once he is hired.

Then, of course, there are the standard interrogation ops that are carried out at detention facilities at all levels, as well as exploitation of a variety of captured media.

Outside of the combat theater, depending on your unit of assignment, besides the usual professional development, joint and allied training opportunities, you also often get to work with various federal agencies in the conduct of HUMINT ops. Of course, you also have to expect periods of the normal Army garrison routine of menial tasks, pointless exercises, fossilized bureaucracy and stultifying boredom. But, hell, ya gotta be able to bitch about something.
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Old 24 August 2005, 10:22
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When it comes to PSYOP ( no extra S by the way) the word tactical is a descriptor used to differentiate between units with a face to face dissemination role in support of combat arms and special operations units and those focused on regional or transregional areas whose main mission is devising PSYOP plans and products in the operational and strategic arenas.
As a tactical PSYOP soldier you could be jumping in to support an airfield seizure or rolling with a Civil Affairs Medcap, there is a huge variety of missions and units that want and need PSYOP support.
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Old 24 August 2005, 17:06
AffordableLuxury_In_A_Can AffordableLuxury_In_A_Can is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMGCat
If you are wanting tactical stuff, look towards something thats in the MI field, but has direct tactical applications or is required for collection, i.e., electronic intercept stuff. If you are looking to SF it later on, this is a good feeder MOS, as you can occassionally get SOT-A assignments and work with ODA's and higher as an attachment. BTW, SOT-A's are electronic intercept teams of 3-4 in strength who do electronic intercept and translations.
First of all, thanks to all for the replies and info so far. I feel like I am making progress.

Now, a little help with the accronyms please! ODA I am not familiar with.

Correct me if I am wrong, but you are saying that SOT-A is a team 3-4 man team that plays a combat arms role to accomplish electronic intercept and translation missions?
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Old 24 August 2005, 17:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AffordableLuxury_In_A_Can
First of all, thanks to all for the replies and info so far. I feel like I am making progress.

Now, a little help with the accronyms please! ODA I am not familiar with.

Correct me if I am wrong, but you are saying that SOT-A is a team 3-4 man team that plays a combat arms role to accomplish electronic intercept and translation missions?
In my experience, if you are only a 3-4 man team... you want to stay the fuck away from combat if you can help it.

Search for the term SOT-A http://www.socnetcentral.com/vb/sear...earchid=185751

SOTA teams are basically LLVI teams (hint: that is a test) that support SF units. There are none in the reserves, since there are no SF units in the reserves anymore. Check out some local NG units and look for SF Groups if that is what you want to do.
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Old 24 August 2005, 18:51
mara mara is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AffordableLuxury_In_A_Can

Correct me if I am wrong, but you are saying that SOT-A is a team 3-4 man team that plays a combat arms role to accomplish electronic intercept and translation missions?
SOTAs are combat support. In fact, some of the older manuals refer to them as "Support Operations Teams- Alpha" instead of "Special Operations Teams- Alpha." I did not want my SOTAs participating on the shooting end of direct action missions; kind of hard to collect with all that noise in the background. However, during combat they were sliced down to the battalion (where they belonged; the new MTOE makes that permanent), and at least two that I can remember received BSM(V)s, with another nominated before I left the unit.
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Old 26 August 2005, 14:58
AffordableLuxury_In_A_Can AffordableLuxury_In_A_Can is offline
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Ok after the generous help from all of you here, I have decided that MI is the field for me. Thanks again to all of you for the resources, time, and patience.

I have another question that is sort of taboo but what the hell.

What is the Army's policy on past illegal drug use? I am no angel but I am no crackhead. I just experimented and moved on. From my research all I can find is that generally usage within the past 12 months is unnaceptable, but outside of 12 months would be considered.

I am afraid because of my past indescretions I may not be able to obtain the security clearences or even qualify for the MOS of my choosing. Any insight that can be offered would be much appreciated.
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Old 26 August 2005, 15:05
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If you have done anything other than MJ you are probably not getting a TS clearance.

and yes, they will find out.
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Old 28 August 2005, 13:11
Psywarrior6 Psywarrior6 is offline
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This has just been my experience here in OIF, the only MI going out and being tactical are the THT teams, and they are very understaffed. As far as Psyop goes..I am a ATL for a team we first off stay the hell away from CA and their missions. As far as our interaction with different guys, we support everyone, but we usually support infantry armor and cav units. SF is mainly doing FID work here. Although we are working FID missions too, they arent with SF. Dont get me wrong though a lot of my teamates have supported SF, mainly in OEF. If you want more info, im in the Socal psyop unit...San Diego...its the 301st Psyop Co (ABN) its an active jump unit one of 3 that are in the reserves...so you are garunteed airborne, and they give us some pretty decent options for schools, ive attended DLI for Chinese and been to DEST, AMU's CQM course, etc...i say just do a lot of research and talk to the units that you are looking at and make your decision.

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Old 30 August 2005, 22:54
MilSciFiFan MilSciFiFan is offline
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97E opportunity

I'm at the 97E schoolhouse now. You will go to a unit of action as soon as you graduate most likely for a THT role. HUMINT is short people, so you will be sent to a UoA that is getting ready to deploy. There is also a quick way into SOCOM if you're a mature individual, extremely squared away with the material and 270 or above on PT. Won't say more due to OPSEC, but if you come here you will be briefed on that.

This is a great MOS. The training here is great. A lot of money is obviously being spent. Promotions are extremely quick. Jedburgh is not kidding about promotion opportunities. Look into and understand the promotion point system (Army Times would be a good start) so you appreciate only needing mid 300's for E5 and E6. There are also excellent opportunities for life after the army in this MOS, especially with operational experience.

The only thing that's negative about the training is putting up with how TRADOC babies IET students.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedburgh
Operational HUMINT in the conventional Army has changed a great deal since OEF kicked off; with extremely rapid changes since the beginning of OIF. Much of this is reflective of the way SF has always used its HUMINT assets, although there are some significant differences. Most critically, HUMINT now has a much closer working relationship with the infantry and other units in a direct combat role than has previously been the doctrinal norm (doctrine still hasn't caught up with current ops). Right now is a very opportune time to enter the field - positions available (and thus promotion opportunities) have been nearly tripled to meet operational needs, and those demands are very heavy.

The operational missions for 97Es are many and varied. THTs, first developed operationally in support of conventional units for ops in the Balkans, are the bread-and-butter of HUMINT ops in Iraq. A THT may be operating in conjunction with infantry patrols or as an independent entity. Much of that depends on the how the Commander decides to use his HUMINT assets. There are many instances of THTs coming under fire in Iraq. Their primary mission is to collect intel, not to engage the enemy, but they damn sure have to be able to get themselves out of a hot spot when it goes down.

97Es conduct on-site personnel screening ops during raids and cordon-and-search operations conducted by combat troops. Language-qualified HUMINTers may move through the buildings with the combat troops as they are cleared in order to be immediately available to question individuals or screen documents found at a suspected bad guy's hangout.

Language-qualified 97Es will work with MPs and combat troops at checkpoints, to assist in questioning individuals and in the search of their persons and vehicles.

HUMINTers will conduct screenings of local national hires at the various camps and FOBs in-country. This is not only to ensure qualification for the job and conduct a basic background check, if done properly, the individual interviewed can always be returned to as a source of local information once he is hired.

Then, of course, there are the standard interrogation ops that are carried out at detention facilities at all levels, as well as exploitation of a variety of captured media.

Outside of the combat theater, depending on your unit of assignment, besides the usual professional development, joint and allied training opportunities, you also often get to work with various federal agencies in the conduct of HUMINT ops. Of course, you also have to expect periods of the normal Army garrison routine of menial tasks, pointless exercises, fossilized bureaucracy and stultifying boredom. But, hell, ya gotta be able to bitch about something.

Last edited by MilSciFiFan; 31 August 2005 at 21:51.
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Old 31 August 2005, 01:39
Lukef360 Lukef360 is offline
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MilSciFiFan-

Is what you're discussing primarily to do with enlisted personnel?
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Old 31 August 2005, 08:52
mara mara is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukef360
...

Is what you're discussing primarily to do with enlisted personnel?
Yes.
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Old 14 September 2005, 04:54
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Drugs: Depends on what, how much, how often and last use. Don't lie, just let what happens happen. You will always think what you've done will disqualify you, but that is not really the case. Consider that 97E does not require a TS generally speaking.
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