Training Pipeline Question

Hello All. I'm looking to transfer from another branch into the SR career field. I've been reading around and came across the 8 week preparatory course. I was wondering if anyone had any more insight into what that is like, and how prepped they felt going into the selection process. I'm a horrible swimmer and want to do this.
However, I don't feel like going through another enlistment at the "needs of the air force" like I did going blindly into the army should I fail. I'm not worried about the regular ground physical training, but insight into that would be helpful as well.

I also am curious as to anyone's experience with being able to select a rate when someone fail's the course. Do they offer you positions you qualify for, and you get to select, or is it "here you go. you're now a janitor"? Excuse my ignorance on Air Force careers/ Rates. The army is much more direct and specific with selecting an MOS.

And my final question, is if anyone has passed the new course set up and if they can explain the most difficult part of the course and what to be ready for. Given that this is a public forum I expect some ambiguity and vagueness.

Thanks in advance.
 

Yukon

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All enlistments are needs of the military service structure driven. The rate system is unique to the Navy and perhaps Coast Guard, the rate however some what cross walks to the Army's branch structure and Air Force's career field structure. The Air Force's enlisted career field structure may just have one enlisted occupation specialty or more than one.

BTW the Army MOS classification system is not more direct as far as Special Forces 18 series MOS. The 18X program doesn't guarantee that the recruit will be accepted into the Special Forces program. Neither does it guarantee if accepted the specific MOS (18B, 18C, 18D, 18F). If being assigned to an Army Special Operations Forces designated unit is the objectinve to MOS cross flow for being selected for such assignment ranges from easy to difficult, with an assignment to a Ranger (11 MOS Infantry) duty position requiring getting through a demanding screening and selection program.

Rates is unique to the sea faring military forces, it's somewhat antiquated and inefficient classification system, but so steeped in tradition the Navy can't get rid of it.

The Air Force enlisted classification system relies on carer fields as there are no functional branches of Infantry, armor, artillery, etc., and the enlist force structure until establishing the Special Warfare career field, October 2019. had no combat enlisted career fields. The Battlefield Airman program identified ground combat mission areas and enlisted occupations utilized to do such operations, but it didn't establish a combat career field.

Air Force enlisted career fields can have just one enlisted speciality or more than one.

Example the Special Warfare Enabler career field has just one enlisted occupation specialty, SERE. Whereas the Special Warfare Career field has four different enlisted occupation specialties, Pararescue, Combat Control, Tactical Air Control Party, and Special Reconnaissance (please note special differs from tactical and strategic in meaning and utilization).

All training course required for entry classification into the occupation specialties of the Special Warfare career field have been in existence for at least two years

The Special Warfare Operator Enlistment Vectoring (SWOE-V) program, being fully implemented April 2020, is similar to the Army's Special Forces 18X enlistment program. Essentially the AFSC specific GTEP enlistment for Pararescue, Combat Control, TACP, and SR will cease to exist. The term vector is replaceable with the word distribution as the AFSC 9T500 AFSC (similar to 18X program) guarantees entry into training to be put into one of the four enlisted occupation specialties in the Special Warfare career field. The Air Force during the assessment and selection phase will vector or distribute those who get selected equally to all four AFSCs. Essential the choice to self-select one specific AFSC prior to enlistment or during the the A&S course is less certain and influenced entirely by the individual's performance during A&S, unless one or more AFSC are not getting its equal share of qualified candidates.

The answer to your specific question of since the SWOE-V program doesn't guarantee that the recruit will be accepted into any of the specialties what happens to those who SIE (quit) or don't get selected is difficult to answer as this hasn't been disclosed in any press releases. However, I suspect the answer is option of Entry Level Separation or choose an available job having an immediate training vacancy (typically within 3-4 weeks) to fill like such SERE, EOD, Security Force, Bus driver is likely.
 

Ovation23

Member
And my final question, is if anyone has passed the new course set up and if they can explain the most difficult part of the course and what to be ready for. Given that this is a public forum I expect some ambiguity and vagueness.

Thanks in advance.
From personal experience, the hardest part especially for those who are prior service/cross-training is being removed from your everyday routine and life, and being subjecting to training. Even if you don’t have a family, you still must have some type of everyday life. The physical grind itself is tough enough, but the mental game, more so if you have a family will hit harder and more often. I knew a ton of guys who were BEASTS physically and in the pool, but that draining of being away got the best of them. You always hear “the pipeline is 10% physical and 90% mental”. I never really understood what that actually meant until a few years back and realized that is exactly the truth. When you’re underwater, it’s usually for no more than 30 seconds at a time (depending on the event). Learning how to be calm for just those 30 seconds or fewer will be the equalizer.
 
From personal experience, the hardest part especially for those who are prior service/cross-training is being removed from your everyday routine and life, and being subjecting to training. Even if you don’t have a family, you still must have some type of everyday life. The physical grind itself is tough enough, but the mental game, more so if you have a family will hit harder and more often. I knew a ton of guys who were BEASTS physically and in the pool, but that draining of being away got the best of them. You always hear “the pipeline is 10% physical and 90% mental”. I never really understood what that actually meant until a few years back and realized that is exactly the truth. When you’re underwater, it’s usually for no more than 30 seconds at a time (depending on the event). Learning how to be calm for just those 30 seconds or fewer will be the equalizer.
Incredibly helpful. I understand the mental aspect. I've been deployed and away before so imagine the pains of that heartache are similar.

What about the physical? Just the underwater portion? I'm a horrible swimmer but I don't fear water as much as some. What are your thoughts on that?

Additionally did the prep course really help you? Did you feel prepared?
 
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Ovation23

Member
Incredibly helpful. I understand the mental aspect. I've been deployed and away before so imagine the pains of that heartache are similar.

What about the physical? Just the underwater portion? I'm a horrible swimmer but I don't fear water as much as some. What are your thoughts on that?

Additionally did the prep course really help you? Did you feel prepared?
Let me be clear, these are only my opinions.

When it comes to the “physical” portion of the training, it’s hot, you’re gassed, you’re tired, and you aren’t on your own time. When you train at home, you probably do when you feel like it, or when you’re motivated to work. I was definitely guilty of that. That’s probably the biggest difference, and again only a small portion of the struggle. The part that gets hard, is you deciding mentally that you’re just going to get it done vs stopping. I know that is pretty vague, but like I said earlier, I never understood the “90% mental” till I actually did it.

Water-con isn’t physically demanding over how mental it is. You do need to be a decent swimmer, but don’t confuse that with having to be Michael Phelps. But keep in mind, water con is everything BUT swimming. Becoming a better swimmer will help translate into comfort level in the water.

There’s a lot more to it than underwaters, but IMO underwaters will build a foundation for all other events, especially alternate WC. Depending on the intervals and how much extra stuff you’re wearing, underwaters usually have the longest “underwater” time. So use that in your personal training to teach yourself relaxing methods. For me personally, ten-ups were the worst. But if you keep at it, and use the same techniques you use for underwaters, you’ll learn to relax. Figure it out before you leave, learning it at assessment isn’t the best timing nor is it the best for your own success.

I didn’t attend the predatory course, the first course didn’t occur till maybe a year after I assessed. Also as a prior service members, I am not 100% sure you attend the prep course, but I may be wrong. As a crosstrainee, you currently do not attend but you’ll still get your nuts kicked in at phase II assessment.
 
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Prior service does not attend BA prep. You show up a week or two before your A&S date. Currently prior service in development
 
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