Posted on Apr 26, 2018
SPC Cyber Operations Specialist
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I'm scheduled for BCT in 20 days, which I'm confident for. I'm actually looking at trying to become a platoon leader for leadership experience, since I have an end goal of being a Warrant Officer, position wise. I expect that to take years, but I enjoy having aspirations.

After AIT in Pensacol, I will, of course, have to select a base. I'm confident in getting through AIT because I have a Bachelor's in the subject, and a little bit of experience in the field, but I can't complain about getting expensive Certifications. I'm planning to do any leadership/mentoring I possibly can while I'm there.

FYI, I do understand this is just a preference I can state, and nothing is guaranteed. But I'd like to know what I'm getting into.

I understand Meade and Gordon to be the two growing bases, and I've done a lot of research. All three bases are pretty nice, and I probably would enjoy them- but I also find horror stories now and then about terrible barracks.

I'd very strongly prefer an individual bedroom. Private bathroom, or at least shared with roommate, is preferred.


Meade: I understand this to give everyone BAS, and have a high chance of BAH, with a chance of getting into Reece Crossings- which makes it sound like a great option. But there's also a chance of getting stuck in a Barrack that won't be a nice- but I should have BAS and presumably DMR, which sounds great.

Belvoir is huge, seems beautiful, and has some impressive looking photos with little to no content. Some people say it has a kitchen, which sounds nice. I don't know enough about it, unfortunately.

Gordon: I understand some barracks here are horrible, and others might be just fine. I'm pretty unclear overall, since current information is hard to get. A lot of people seems to like it as a whole, and it's a pretty good size base.


But I have no idea if different bases have different promotion opportunities. I'd like to get SGT somewhat quickly so I can start on the process of trying to become 170A Warrant Officer. I don't mind taking my time to do things right, but if I can efficiently get there quickly, I'll choose that. I understand 17C as a whole to have fairly good upwards mobility, low thousands in Enlisted expected end of 2017, total of about 19 thousand including civilians presently-ish. So hopefully there's a chance there. Any insights here are appreciated.

Side note: I thought everyone was supposed to get BAS since like 2002, and we just had to pay out of that for food on base. But it seems some people are just stuck with DFAC and don't get any BAS? Seems like BAS-and-pay is easier.

Also, do we actually get the full 300 of specialty pay, or? It just says "Up to", and I was kind of curious.
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SGT Robert Johnson
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I appreciate your aspirations and confidence. I had similar aspirations and then I met a Drill Instructor for the first time. You are about to enter a world where 1 year/5 years down the road does not matter. Turn your focus on the now before you get to BCT. Now is all that matters there and at AIT. Don't forget your dreams, but failure to accomplish tasks in the now, will fade those dreams.
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SPC Cyber Operations Specialist
SPC (Join to see)
3 y
Haha. Thanks, SGT. Not to disrespect anyone, but I don't believe I'm unfamiliar with being yelled at, so I'm not directly worried. My physical training will likely be difficult, but ultimately, if I can successfully guide my platoon, and avoid getting smoked as much as reasonably possible, it could make our time there much easier.
I'm aware a few years down the road is mostly irrelevant, but it gives me a strong sense of purpose to have a goal. However, confirming I will be fine even if that doesn't work out makes it much easier to focus, thank you.
It is after all most important I pass BCT and AIT first, the rest is additional.
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SGT(P) Cnd Analyst
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3 y
Drill Sergeant*, it's not the Air Force.
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SGT Robert Johnson
SGT Robert Johnson
3 y
SPC (Join to see) - I see many new Soldiers with dreams that get squashed and usually through no fault of their own. Dropping an OCS or Warrant packet is not the easiest task. There will be many hurdles and barriers. It's not as easy as the corporate world where you can drop your resume into HR's inbox for an interview for promotion. There will also be statements made that there is a need for WO's but the process to get to selected has been the same for as long as I've been in. One of the many flaws of the Army system. Good luck at BCT!
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SSG System Administrator
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- If you going through to be a 17C, Pensacola is only phase 1 of AIT. You’ll still have 6 more months to go through at Gordon for phase 2. So you can get a semi better view of Gordon up front. Right now, 50%+ of the IET soldiers are going to Gordon, with about 45% to Meade. The last 5% is being spread between the other bases.

- It’s good to have Warrant as your goal. Just know that you have to hit the ground running as soon as you get to your actual unit (not AIT). It’s going to be very competitive since it’s a small group. As they are looking for SGTs with at least 3 NCOERS (three annual reviews as a SGT)

Bottom line, don’t get caught up on which Base is better since you don’t have control over where you go. Just make the best of what you can and continue to move forward.
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SPC Cyber Operations Specialist
SPC (Join to see)
3 y
Thanks for your advice, SGT. So I'm looking at training + promotion time + three years for NCOERs. That'll be putting me close to the end of my enlistment time, for sure, hopefully I'll still have a year left and can apply. Otherwise I'll have to wait to reenlist, or something.

I won't get too caught up on it, but having some perspective on what each assignment would mean my career will be like is nice. Especially since things like Warrant seem to require a lot of preparation.
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SSG System Administrator
SSG (Join to see)
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If you get accepted and sent to WOBC, you’ll have to sign a brand new contract, regardless of how much time you have left on your enlisted contract.

And just come up with a battle plan with a plan b and plan c and stick to it. If you have the drive, you can make it. Army cyber is still being fleshed out so you’ll have the opportunity to shine. Just remember your battle plan, reasons for joining, and don’t stray unless it’s for the better.
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SGT Robert Johnson
SGT Robert Johnson
3 y
SPC (Join to see) - As I stated before - hurdles and barriers. These are the easy ones.
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CPT Personal Trainer
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I’ve lived around Belvoir and Gordon. The cost of living is much lower in GA than in the DC area (which included Meade & Belvoir. You’ll get over most living conditions after BCT.... you’ll see what I mean when you arrive.
Tip: you should NOT offer to be in a leadership position during Basic. Learn to be a Soldier and pass your physical training events. Before you even drop a Warrent packet, you’ll need three NCOERs and a recommendation from a highly competent Warrent Officer. You’re looking at a good five years down the road. So focus on your 50-meter target and slowly work towards the 1000-meter one.
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SPC Cyber Operations Specialist
SPC (Join to see)
3 y
Definitely a slow journey, but it does give me an overarching sense of accomplishment. Each goal having an ultimate meaning, in addition to serving my nation, which happens regardless of rank.
A lot of people say not to offer to be a leader. From my admittedly limited, and college, experience, whenever I don't offer to be a leader when I know I can do a decent job, someone else volunteers who can't. Usually reluctantly. Then I spend the rest of my time regretting that I didn't volunteer.
I'm fine with following orders, but if I'm given the choice, I'd rather try my luck at leading. Even if it makes it harder on myself, I've done research to make it easier for my platoon.
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