Posted on Apr 1, 2017
CSM Deputy Sheriff
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SGM Military Relations Manager
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Eric (1SG Biggs),
Given the opportunity, I would choose the Joint Special Operations Forces Senior Enlisted Academy (JSOFSEA) over USASMA's resident and non-resident courses. I'm a graduate of USASMA class 55, however, retired as the Commandant of JSOU's Enlisted Academy which oversees JSOFSEA. I don't know you or your background. With the talent management process effected by the Army, my hope is you have Senior Leaders in your CMF who are looking 5 years ahead at your career and developing your path. If JSOFSEA is not an option for you due to your CMF, I recommend the Resident course. Here, you focus on two things only. Family and curriculum. Nothing else. Ft. Bliss has turned into an incredible location supporting the military family. Plus, if I'm correct, USASMA also incorporates spouses into various activities which prepare them for roles as spouses of SEL/CSELs.

Please stay in touch as you move forward. Congratulations on your selection to this institutional pillar.
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CSM Deputy Sheriff
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SGM Horsley,
Thank you for your insight. As a Reservist and unfortunately, non Spec Ops Soldier I don't think JFOFSEA, is an option for me. Also I don't believe I have had anyone in my Command my 14 years in the Reserves who has look out for my career or developed any path for me so unfortunately I have no faith in my current CMF to do that, which is one of the main reasons I'm here on RP looking for guidance and advice. Thanks so much.
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SMSgt Operations Superintendent
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I would choose non-resident version. In the end, you don't get anymore points for going resident and it will have less of an impact on your civilian job. With your civilian career, I imagine that getting time off for military duty can be trying at times. Best to save that time for something more important than attending the SMA.

Being a Reserve, I attended most of my NCO schools non-resident for the same reason. Plus, in the AF Reserve its very difficult to get the slots. It was easier and faster to go non-resident. However, some in the AF say the non-resident course is tougher than the resident course. I don't know if its the same for the Army.

However, if you need a break from your civilian life. Taking the resident course is a good way to get away for a couple of weeks and immerse yourself back in the Army for a bit.
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CSM Deputy Sheriff
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SMSgt Thor Merich, you hit on the head everything I have been thinking about. I have heard the nonresident course is harder for the Army also. But getting that much time off of my civilian job would be hard. Thanks.
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SGM Mark Magnussen
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Having done the non-res while working as the Operations NCO for OCAR RTD, and going to college, I definitely would do the non-res again. It gave me better time management skillls and taught me to focus on the task at hand.
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CSM Deputy Sheriff
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SGM Mark Magnussen, thanks for your insights and the context. I will be working full time, raising four kids and running a Drill Sergeant Company. Give a choice I will go with the non resident course.
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SGM Mark Magnussen
SGM Mark Magnussen
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Hooah 1SG. Best of luck either way. I'm sure you'll succeed. Let me know if I can be of assistance.
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