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National Guard Special Forces PA


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You're best bet is to take this question to the professional soldiers fourm: http://www.professionalsoldiers.com/forums/.

I highly suggest you look up as much information on your own before asking any questions. SF guys have little tolerance addressing questions that can easily be answered by a little bit of research.

Here are my 2cents: Pick one path and pursue it. PA and being SF are 2 different things. You can do both, but not at the same time.  It's not uncommon for SF 18Ds to go to PA school after they get out of AD or NG. Haven't really heard of PAs going through the SF pipeline after all of their training but i'm not doubting they're out there. Also take into consideration the NG route. The pipeline is a littler more stringent for these guys because of funding (state vs federal). Typically the states that send candidates to SFAS will only send candidates that they know FOR SURE will get selected and complete the Q course. This typically means multiple mini-selections with the the NG SFG.

Do your research. good luck.

Edited by BLM8867
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In my experience, I would say a PA or doc who was assigned to a SF unit most likely would not be doing any of the high speed stuff the rest of the guys do. You'd most likely be working for headquarters and running sick call while your medics are out playing in the field. You'd probably help with training and such. On deployment I imagine it would be the same, with you probably managing the BAS and handling casualties as they come in rather than being on the front lines. 

If you want to do high speed stuff and also do medical stuff, I'd recommend Army 18D or Navy SARC, then transition to PA. I know in the Navy if you are a SARC or an IDC, that waives about half of the requirements for IPAP.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Matthewtanner

It’s competitive, especially with no military experience.  If you want to chat about it email me. Matthew.a.tanner1@gmail.com

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Contact an SF recruiter if you're really serious, its their job. Just an FYI, you won't be a PA in the Army if you want to be SF. If you want to be a shooter on the teams and practice medicine than tryout and become an18D. If you want to be a PA in the Army you can be but just realize that PAs work through AMEDD in support of SF and are not members of SF.

Use this site below for reference and information on how to become SF in the NG. Good luck. 

http://specialforcesrecruiter.com/

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/7/2021 at 8:57 PM, PK808 said:

Contact an SF recruiter if you're really serious, its their job. Just an FYI, you won't be a PA in the Army if you want to be SF. If you want to be a shooter on the teams and practice medicine than tryout and become an18D. If you want to be a PA in the Army you can be but just realize that PAs work through AMEDD in support of SF and are not members of SF.

Use this site below for reference and information on how to become SF in the NG. Good luck. 

http://specialforcesrecruiter.com/

This is what I've heard, but have also had some conflicting information regarding this. Not seeking active duty, that's why I'm going the National Guard route as I plan to have a civilian career as well as a PA.

Thanks for the information.

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57 minutes ago, dphy83 said:

SF has preference for PAs that are former SF. That info is even mentioned in some military memo. You may be able to find it if you Google. National Guard may be different?

My research has been primarily NG so not sure. I'd assume they prefer former SF, not direct commissions. I plan to work a few years as a PA and garner some experience in EMed so I have that experience. My understanding is as a NG PA I could lead a SF unit, but wouldn't be a part of SF technically. I'm okay with that, I just want to be as much as a part of the "forefront" of medicine/emergencies as possible, specifically in response to national disasters/humanitarian aid (I understand these assignments may be rare). I feel there's a lot of conflicting info out there, and would like to know the best route from here. I don't think a SF recruiter would be interested in a Pre-PA, so don't want to waste their time at this moment. As far as regular Army recruiters go, I know they just will say what they can to get me to join ASAP as a 68W (trust me, been there).

I think my best option would be an AMEDD recruiter, does this sound like a good idea? Would they know about direct commission PA and SF NG (19th/20th)?

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Hopefully someone with first hand experience comes along and clarifies, but I think the process would be two-fold: you definitely need to talk to AMEDD because you want to be a PA, but you would also need to contact SF to see if they have any PA slots at the NG units you are interested in. I would imagine PA in NG SF would be competitive, and they may even want you to be a Captain or have experience in a regular unit prior?

 

But you don't have to be SF to be at the forefront. You'd have just as much, if not more, impact staffing a big field hospital in a combat zone.

But if SF is your goal I'd make it a long term plan. Honestly I'd try to do the trauma fellowship at Intermountain Med Center. That would be great experience an applicable for your combat aspirations. 

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5 minutes ago, dphy83 said:

Hopefully someone with first hand experience comes along and clarifies, but I think the process would be two-fold: you definitely need to talk to AMEDD because you want to be a PA, but you would also need to contact SF to see if they have any PA slots at the NG units you are interested in. I would imagine PA in NG SF would be competitive, and they may even want you to be a Captain or have experience in a regular unit prior?

 

But you don't have to be SF to be at the forefront. You'd have just as much, if not more, impact staffing a big field hospital in a combat zone.

But if SF is your goal I'd make it a long term plan. Honestly I'd try to do the trauma fellowship at Intermountain Med Center. That would be great experience an applicable for your combat aspirations. 

My planned route right now would be experience in family medicine/emergency medicine immediately post-grad (1-2 years experience - staying in contact with AMEDD recruiter), then apply for NG and gain some military medicine experience (and focus on my fitness, leadership and practitioner skills - be in contact with SF recruiter). Then, hopefully apply for a SF position.

I know it's not an easy path, I also know I'm incredibly naïve right now as a Pre-PA, but I'm willing to turn it into a long-term goal and work for it.

Thanks for the information, greatly appreciate it!

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  • 2 months later...

 

read this is you want info on individual role for PAs in SOF.  In general, you won't get a seat at the SF table unless you were prior 18 series. 

 

Quote

Prerequisites for 65D assignments within an SFG is experience at the ODA level as a former MOS 18-series (the SOF occupational specialty), having been awarded the Special Forces tab, and completing at least one assignment as a battalion or brigade PA. The flight surgeon course is required prior to assignment; opportunity to complete the dive medical officer course is offered later, as the mission allows. The SFG PA’s role in Special Forces is primarily as mentor and trainer for the 18D Special Forces medic and operational advisor to the battalion surgeon and command staff. 

 

Edited by JDB91
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On 3/26/2021 at 10:22 PM, JDB91 said:

 

read this is you want info on individual role for PAs in SOF.  In general, you won't get a seat at the SF table unless you were prior 18 series. 

 

 

Appreciate that. I've actually been referencing the same document and haven't noticed that part. The document is a few years old, but I assume even if prior 18 series isn't required, it's highly preferred. I will get into contact with an AMEDD recruiter when I'm ready to join, thanks for the reply.

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  • 2 months later...

Prior SOF experience isn't required to be a PA in one of the Special Forces groups.  It is very common for most of those positions to be filled by former 18 series guys that then went on to PA school, however, it is not disqualifying if you didn't earn your tab and beret before switching career fields. 

I will say, being a PA in group may not fulfill the medical fantasy that you have in your head.  You might have some deployments that require you to operate independently and with little support where you get to practice medicine.  You might not.  You will not be "in charge" of the 18Ds.  Getting them all in one room at the same time is nearly impossible.  If you are a solid PA and have beneficial medical training that you can provide, you will find an audience with some of the medics (notice I said some). 

Since you are looking at going to the National Guard I can't speak to the opportunities that they have for PAs.  On the active side there are other SOF jobs that allow you to practice medicine and lead as a PA that are more fulfilling, in my opinion, than being a PA in one of the SF groups.

 

Good luck

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  • 3 months later...

I’m a former SOIDC/SARC, graduate of 18D, went to PA school after military. Agree that you can go SF -> PA route but there’s no real PA -> SF route. 
You’ll do about a million more high speed medical things as an 18D compared to the average PA. Even a PA in a rural ED. 
Biggest benefit of military to PA route is you have the experience and they’ll pay for the school. Certainly not the fastest way to become a PA. 

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42 minutes ago, SCAR123 said:

I’m a former SOIDC/SARC, graduate of 18D, went to PA school after military. Agree that you can go SF -> PA route but there’s no real PA -> SF route. 
You’ll do about a million more high speed medical things as an 18D compared to the average PA. Even a PA in a rural ED. 
Biggest benefit of military to PA route is you have the experience and they’ll pay for the school. Certainly not the fastest way to become a PA. 

High speed GSW/blast trauma will definitely occur more frequently as a SF medic. Level one medical resuscitation is a different animal. I just put this out there because I see a lot of over confident former medic/corpsman that don’t understand they cannot operate independently day one in a rural ED without a residency or minimum 5 years OTJ training. Not saying you are implying this or are over-confident. Just a point of clarification that mastering trauma is not the the hardest thing you’ll manage independently.

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15 hours ago, LT_Oneal_PAC said:

High speed GSW/blast trauma will definitely occur more frequently as a SF medic. Level one medical resuscitation is a different animal. I just put this out there because I see a lot of over confident former medic/corpsman that don’t understand they cannot operate independently day one in a rural ED without a residency or minimum 5 years OTJ training. Not saying you are implying this or are over-confident. Just a point of clarification that mastering trauma is not the the hardest thing you’ll manage independently.

Agree. Trauma is pretty cookbook. The tough stuff is the older patient who is a full code with multiple comorbidities and a million abnormal labs who is definitely sick and trying to die. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mostly agree with the last two. I have nothing but respect for the 18D's. Love the military (I'm former), but you definitely have the ABILITY to gain much more medical knowledge and procedural skills, and much more opportunity to use those things as an EM/trauma/CC PA if you are in the right practice environment. You have many more medications and tools in a hospital at your disposal, which makes the level of care that you can give much more nuanced and complex. Field medicine is its own animal, but you have severely limited options in that environment.

Now if the other poster meant by "high speed" that you get to wear cammies and Oakleys and otherwise get to be a bad MFer while going to some awesome schools, then yes, civilian practice doesn't give you that. But as far as trauma and medical resuscitation goes, civilian work is way more complex. You likely won't get the blast injuries that comes with military medicine, but I'd argue that if you're at the right inner city hospital you'll see more than enough GSWs - you listen to the evening news, right?

Again, this isn't a slight against military medics at all. If I could choose an 18 series MOS it'd definitely be delta.

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  • 3 weeks later...

As far as the NG PA stuff goes, it's a slim margin. If you think AD group PA slots are hard to come by not being prior 18-series, NG is far worse. People hang around for a long time, and there aren't as many NG SF slots as there are AD ones. So even if you were the most qualified person, it is still a matter of there being a slot available. Most are filled by an old 18 series guy who isn't exactly rushing to advance out. 

The "as a NG PA I could lead a SF unit" part is just not true. That was a bad source. A PA will do just that, be a PA. The unit has a commander, and the teams have their 18A. The PA would not be a part of the A-teams. Especially if they weren't long tabbed. 

You could become a PA, then apply to NG SF as enlisted. Go through the x-ray pipeline, and become an 18D if you want to be on a team. Then apply to transition to officer when the current PA starts talking about ETS or moving. This is probably the most full proof way of landing the Group PA slot at your nearest NG SF unit if you aren't already tabbed. 
 

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