airborne1968 wrote:Hi Mark! When did the requirement to be ranger start? The SOT-A and SOT-B guys that were in my MID when I was in 1/10th SFG were not ranger qualified. I believe one 1 or 2 of the MI guys in the entire DET had a ranger tab and one of those was an All Source Analyst. That was from 1994 to 1996.
I thought the same thing about the IRD, perhaps it should have been a "3" RD?
Always nice to see different insignia from different time periods of OEF/OIF. Tom
I was just going to PM you with this, just because I did not want to hijack this thread off into some obscure TO&E discussion, but on reflection it does seem relevant. There are a lot of SF MID insignia with the "Airborne Ranger" words or scroll design out there. This is a good opportunity to explain why those themes are present on MI "Geek" insignia.
Prior to 1988, I'm not sure on the SOT-A requirements. They were all consolidated at the Group level. When I was in 3/7 in the early 80's, we only had a small S-2 Section. After 3/7, I got into the Guard and remained on active duty with 5/19 for another 15 years. In 1988, the NG SF Bn's got the TO&E for the MI Detachments. I'm not sure when AC battalions got them but I believe it was just prior to that. Maybe even the same time.
That original TO&E coded all the SOT-A slots as "Victor". At that time, we still had 98H Morse Interceptors. The team leader was an SFC 98H4V and the other two two team members were SSG 98G3V and SGT 98G2V. Bad enough to have this structure on active duty, but you can imagine how bad for the Guard. No upward progression from the E-6 98G (voice) to the E-7 98H (morse), etc. All kinds of force management problems. I know for sure it was the same TO&E in 2/1 and 3/1 at Ft Lewis and in 2/10 and 3/10 at Fort Carson in the mid-90's. I don't have any first hand knowledge of 1/1 or 1/10 on this subject.
Only the SOT-As were "V" slots, not the SOT-B. The SOT-B did have a 98H (morse), but mostly had 98C SIGINT Analysts. This structure of the MID SIGINT assets remained into the early 2000's.
It does not surprise me at all that in any active or Guard SF Bn MID, that you would not have seen any SOT-As Ranger qualified. You're really going to get some kid off the street and get them a TS/SCI clearance, send them to Korean language school for a year, then to SIGINT school, then airborne and Ranger? Doomed to failure. Or, get someone who is already qualified in an LLVI role, after being in a mechanized unit for a whole enlistment, then send them off to Ranger school? It was a one in a hundred shot.
So unless you were really familiar with that TO&E, you would probably have never known. Practically speaking, the "V" requirement was ignored. If the SOT-As were MOSQ and airborne qualified, everyone up the food chain to the 4 star level was happy. You still had the "survivability" problem, where these kids had to know their fieldcraft. By the early 90's, we were tactically innovating on the best use of SOT-As. We found if you had two ODAs in adjoining AOs, you could place a SOT-A on the boundary between the two and have ears over the combined area. So they had to be able to infil, operate in the wild and exfil the same as any ODA. And they had to do it with heavier rucks because of their equipment.
So we began recruiting Rangers who wanted to go to SIGINT and language school. As soon as we got them interim TS clearances, they could OJT and deploy for training. We also got MOSQ guys getting off active duty and got them airborne qualified. With that mix, the two groups could cross train in their skill sets. It proved a very successful approach during JRTCs and JCS exercises. Later on, SOT-As throughout SF were encouraged to go to the LRSU Leader's Course or similar program to meet that fieldcraft education need.
Although used to some degree in the First Gulf War, in my opinion the first serious deployment that truly integrated SOT-As was Haiti in 1994. The capability has obviously blossomed to its full potential since.
I truly apologize for making everyone's eyes glaze over! Times this discussion by 39 other MOS specialties and you know what a First Sergeant does in SF!
Thanks, Tom - it would be interesting to compare this with the memories of any 1/10 MID buddies you may still be in touch with. Mark