Hello I just joined the army!!! im excited and apprehensive!

September 22nd, 2004  

Topic: Hello I just joined the army!!! im excited and apprehensive!

Well I scored 79 on the ASVAB but I only have my GED and at the time I sat down with my counselor 13F is the only job that came up on the computer screen I was happy to see that it came with a 9,000$ sign on so I accepted the job! I have read almost everything I can get my hand on that gives a description of the job! I've seen it called "Forward Observer", "Fire Support Specilist", and of course 13Foxtrot!

I'm very excited I ship on October 13th but I haven't yet had the opportunity to speak to anyone who accually does this job who can give me the day to day on it! Will I often see the Death in my face up close or will I be farther away! Understand that im not afraid of my job im simply afraid I'll leave a christian and come back a mass murderer for my country or not... Killing is in human nature but I like to think i'm the exception.

Anyway if there are any other FO / 13F / Fire Support Specilist!!! that can talk with me I would be greatly appreciative, Id like to talk about the Day to Day Life.... ect!
September 22nd, 2004  

Welcome to the forums and to the very exclusive Club 13(something)..

We have several Redlegs (me included... ) on the forum, and some 13F as well, so feel free to ask any questions you may have..

I'll PM one of our 13Fs and see if he can give you some specific advice about the job..
September 22nd, 2004  
whats a "Redleg"? Pretend I know nothing cause I dont!!!!
September 23rd, 2004  
Duty Honor Country
Originally Posted by EternalOne
whats a "Redleg"? Pretend I know nothing cause I dont!!!!
Redleg is a nickname given to Artillerymen during the US Civil War. Union Artillerymen had a red stripe that ran down their trousers. It's like the yellow stripe on the dress blue pants but red. Someone started to call artillerymen redlegs and the name stuck.

Welcome EternalOne,

It's good to see a fellow 13f on the forum. I see that you have questions and I am more than happy to answer them. First, I'd like to know what you've heard about being an FO so I know where to begin.

Here is a bit about me. I went into the Army as a 13f back in 97. After AIT, I went to the 101st Airborne Division. In 00, I volunteered to go to Kosovo for 7 months. In 01, I got out of the Army thinking the grass was greener on the civilian side. I missed the Army too much and volunteered to be deployed to Kuwait and eventually Iraq as a combat engineer with the reserves. Once I returned to the States, I decided to go back in the Army as a 13f. On 4 OCT, I am headed back to the 101st.

I stand ready to pump you full of FO knowledge

SSG Doody
September 23rd, 2004  
11x RIP
Nice to see someone else just joining the Army!!! I joined a little while ago, 11x with Airborne and RIP. I ship out oct. 19, and will be going to Ft. Benning, GA.

Have a great time at boot!! and GOOD LUCK
September 23rd, 2004  
Hmm lets see what have I heard about being a 13F.......

Well I've heard alot, how about I just ask some questions.

1) How difficult is this job and why? Would you rate this job on a 1-10 scale?

2) How often would you say your on the front lines with the infintry? if you know the exact number that would be awsome but if not just guess.

3) Well this being a job that implys killing have you ever had to kill somone who was right infront of you? Do you ever regret taking this as you MOS?

4) What are the perks to this job?

5) Whats the hardest thing you have had to come to grips with with this job or change?

6) Have you ever been injured more importantly shot or hit by shrapnal?

7) This being a dangerous job how does your family if you have one come to grips with it? Do they worry alot cause I already have lots of people worrying about me and I havent evan left to boot yet!

8) My Recruiter has told me this job leads to promotions faster than most if you bust your ass!

9) I heard this is the only MOS that can join Ranger School other than Infintry! is that true and why hav'nt you gone or have you?

10) Whats the biggest thing this job has done for you? or Tought you?
September 23rd, 2004  
OT: Whats a Milbuck for it keeps giving them to me for posting!
September 23rd, 2004  
Duty Honor Country
1) 13f is difficult in a few ways. It's extremely physical. Carrying a radio along with your combat load adds on quite a few pounds. I use to amuse myself by watching the infantry guys unload my ruck off the truck. There was always a little swearing when my ruck was unloaded. My combat load (everything I carried to the field) for JRTC was around 115 lbs not including food and water. Don't worry about it too much. You get use to carrying heavy loads. Also, there is a lot of responsibility in being an FO. In other jobs, if you screw up, you may damage some equipment. If you screw up calling in mortars or artillery, you kill friendlies. It happened once in training and the command took it very seriously. I would rate this job a 9. Sometimes it sucks, but most of the time it kicks arse.

2) Being with the infantry is what we do. The only time an FO may be on his own is in the defensive. In the Army, that doesn't happen too often in real life. I'd say about 95% of the time you'll be with the INF. In training (field time), you will probably spend about 60% of your time with the INF. The rest of the time is spent on the OP calling in live artillery.

3) I have yet to be an FO in a war so I have not killed anyone. Being an FO, you will not really have to kill someone right in front of you. You will be calling in indirect fire on targets anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand meters away. In no way do I regret taking this job. If I do my job well, I save the lives of American soldiers. Remember, in combat there is an enemy who is trying to kill you. you must kill the enemy before he kills you or your fellow soldiers. That is the fact of combat

4) The perks are fast promotions, the ability to easily prove yourself in training by recorded kills, awards and being in the best shape of your life.

5) The hardest thing I had with this job was getting into optimum shape. It took me several months after AIT for me to get into optimum shape. To do this, you must do lots of PT on your own time.

6) I have never been hit, but my own artillery has come close to hitting me. Someone on the gun line put in the wrong powder change and the resulting round landed about 100 meters from my location. Because of that incident, I laughed at the Iraqi artillery that landed about 400 meters away from my location.

7) being a 13f is dangerous and my mom hates it. It is as dangerous as any combat MOS. I tell her that I am good at what I do and she shouldn't worry. She is impressed at my confidence but she still worries. My wife accepts that this job is what I was meant to do.

8) If you know your job, shut your mouth and are physically fit, you will go places. Once I learned those things, I was promoted very fast. I got my E-5 in 2 yrs 9 months.

9) Score a 300 on your PT test and your BC (battery commander) will ask you if you want to go to ranger school. It's pretty easy for an FO to go. I regret not going when I had the chance.

10) My job has given me a huge sense of accomplishment. It has showed me what I can do with hard work and discipline.

also read this post I wrote on 13f

well I am off to bed now. Let me know what you think. You should also ask questions about how things work in the field. THat is where we make our money. Good night

SSG Doody
September 23rd, 2004  
Thx Sir.... ok well ill have more questions later those were just the first 10!!!! anyway Im going to the Gym again lol swim another few laps!!!
September 24th, 2004  
Ok More Questions!!!!!

1) What Equipment will I be working with most often? Please describe there Uses and applications!

2) Is there anything I should pay more then ordinary attention too?

3) What kind of things am I going to be taught in Boot Camp / AIT?

4) Whats the Hardest thing Mentally or Most Stressful Thing about this job?

5) You said the infintry cuss when then unload your "ruck" do they ever hold a grudge agaist you its one thing to fight a legion of Arabs its another to fight 9 angry soldiers lol!!!!!!!

6) Feel free to add any new info you feel might be usefull!!!!!