December 1, 2012

War Stories: JSOC Access Denied

So, there I was…a “War Baby” as the cadre called me, attending Special Operations Preparation Course at 18 years old.

Alas, my story starts before then and it is one that made an everlasting impression on my character. I begin my experience as I drive through the gate at Ft. Bragg, fresh from OSUT and Airborne. I had just turned 18 and still had my parental consent forms hot in my pocket that allowed me to sign up at 17. I was a cherry to the Army, Infantry, Airborne, and being away from home on my own in general. Needless to say, much confusion ensued as I entered Ft. Bragg – “Home of Special Operations Forces.”

MapQuest (yeah, remember that?) had gotten me this far but it was up to my own sense of direction to get me to the SOPC holding area. After driving around for what seemed like an hour, partly due to apparently HAVING to stop for EVERY soul that wanted to cross the road, I found a sign that said JSOC and a guarded gate. Now, you would think I would know what this means but I don’t and my only guidance from Ft. Benning was that “It’s a dump, you should find it.” Thanks bud. Whoever you are, I hate you.

So, since this is the first sign I see that had three of the four letters I was looking for (SOPC? JSOC? close enough) I turned toward the gate. I am in a ’97 Dodge Dakota, looking frail and too small to be the correct owner of the vehicle as I approach the gate. I see some fences and a bunch of wood line with no buildings in sight. I thought this had to be it, SF guys tucked into the woods away from everyone else, ya I am going to be a Rock Star rolling through here. I roll down my window and hang my arm out with my ID in hand. I begin to talk to the guard (POG I thought to myself) and I rattle off way too much information than needed. He looked me up and down, absorbed my ignorance, and cut me off midsentence. All he did was point in the direction I came from and said, “Turn around, leave, don’t come back.”

I was crushed. This guy wasn’t joking. Denied access? I was thinking I was black listed and kicked from the program. Even that I was maybe a day late and they started without me. I drive further with my tail tucked between my legs and stop at a park that looked friendly. I then do what everyone does when they run out of options, I called mommy. I explained everything pathetically and she said, “I’m on it, I’ll call you back.” Not but 30 minutes later, my mom calls back and says, “Someone should be calling you soon.” A guy calls me, chuckles when he confirms that is was my mother that had called him, and told me how to get to where I needed to go.

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  • JohnPacheco

    lol i can see i would have done the same like mommy call these guys and see whats up!

  • airborne_fister

    Nope cuz your to set on physical. It's 90% mental and 10% physical. But if you think your tough shit cuz your physically fit and get 300 on the apft you won't make it to Q.

  • Amandaj021084

    Perfect Story... Funny (GO MOM)  then brought tears to my eyes as I pictured ya'll singing! #AMERICA!!!

  • CIGARsmoke

    @robgb I will be leaving for boot in a few weeks.  Im an 18xray.  I can do 100 push ups and run the 2mile in 13 40.  The physical aspect isnt what I am worried about.  Will I have enough training in land nav to get me through the Q, assuming I get there.

  • Trango

    Great story. LOL, admittedly even now I will turn to my mom for assistance on some projects. She's got twice as many years of professional experience and it doesn't cost anything except a few pictures of the grandkids.