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Old 28 November 2014, 18:36
Superman_11 Superman_11 is offline
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College student looking at PJ vs CRO

Hi everyone,

I am currently a Student at The University of Texas studying biology. I am doing a premed track but realized about a year ago Pararescue is my absolute dream job. I've wanted to be a surgeon for some time now but CSAR just consumed my life. I was about to drop out of school and enlist but some things postponed my enlistment; now I am finishing my degree in biology with a minor in arabic and spanish. I have done a lot of research and know the difference as far as Medical training for a PJ compared to a CRO, but I want some opinions.

First I by no means expect the road to be easy, I understand the 90+% attrition rate, but I am taking the jump regardless.

Second, my father just retired 20 years Air Force and has been trying to convince me to look at going CRO. The pay is much better and I could retire much more comfortably as an officer, but I want to be in the action the whole time with the PJs, I don't know that I want to be an officer. I must clarify that I am not in this for the money at all, but I would like to support my family someday.

Finally, I still would like to do trauma surgery after the Air Force, and I feel that enlisting would give me more experience. although if life happens to put me in the position where I stay in (financially or simply because I want to), I wonder if officer is the way to go.

I apologize for the novel, but thank you to anyone who answers!
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  #2  
Old 28 November 2014, 19:42
johca johca is offline
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Specialtactics.com is back up and running. There are official documents posted there that answer most of your CRO application-candidate questions to be found there.

BTW as a retired SNCO I find "The pay is much better and I could retire much more comfortably as an officer" to be somewhat an indicator of somebody that would turn their back on the troops the moment being of good character is needed the most.
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Old 28 November 2014, 19:54
Superman_11 Superman_11 is offline
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Thank you, I just registered there as well.

Also, Father retired as a SNCO as well. I posted for the sole purpose of research by hearing from those with first hand experience. I disagree that that would discredit my character, and I apologize if it came across that way; the military isn't a path for money, and neither is emergency medicine. I simply want to know what others think, and that is the only thing I have heard from every source about being an officer.
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Old 28 November 2014, 20:15
johca johca is offline
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That's because more money and telling others to dig the ditches and do the other hard and often unpleasant work rather than doing the unpleasant duties themselves is the first thing most aspiring officers think of. Sort of not being infantry and exposed to doing ground combat is why most look to join up with the Air Force rather than joining up with the Army or the Marines. I pointed you in direction of finding all the official documents to educate yourself with.

From current official application and assessment package:

The assessment process is designed to select the right officer, while minimizing time, effort, and resources. Candidates selected from Phase II have achieved a 95% overall success rate in becoming a CRO.

What this disclosure omits is what is the percentage of overall success of applicants getting through the assessment process. Which means if you have a line officer commission are you planning on a secondary career options in Security Forces, Civil Engineering? IF you get a profession commission (Physician, Nurse, Chaplain, and etc) you do know the Geneva Conventions makes you ineligible to be a CRO or a PJ?

--A final note about CRO commitment and service—

The assessment and training process is difficult. Once an officer qualifies, the position of leadership, sustainment training and deployments are demanding. There are significant personal dangers involved with the operational mission and, very often, extended periods of duty away from home. The decision to enter the CRO career field should not be made alone, regardless of an applicant’s conviction and personal commitment. The family should be considered. Wives and children often experience anxieties, fears, loneliness and pressures associated with the service member’s profession. Those who do adjust find an exciting and rewarding life that they may share with fellow operators and their families.

Last edited by johca; 28 November 2014 at 20:24.
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Old 28 November 2014, 20:29
Superman_11 Superman_11 is offline
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Thank you very much for the help
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  #6  
Old 28 November 2014, 22:07
8654maine 8654maine is online now
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Originally Posted by Superman_11 View Post
...Finally, I still would like to do trauma surgery after the Air Force, and I feel that enlisting would give me more experience...

Beyond the commitment of either PJ or CRO, the life of medicine can take years:

Traum surgeon educational track (after college): 4 yrs Med School, 5 years surgery residency, several years of Trauma/Critical Care fellowship.

Think at least of decade of tutelage before you even put your shingles out.

Endurance is key.

Then, depending on your practice, it could be a very busy practice with call, nights, and OR time.
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Old 29 November 2014, 02:46
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Your father is right.
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Old 29 November 2014, 12:49
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Originally Posted by johca View Post
BTW as a retired SNCO I find "The pay is much better and I could retire much more comfortably as an officer" to be somewhat an indicator of somebody that would turn their back on the troops the moment being of good character is needed the most.
Fascinating. To me, it sounds like Superman 11 is doing some thoughtful, well-researched career planning. How exactly does that translate into, "an indicator of somebody that would turn their back on the troops the moment being of good character is needed the most."?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johca View Post
That's because more money and telling others to dig the ditches and do the other hard and often unpleasant work rather than doing the unpleasant duties themselves is the first thing most aspiring officers think of.
Really? And you know this how?

Gross generalizations and personal prejudices probably won't help Superman 11 and others interested in USAF Rescue make informed career choices.

Superman 11: There are many CRO's that were SNCO Pararescuemen before they were commissioned. At least one of them is a BTDT on this board. I recommend you also seek them out and get their opinions about the pro's and cons of each choice.
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Last edited by Always Jolly; 29 November 2014 at 13:07. Reason: Ademdum
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  #9  
Old 29 November 2014, 14:02
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Superman...

The CRO career field is still developing many things I cannot talk about openly are on the horizon and are vey exciting. If your main goal is to come in and lead men on the battlefield then you will be a exceptional officer. The one benefit that a Enlisted man has over a Officer is the length of time you can stay operational. As an O you will probably only operate until you are a Senior Captain, then you are expected to transition to "management".

Good luck with your decision and PM if you want to speak more on this.
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Old 29 November 2014, 14:16
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Originally Posted by 8654maine View Post
Beyond the commitment of either PJ or CRO, the life of medicine can take years:

Traum surgeon educational track (after college): 4 yrs Med School, 5 years surgery residency, several years of Trauma/Critical Care fellowship.

Think at least of decade of tutelage before you even put your shingles out.

Endurance is key.

Then, depending on your practice, it could be a very busy practice with call, nights, and OR time.
Meh, there is a member here who graduated med school and was a board certified ER doc AND THEN became an 18C. I know because he was on my team. Time is relative to what you want.
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  #11  
Old 29 November 2014, 14:44
johca johca is offline
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Originally Posted by Always Jolly View Post
Gross generalizations and personal prejudices probably won't help Superman 11 and others interested in USAF Rescue make informed career choices.
The orientation and perspective of my comments are void of gross organizational or personal prejudices.

8654maine hit the nail in disclosing the many commitments and work and sweat of studiers and experience involved in becoming a trauma surgeon or gaining the emergency medicine physician specialization.

The many SNCOs who became CROs is also irrelevant as that initial demand for CROs when the CRO AFSC was established back ca. 2000 thru 2003 has diminished considerably.

How, when, or why the CRO AFSC is still developing is also irrelevant. What is relevant is many more submit their application in hopes to get through the two phase assessment to get selected and put into the initial training pipeline do not get selected. That 95% that get selected "and" get successfully through all the training is an extremely misleading assertion of fact without the other statistic of how many selected commissioned officers are put into training to become a CRO.

Considering the CRO applicant is an officer first and is committed to serving four to eight years if not selected then the in what utilization is a very important consideration for the commissioned officer that does not get selected or SIEs or gets failed to train eliminated out of the CRO career track.

Considering the CRO is a nonrated, and not an assignment in an Air Force professional category (Chaplain, Judge Advocate, Physician, Dentist, Nursing, Medical Service Corps, Biomedical Science Corps) commission career track there becomes a significant conflict in sustaining licensure and obtaining the necessary required continuing education needed to prevent those degrees from becoming obsolete from not being utilized to perform such duties and services.

Furthermore entering the Air Force with such a professional commission appointment requires not only being released from the AFSC to be reclassified (cross flowed) into becoming a CRO, such action also involves being released from the professional commission appointment and obtaining an initial line officer of the Air Force commission appointment.

There is much Superman 11 must become aware of and realize as superman on the X-box he may be, but an officer in the United States Air Force and also a licensed to practice physician he is not yet. There is also significant legal conflict in being concurrently a physician (noncombatant military) and a CRO (combatant military).

Last edited by johca; 29 November 2014 at 15:00.
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  #12  
Old 29 November 2014, 14:54
johca johca is offline
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Originally Posted by Hot Mess View Post
Meh, there is a member here who graduated med school and was a board certified ER doc AND THEN became an 18C. I know because he was on my team. Time is relative to what you want.
An 18C is an enlisted MOS, specifically--18C--Special Forces Engineer Sergeant .

As an 18C he was not being utilized as a physician or as an "enlisted" 18D--Special Forces Medical Sergeant.

The assertion also begs the question of if this 18C duty assignment was with the Regular (active duty) Army or with an Army Guard or Army Reserve unit.
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