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Old 22 January 2018, 02:36
LearningSteps LearningSteps is offline
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Too Short at 5'3 for Army Special Forces?

I have seen this posted before and although everyone seemed to agree that it is heart that counts the most, all the heights they were asking about were a bit taller than me, like 5'6 or 5'5. I am only 5'3.

Watching some of the exercises done in special forces, I worry that my height may disqualify me from certain challenges, even if I meet all other fitness requirements.

Am I being unrealistic in pursuing special forces as an officer?
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Old 22 January 2018, 05:36
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One of the best SF soldiers I served with in 1st Group was only about 5'3" tall. One of the best all around soldiers I ever served with and my team leader for a while in 2/75 was only 5'6" , and he went on to spend a legendary SOF career behind the fence.

You may find this interview inspiring as well:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hmBxlcXzqK8

Train hard, learn to be a leader of men, have a positive attitude.
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Old 22 January 2018, 05:57
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God Lord. I just WISH something like this board was available when I went in the day I turned 17.
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Old 22 January 2018, 06:13
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And try The Rack.
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Old 22 January 2018, 06:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leopardprey View Post
One of the best SF soldiers I served with in 1st Group was only about 5'3" tall. One of the best all around soldiers I ever served with and my team leader for a while in 2/75 was only 5'6" , and he went on to spend a legendary SOF career behind the fence.

You may find this interview inspiring as well:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hmBxlcXzqK8

Train hard, learn to be a leader of men, have a positive attitude.
Man, what was his name? I was in the Torii club on Okinawa back in 84-85 and this short guy in uniform walks in (I'm 5-3") and I was shocked...then I saw his rank...I believe he was an O6 and was the commander of 1SFG. He might have been a LTC, but for some reason O6 comes to mind. Hispanic name.

The fact that he kept up with guys who were 6 ft impressed the heck out of me.
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Old 22 January 2018, 09:38
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PM sent. But would have been in early 90s and was enlisted.
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Old 22 January 2018, 09:43
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Heart and desire will get you through a lot of stuff in your military life.

With that said, the biggest issue, IMO, will be the forced rucking. I was 5'5" when I enlisted and actually grew an inch while I was in. When a lot of my brothers were taking a stroll in the park...I was "jogging" to keep up. After a while, I developed a "stroll" of my own which became my rucking pace. It didn't help that I was carrying an M60, but it can certainly be done.

Don't give up because of your height and remember...your brain is the toughest muscle. It will quit before your body does...so don't let it.

Best of fortune to you with your endeavors!
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Old 22 January 2018, 10:09
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Originally Posted by LearningSteps View Post
Am I being unrealistic in pursuing special forces as an officer?
Nope not being unrealistic, I've seen several guys in my time that were about your height. Will there be some challenges? Sure, there were challenges for me at my height. It comes to how you navigate those challenges.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leopardprey View Post
Train hard, learn to be a leader of men, have a positive attitude.
Read this from LP several times...

Good luck!
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Old 22 January 2018, 14:26
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Every time I go to MCRDSD im amazed at the drill instructors even with their campaign covers on come up to my chest- I’m a short 5-8 now, lost an inch
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Old 22 January 2018, 14:49
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Too short to be on my Ladder Truck JK, though, met many "Mighty Mouses" that could do everything I can do... better haha.
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Old 22 January 2018, 15:10
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Nope not being unrealistic, I've seen several guys in my time that were about your height. Will there be some challenges? Sure, there were challenges for me at my height. It comes to how you navigate those challenges.



Read this from LP several times...

Good luck!
LOL, what?! Like having to duck in a MH-47?

Im 57 and was fine. Every military obstacle course is built for someone 6 tall, so that sucks. But Ive beat guys at a solid 6 at running and rucking, as has been alluded to here, you just have to want it more. Good luck.
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Old 22 January 2018, 15:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple36 View Post
Man, what was his name? I was in the Torii club on Okinawa back in 84-85 and this short guy in uniform walks in (I'm 5-3") and I was shocked...then I saw his rank...I believe he was an O6 and was the commander of 1SFG. He might have been a LTC, but for some reason O6 comes to mind. Hispanic name.

The fact that he kept up with guys who were 6 ft impressed the heck out of me.

That was LTC Jim Estep (RIP). Prior enlisted SF in RVN. Once featured during that war on the cover of Life magazine. Selected for O-6 while in Command of 1/1 SFG (A).

v/r
fkl


http://www.hamptonfuneralnc.com/obituary/3097424
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Old 22 January 2018, 15:39
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One of the finest SF officers I served with is 5 even. Hes hard as woodpecker lips, and does well at everything. He gets a lot of shit over his size, and takes it in stride.
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Old 22 January 2018, 16:34
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If there would have been the internet back in the late '80s, Gavin would have been starting a thread, "Am I too tall for Special Forces"?
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Old 22 January 2018, 17:01
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Originally Posted by leopardprey View Post
If there would have been the internet back in the late '80s, Gavin would have been starting a thread, "Am I too tall for Special Forces"?
I am too tall for Special Forces, only took me 22 years to figure it out. I'm done, tired of banging my head on aircraft and trying to find Extra Extra Long cammies!
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Old 22 January 2018, 17:06
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The only thing I've ever been too tall for is the tiny Christmas train they set up in the middle of the mall. Fuck those snobby elves.
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Old 22 January 2018, 17:12
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Pirate Mike would fit in well here, I'd think. Fuk'n runt as he is...
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Old 22 January 2018, 17:15
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I went to Bradbury Lines in 1979 and the first thing I noticed was the number of guys shorter than me and I'm 5'8" !
It's not the size of the dog in the fight it's the size of the fight in the dog.
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Old 22 January 2018, 17:50
LearningSteps LearningSteps is offline
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This really made my day. Thank you everyone who took the time to reply.

Looks like I have a lot of work ahead me, no excuse to hold back now
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Old 22 January 2018, 18:07
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Didn't Randy Newman sing about this?

LearningSteps, get used to it, don't quit, and best of luck.

Go do PT.
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