Many of the questions I will have are related to the information that will be in my intro, but I'll preserve the intended nature of this posting as an introduction and save the questions for other forums.
So gentlemen, its a bit lengthy - I'm 26, and my name is Travis. I went to the US Naval Academy straight out of high school. I was a Midshipman for about 1.5 years before several factors culminated in my decision to seek voluntary withdrawal in order to go to Israel and serve in the military. Now before everyone starts to hate me, let me explain briefly that I am and always have been a loyal American patriot. When I applied to and was accepted into the Academy I was entering into what I thought was a career of the traditional Navy role of defending American interests abroad by show of force and respectable but courteous presence abroad, peacekeeping operations, and the like. All that changed when I was called out of Chemistry class one morning and huddled into the ward room to watch the World Trade Center burning. I soon began to question what I had gone to the Academy to do in the first place; which was to be a Nuclear Propulsions Officer. Amongst many considerations that factored into my very difficult decision to leave the Academy, the major factor was that, as I saw the daily terrorist attacks in Israel that were happening at the time, I looked around and thought, America has many high-caliber individuals ready to serve it, but Israel is a tiny nation besieged by the same enemy facing America today. I thought: If I was good enough for the Academy, maybe I can do some good over there- more than I could as just another SWO. Surprisingly, in my separation interview, the Superintendent of the Academy, a Vice Admiral, said that it was the best reason he had heard for voluntary separation, and he allowed my request.
So I, moved to Israel, learned the language and was drafted. I attempted every test they would throw at me and was accepted into Special Forces. I completed the training and served my time, getting plenty of CT work and even a war. As the end of my service approached I opted against officer training in order to finish my degree, and thats where I'm at right now, 1.5 years away from completing my long overdue bachelor's degree. I've been in Israel for 6.5 years now, and the more time goes by, the more I realize a few important facts: 1) I'm an American at heart and in my character, 2) When I left the Academy, I missed out on my opportunity to pay the Country back for all that It has given me and allowed me to become. and 3) I absolutely miss the Military; I miss the field, I miss the camaraderie, and I miss that special quality of individual that only seems to exist in an elite combat unit, heck, I even kinda miss getting shot at. Therefore, I've decided that when I finish my degree, I plan to join the US Army.
While I was serving in Israel, I had the opportunity to meet some US Army SF from 10th SFG that came here to train, and perhaps a bit influenced by them, my goal right now is, during the summer vacation from university, to go back to the states and fight tooth and nail for an 18X contract DEP. I never got to train with any Rangers, since they never visited my unit while I was serving, and I was not allowed to go to the US for joint training because of my US citizenship (though I'm not sure if any of our guys did train with Rangers there either) but I am also weighing the idea of requesting Option 40. Security clearance is an obvious possible hurdle but I do believe it can be done, because although I haven't confirmed it, I have heard stories about a former member from my unit that moved to the States and became a Ranger. Could be all rumor, but it does leave me hope. The important thing for me is to serve the Country, hopefully with the type of person I so miss, the kind that, even though all the rations ran out days ago, no one's slept for almost as long as they haven't eaten, and the blistering heat makes that 90 kilo pack feel like 180 on your prickly heat covered back, they still argue over the last ten raisins someone just discovered in his pack- not because everyone wants his share, but because everyone wants to give his share to someone else.