Army 18B MOS: Special Forces Weapon Sergeant

Within any Army Special Forces unit are a group of soldiers, each one specialized in an area that will benefit the whole. We will examine one of those Special Forces specialties in today’s post. This post is all about Army 18B MOS: Special Forces Weapon Sergeant. I will give you a basic description of this job. I will tell you the Army 18B’s duties and responsibilities. We will look at requirements and prerequisites to attain the Special Forces Weapon Sergeant position. I will also tell you about the training to get this MOS.

Army 18B Special Forces Weapon Sergeant Basic Job Description

As a member of the Special Forces team, the 18B is the expert in all forms of weapons. This soldier has learned the makeup and operation of all weapons used by the United States military along with weapons used by foreign allies and enemies. This soldier has an understanding of both light and heavy arms and anti-aircraft and anti-armor weapons that can be used for or against the United States forces. In addition, the Army 18B is trained in all aspects of warfare in regards to both conventional and unconventional tactics.

Duties and Responsibilities of the Army 18B Special Forces Weapon Sergeant

The Army 18B has a wide range of duties and responsibilities. There is no possible way I could even describe all the responsibilities that this job could entail. But, I will post the primary duties and responsibilities the Army 18B has:

  • Employs United States and foreign weapons including small arms, crew managed weapons both light and heavy, and anti-weapons (aircraft, personnel and armor).

  • Supervises the placement and employment of weapons during combat operations.

  • Interprets combat orders.

  • Coordinates supporting fire power.

  • Trains and prepares others in the use of both U.S. and foreign weapons.

  • Evaluates terrain and enemy strength and advises Commander on weapons use.

  • Participates in special missions and operations.

  • Possible leadership position when detachment is split.

These are just a partial list of the 18B’s duties. This position carries a huge load of responsibility. As a matter of fact, just consider this quote from the 18 Bravo Course Chief Instructor Master Sergeant Robert Baugher:

“18 Bravos are the Team Sergeant’s right hand man. 18 Bravos and Charlies (Engineers)…are the meat eaters.”

Requirements to Become an Army 18B Special Forces Weapon Sergeant

The basic requirements to become an Army 18B are:

  • United States citizen

  • Must hold rank of E4 to E7

  • Must have a minimum of 24 months Time In Service at the end of the Special Forces Qualification Course, or willing to extend TIS.

  • Must score a minimum of 229 on the APFT having no less than 60 points on any event.

  • Have the ability to swim 50 meters in battle dress with boots before beginning Special Forces Qualification Course.

  • Must not be barred to reenlistment or be under suspension.

  • Must not have 30 days or more of lost time.

  • No Court Martial convictions or Article 15 Disciplinary Actions.

  • Not terminated from Special Forces, Ranger or Airborne duty unless for extreme family issues.

You can apply to enter the Special Forces training regiment, but there is no guarantee of which MOS you will be granted. No one chooses to become an 18B. You start as an 18X and your training will determine which position you are chosen for.

Army 18B Special Forces Weapon Sergeant Training

As I stated earlier, there is no guarantee of what Special Forces MOS you will receive until you have successfully completed a high amount of Special Forces training first. As a matter of fact, many soldiers do not make it far enough to find out the MOS and are dropped back to an 11 Bravo position because they could not “cut the mustard.” This is what an Army 18B will face (The 1st Special warfare Training Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, NC, is responsible for all six phases of SF training, which is referred to as the Special Forces Pipeline):

  1. Airborne qualification is the first step. You will spend 3 weeks at Airborne Training at Fort Benning, Georgia.

  2. The Special Forces Assessment and Selection Conditioning Course. You will go through what many state is the entrance to hell.

  3. You will be judged in the Special Forces Assessment and Selection.

  4. Now you have entered hell and are at the Special Forces Preparation Course.

  5. You will now train in small unit tactics which includes SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape).

  6. Common Leadership Training. If a soldier has already completed the Primary Leadership Development Course, they can move past this step.

  7. Military Occupational Specialty Specific Training. This is when you will move into the training for being an 18B if you were chosen. I will explain more about this training further on.

  8. Now you will enter language training. You will be versed in understanding primary languages that Special Forces will encounter.

  9. Unconventional Warfare Culmination Exercise known as Robin Sage. This 4 week long exercise is held in a large area of North Carolina. It puts these Special Forces soldiers to the test. Can they take hell over?

  10. Graduation.

18B Specific Training

Now back to #7, the MOS specialty training for the Army 18B consists of 4 modules. They are:

  1. Module A Light Weapons. You will learn how to maintain and employ all forms of U.S. and foreign small arms including pistols, rifles, shotguns and more.

  2. Module B Heavy Weapons. This module teaches how to maintain and employ both U.S. and foreign heavy arms including mortars, anti aircraft weapons and more.

  3. Module C Infantry Tactics. This module teaches how to use light infantry tactics at all levels.

  4. Module D Infantry Tactics FTX. This delves into the tactics used by Special Forces in regards to infantry.

Final Thoughts

Well there you have it; that is what it takes to become an Army 18B. Do you have what it takes?

I would love to hear from any current or former Army 18Bs. Please tell us more about this Special Forces position.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, you can post them below. Thank you.

References

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/enlistedjobs/a/18b.htm

http://www.army-portal.com/jobs/special-forces/18b.html

http://www.smallarmsreview.com/display.article.cfm?idarticles=1686

http://weaponsman.com/?p=428

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