Support: The Purple Airborne REMFs

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March 12,2008: U.S. SOCOM (Special Operations Command) is a "purple" (it contains troops from all the services) organization that is mostly noted for its "operators" (SEALs, Special Forces, and commandos of various types). But most of the SOCOM personnel are support troops, and they are drawn from all the services. In order to insure that SOCOM gets the people it needs (and not troops other services are just willing, or eager, to part with), the SOCOM support units recruit from all the services. Anyone can apply, but SOCOM has high standards. However, if an applicant is accepted, the units he (or she) is currently in, has to let them go. This usually ruins a commanders day, because SOCOM only takes the best.

SOCOM support troops have to be airborne qualified (have attended the U.S. Army Jump School), but that also means they get a monthly bonus for that. Spending a few years with a SOCOM support unit enhances ones career, and, and SOCOM service often turns out to be quite an adventure. SOCOM takes its own support people overseas, so these jump qualified REMFs (Rear Echelon Motherfuckers, what combat troops call everyone else) often find themselves in hostile, or at least exotic, territory. There, they can get additional monthly bonuses (combat or "hazardous duty" pay). But you don't go SOCOM for the money, but for the challenge. It's also one of the few opportunities for army, navy, air force and marine personnel to operate together in the same unit.

 


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