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High school student considering split option in reserves/national guard
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Hello, I am currently 16 and considering enlisting in the split option program in either the Army Reserves or National Guard. I'll be 17 in two months and am still undecided on what to do. First off, I do not wish to make a career out of the Army and would like to attend college after high school and probably dental school after that. How long would I have to serve in the reserves or national guard after high school? Is the contract shorter or longer for the reserves or national guard? Basically, I want to do my time in the reserves or national guard and still be able to attend college and become a dentist and am wondering what the best way to go about doing that is. Thanks.
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: 03 August 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post

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quote:
Originally posted by NickW23:
Hello, I am currently 16 and considering enlisting in the split option program in either the Army Reserves or National Guard. I'll be 17 in two months and am still undecided on what to do. First off, I do not wish to make a career out of the Army and would like to attend college after high school and probably dental school after that. How long would I have to serve in the reserves or national guard after high school? Is the contract shorter or longer for the reserves or national guard? Basically, I want to do my time in the reserves or national guard and still be able to attend college and become a dentist and am wondering what the best way to go about doing that is. Thanks.


Your initial contract will be for 6 years in drilling status, plus 2 years IRR.

As a split-option enlistee, your BCT would occur the summer between your junior and senior years. Your AIT, however, will occur at some point in the year after you graduate, depending on course schedules. You won't necessarily be guaranteed AIT during the summer.

Keep in mind that you stand a good chance of deploying at some point during your enlistment. If that happens, obviously, you may have to put college on pause during that time. On the other hand, you will probably have a bit of advance notice if that happens.

I would advise you to look at and compare the educational incentives for each component. If you live in a multi-state area, such as the Northeast, keep in mind that you don't have to enlist in a unit in your state, and there is variation between each states' education incentive programs for the Guard.

More long-term, though, if you plan on going far away for college, the Reserves tend to be a bit more flexible with transfers. The Guard is pretty straightforward within a state, but doing interstate transfers is sometimes a bit of a pain. The biggest issue with transfers in either case is finding a unit near your new location that has the ability to take on someone in your pay grade and MOS.


"What we see from our tower is for us to know and for you to find out."--The S-2
 
Posts: 599 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: 21 September 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This link has information on the Reserves and education: http://bit.ly/bdfdt5

This link has information on National Guard education benefits: https://www.education.ng.mil/Benefits_summary.cfm

For your state, there could be different education benefits for the National Guard. I think both require a 6 year service obligation.

Also, this blog post makes more sense of the Reserve option: http://bit.ly/99Ny3z
 
Posts: 458 | Location: San Francisco | Registered: 08 September 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post

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So it's 6 years of drilling status with no other options? I live in Alabama and plan on attending college in Alabama, so I guess the guard would be my best bet? Also, if I am deployed during my six years how long will it be before I can return home and go back to college?
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: 03 August 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post

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Originally posted by NickW23:
So it's 6 years of drilling status with no other options?


Correct. There are other options, but they would not be in line with what you want to do.

quote:
I live in Alabama and plan on attending college in Alabama, so I guess the guard would be my best bet?


Maybe, maybe not. Explore both options. This is a fairly big decision, so make sure you get info on everything that you need to have to make it.

quote:
Also, if I am deployed during my six years how long will it be before I can return home and go back to college?


You could theoretically return to school the day after you are released from your mobilization, assuming you've been able to get everything ready with your school at that point. The thing is that a deployment is not necessarily going to line up with any particular personal timeline.


"What we see from our tower is for us to know and for you to find out."--The S-2
 
Posts: 599 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: 21 September 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post

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Just out of curiosity, why wouldn't other options be in line with what I want to do? Also, do deployments usually last a standard amount of time or is it pretty random?
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: 03 August 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You could go active duty. It takes three years of AD (not including BCT and AIT) to be eligible for 100% of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits: http://bit.ly/d10biY

You could also get the new GI Bill as a Reservist or Guardsman, but you would have to be on active duty under Title 10 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Title_10_of_the_United_States_Code) for a certain amount of time to be eligible (you get 50% if you serve 90 days, the more you serve, the more benefits you get).

If you aren't looking to spend 6 years getting benefits, maybe just postponing school to go on Active Duty for a few years is the way to go. That way, you can get more education benefits.
 
Posts: 458 | Location: San Francisco | Registered: 08 September 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post

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Honestly, I would rather not go active duty. And the education benefits are not the reason I want to do this it's mostly for fulfilling my patriotic needs. I've always felt the need to do my part, no matter how small, in the military; however, at the same time, I would like to have a civilian career in dentistry. So the reserves or guard is probably the way to go for me.
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: 03 August 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post

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I read that the split option program is full on juniors for the summer. I don't know if it was referring to the summer of 2010 or 2011. Can anyone confirm this?
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: 03 August 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post

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Nick, good luck in whatever you plan to do. The biggest thing with the military (whichever path you choose) is learn to be flexible and adapt to change. If you don't have this mindset, something in this job will inevitably disappoint you. I commend you for being so proactive and invested in your future. Just know that no amount of planning on your part will guarantee everything on the military's part. It sounds obvious, but its worth saying.

I enlisted (active duty) at 17, left for BCT less than a month after I graduated high school at 18. I signed up for 2 years and could not wait for my time to be up. I hated everything about the army. Now at 21 I am on my second enlistment, twelve classes away from a bachelor's degree, an NCO, and quite possibly a lifer. If you're dedicated to something, go for it.

I'm sure you already know that you can join the army in the dental corps (either enlisted or as an officer) if that is something you haven't considered.
 
Posts: 30 | Location: Fort Bragg, NC | Registered: 03 June 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post

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Nick,
Deployments in the Army are usually for a year. Other than that you would just be drilling once a month, and then your two weeks per year. Since you plan to go to college and join in the same state, the National Guard would not be a bad idea. However, I also recommend doing what a pp said, go ahead and knock out your 3 years Active Duty, that way the military won't affect school. Also, you can be a dentist for the Army as well so when you graduate school, you will have already had job experience. Just a thought.
 
Posts: 755 | Location: Fort Carson, CO | Registered: 12 March 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post

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Just a couple other thoughts for you to consider. The Army Reserves will have a training and schedule, drill schedule, and a tentative plan for the deployment rotations. The National Guard, at least in my area, generally requires you to be more flexible. The National Guard is deploying a lot more than the Army Reserves. This is due to the Guard going down to support border patrol, hurricane relief, wildfires, and things like that which the Army Reserves does not generally do. The deployments won't affect you while you are still in High school, but may when you graduate.

A lot of the guys here like the frequent deployments because it gives them full time pay when there are not a lot of full time jobs in this area.

See what works best for you.


If NCO's did their job, I wouldn't have mine.
 
Posts: 232 | Location: FT Leavenworth | Registered: 09 July 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post

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quote:
you can be a dentist for the Army as well so when you graduate school, you will have already had job experience



It's actually a Dental Technician, they do routine procedures. The Dentist will be an officer who already has a degree. Still invaluable experience though.
 
Posts: 50 | Registered: 09 December 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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