I've been doing research about life as a part of the national guard. I'm thinking about joining. I'm 26 I just graduated college and started a great job that pays really well. However, I've always wanted to experience military life. If I can't join full time I thought the guard would be a good way to do this. I know that there is the possibility of deployment somewhere and I'm ok with that. In fact I would look at it as another adventure.
I guess my only problems are with the commitment. I'd rather quit my job and have less of a commitment then not be able to say no to something over an 8 year commitment in the guard.
I like to travel out of country for vacations, I also travel out of state to visit my family which is spread out all over the US.
The things I'm excited about are the challenge of basic training, learning about guns and warfare, meeting new people, and getting help with my student loans!
so my real question is do you feel restricted by joining the guard? Do you feel like you're constantly planning your life or weekend trips around guard duty? Are you afraid to move because of paper work or obstacles transferring to another unit out of state? Is this something I should worry about?
I'd like to do this while i'm still relatively young so I think now is the best time for me. But the same personality that is getting me to join (trying new things and adventure) might be the reason I'd want to leave...and that would be a problem.
I'm in active component, not in the guard or reserves, so I can't give you too much input there. But with a baccalaureate degree you should join as an officer. I joined as active enlisted at 26 and wish I had gone officer. The quality of life is better.
Posts: 90 | Location: Fort Hood, TX | Registered: 01 December 2006
As an Army Active Duty and Reserve Recruiter I can tell you from what I see here in WA...
In the last 4 years that I have been here I have only seen 2 people get released from the ARNG to go active duty. For the most part it's due to the state paying for your training. We have updates of available MOSs that are currently allowed to come to active duty as well, the list is pretty short and most are looking for you to have Airborne training.
You can sign up for a min of 3 years with the reserves and active, now saying that, if you do sign up for 3 years in the reserves you will get very little on the incentives side.
If you want to try for OCS talk with the local recruiter to start a packet, it's very competitive and the USAREC boards are only held 4 times a year now. Direct Commission for the reserves is currently suspended due to amount of people currently waiting to go to school. I can not speak for what the guard has to offer on that, would rather let them tell you.
I have put in a good number of OCS applicants in so if you need help with anything please let me know, I am constantly checking updates and asking the questions on what the current standards are for the boards to help applicants get the edge they need. If your GPA wasn't that good in college that will be an impact on your application process.
Originally posted by newsreader: Thanks, what do you mean you've only seen 2 p people released? Is that because it's hard to do or they didn't want to go active
B/c your unit OWNS you, so if you want to go active duty, they will have the final yes/no, if they say yes, you still have to see if we in active even want you...you wont experience much military in the Reserves/NG, they are a different animal, if you want to experience the "real" Army, go active...
Lead by Example!!!
Posts: 3914 | Location: Somewhere in the US | Registered: 13 September 2007
Also I should add that I probably wouldn't be a good candidate for officer training then because I ended up changing majors in college and my GPA was still affected by the old major even though my grades were better after I found the right fit. I got a 99 on the ASVAB so basically I think that just means that I have the option of most jobs available to me if I'm not considering officer candidate school. Do you have to do 1 weekend a month for 8 years or does that stop after a while in the ARNG? I do really want to the student loan repayment assistance I wonder if considering active would be a shorter commitment for the same thing with better job choices. Hard to decide.
NG won't give you much chance to go travel- except to and from Afghanistan, LOL.
I was married with a kid when I was looking at Reserves/NG but for me it wasn't worth it. An entire weekend per month for a couple hundred bucks and school paid off?? Plus 2 weeks every year?
I ended up going active and got first assignment to Germany. Saw lots of Europe, then stationed in Maryland, Georgia, now Kentucky.
Later applied for OCS, didn't get accepted, kept driving on with communications, applied for Warrant Officer (specialized in the field), didn't get it, kept plugging along, finally got WO and am loving life.
Starting on a few year enlisted contract is a good way to see if the Army is something you can deal with, remember it's 8yrs no matter what! I saw a few people yanked back in after they did their 4yr "enlsitment" to go to Iraq. I don't see that happening again soon, but you never know!
Be Proud of what you do- and do it Well! ~me
Posts: 5284 | Location: Ft Gordon (Again!!!) :-| | Registered: 22 October 2007