Posted: 12/29/2003 6:59:43 AM EDT
Thinking about joining the Guard. One thing I regret so far is not joining the Military out of high school. I'm 29 right now and was wondering if anyone here is in the Guard and what its about. I know its 1 weekend a month and 2 weeks of training a year. How long do you sign up for? Would you guys recommend it?
Depends on your MOS, and unit. I am in Aviation. We do usually a MUTA 5 every month, which is Fri night, Sat Morning, Sat Afternoon, Sun Morning, and Sunday afternoon. In addition, we do our 2 week AT, then we also have to do 36 AFTPs (additional flight training periods) a year. An AFTP usually lasts 4 hours.
Now we come to activations. We usually get activated 3 or so times a year for Floods, Tornados, Fires, Assist LOEs like with searching for that Dru girl a couple weeks ago.
With the current deal going, you can also expect to be activated for a longer period. We should be going to either Kosovo, Bosnia or the sand box this year for a 1 year deployment.
Most of us do not do it for the money. Speaking for me, I do it because I love the job, and enjoy being around the guys I work with.
Many Guard units are currently activated and deployed, either overseas or in CONUS, so the "one week end a month, two weeks in the summer", is probably a wrong assumption these days. I wouldn't advise you to join the Guard with out expecting at some point be called up for a year or two.
Since you're not a veteran you would have to go through boot camp and your AIT (job skills training) when you joined. Expect to do around six months active duty as a private with the Regular Army while you accomplish this training.
Oklahoma, IIRC, has mostly artillery and some infantry units. If you went artillery you could go boot and AIT at Fort Sill, OK. If you went infantry you would go to Fort Benning in Georgia. I would recommend infantry.
The quality of reserve componet units, especially in the Guard varies a lot from unit to unit. Some units are full of really dedicated people that want to train and some are made up of shit bags and used-to-be's that want to B-B-Q, drink beer and tell stories. Research your unit before you join.
Ask yourself these questions:
1.) Do I really want to serve?
2.) Am I joining to be a soldier, and not just to get some cheesey benefit package?
3.) Am I ready to serve over seas, possibly in combat?
4.) Have I done some research and found a good unit that I would like to train with and be proud to be a member of?
If you can answer yes to those four questions, than by all means, sign up today.
Excellent feedback guys. The only question I am back and forth on is going over seas. Now, I'd do it in a heartbeat. But the only thing holding me back is my soon to be wife. She would let me go but I'd hate to leave her and my little doggie. But, I dont want to think back in a few years and wish I would have joined.
I am on exodus leave, halfway through Infantry OSUT at Ft. Benning. I am in Charlie 1-180th, which is in Ada.
Our infantry outfit doesn't do as much training as Aviator does. We have a MUTA-4 or MUTA-5 on weekends, plus the two weeks in the summer. (I was in for a while before shipping out.)
Odds for deployment if you are infantry are fairly high. I have been in basic training (fallen off the face of the earth, in other words...) but I have heard rumors that a lot of people from Oklahoma are going. There are pictures on ar15.com somewhere of some 45th guys in Afghanistan.
Basic training sucks. It is worse for married folks because you will have to be away from your wife for a long time. The full Infantry course is 14 weeks, with a "basic training" environment the entire time. A technical MOS, like computers or aviation, will take longer, but only the first 9 weeks will consist of drill sergeants yelling at you.
I just ETS'd from the VA ARNG 8 days ago.
If anyone is planning on joining, make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.
You had better be prepared to be deployed sometime in the next few years. If you aren't ready mentally, physically, and financially, then you are just playing Russian Roulette with your life.
Even if you don't deploy, its no picnic. As far as that "1 weekend a month, 2 weeks a year" BS goes, keep in mind that in an Infantry unit like mine, a "weekend" on duty meant exactly that: Fri. evening to Sunday afternoon, both day and night, usually with little (or no) sleep, and Annual Training means 2 weeks, balls to the wall training. Before joining the NG 5 years ago, I was Active Duty in the 82d ABN, and I must say that I've been challenged and pushed just as hard at times in the Guard as I ever was at Ft. Bragg.
Also, you will spend a lot of your own time preparing for training, handling personnel issues, and keeping in shape.