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Posted: 3/27/2002 12:57:38 PM EDT
Anyone here in the Guard? I know a lot of folks in the Mil. like to poke fun at The National Guard, and I wanted to get some input from the members. Considering that I am 30, have 2 kids from a previous marriage, and my fiance is in college about to start her Ph.D., I think that The National Guard might be a good way for me to do "something" for our Country. My Father was a Gunsmith, ran a farm, and was in the Indiana National Guard for 8 years - he loved it. What do you guys (& gals) think? Tyler
Link Posted: 3/27/2002 1:05:00 PM EDT
Tyler, Talk to a recruiter...or do it online. They won't hassle you, or call you at all hours. There are too many benefits for military service to list here, but try these sites: www.army.com www.1800goguard.com Or, just dial 1-800-GO-GUARD. Good luck, and post or email me after you talk to someone.
Link Posted: 3/27/2002 2:59:23 PM EDT
Thanks Andy - I have already talked to a Recruter; I was just seeing what some of the other guys around here had to say (maybe personal experience, that sort of thing). Tyler
Link Posted: 3/27/2002 3:13:04 PM EDT
I was in the Army Guard once. My it seems like so long ago... Anyway, here is what I can tell you from personal experience: There are good, even exceptional, high-speed units and there are poor, downright shitty, ate-up units. In the guard, your MOS choices are severely limited to what units are within the area you are willing to drive to. So, think about what you might want to do in the Guard and then find out what units are within a reasonable distance for you. Then, go there and talk to the AGR personnel. (Full-time guard members, basically active duty) Talk to them about the unit. They will (or should) be very happy to show you around the Armory and tell you what kind of training they do. Also, tell them you'd like to come to the next weekend drill. They should be happy to have you. They will intro you to everyone, let you participate in whatever classes their having that day, it will be VERY informative and will tell you whether or not you want to be a part of this unit. Aside from that, be proud to serve in the Guard. F#ck anyone who belittles you for it. You have a good mission, its just different from active and reserve component. During my time in the guard, I did an AT or two at Ft Drum and Ft Hood, among others, and I can tell you that I and others in my unit were a damn sight more squared away than our active duty counterparts. We would consistently outclass them on SST (soldier skills testing, basic soldier skills), BRM (weapons), and general military bearing. Basically, it can be the most rewarding aspect of your life if you are committed and your unit is squared away.
Link Posted: 3/27/2002 3:23:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2002 3:26:50 PM EDT by Happyshooter]
I was in the guard for 6 years after I got out of the real military. I was active with my guard unit in 95-96 on one of the Clinton call-ups. The actives hated us. Lots of mocking and dirty jobs. The active field and higher officers totally ran roughshod over our leaders and screwed us royally with every dirty job and detail in addition to policing 24/7. Our officers just weren't ready or strong enough to resist. As far as training...sure, we faked the PT tests and weight ins, but we also faked all the COO and regulations training and inspections and all the bull crap classes that the real army spent their time on. I was in a military police unit, doing more LE than field. Even so, in the guard I shot more, and NBC trained more, and radio trained more, and basic combat skill trained more than I did active Marine Corps (after boot camp). Could we do anything odd? Nope, but we could attack, defend, react to ambush, defile, TCP, and delay as good as the actives, and we were better at LE work. That's cause in the real army unless you are a grunt you actually train for combat and weapons less than the 2 1/2 days per month and 14 days summer that we did it. We did real training and lot of drinking only, nothing else, during our drills and summer camp, and faked all the other army crap.
Link Posted: 3/27/2002 3:25:40 PM EDT
I was in the Air National Guard 1990-1992. I served in the regular Air Force for six years prior. I didn't like the guard because it was not as professional as the AF. It could have just been the unit I was in. It was a decent pay for one day a month and two weeks a year. The only negative was that I hated the once a month thing. It always seeemed to be on the wrong weekend.
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 12:23:20 PM EDT
I'm retired Active Duty Army...and have worked with many NG units...and like the man said there are some exceptional NG units out there and as in RA some units that couldn't find their way out of the motor pool. So if you are thinking about the Guard, check out the units near you...meet some of the folks and I'm sure they wouldn't mind if you attended a drill prior to making a commitment...if you go and do your best, then you've done your country a service. Good Luck!!!
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 12:52:36 PM EDT
I am Active with the NY Army National Guard, new recruit, no prior service. I love it! I choose 11B Inf., and every drill we are out training, not sitting around sipping coffee and eating like some peoples perception. I have done land nav, 249SAW and 240B qualification. This weekend is Platoon Lanes we will be out in the field with the miles system taking down MG nests etc.. I will be shooting Combat Rifle competition for my unit this month (ametuer level no basic/AIT yet). I have to say that I am having too much fun that I almost feel guilty getting paid for it! If I had my Basic/AIT done I could sign up and participate in Air Assault this July held for West Point at our base. Once I get back though I will be able to go through Mountain Assault school. Airborne is no longer offered for National Guard, but rumour is that might be coming back. Anyway so far for me, it has exceeded my expectations and is better then the recruiter told me. What you will find with these recruiters is they are less inclined to BS you into joining. Straight facts. At least 4 that I know have been that way. Check out the virtualarmory.com site for a great format of every benefit, information that is available. Feel free to contact me with any questions you have. Right now I can only talk from my location in NY. I am 29 btw... good luck!
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 4:22:29 PM EDT
8 years active, have been Guard for about 6 now. I love it. I drive 3 hours from Iowa to St Paul, MN to my unit but it is well worth the drive. The guys in the unit are great to work with. Nice thing about the Guard, it that it is so easy to get out of, you are working with a bunch of people who WANT to be there. Our aviation unit does a lot of active duty stuff (mostly state active duty like water drops, counter drug, and floods). Everywhere we go we get positive comments about professionalism and the quality of our work, including comments form Active Duty units. That being said, we do play hard as well, if we are not flying the next day watch out! When we go up to Camp Ripley, we OWN the club up there. Women like guys in flight suits, especially in the Army. Take your time, visit the units you are looking at getting into. You will be able to tell in one visit what kind of people are there. You will be able to tell if you can work with them, if they are high speed or speed bumps. Most units also have their own recruiters and they will let you hang out with the unit for a weekend drill. A little time spent doing your homework before signing up will pay big dividends in the long run! Good Luck! Aviator [img]www.milpubs.com/aviator.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 4:51:20 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 5:02:55 PM EDT
After being active duty USMC I joined the Army National Guard. While there is no comparison I would say go ahead and join the Guard. It's not the USMC but it's still one of our nations Armed Forces and service in it should be respected. The quiet satisfaction and pride that comes with service to your state and country will last a lifetime.
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 5:40:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2002 5:43:01 PM EDT by kill-9]
I spent 11 years in the Ohio National Guard, from 1984 to 1995. The last 2 years were as a 93B Aeroscout Observer. I got out when I saw what Clinton was doing to the budgets. But I miss it, so I'm going tomorrow morning to take my physical so that I can enlist in the Idaho National Guard as a 19K M1A1 Armor Crewman. I made life-long friends in the Guard. So, yes, if you can afford the time away for Basic Training and MOS Qualification, I say go for it. I never regretted joining. -kill-9 btw, do you still have that pic of Debo and Tinker looking out the slider when Tinker was still small? That was a great pic.
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 6:13:26 PM EDT
Tyler: Looks like you've been given some straight up info so far. Depends largely upon you the individual IMO. For me, it is something I should have done years ago......it is a calling and I have always known that. At 35 I am going to boot this summer. Originally my MOS was Military Police but a slight hearing issue in left ear at 4000hz did not give me the clearance coding I needed. I was granted a Medical waiver to enter the National Guard, but I have to re-select my MOS. There are about 8 units within a 60 mile radius of me so finding one to move into a slot with should not be too hard to do. I fully intend to go AGR when a slot opens. As I have a friend who is commanding officer at 2 units he has given me insight a plenty and there will be slots to open later this year within this area. Heck, even if I have to move to Middle Tennessee [Nashville area] that is cool as I am single with no kids and a change of scenery would do me good. AGR as you have been told, is full time Guard and is the same as active military service. Great benefits, good pay [including food and housing allowances] and very good retirement [I got in within the 20 yr. slot] and can retire at 55. It ain't for everyone and sure, there are horror stories to be told. Tell me though, of a career or occupation in which everything is a bed of roses. I was an executive in a bank for 14.5 years....wore the white shirts, had the big office, made a lot of the power decisions at my location [I was the boss], played the golf tournies, talked the talk and walked the walk....but it was hell and I was miserable [cute chicks though]. I had to take ASVAB again [blew it away I am proud to say] but then again, at 35 I dang well oughta know something by now. All the way through MEPS and passed that bill of health. Have dropped my weight down to 184 from 218 and am physically and mentally prepared to go in. Have qualified for 3k in bonus and will possibly hit another 3k if my MOS is one of their preferred choices. For a young man [thank God we still fit into that category (hopefully)], and for one who is willing to better himself, serve their country and rise to a challenge, I think the Guard or is an excellent choice. Maybe we will cross paths one day. Good luck w/ your decision and your choice, whatever that may be.
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 7:35:45 PM EDT
My two encounters with NG / Reserve units weren't very impressive. First encounter was during REFORGER 1984. We were the bad guys (Russkies). The mission was a night attack against a National Guard Mech Infantry unit. We were supposed to attack then run away when their training and equipment proved superior to our massive Warsaw Pact numbers. Everything was going on schedule up to the initial contact. We noticed a total absence of enemy activity/return fire. We were considering the possibility of an ambush when a referee informed us the NG's had forgotten to set their alarm clock and were sound asleep. He gave us credit for a 100% kill, left a "YOU'RE ALL DEAD" note on the CO's jeep, and told us to call it a night. Second encounter was when I ETS'd. I signed up for a reserve unit near home. It sounded like a good way to stay sharp and play with the toys without having to be there every damn day. The first time I went in the only one there was some REMF E-4 with ranger rope hanging from every seam and more hair than a 70's sitcom. I asked to see the 1SG, XO, CO, or any NCO that I could report to. He informed me that I would have to come back later as he was the only one there and had no idea what to do with my orders. I got a copy of the training schedule and tried twice more with no success. Second time the place was deserted and the third they were having some kind of flea market in the parking lot. Not a BDU in sight. After five or six un-answered phone calls I decided this unit was a little too laid back for me and gave up. Got a letter from DA months later saying I had been classified a no-show and had been re-assigned to the inactive reserve. I'm sure these units were not representative of the Guard/Reserve as a whole but they went a long way toward re-inforcing the weekend warrior reputation. You might consider visiting the units in your area before you sign on the line.
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 7:49:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2002 7:50:42 PM EDT by LngBchAR15]
Great show of patriotism you guys. I've had an opportunity to sign up for USMC ROTC program during college. But Desert Storm was going on at the time and I was hesitant about signing up. My priority was finishing school. It was probably the biggest mistake I made in my life. After college, I've thought about joining the Army National Guard but now I'm old (29) and I'm totally out of shape. I can no longer do so. I also don't think I can excuse myself from work for extended period of time as I go to the boot camp for training. If it was more convenient then I seriously don't mind giving it a shot. I love this country and like you, I want to do something productive for my country.
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 7:56:07 PM EDT
Originally Posted By kill-9: I spent 11 years in the Ohio National Guard, from 1984 to 1995. The last 2 years were as a 93B Aeroscout Observer.
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Dude, that is the sweetest MOS ever is it not? I wish I was still doing it. Have you been to [url]http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Theater/4710/AO.htm[/url]? Aviator [img]www.milpubs.com/aviator.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 8:07:43 PM EDT
In my worthless opinion if you are 30 then you are way too old for a first time military experience. You have to be eager and dumb in order to readily take to basic and military life, so that means you have to be a teenager. You might be able to tolerate it, but I am 36, and have too much self respect and too high an IQ to tolerate some worthless illiterate with breath smelling like a homeless whore's ass screaming in my face at 05:00. I was active duty 11B1P then 11M10 for 5 years. 4 years, out, called back for Desert Storm and sent to the hell that was Germany for a forced long term European vacation. I then did 3 years NG. The NG unit I was assigned to initially when I was called back up was the 48th Infantry Brigade which was the round out brigade for the 24th ID. It was the biggest collection of thieves, alchoholics, psychological deviants, and extra chromosome bearing asswipes I had ever seen. They viewed the military as a vast welfare program with guns. There was no military bearing there whatsoever. No discipline either. They were quite deadly to each other, but no one else. They would stop in the middle of a training battle at NTC, sit down , and eat lunch. The NCOs and officers would encourage their "troops" to screw up so they wouldn't have to go to combat. They would purposely break their equipment. I got transferred to the 433rd MP (Reserve) after screaming long and loud and putting 4187 after 4187 for a transfer to the relative safety of the combat zone where I knew I would be around professionals. They sent me with this collection of other fools to Germany. I had never been in a unit with women before. All, I repeat all, of the women immediately started screwing around on their husbands and boyfriends. Several of the NCOs started having round robin gang bangs several times a week. How can you take orders from a "superior" who lets you come in her hair while your buddy pounds her in the ass? After a week they stopped showing up in uniform. NG units are a joke. If you are a cop or a truck driver or a heavy equipment operator in civilian life, then doing the same job for Uncle Sam is just a change of uniform. There are no civilian combat arms jobs, and so you have these units stocked with the worst kind of amateurs. I have heard these NG and Reserve guys say that their perform at some standard that outdoes regular units. Horse shit. The regular guys do it day in and out. The NG guys are there 2 days a month. You can't stay proficient in anything complicated at that rate. Don't join dude. The military is like motorcycles. You have to do it when you are young and too stupid to know better, otherwise you will never get the hang of it because wisdom will keep getting in the way. If there is ever a truly major war I will undoubtedly be called up again. They did it to the WW I vets when WW II rolled around and to the WW II vets when Korea happened. I have plans to show up at the replacement depot wearing a Klan getup and a pink triangle. I will be holding a box of ulcer medicine in one hand and a piss soaked blanket in the other and I will be smoking a joint. Don't join.
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 8:34:25 PM EDT
I wish I could join the guard.. [:(!] FKU ASTHMA
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 8:44:40 PM EDT
Originally Posted By poikilotrm: I have plans to show up at the replacement depot wearing a Klan getup and a pink triangle. I will be holding a box of ulcer medicine in one hand and a piss soaked blanket in the other and I will be smoking a joint.
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With your luck, they'll put you in command of an activated reserve unit.
Link Posted: 4/1/2002 4:41:03 AM EDT
Thanks to everyone for all of your input! I will have to do some "looking in" in some of the units and see what kind of people I would be working with (that is great advise - thanks!). I will update you guys when I am finished scouting things out! Thanks again! Tyler
Link Posted: 4/1/2002 4:51:39 AM EDT
I have heard these NG and Reserve guys say that their perform at some standard that outdoes regular units. Horse shit. The regular guys do it day in and out. The NG guys are there 2 days a month.
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Not true, in Aviation, we are there one weekend a month and do a MUTA 5 every weekend drill. Thats Friday night through Sunday afternoon. In addition, we have the two weeks of AT. Then on top of that we do 40-something AFTPs every year. An AFTP is an additional 4 hour flight training period that actually lasts 4-6 hours every time we do it. This totals up to 64 8 hour days. Now take that same 64 days and break it down to 40 hour weeks, and you get 12.8 weeks of training a year. Not bad for part time eh? Aviator [img]www.milpubs.com/aviator.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 9:05:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2002 9:08:04 AM EDT by kill-9]
Tyler, I too decided to visit the unit I'm considering joining. They're drilling this weekend, so the recruiter is going to take me out and introduce me to some folks. Also, yesterday I decided to call the state inspector general to ask about the safety record of the unit in question. I got a call back from the state safety officer and we talked for about 30 minutes. It turns out that this unit has a great safety record and was even safer, on average, than the active duty components during their NTC rotation 3 years ago. I recommend that you make a similar call to the state IG or Adjutant General's office. It seems to me to be a good indicator of a unit's professionalism. -kill-9
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 9:39:23 AM EDT
I am in the Michigan Army National Guard. I joined the day after Christmas this year. I have no prior military service. I am 32 years old, married, have a 19 month old son and a daughter due this summer. Like you, my motivation was September 11. I think you should go for it and the hell with what anyone in the active components say, you have a family/responsibilities, but at least you are standing up and doing something. I do not ship to basic (Ft. Leonardwood, MO) until November and will not come home from AIT (Ft. Sill, OK) until March 31, 03. I am proud to be doing this. My unit is the 1/182 Field Artillery, and I am in a fire direction platoon for the Multiple Launch Rocket System. If you want to email me you can at michael.janik@virtualarmory.com if you want to convers more on the excellent decision you've made. Talk to your recruiter and visit the Guard's new site at www.virtualarmory.com
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 9:44:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2002 9:50:54 AM EDT by kill-9]
Awesome, rockinAR, congrats! I'll be interested to hear about how Basic Training goes for a 32-year-old. Have you checked out these links? [url=http://www.military.com/Recruiting/Content?file=rcoe_bootcamp_tips_1.htm&area=Content]Surviving Boot Camp[/url] [url=http://www.military.com/Recruiting/Content?file=rcoe_fitness_tips_1.htm&area=Content]Boot Camp Fitness[/url] Some of my fondest memories from the Ohio Guard were the ATs spent at Camp Grayling. -kill-9
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 9:45:20 AM EDT
I'll add my vote for "Depends upon the quality of units near you." And the available MOS in those units.
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 10:07:50 AM EDT
Like some others have already said, check out the unit before you enlist. There are great and crappy units, so make sure you get in with a decent one. The only thing I would tell you to keep in mind, is that there is a good chance you will get deployed at some point in your enlistment. Especially if you go infantry, mp, etc. Even though we are supposed to be pulling out of some peacekeeping missions, many units are still being sent over. If you are deployed overseas plan on being gone at least 8-9 months (6 mo. deployment + a couple months of train up). So if you do sign up, be ready for anything. Good luck.
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