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Posted: 2/18/2006 3:23:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/18/2006 3:46:57 PM EDT by SDgunner]
I am 26 years old and have been married for almost 3 years. Its not at all about the signing bonus but i have always regreated not joining some branch of service. I have already graduated college with a BS and don't have any really direction currently as far as employment or a carrer

any information is appreciated.

some questions:

What is NG life like?
Do they force you to move from where you currently live?
What is the chance of getting deployed overseas?
Reality of the time comittment?
Can you get out if an emergency happens in your life?
How is guard life on the spouse?
What is the pay like?
Thoughts on current NG soldiers.

thanks in advance
SDgunner

Link Posted: 2/18/2006 3:32:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/18/2006 3:33:37 PM EDT by JFP]
was in back in '79

*had to go to basic and AIT on the east coast ( I live in Texas)

*you can stay where you live

*chance of being deployed in good right now but a coupla my buddies always end up state side

*sigh up for howevermany years you wish

*yes I was able to get out early

*you only work one weekend a month +15 days

back then their training program was not very good....
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 3:34:08 PM EDT
I'd say go for it.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 3:35:58 PM EDT
Make sure you show up EVERY TIME. You might run for office some day.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 3:46:11 PM EDT
I would say join....But then again I went active for 8 years....
I was involved in Panama,,,Desert Sheild/Storm,,,and Somalia...That was enough..
Just understand that when you join and swear in....YOUR ASS BELONGS TO UNCLE SAM...Not your wife nor your family.....
You will go where they tell you to go..You don't pick the fight...you finish it...
You have education which is always good but you must understand...There is always a chance you will go to the sand box or somewhere else....
Nasty guard or not...You will be Government property....
If given the choice to do it again...No.....The military has changed too much from the Army I knew.......But if I'm needed YES....
Mine is to do or die,,,not to question why...
Army EOD.....

Link Posted: 2/18/2006 3:53:53 PM EDT
Just understand that the sign up bonus sometimes has a catch.

For example: If you join for four years and get a 4 thousand dollar sign up bonus. You may only get part of it after boot camp and some more each subsequent year.

But if it ain't about the bonus, I would say go for it.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 4:01:14 PM EDT
"Just do it"

I can't speak to the comissioned side of things but as far as enlisted goes....

What is NG life like? About like what you're doing now except you'll drill once a month and two weeks in the summer barring an activation.

Do they force you to move where you live? No. You "May" have to drive a bit if you choose an MOS (Military occupational specialty) that's not close by but once a month ain't that hard (I drove 150 miles/month for years to my armored unit).

What is the chance of getting deployed overseas? These days? lol! Flip a coin, anything's possible.


Reality of the time comittment? Just starting out not too bad. Later, as a junior NCO and above more will be expected from you (Time-Wise) but it's manageable.


Can you get out if an emergency happens in your life? Depends on the "Emergency". I've known guys to seperate because of medical and family issues but they've got to be pretty significant. I've also known guys (And Ladies) who've deployed while dealing with problems that would put DR PHIL in therapy.


How is guard life on the spouse? Great, She gets a week-end without having to entertain you!


Thoughts on current NG soldiers. I'll be in the 'Guard 'till they tell me to stop coming. It's just something I think I should be a part of given what's going on in the world and I like the idea of having my "Foot-In-The-Circle" so to speak. Most won't feel that way and that's cool too. It's just a personal thing.

Best of luck with your decision and thanks a bunch for giving a shit enough to consider joining
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 4:02:44 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 4:08:07 PM EDT
Think about the Air National Guard. Generally the quality of life is better (especially while deployed)
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 4:12:34 PM EDT
If you join ther NG you will have to go to basic training (8 weeks?) you will have to go to your MOS school (some are a few weeks, some are several months). You will end up going to Iraq which means a pre-deployement work up of about 3 months and 12 months deployed. Then you will be issued substandard equipment...hand me downs from the regular army.

IMO you would be better off taking the shortest active duty stint you can get (2yrs) then decide after that. If your gonna take a couple years out of your life for the training and the delployment it may as well be with good equipment and professional soldiers. Look at alot of the monumental fuck ups of OIF and its been NG & reserve troops, not regular Army.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 4:16:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SDgunner:
I am 26 years old and have been married for almost 3 years. Its not at all about the signing bonus but i have always regreated not joining some branch of service. I have already graduated college with a BS and don't have any really direction currently as far as employment or a carrer

any information is appreciated.

some questions:

What is NG life like?
Do they force you to move from where you currently live?
What is the chance of getting deployed overseas?
Reality of the time comittment?
Can you get out if an emergency happens in your life?
How is guard life on the spouse?
What is the pay like?
Thoughts on current NG soldiers.

thanks in advance
SDgunner



There are a few of us around. I am a recruiter so I would say go in and see one.
Sign on for 3 years, your schooling is done. You can enlist as an E4 with a BS. You can
also contract direct for OCS. Have the recruiter explain to you your IRR commitment. It is very important to understand this, though if you go OCS you can always be recalled unless you resign your commission.

There is no getting out in an emergency. This is a contract for the military. My wife is happy I am in, she loves the benefits especially the PX/Commissary. Pay is good but I am active. Pay is pretty decent for the part time committment. You will make some good friends.

All I can tell you is you will be deployed sometime in your enlistment. A close friend of mine is now being deployed for his 2nd tour to Iraq. Most will only see 1 tour in 3 yrs.
Bring your wife with you when you go see the recruiter. You will find National Guard recruiters are overall pretty upfront and honest. Bring your wife it is her decision too she has to maintain the homefront during your deployment. She will have important questions to ask. Deployments are generally 18 months by the way. 6 months stateside, 1 year in country.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 4:20:01 PM EDT
I joined the regular Army at age 24, married, with a bachelors in business management. A very similar situation to yours. Do you have any idea what you want to do? Do you know if you want to go enlisted or officer? Do you have a career objective?

The reason I am asking is there are so many different options that will affect your outcome, and probably several options you never thought of/knew of. If you want experienced advice IM me.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 4:25:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/18/2006 4:27:05 PM EDT by FordGuy]

What is NG life like? it's about service, not what you can get.
Do they force you to move from where you currently live? no, but you may drive to the other end of your state
What is the chance of getting deployed overseas? 100%...no, 110%.
Reality of the time comittment? serious commitment.
Can you get out if an emergency happens in your life? nope. (well, I've seen it happen in rare instances.)
How is guard life on the spouse? high divorce rate.
What is the pay like? sucks
Thoughts on current NG soldiers. we train to one army standard. we kill the enemy and break his toys.

thanks in advance
SDgunner

your welcome. I speak from 17 yrs of svc.

Link Posted: 2/18/2006 4:32:58 PM EDT
I am currently in your situation of Im trying to decide on joining the Guard. I am in college and have been taking ROTC classes and labs, but not contracted. Well I talked to the Guard recruiter and he told me about the SMP program. That is where you join the Guard and contract into ROTC and your non-deployable for the rest of your college career. So with that said Im probably going to Basic this summer and AIT next summer.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 5:27:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:
Make sure you show up EVERY TIME. You might run for office some day.



If you can't show every time, at least show up for the photo op days

I joined the Army guard after doing my active duty, the demands on your time were pretty low at the time. You did one weekend /month and two weeks for summer camp. I generally had a lot of fun, playing with big boys toys.
I shot on the combat machinegun team which was cool as they'd allow me to check out an M-60 and 4-600 rounds of ammo and I could head to the range (unsupervised- what were they thinking?) I later graduated to the state rifle team where they supplied me with 2 M14's, a Rem 40X and a pellet rifle + vault, all the ammo I could shoot and all the other range gear you needed to compete in the service rifle matches. They also paid my entry fees and on occation, when my drill weekend happened on a match weekend, I shot the match in lieu of the drill.

The only thing I hated about retiring was that I had to return all of their toys... except the ammo I had on hand (~2000 rds of match 7.62) they got 2K rounds of empty brass that I'd policed up from the local range.

All in all, I had a great time, but it was a PIA sometimes. I never was called to active duty in 17 1/2 years of reserve/guard time. Things are different now.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 7:46:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SDgunner:


What is NG life like?


Varies by MOS. At a minimum as a lower enlisted guy, you'll have a weekend a month and 2 weeks in the summer, but its a rare unit that only does the minimum these days.


Do they force you to move from where you currently live?


As an enlisted person, they cannot force you to drill more than 50 miles from your Home of Record. You can sign a waiver to drill further away than that if theres a unit you want to join thats a distance away.


What is the chance of getting deployed overseas?


These days? Very good. Depends on your MOS, how your unit is in terms of deployability preparedness, etc.


Reality of the time comittment?


Minimum 8 year service obligation. Or do you mean monthly?


Can you get out if an emergency happens in your life?


You can go ING for a valid reason, but be prepared to be reeled back in if you are needed, and you'll still have that 8 year obligation .


How is guard life on the spouse?


A lot of spouses look at the Guard thing as hubbys or boyfriends thing and never get involved unless theres a dining in or the unit gets involved. Getting spouses to help with the Family Readiness/ Support Group is like pulling teeth most of the time.


What is the pay like?


www.dod.mil/dfas/money/milpay/pay/Web%20Pay%20Table%20Version%202006%20-%20updated.pdf


Thoughts on current NG soldiers.


I don't think you'd regret it, but be prepared to serve, regardless of what your personal plans are. The government will own you for the term of your enlistment, and short of a family member spontaneously combusting, they aren't going to want to hear a line of excuses about your personal problems when the government calls in its markers and wants to activate you, whether its a Title 10 mission, State Active Duty mission, or what have you.
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