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Posted: 12/11/2003 8:54:53 PM EDT
I've been getting serious "too good to be true" vibe lately. Lemme know what ya'll think.

Background.

Joined the Army in '86, got out in '92 as an E5/Infantry. Used my GI Bill to go to school (AA) and the benefit ran out in 2002. Been thinking, seriously, about going back to college and getting a real degree. Have also been flirting with re up in either the NG or USAR. My contacts with those recruiters have been far less than satisfying. They all want me to re up as 11 series or some other combat arm. I ain't down with that, if I'm going back under the big green thumb I want small arms (45 series) repair.

So, I get a cold call (he says he saw my resume online, very possible) from a USAR recruiter, Ken.

Ken sez that he can get me back in (USAR) will pay for 2 more years of college (get a BS) and I will ROTC (some form of it) in as an officer. Best yet, "it'll have to an officer in a technical field." And get this, I can enlist, under the USAR "Try One" program for one year. Hmm, I just realized that I won't be an officer during the time I'm in skool, maybe that's the catch.

Anyway, so Ken is real "can do" about this enlistment. My Article 15 doesn't matter, my 4th Degree Assault doesn't matter, the missing credits towards my AA don't matter. Nah, "we can do it."

Me? I can't believe, refuse to believe, that Sam is this hard up for officers.

Ken says I'm exactly what they're looking for, right age, prior service, combat time yadda yadda.

I don't trust recruiters. I'm wating for the bait and switch "well, you don't qualify for that one but we've got door number two over here."

I just got back from taking the ASVAB, my physical is next week then we go tour some of the units to "pick one".

I wanted to take the ASVAB again to see if I got better or worse than in '86. My ACTs improved between high school and college so this is a check. I need a physical too so I'm going along to get along right now. We'll see if MEPS catches my high blood pressure. It's just a lark, I like my cushy civilian life.

So, what's the catch with this deal? I've got a REAL bad feeling about it.

A feeling only made worse by some fat Navy puke E4 (CPO3?) at MEPS telling me to remove my earring because I was "in a federal building." He had to tell me twice and then Ken had to step in. It took every ounce of self control to keep from wrapping my hands around his fleshy swabby neck.

Later, Ken told me that the earring thing was "because of the gang bangers".

Bad enough I made it through their dumbas magnometer with a Leatherman II prominently (Kydex half sheath) displayed on my belt and my Collins folding "letter opener" clipped to the inside of my jacket. Said jacket went through the magnometer AND the X Ray.

Homeland Security my as.

Just not real sure I want to be a member after being exposed again today. I got the full hurry up and wait treatment tho. My total experience with Ken prior to this morning has been one phone conversation last week and one today. He called today at 1100, asked what my schedule was and I told him that it being my day off, I was open. He asked if I could meet him at the local Army post (70 minutes away) at 1330 and from there he could drive me to MEPS to take the ASVAB. Short notice but I could do it. We get to MEPS around 1500 and I wind up standing around until 1630 waiting for the "night ASVAB" to begin. Ah, the good old days.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 6:12:02 AM EDT
I came back in after 9/11. You know the reason. Had 11 years AD in USMC and joined the NG. Got my commission through OCS with a hat trick of waivers (Moral, Age, Drug). Currently at IOBC here at Benning having a good time. The Try 1 is a real program but I am not sure about the fine print as far as getting involuntarily extended past that 1 year mark. Yes the RC is dying for officers, 27% shortage of 0-3 and below. I would recommend ROTC because OCS is just hazing and a major amount of BS.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 9:41:47 PM EDT
Tweak, Here's a word of advice from me, if you're gonna go back in, go full active duty again. I was active duty army from 94-98 and got out. I rejoined the army, entering into the Virginia Army National Guard and have regretted that decision ever since I joined it in Dec 2001. I have tried requesting a conditional release for financial hardship reasons and after the paperwork taking 4 months only to get disapproved because the state adjutant general (a 2 star) who cited "manpower issues". Virginia units have cooked the books so bad that unless you screw up in a major way you aren't getting out. My Company personnel clerk told me that we still had soldiers on our rosters that haven't shown up to drill in 2.5 years who are finally being discharged. To give you an idea on some unit strengths, my unit is a light inf. bn thats auth strength is 570, we currently have 243 in it. That's how bad books and unit manning reports have been cooked, so that the state can receive more fed. funding. So once again I say: if you're gonna do it go back on active, you'll sure as hell get promoted alot faster than I am. I'm an 11B with 650 points and 6 yrs TIS, no Art. 15's and am still waiting to get my E5. We have people in my unit with 1 yr TIS and came in as an E4 who have been selected ahead of me for E5. I have served as an E4 Fire Team Leader, as well as a Infantry Squad Leader, and am trying to get the hell out of the guard and go back on active duty as either an 11B (light infantryman) or as my Secondary MOS of 19K (M1 Abrams Crewman). So once again, GO ACTIVE!!!!
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 11:46:21 AM EDT
Yes, they need officers. There is a shortage as usual. The National Guard even has a few new 40 year old lieutenants now. For backup, make an appointment with the local ROTC office to discuss this. They determine who gets a real chance for a commission, not the recruiter. How many slots do they have open in two years vs how many students? If you sign an ROTC contract and fail for certain reasons, they can require you to be enlisted for a few years. I've never seen it done, but it's in the contract. Also, if your ROTC commander does not think you should be an officer for any reason, he/she can prevent it. In your case it's a two year long test. Better take out the earring. Robert
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 7:07:49 PM EDT
I'm an Army ROTC Recruiting Officer and if you go with this guys advice, you're going to get screwed. He's talking about the Simultaneous Membership Program. That's when you are in the USAR/ARNG and ROTC simultaneously. While participating in this program, you are not an officer. You are paid as an E-5 and are like a 3LT. Not an officer, but not really enlisted either. The idea is to spend time with the officers and learn what it is to be an officer. While in the SMP program, you are not deployable. Oh, there is no 1 year trial period either. Once you sign the contract, you are a contracted cadet. If you do one year and attend National Advanced Leadership Camp during the summer, and disenroll for some reason, you will be put on active duty for breach of contract. If you quit/get kicked out before hand, you will pay back any money you may have received from ROTC. You'll still have to fulfill your reserve obligation from signing the DD form 4. The Army can, however, choose to put you on active duty if you breech your contract. Also, the way things are now in ROTC land, there's no way you're going to contract with an Article 15, assault charge, missing credits for a degree, etc. Used to be we could put you in for waiver and it would probably be approved. No longer. Now it is getting very tough to get any kind of waiver through. They might make an exception, but I'd be surprised. Don't listen to "Ken". If you choose to go this route, sign an ROTC contract before you sign the reserve paperwork. If you enlist in the USAR/ARNG first, you're stuck with them. If you do the ROTC route first and you can't contract, you've not obligated yourself to anything. Hope this helps. IM me if you have further questions. Redleg
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 7:16:45 PM EDT
Just make very sure that you evaluate the final contract extremely carefully before signing it. As for the blood pressure thing, here's what to do: Drink a little less water than normal. Don't dehydrate yourself, though! Take garlic supplements which act as a cardiovascular stabilizer. Avoid caffeine and salt for a few days before the visit. And don't stress out. Your BP will show normal, guaranteed, unless you're always running stupid high BP's. CJ
Link Posted: 12/18/2003 11:53:06 PM EDT
Thanks to all that replied, I picked up some good info that only reinforced my trepidation. They did catch the elevated BP but the doc at MEPS gave me a form for a 5 day BP check with a "bring it back filled out and your service can request a waiver." [shock] Besides that the physical was a breeze. Had a 19 y/o in there with me, also with high BP. My final reading was 150/126, his wasn't much better. Increased my GT score (the only score I remember from back then) by 8 points to 128, guess I still qualify for Army Sniper School, not that they'd want me within 1,000M of their barracks. [;)] This new "QT score" thing threw me as I don't remember that from back in '86 but this time around it was a 95. redleg13a, Not everything I typed there is "per Ken" some of that is just my inferences. You see, he keeps forgetting to get me the paperwork that spells out the deal. I know [b]I[/b] mixed in the "try one" program with the ROTC stuff but it was in the same conversation with Ken. Not having seen anything on paper I'm still not sure what the deal is. bull_8, No AD for me, unless things get real rough over yonder. I like chasing girls, drinking, and staying out late...a lot. robert2011, I'll check into the local ROTC office once I get a better grasp of what the deal is that I'm being offered. Good points. As for the earring it wasn't the earring or the request to take it out that irritated me. The irritation lies in the statement that "it's because of the gang bangers", same for the no jackets or hats in the MEPS rule. Come on, they want me to join up when they're recruiting scum that would attack someone else because of a hat, earring, or jacket? [rolleyes] Wait, I guess that would be like training an Infantryman to attack others based on the difference in uniforms. Hey, maybe the services are onto something with that. [;D] cmjohnson, Thanks for the suggestions, ran them past my live in nurse and she gave them the OK. I'll save the tricks for later in the journey. Right now I'm still slightly on the hook but not real impressed, neither with the .mil or its civilian masters and lackeys. As for the BP, it's been high every time the GF has checked it but each time I always had an excuse, "no sleep" "too much caffeine" "splitting wood" etc. But, I could answer that I had never been [b]diagnosed[/b] with high BP with a straight face . Honestly, after dealing with the modern "post Clinton" military (at least the MEPS portion) I really don't want back in. I sent out a letter to the [url=http://www.washingtonguard.com/State_Guard/INDEX.HTM]Washington State Guard[/url] late last week. They sound like my kind of unit.
Link Posted: 12/19/2003 2:06:16 AM EDT
just my .02. I was in a sorta similar situation, only I have my degree and don't have any 'waiver issues'. If you're this turned off at this step in the process, don't be thinking it's going to get a lot better. I did another year in a SIB, which theoretically should be a lot more hsld than the rest of the Guard...and the bullshit was every bit as bad as what some of the above folks have posted. I'm in our state guard now too...
Link Posted: 12/19/2003 12:50:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By QuietShootr: I'm in our state guard now too...
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What's that like QS?
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