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View Full Version : Thinking about the Reserves... any tips/advice?


tuna quesadilla
08-27-2009, 9:15 PM
So I'm currently in my first semester of college, and I'm thinking about joining the reserves after I finish this semester. I've been thinking about joining the military for a looong time, but I've never actually committed to it. What do you think? Anybody currently in the reserves or who was in the reserves who can offer any advice? I talked to a recruiter and he said not to waste my time with the reserves, and just go active duty. Was that just recruiter BS or was he telling the truth?

Thanks!

jdberger
08-27-2009, 9:21 PM
Reserves are (or were) support functions.

Nat'l Guard are combat units (please note that I'm speaking in broad generalities).

So what do you want to do? Drive a truck or drive a tank?

http://military.smugmug.com/photos/59791603_9nr5t-O.jpg

tuna quesadilla
08-27-2009, 11:04 PM
Well what about the Marine reserves? Are Marine reserves just support units too? That's the branch I would join if I end up going through with this.

CavTrooper
08-28-2009, 7:22 AM
If you are in college now, look into the reserves/ROTC/SMP programs. Basically, join the reserves, learn the ropes while getting some college paid for, join the ROTC program and when its avalible (2nd year I belive) join the simultanious membership program. You will now be cadet learning the jobs of the Officers in your unit. Contract with the ROTC and have them pay for the rest of your schooling then when you graduate, you get your commision as an Officer in the US Army. Its an excellent program for some folks. Theres more to it, if you need to talk feel free to PM me.

JerryM
08-28-2009, 4:13 PM
Please please please please please...

Finish school first.

Please please please please please...

The military will put a freaking damper on your studies and will distract you greatly from earning your degree.

I know people will disagree, "you can do it", "if you are motivated you can", etc.

Nothing like being in the middle of a semester and getting deployed, or not being able to take your finals because your commander will not let you SUTA.

My $0.02.

TonyKat
08-30-2009, 12:19 PM
I'm a reserve 74D CBRN Operations. I love it! only been in about a year

tuna quesadilla
08-30-2009, 4:41 PM
Thanks for the input everybody, all of your advice is appreciated.

Please please please please please...

Finish school first.

Please please please please please...

The military will put a freaking damper on your studies and will distract you greatly from earning your degree.

I know people will disagree, "you can do it", "if you are motivated you can", etc.

Nothing like being in the middle of a semester and getting deployed, or not being able to take your finals because your commander will not let you SUTA.

My $0.02.

I've thought about this. I'm gathering from the way you wrote this message that you've got first hand experience. Here's my take on it though. Right now my life is dull as can be. My schedule looks like this:

- Go to school
- Go to work
- Go to school
- Go to work
- Go to school
- Go to work
- Hang out with some friends for a bit
- Go to school
- Go to work
- Go to school
- Go to work

Part of the reason why I want to join up is that it would add something new, some variety. I'm not in a huge rush to finish my degree -- it's not like there's gonna be a whole lotta jobs out there for me when I finish school. :(

I've also given thought to the ROTC thing that Cavtrooper brought up. I'm currently at a community college which does not have ROTC. My goal is to transfer to the university on the other side of town to finish my degree, and that university DOES have ROTC. I need 60 credits to transfer and this semester I'm only taking 13, so it's gonna be a loooong time before I can transfer over and join their ROTC program.

I know it's nowhere NEAR the same thing, but I was in JROTC in high school and I thought it was pretty fun. I liked the leadership aspect of it. Maybe I would enjoy college ROTC?

76231b
08-30-2009, 5:24 PM
Doooooooooooooon't

76231b
08-30-2009, 5:27 PM
I'm a reserve 74D CBRN Operations. I love it! only been in about a year

6 months, 1 year. Same thing right?

tuna quesadilla
08-30-2009, 5:44 PM
Doooooooooooooon't

Why do you say that?

Midian
08-30-2009, 5:48 PM
You going to go fight in some East Asia toilet for Obama?

dwa
08-30-2009, 6:36 PM
You going to go fight in some East Asia toilet for Obama?

Vietnam?

Lost
08-31-2009, 6:48 AM
...I've thought about this. I'm gathering from the way you wrote this message that you've got first hand experience. Here's my take on it though. Right now my life is dull as can be...

I have to agree with JerryM on this, and I have first hand experience. If you join, you may get pulled for a deployment. If this happens, you will be gone for a year, which most schools will drop you after not enrolling for 2 consecutive semesters, which means you will have to re-apply. In these economic times with State Universities and Community Colleges cutting enrollment, there is no guarantee you'll be let in right away.

Finish school first. Boring can be good at times. Enjoy the boredom.

Bizcuits
08-31-2009, 5:13 PM
I know how you feel...

I got my GED when I was 19, and immediately joined the Army. I couldn't go Marines like I'd wanted when I was younger, because they don't take GED's.

I ended up EPTS discharged. Had knee surgery last summer and in Spring when I went to enlist into the Guard I was told they weren't giving out waivers. I was told to come back in October. Heard the same thing from other branches. The Guard recruiter told me about the commission program for college students (only need 60 units).

I went right out enrolled for summer classes. Now October is coming around and I'm finding myself with a decision. Try to re-enlist now, finish my schooling and go for the commission or finish my schooling and go for the marines with my AA.

I hate my job and my life is almost as boring as yours. Although I do have a mortgage now, but having failed once before in the Army, I can't help to think I should finish my schooling before trying again. If I fail a second time or I get turned down I do not want to have to come back to finish school.

I sure as hell don't want to wait another two years, going through basic again at 26?

CavTrooper
08-31-2009, 8:02 PM
You dont need to be attending a school to be in the ROTC program at that school.

Reserves have a 2 to 4 year stabalization you can get in your contract that will preclude you from any deployment.

CavTrooper
08-31-2009, 8:04 PM
You going to go fight in some East Asia toilet for Obama?

We fight when and where we are told. Not for the President, but for the man on our left and right, and for those without the intesinal fortitude to take up arms in defense of our nation.

jdberger
08-31-2009, 8:47 PM
We fight when and where we are told. Not for the President, but for the man on our left and right, and for those without the intesinal fortitude to take up arms in defense of our nation.

Bingo.

dwa
08-31-2009, 10:03 PM
We fight when and where we are told. Not for the President, but for the man on our left and right, and for those without the intesinal fortitude to take up arms in defense of our nation.

+1 but he said east asia, like Vietnam Laos Cambodia Thailand china japan Korea lol

anthonyca
08-31-2009, 10:08 PM
I'm a reserve 74D CBRN Operations. I love it! only been in about a year

Wow time flies. I remember you talking about going to basic and something about a girl. Are you still with her or did Jody get her?

Lost
09-01-2009, 6:43 AM
I sure as hell don't want to wait another two years, going through basic again at 26?

It gets easier as you get older. I turned 30 halfway through basic...

tuna quesadilla
09-01-2009, 11:19 AM
You dont need to be attending a school to be in the ROTC program at that school.

Reserves have a 2 to 4 year stabalization you can get in your contract that will preclude you from any deployment.

I actually e-mailed the Lieutenant in charge of recruiting at the school I want to go to, and he kept giving me the run-around... He had me fill out a form and e-mail it to him, then I just got a few mass e-mailings from him about ROTC orientations for new cadets (couldn't make any of the orientations anyways because of work). I told him I couldn't make it to any of them and asked if he could just answer a few questions about whether I was eligible to join. He ignored me. I gave up, waited a few months, tried again.... He had me fill out the same form again, and then I got more mass e-mails. I asked him some pointed questions about whether I could even join and he just ignored them and sent me more mass e-mails about the orientations. Trying to get information out of him was a very, very negative experience. It seems like all he does is add potential cadets to mailing lists and send out bulk e-mails to them. So I decided, forget it, I'm just gonna wait until I transfer there (because whether or not I do ROTC, I plan on transferring to that school anyways).

Still debating about enlisting first... You guys do bring up a good point about deploying and being dropped from the school. I remember when I was registering for school, there were a few different forms that asked if I was a veteran. Do veterans get priority for registration or something that would help in the event of having the re-apply for school?

Stockton
09-01-2009, 11:43 AM
Do what you need to do. Make sure you want it and can handle it. The worst thing that can happen is you absolutely hate it...you get kicked out for not being to handle it...you never really wanted it and now your miserable at being a soldier you never really were. The best thing that can happen is you've done something that no one can ever take from you. You end up with benefits that in today's economy people are dying to have and can't get. You always have a job(not high pay) but you have income. You can decide not to continue when your contract is up and walk away or continue. Get paid for the duration of your contract. Of course with anything else in life there are the details...this is only the big picture.

I believe you just need to know yourself this is the right time and its what you want.

Lost
09-01-2009, 12:22 PM
Still debating about enlisting first... You guys do bring up a good point about deploying and being dropped from the school. I remember when I was registering for school, there were a few different forms that asked if I was a veteran. Do veterans get priority for registration or something that would help in the event of having the re-apply for school?

Veterans do get some sort of priority (usually at most State Universities and community colleges, maybe some private schools, but I am not familiar with them), but it still does not guarantee you admission. I know of a few Vets that were denied admission to State Universities for reasons unknown to me.

Army GI
09-01-2009, 1:15 PM
Please please please please please...

Finish school first.

Please please please please please...

The military will put a freaking damper on your studies and will distract you greatly from earning your degree.

I know people will disagree, "you can do it", "if you are motivated you can", etc.

Nothing like being in the middle of a semester and getting deployed, or not being able to take your finals because your commander will not let you SUTA.

My $0.02.

I'm a reservist. A couple of years ago, I would have agreed with CavTrooper and said go the SMP route. But now I mostly agree with JerryM. School comes first.

76231b
09-02-2009, 4:32 PM
Why do you say that?

Because they're a joke.

thebloodsonthewall
10-04-2009, 6:24 AM
If you are looking for adventure go active duty. You said you were not in to much of a hurry to get school done so again, go active. I am in the Army, I am at AIT right now so I am not in the operational Army just yet. From what I have seen and heard active seems the way to go. I would hate to go through all this training with all my battle buddies here and then just go back home to the same old crap. On active duty, after this you get to keep going and it seems like you get to so much more then if you were in the reserves.

You can take online college classes so as long as you have internet you can be taking classes.

svsrider
10-14-2009, 3:26 PM
So I'm currently in my first semester of college, and I'm thinking about joining the reserves after I finish this semester. I've been thinking about joining the military for a looong time, but I've never actually committed to it. What do you think? Anybody currently in the reserves or who was in the reserves who can offer any advice? I talked to a recruiter and he said not to waste my time with the reserves, and just go active duty. Was that just recruiter BS or was he telling the truth?

Thanks!

Have you looked into Marine Corps OCS? You attend OCS during the summer so you can continue with school. Since you are a freshman you would go 2 summers, for 6 weeks each time. You'll technically be a E-5 in the reserves, although you don't drill and you will have absolutely zero chance of deploying. You get paid something like $2500 each summer, as well as a monthly stipend of about $350, and you can also get tuition assistance however for that I believe you have to commit to longer service for the tuition assistance. Also the good thing about OCS is while you are still in school you can quit at anytime if you decide the military/Marine Corps is not for you. After 3 weeks at OCS you can say "f*** this, send me home" and your obligation to the Marine Corps ends. Furthermore even if you complete both summer training increments you still have until you graduate college to accept your commision as a 2nd Lt. If you decide you would rather be a civilian you just tell your OSO "no thanks." For more info check out www.marineocs.com or call an OSO (Officer Selection Officer)

hotwls13
10-14-2009, 3:41 PM
I say, either go Active (whatever branch you prefer) or finish School first. With deployments and Reserves getting activated, you MAY get activated quickly, then you are Active for a year (but you are STILL a RESERVE). At least in my experience, no matter if a reserve was doing his two weeks or a year tour, they were STILL Reserves. They weren't treated badly, but definitely different compared to the Active guys. If this is something you want/feel the need to do, do it. Doesn't matter WHO is in the oval office, choosing to serve is an honorable thing. I would have joined the Reserves when I got out in 99, but my AFSC (job code) was limited and I was going to be immediately activated. If i was going to do that, I may as well have stayed Active. ;)

One last bit of advice is think about what you will be doing in the Military. If Marine type duties is what you want to do, by all means join the Marines. If you are thinking of possibly making a career out of this, or would like some transferrable skills (job type, marketable skills) think about joining the Air Force or Navy and getting into something Technical. I was in the Air Force and the quality of life for Air Personnel is typically MUCH better than the other services. Granted, I wasn't boots on the ground, in the trenches, fighting (I was far from that). I taught a Joint Inspection class for a few years and traveled to TONS of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine bases. Even our TDY orders stated that on-base Army and Marines quarters were below Air Force standards and therefore we stayed off-base in hotels.

I like the idea above about OCS. You can do that for the other services as well. ;)