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Calgunners in Service This forum is a place for our active duty and deployed members to share, request and have a bit of home where ever they are.

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  #1  
Old 04-08-2017, 9:01 PM
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Default Need help deciding

Many circumstances including unit availability and other reasons have put me in a position to decide between 13f in the national guard or 42a in the reserves. I know all the basic funding and mission role difference between the two different entities but I am looking for experiences and anecdotal input in helping me choose. I know either can afford me to go to some good schools and training cause even a 42a is a soldier first in the army that may not even have to do with the mos and I know any mos can deploy but I was curious about the chances of deploying of either with the optempo the way it is now in the world and what people think of either job that have possibly done them. Thank you for any input!
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Old 04-08-2017, 9:02 PM
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Old 04-09-2017, 11:09 AM
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WTF is a 13F and 42A???

03 Infantry bro....
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Old 04-09-2017, 6:03 PM
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13F will be out ahead in sh*t living conditions and always over worked where as a 42a will suit in an office handling a lot of paperwork. 13F deployments usually include being outside the fob/ cop a good majority of the time where a 42A is the opposite ... you sit in an cubicle with AC most of your deployment.

Deployments will be based on your unit/company/batallion , if your unit is deploying the chances are you are going regardless of MOS

just depends on what you want
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Old 04-09-2017, 9:11 PM
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13F will be out ahead in sh*t living conditions and always over worked where as a 42a will suit in an office handling a lot of paperwork. 13F deployments usually include being outside the fob/ cop a good majority of the time where a 42A is the opposite ... you sit in an cubicle with AC most of your deployment.

Deployments will be based on your unit/company/batallion , if your unit is deploying the chances are you are going regardless of MOS

just depends on what you want
Very true and very different jobs. One is a Warrior(13F) and one is a secretary in a uniform(42a). Choose according to your level of man status.
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Old 04-10-2017, 7:02 AM
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Very true and very different jobs. One is a Warrior(13F) and one is a secretary in a uniform(42a). Choose according to your level of man status.

It's the National Guard, that's cub scouts at best even compared to regular Army.
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Old 04-10-2017, 8:10 AM
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Okay, so what about the difference in life in that national guard and reserves...anyone here had experience with both? Which deploys more (probably can't answer that since it's based on too many factors I'm sure) but which seems to have their stuff together the most and doesn't jerk you around as much?


Thank you for all your input!
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Old 04-10-2017, 8:46 AM
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which seems to have their stuff together the most and doesn't jerk you around as much?
The honest truth is that it is going to be more about the individual unit than it is about whether it is the NG or reserves. Either of them has a small advantage over active duty in that the majority of the personnel (particularly the leadership) stays the same year after year so you tend to know what to expect

Training and discipline wise, they are screwed when they get sent to a war zone. And anyone who tells you otherwise is either inexperienced or lying.

I suggest talking to some of the junior personnel at the particular unit that you would be assigned to to see how they feel about it. Also, try to talk to some of the more senior personnel, especially if they have actually done something.
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Old 04-10-2017, 9:54 AM
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It's the National Guard, that's cub scouts at best even compared to regular Army.
A lot of KIA and WIA National Guardsman say otherwise. In the GWOT the National Guard and even Reserves have done their share of fighting and paying the ultimate sacrifice.

I've been all three, regular Army combat arms, NG MP and Reserve DS. The main difference in NG and Reserves is the Guard is mainly combat arms while the Reserves are support and none combat specialties, there are always exceptions to the rule. But in a nut shell this is the case.
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:10 AM
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Okay, so what about the difference in life in that national guard and reserves...anyone here had experience with both? Which deploys more (probably can't answer that since it's based on too many factors I'm sure) but which seems to have their stuff together the most and doesn't jerk you around as much?


Thank you for all your input!
You stand a much greater chance of actually being deployed overseas in the NG, combat arms (13f) are more in demand then a 42a. But as a combat arms soldier you will receive better training and more opportunities to attend advanced schools/training.

While the other poster is correct a Guard/Reserve unit is not as well trained or cohesive as a regular Army unit. There are some very good units in both and some not so good ones. One advantage of the NG and Reserves is most are prior service and older, my MP unit was almost all civilian cops with prior military service. It was a darn good unit, but yes we deployed a lot Middle East and state side.

If getting dirty and life in the field is not your thing Reserves is usually a better fit.
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Old 04-10-2017, 12:28 PM
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That whole every soldier is a rifleman first is not reflected in the way the NG and USAR train in any regard. It's the absolute last thing they worry about.

A sharp 42A soldier is going to have their admin crap straight and be more successful on paper when it matters at promotion and awards time.

I do find it hard to believe your only choices are 13F and 42A.

As a reservist, wherever life puts you in the USA it's a simple transfer from one commander to the next if you change states. Each State NG is it's own thing that requires a little more hoop jumping to transfer.

I do think if you are a young person still living at home and want money for college going NG or Reserves is the WORST THING YOU CAN DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You wont get your full 100% GI bill money until you put in 3 years active duty, which is pretty much impossible to get unless you are deployed twice or more. That annual tuition assistance money is also only there WHILE YOU ARE IN!!!!!!

If you don't have a car, a stable home life/job, and the ability to get to and from drill without drama, and are able to store all your issued army crap then go ACTIVE DUTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get your GI bill 100% vested, do your time, get out then go reserves/NG and augment your GI Bill with the annual tuition assistance funding.

**************
As a USAR/NG everyone overlooks that all that crap they issue you in Basic Training you will get issued to you to take home from your home unit (with the exception of the weapon and body armor). Now, where are you going to keep it all if you are young, drive a 20 year old compact, and live in a studio with a roommate?
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Old 04-11-2017, 8:16 AM
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Thank you all for your input! I already work a desk job in an office, so not sure on my weekends I want another one so 13F looks more appealing to me at this point, but my wife is not happy about the prospect of deployment...but I know the likelihood and frequency of this is largely decreasing now that Trump is in office and has ordered the increase of active duty army personnel for the first time in a long while which may reduce the NG and reserves exposure. It's hard because I told my wife that yeah 13f may deploy but the 42a reserve unit they found for me in socal just deployed to the middle east as well, so they all deploy (I guess it's all about when you join the unit in the deployment cycle). I would guess the only mos/units that don't deploy are perhaps the band or chaplain? or maybe the 74d chem/nuclear guys whose expertise would be wasted in most conflicts of today...
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Old 04-11-2017, 9:33 AM
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my wife is not happy about the prospect of deployment...but I know the likelihood and frequency of this is largely decreasing now that Trump is in office and has ordered the increase of active duty army personnel for the first time in a long while which may reduce the NG and reserves exposure.
Deployments are harder on the wife than they are on us.

Also, if you aren't at least ready, if not downright excited, to deploy, I'd say even the reserves are not the choice for you at this point in your life.
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Old 04-11-2017, 7:07 PM
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...but I know the likelihood and frequency of this is largely decreasing now that Trump is in office and has ordered the increase of active duty army personnel for the first time in a long while which may reduce the NG and reserves exposure. .... I would guess the only mos/units that don't deploy are perhaps the band or chaplain? or maybe the 74d chem/nuclear guys whose expertise would be wasted in most conflicts of today...


When the military can't get the numbers they want from recruitment they pull from the Reserves. For example, last month was the dead line, but ALL USAR Lieutenants MOS qualified regardless of MOS could go active duty if they wanted (3 year commitment), and the Active Army would nullify our USAR contracts.

Yes, I've never seen a Band deploy, but Chaplains are in short supply and do deploy.

74 series............... you do know what they are tossing around in Syria, right? He's killing his own with the stuff. Why wouldn't he use it on an invading force?

Contracts are usually 6 years (2 years on standby) you're going to deploy. Many deploy in small elements of a few soldiers to augment forces or units going out.

Those 42A's that deployed probably went to Kuwait and are processing soldiers in and out of theater. Which sucks, because that isn't a war zone deployment (i.e. no deployment patch) They may as well be going to Germany/Italy, but it's not. It's Kuwait.
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Old 04-12-2017, 1:54 PM
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I was in a very similar situation as you OP. Married, no kids, wanted to join Army National Guard, but was worried about leaving wife home alone. After doing some research and hearing from many forum users that the Air Force is very accommodating to married life (compared to Army), I joined the CA Air National Guard instead. (I didnt consider reserves because I liked having some state-side responsibilities as NG).

I know you didn't mention Air Force in your post, but thought I should share since it seems you have some concerns with your wife, as I did. Deployment with ANG depends on your AFSC (job), but Air Force's deployments are 6 months compared to Army's 9. I've also heard of stories (friends of friends) where Army NG would tell you you're getting deployed in 1 week. But I've only heard good things about Air NG.

Also, I've heard of many army guys who wish they joined air force, but not a single air force guy who wish they joined the army . If I was single, I probably would've joined army. But as a married guy, ANG was a great choice IMO. You should take a look.

P.S. if you like shooting, you wont get any of that in ANG (except very minimal range time in basics), unless you're security forces or battlefield airmen (CCT or PJ). Not sure about Army NG - as I've never been in one.
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Old 04-12-2017, 2:01 PM
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I understand Korean Interpreter will be a hot job!
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Old 04-13-2017, 8:11 AM
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Thanks, I will take a look and see what they have to offer.

I work an office job already so 42a being another office job may not be what I want the more I think about it, but it also means the monthly and annual drill will most likely be what the brochure states of two weeks per year and one weekend a month. I know in many jobs that go to the field, they suffer from being three day weekends and three weeks a year annual training which adds to the wife's disdain...haha I would actually like to go to the field, but if every drill is going to be longer than my wife assumes from the recruiter that may force me back into a boring 42a office role. In addition CA has a lot of wildfires so the exposure to missing work is significantly higher than in states with less state emergencies being the guard, so I suppose reserves might have less exposure to that being federal only.

I am okay with the idea of might having to deploy, it's more about mitigating the risk where I can and not upset the wifey by sticking to the two weeks a year and one weekend a month as much as possible

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Old 04-13-2017, 12:28 PM
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Thanks, I will take a look and see what they have to offer.

I work an office job already so 42a being another office job may not be what I want the more I think about it, but it also means the monthly and annual drill will most likely be what the brochure states of two weeks per year and one weekend a month. I know in many jobs that go to the field, they suffer from being three day weekends and three weeks a year annual training which adds to the wife's disdain...haha I would actually like to go to the field, but if every drill is going to be longer than my wife assumes from the recruiter that may force me back into a boring 42a office role. In addition CA has a lot of wildfires so the exposure to missing work is significantly higher than in states with less state emergencies being the guard, so I suppose reserves might have less exposure to that being federal only.

I am okay with the idea of might having to deploy, it's more about mitigating the risk where I can and not upset the wifey by sticking to the two weeks a year and one weekend a month as much as possible
Yeah, as a general role your 2 days a month 2 weeks a year is much more likely with a reserve unit then a Guard unit. I was in a Reserve Drill Sergeant unit and it was very 9 to 5. Our annual training was three weeks though, supplementing basic training.

When I transferred to the Guard as a MP at least half my drills were 3 dayers with many overnighters, my annual training was always three weeks and was activated often. I was also able to volunteer for weekend/weeklong or longer activations. Often just myself and another MP or two providing security at a military function somewhere in the state(often at the presidio). But I had a job and a wife that was ok with me spending more time doing my military thing.

Whatever you decide, remember it doesn't have to be permanent. When I became bored with the Reserves it was very easy to find a Guard unit that wanted me and made the transfer easy. And thanks for signing up and putting your butt on the line for your country, whatever way you go it is appreciated and best of luck to you.
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Old 04-14-2017, 3:49 PM
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reported


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Old 04-15-2017, 12:34 AM
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........... it's more about mitigating the risk where I can and not upset the wifey by sticking to the two weeks a year and one weekend a month.........
I've never found it to work out that way.

What the military advertises are the mandated minimum days reservists are required by law. At a minimum you'll get your one weekend a month two weeks a year. I've always ended up doing more even if I didn't want them.

These last 12 months I've already had two 4 day events, and this summer I'll have a THREE week event, effectively adding 11 more days than advertised.

That's not counting the 1 week course my unit tried to ram down my throat that I avoided by finding an on-line equivalent.

I've been to Korea twice more than three weeks each time.

That said.................. I suppose you can manage downward the drill days you do, but that will be up to your chain of command. It's all about numbers, and making sure you get in your minimum number of days to qualify for a "GOOD RETIREMENT YEAR" and still meet your unit's training requirements for readiness ratios. Some training events you simply can't get out of PERIOD because the USAR is using it to rubber stamp your unit's deployability.
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Old 04-15-2017, 9:58 AM
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I've never found it to work out that way.

What the military advertises are the mandated minimum days reservists are required by law. At a minimum you'll get your one weekend a month two weeks a year. I've always ended up doing more even if I didn't want them.

These last 12 months I've already had two 4 day events, and this summer I'll have a THREE week event, effectively adding 11 more days than advertised.

That's not counting the 1 week course my unit tried to ram down my throat that I avoided by finding an on-line equivalent.

I've been to Korea twice more than three weeks each time.

That said.................. I suppose you can manage downward the drill days you do, but that will be up to your chain of command. It's all about numbers, and making sure you get in your minimum number of days to qualify for a "GOOD RETIREMENT YEAR" and still meet your unit's training requirements for readiness ratios. Some training events you simply can't get out of PERIOD because the USAR is using it to rubber stamp your unit's deployability.
What is your MOS or what does your unit do that you are attached to?
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Old 04-15-2017, 4:27 PM
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What is your MOS or what does your unit do that you are attached to?

I was originally Intel, then commissioned and changed branches to Quartermaster/Logistics.

I went to Korea for three weeks once as Intel E4, and then went a second time fore three weeks as a Quartermaster Officer. Both times sucked.

My Intel unit doesn't commonly have their own training exercises, and frequently sends folks to Korea in Spring, and Summer.

I went to Korea in my Quartermaster unit because during my transfer between one and the other I missed out going to my annual exercise and they always need bodies to fluff up the annual Korea events. So I volunteer to get my points up for the year because they needed folks with clearances (staking on my Intel clearance) to go.

All the good and bad stories you hear are largely going to be unit specific. So you're not going to know until you get there.

The best job I ever had in the world was working on extended orders with my unit here in California doing intel stuff right out of basic training. The full time Major in the unit was great at getting funding for those sorts of things.

The officer enlisted ratio was about 1:1 when you consider the warrant officers, and the entire Battalion was about 100 soldiers. Companies were about 25.

However, since I left the Major also left and now there isn't anyone to chase funding, and they don't have those full time opportunities. It sucks...... Oh well, not my problem. I've moved on.

Then I direct commissioned to a Quartermaster unit because I'm chasing rank (let's call a duck a duck, that's what I'm doing) and that's where the most officer vacancies are (logistics). Now we are only 5 officers for 150 soldiers (so my current company is larger than my previous battalion). Only the Company Commander out ranks me. We drill separate from the Battalion so there's no Majors and Lt. Col's floating around. Likewise, on the enlisted side, there's not SGT Majors or Master SGTs either. It's pretty sweet for a LT, but me and the other LTs have to step up a lot of the time. Good thing two of us are Mustangs, and a WO (prior E7)

****************
I've learned. I'm looking for a unit closer to home, but I've been visiting them in person on drill weekends before I consider filling out the transfer paperwork.

One unit I went to had 16 soldiers on the books, and only 8 showed up to drill that time I visited them (two of which were LT's). SCREW THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Those are the units you go to punch the clock and retire. Speaking of which, one guy had his retirement point calculator up on the computer when I was there.

I guess most of this doesn't matter to you at this point. After you get in you'll have to adjust your priorities once you know whats going on, and what is available to you.
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Old 04-17-2017, 2:43 PM
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Good point, I never thought of transferring as a possibility, I wonder how that works...do they want you to serve out your entire contract before transferring or do they just make you sign a new contract when you transfer and time starts over when you join the new unit? I assume if you are in a combat arms MOS in the guard, since the reserves doesn't have equivalents (if going from guard to reserves) you'll have to reclassify and go to the AIT for that new MOS? So perhaps it's best to find an MOS that exists in both branches in case there are one too many wildfires and my wife is pissed off that I'm gone all the time with the guard?
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Old 04-18-2017, 11:31 AM
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Oh right………..when I said I changed branches I meant within the USAR. I left the Military Intel Branch for the Logistics Branch. Transfer was nothing more than getting the receiving Commander the losing Commander to sign a form.

If you leave one unit for a new unit with the same MOS and grade (just moving geographically) within the USAR it’s pretty easy.
I don’t know the process to jump through hoops to leave the USAR for the NG or vice-versa. I assume its more than just a form. A recruiter would know best.

If you want to change MOS’s there probably going to be obligations tied any financial incentives you got when you signed. When your original enlistment is up is going to be the easiest time to change, and yes you’d have to go through AIT again (which usually sucks regardless of rank you go back as because remember 90% of soldiers there at AIT are first time training soldiers and your the learning environment will reflect that). You might end up babysitting privates as a class SGT or Sr. SPC at AIT.
But if you change MOS’s it is going to take the actions of a

Recruiter/Retention Office. You can usually change MOS’s up to E7 (which is a long way away for you anyway).
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:44 PM
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So I might as well find an MOS that has an equivalent in the reserves and guard so whichever I choose, guard or reserves, I can transfer to one or the other without have to pick another MOS and go to AIT again. Same goes for inter-branch transfers I suppose, picking something every unit has allows easier transfers since not every unit will need a 13F but all need a 42A.
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Old 04-18-2017, 2:25 PM
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Beware of the slippery slope my friend. Write down your initial reasons and what you wish to get/give from serving. Then look at what you are settling for. From combat arms to admin. Slip. From one weekend/two weeks per year to multiple 4 day drills and three weeks per year. Slip. I'd like to be in the military but want to avoid being away from home or deployment. Slip.... I hate to be a wet blanket, but how will it feel in four years when you are a specialist 42a whos work is piling up on your desk at work while you're at drill 20 miles from your office and the economy is in a decline. Then you're the guy who's gone all the time, who is gone every year for three weeks, starts one weekend a month on Thursdays and possibly takes a real vacation as well to keep a reasonable civilian life to keep your wife around. Will the stress and worry of losing your job be worth it for $350/month drill pay, no deployments, no schools (because 42a isn't likely to get any), probably no interesting training (because you aren't combat arms) so basically nothing to show for your time? I would just find another way to serve my community unless I wanted to end up like one of the guys Snoopy has to drive to drill every month cuz he got no car.
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Old 04-18-2017, 6:52 PM
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Beware of the slippery slope my friend.


Example: I ended up going to a planning conference for a future training event in the place of my commander. At the same time my unit had a three day Range weekend. I was gone 4 days because of the additional travel time.

So I missed range qualification.

Now, my unit is pressing me to attend another unit's range weekend down in So. Cal, but only for a single day. So they basically want me to drive 900 miles to shoot 40 bullets.

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Old 05-01-2017, 8:16 AM
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Lastly, my recruiter maintains that 12B isn't available in the reserves, but the goarmy website says it is...should I shop around with another recruiter?
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Old 05-01-2017, 9:08 AM
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Lastly, my recruiter maintains that 12B isn't available in the reserves, but the goarmy website says it is...should I shop around with another recruiter?
While 12B is a reservist MOS, the recruiter is correct. There are no E4 or below 12B vacancies in California.

There are A LOT in the east.
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Old 05-02-2017, 8:21 AM
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What is the closest thing to combat arms in the reserves then at this point?
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Old 05-02-2017, 5:04 PM
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OK, Correction.

There is O-N-E 12B vacancy in San Diego at E4(SPC).

Below are the top 5 California USAR E4 and below vacancies

You can probably get anyone of these.

Rank MOS
1 88H1O
2 74D1O
3 88M1O
4 25Q1O
5 37F1O
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Old 05-02-2017, 9:55 PM
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I've never found it to work out that way.

What the military advertises are the mandated minimum days reservists are required by law. At a minimum you'll get your one weekend a month two weeks a year. I've always ended up doing more even if I didn't want them.

These last 12 months I've already had two 4 day events, and this summer I'll have a THREE week event, effectively adding 11 more days than advertised.

That's not counting the 1 week course my unit tried to ram down my throat that I avoided by finding an on-line equivalent.

I've been to Korea twice more than three weeks each time.

That said.................. I suppose you can manage downward the drill days you do, but that will be up to your chain of command. It's all about numbers, and making sure you get in your minimum number of days to qualify for a "GOOD RETIREMENT YEAR" and still meet your unit's training requirements for readiness ratios. Some training events you simply can't get out of PERIOD because the USAR is using it to rubber stamp your unit's deployability.

The Guard and Reserves is MORE than just one weekend at month and 2 weeks during the summer for AT like Snoopy47 said. Ontop of drill weekends, I'll be heading up to Camp Roberts twice this summer. One for a prehersal ADVON, then the 2nd being actual AT.

There's always " extra" duty depending on your BN or company commander. A very good example of this would be they're hosting a class or refresher training at the armory before or after your usual AT/drill weekend. If the emails and texts go out you'll have a " suspense date" to respond by. Its called being " voluntold".


QUOTE=cheesyhybrid;19981282]Beware of the slippery slope my friend. Write down your initial reasons and what you wish to get/give from serving. Then look at what you are settling for. From combat arms to admin. Slip. From one weekend/two weeks per year to multiple 4 day drills and three weeks per year. Slip. I'd like to be in the military but want to avoid being away from home or deployment. Slip.... I hate to be a wet blanket, but how will it feel in four years when you are a specialist 42a whos work is piling up on your desk at work while you're at drill 20 miles from your office and the economy is in a decline. Then you're the guy who's gone all the time, who is gone every year for three weeks, starts one weekend a month on Thursdays and possibly takes a real vacation as well to keep a reasonable civilian life to keep your wife around. Will the stress and worry of losing your job be worth it for $350/month drill pay, no deployments, no schools (because 42a isn't likely to get any), probably no interesting training (because you aren't combat arms) so basically nothing to show for your time? I would just find another way to serve my community unless I wanted to end up like one of the guys Snoopy has to drive to drill every month cuz he got no car.[/QUOTE]

This is 100% true also. Make sure you have a good paying civilian job before considering the reserves. I had a friend who was a E-5 SGT who was homeless living in his car at the UCLA campus. Finally got him off the streets, but it took alot of convincing that it wasn't a big deal for him to stay with us. Part of that was he didn't have a job at the time while attending school. He couldn't as he was in a paramedic program that required Monday-Friday. Plus an internship.


The strangest thing of all is JFTB Los Alamitos billeting.... I'll just throw it out there.... They charge 25-30 for a " shared room" and 50-60+ for a "private room" even with orders. Not sure why it's priced so high. I usually have slept in my SUV's. Its one of things that upsets me about the Guard. Usually the squadbay barracks is also locked on that base, unless a whole unit is sleeping in there. If you're there in the LA area needing a place to sleep, before you drive to another armory in the LA area. You're SOL.

I made the mistake of staying in Cypress at a cheap motel down the road. Big mistake.. I had a bunch of transients come up to me in the morning with my uniform on around 0600 on my to the base.
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Old 05-03-2017, 8:15 AM
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Yes, I have a good paying civilian job, been here for over ten years now in my position.

Snoopy, thanks for the tips on those MOS's that are closer to combat MOS. 25Q has a short AIT and security clearance requirement which is nice to have to civilian job opportunities as well. 74D looks interesting though as well. I'm still leaning towards 13f in the guard at this time, but my wife keeps bringing up how CA has forest fires every single summer without fail though.
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Old 05-03-2017, 1:14 PM
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13F and 74D are good MOS's. with CBRN you can go CST or Civil Support Team which is the states " 911" for diaster. They are some of the best equipped and funded units they are also a first responder QRF ( quick reaction force) meaning they have be able to deploy within a window anywhere in the state. ( National Guard) Give support to civil athourities during diasters or incidents.

my friend is a 25Q in the USAR, hes very much a " nerd" thick glasses and everything. Smart guy, but he's going the paramedic route in the civi sector. He tells me just goes to drill and plays around on SIPRNET, setting up coms and up links and downlinks in trailer or HMMWV. Not exactly the most exciting..
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Old 05-04-2017, 10:29 AM
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I have a TS/SCI with a master's degree, and it hasn't done me anything.

Those jobs are regional and more abundant on the east. A clearance is not a golden ticket like many advertise. You still need to be in the right place and time and willing to put yourself there.

The NG has it's funding problems. A classmate of mine who is NG is now having $5K taken back because she was paid it out for lodging but her card was never charged it.

The irony is the school house paid the lodging directly and never charged it to us personally on our government card. So as a course of semantics the federal reservists get to keep the money, and depending on the state the NG have to pay it back.

I think there are two ways to go about your interest in enlisting:
1) Just do it for the sake of doing it so you can say you wore the uniform.

2) Joining with a longer term plan either to leverage in your personal development or toward long term service with the possibility of going the full 20+.

Personally, I joined for the sake of it and wearing the uniform. I originally wanted the officer path, but the rug was pulled out from under me initially, and I rushed to enlist and take anything. I honestly wanted the recruiter to come back with garbage so I could blow him off and just forget it ever happened. Well, that didn't happen obviously, and over the course of my time here I beat the system and found myself in EXACTLY the officer path I ORIGINALLY went into the recruiter hoping for (finance or logistics).

I like to think of it like this:
Reservists are on the bench. Civilians are in the bleachers. You do a lot of nothing on the bench, but when the time comes you can't plan the game from the bleachers.

Your options and outlook is going to change once you get in, find out the paths in front of you and how that fits into your agenda and life.

Were it not for recent life events I would totally jump all over the Active Army's call for any reserve LT's to serve active three years regardless of MOS's. That would be a great way to rack up retirement points.

You just never know where things will eventually end up.
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Old 05-15-2017, 11:37 AM
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What does everyone think of 74D?

Last edited by michaelnyden; 05-17-2017 at 9:28 AM..
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Old 05-16-2017, 3:42 AM
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Civilian world doesn't care what you did. Just helps immensely for federal employment (especially with a disability rating) and a check in the box on a normal resume.

However pair your service with an advanced degree and good networking. You're set.
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Old 05-16-2017, 7:29 AM
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However pair your service with an advanced degree and good networking. You're set.
+1000

Do something that is useful to you in the civilian world (whether or not you actually translate your skills as a civilian, vice versa).

I briefly read you have been at your job for 10+ years. I would use that same skillset (or similar) in the Army.

If you 'really' want to pew pew, go active Army as combat arms. Your life will suck but you will get to play with cool toys (which isn't that great, btw).

My Army Reserve success story:
I took the Army for all its worth... I picked a worthy MOS at the time (91WN3/68WN3), received really good money as a civilian out of AIT, had the Army pay for my undergrad, graduate, post-grad, and board certifications 100%, scored a few deployments that made me 100% Post-9/11 GI Bill qualified... pocketed that money to travel the world while finishing school at the time. The rest of my classmates worked oddball jobs in the summer and I backpacked through Europe jumping from every conceivable flying/stationary object with the GI Bill money I saved.

Currently, I mustang'd over after stripes and rockers, pinned on my tracks, the Army Reserve pays $75k/yr bonus to me on top of my normal 'drill pay,' and I work a great civilian job that pays very, very well. Could you do that as a combat arms MOS, maybe... but not definitely.
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Old 05-16-2017, 7:12 PM
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On the flip side federal agencies are over the military Intel crowd according to my MARSOC, SIGNIT and counter Intel acquaintances. They love the military service, even prefer it but they don't need you to know anything about processing intel. They want doorkickers. Successful infantrymen and high speed guys offer a different kind of intelligence, a pragmatic street smart type leadership that you can really only get when you have a combat arms job. Not to mention the physical and mental discipline.

It takes a certain type of person to lead 12 guys confidently and provide a good product (completed missions). Especially when those men are Marines or soldiers.

If I ever joined the army it'd be an 18 XRay deal. I don't get why you'd do anything else. The army offers entry level SOF why not just train for that? It's a no brainer. Google "Military Athlete" and buy the Q course selection training plan. Do it, being a Green Beret would look bomb on a resume.
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