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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 07-09-2011, 10:37 AM
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Default Army Reserve

First of all, thank you for the service, ladies and gentlemen, no matter what branch you're in.

I just had a couple of questions about Army Reserve. I'm 22, I work full time and planning to go back to school, just not really sure what to do with my life.I would join the reserve for the experience, benefits and military background, but not for money. I'm not really ready to leave the civilian life, that's why i wanna give the military a shot.

I posted here earlier, http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=453258 I didn't really get that much of a response.

What should I expect if I join? How does it work? How's the boot camp?
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:59 AM
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You'd go to the same basic as every other enlistee, active, reserve, or guard- we all go to the same places.

As for what to expect if you join... well, you'll have to be more specific. You'll enlist, you go to basic, you'll go to AIT, you'll come home. Chances are you'll drill with your reserve unit once a month, with a few weeks worth of training once a year, generally speaking. It'll be different if your unit is getting ready to mob- I've spent almost as many weeks this year on active duty as I have off

Your experiences may vary. I ****ing love this ****. Some peopel can't wait to get out. Some just do it for the benefits. If you do plan on going into a reserve companent, I would highly recommned going into the National Guard over the regular Reserves.
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  #3  
Old 07-09-2011, 12:41 PM
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What's the difference between reserve and national guard?
What if I have a full time job and school, can I still inlist without sacrificing either of those things?
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Old 07-09-2011, 1:22 PM
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What's the difference between reserve and national guard?
Mission and benefits. National Guard are state troops in addition to Federal. We deploy for traditional military operations (Iraq, Afghanistan, etc) but can also be called in by our govorner for domestic problems- the most common in California being to help with fires, but there's also the border mission and counter drug jobs. Also, in addition to your federal benefits, you get a lot of state benefits, mostly educational.


Quote:
What if I have a full time job and school, can I still inlist without sacrificing either of those things?
Yes, but I won't say it'll be easy. There is no way around spending time away from home. For basic, you'll be somewhere miserably humid for 10 weeks, and then somewhere likely just as unpleasent for anywhere from 4 to 50+ week for AIT, depending on your MOS.

Once all of your initial training (IET) is over, it's a lot more laid back. You'll traditionally spend one weekend every month training with your unit, and you'll have an annual training of about 2 weeks or so once a year. Like I said, that can vary depending on your MOS, and wether you're getting ready to deploy- which is always a possibility. Do not join the reserves thinking that you won't get deployed. We're just as likely to go somewhere as the active army is.

Legally you're protected from any adverse action from your employer and school resulting from your military service. Generally though, most schools and jobs are pretty military friendly and will work with you if and when need be.
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  #5  
Old 07-09-2011, 7:04 PM
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I've been in the Army Reserve for 7.5 years, but you can take this with a grain of salt because it is after all only opinion.

Join Active Duty first. Though you go to basic training and AIT and your uniform says "US Army" just like the RA, you won't really get a feel for what it is like. There is nothing wrong with the Reserve itself, only that it doesn't provide you with the day-to-day rigor of being a soldier. Do a real enlistment first, then go into the reserves.

Yes of course there are deployments, but you may end up in a unit that never gets deployed. Especially since the wars are drawing down. Every single Active Duty guy that came into the unit was like, "W.T.F is going on here?" THIS AIN'T THE ARMY!

And to a large degree, they are right. It has been my personal experience (again this may vary by unit, but I doubt it) that the Reserves are too laid back and don't hold a candle to the Regular Army. The problem is in the system itself: You come in one weekend a month and do 2-3 weeks during the summer doing some BS training. Everyone is still in "Civilian-mode" when they come into drill. Officers and NCOs want to be your buddy. It was a culture shock for me when we were told we didn't have to wear headgear or salute officers in certain "no-salute zones". This is the ARMY you always go to parade rest for NCOs and salute effing officers!

An observation I've made is that the people who join the Reserves right off the bat stay in the longest/reenlist, whereas the Active Duty people cannot wait to get out of the Reserve because they hate it so much. Mostly because there is very little military bearing compared to active duty, but also because it is an inconvenience to your civilian life. You got something important at work or school going on? Forget it. The Army comes first. Trust me, I know I've had to withdraw from many classes due to MUTA 6s (3-day drills) or mandatory "training" in the middle of the semester.

Honestly dude, there is so much to say about it but I really don't want to type out a whole essay. If you want any more information just shoot me a PM and I can tell you more about reserve culture vs active duty, training, benefits, etc. Stay safe,

-GI
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Last edited by Army GI; 07-09-2011 at 7:11 PM..
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  #6  
Old 07-09-2011, 7:49 PM
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Thank you GI, it seems to me if you join military, might as well do the real thing.
I just need to think it through, selling shoes and being scared to pay for college is not something that I wanna do...
I just need to think before it's too late
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Old 07-09-2011, 7:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Army GI View Post
I've been in the Army Reserve for 7.5 years, but you can take this with a grain of salt because it is after all only opinion.

<snip>
This is a well thought out post. I agree with pretty much all of it. Unfortunately, it sounds like the OP will fit right in with a Reserve Unit...


Quote:
Originally Posted by PandaLuv
I'm 22, I work full time and planning to go back to school, just not really sure what to do with my life.
I don't know how the military will help with this. It's just like getting another job. I would recommend finishing school first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PandaLuv
I would join the reserve for the experience, benefits and military background, but not for money.
1. You won't get much real experience.
2. What benefits are there? GI Bill type stuff? Don't expect any type of bonus. Discounts with a military ID?
3. Background? So you would use it as a resume builder? A way to get chicks (or dudes....)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PandaLuv
I'm not really ready to leave the civilian life, that's why i wanna give the military a shot.
I am sure you mean the "Reserves", not the military in general, right? Well, read ARMY GI's post over and over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PandaLuv
What should I expect if I join? How does it work? How's the boot camp?
A lot of this has already been covered. Without knowing anything about you, it sounds like you'll probably go with whatever MOS you think is easiest or will be easiest to get a job with on the civie side.

Realize this though. Job hunting while in the reserves may suck. Employers are a little more hesitant to bring someone on that may have to take time off for drill, annual training, schools, or a deployment. Yes, it is illegal to discriminate based on that, but you may have a hell of a time proving that actually happened.

How does it work? RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH!!! Then talk to a recruiter. Sign papers, go to MEPS, go to Basic/AIT or OSUT, then report to your unit. Easy peasy.

-----

I am used to people having more drive in them about joining the military. You sound kinda wishy washy about it. Based on the original post, I am not so sure I'd be comfortable with you in the hasty next to me if it came down to it.

Just my $0.02.
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  #8  
Old 07-09-2011, 8:13 PM
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Thank you GI, it seems to me if you join military, might as well do the real thing.
Absolutely. That is the only thing I was trying to convey to you.

Quote:
I just need to think it through
Of course, this is not a decision to be taken lightly. Then again, the path would be clear to me: Sell shoes or become a US Soldier?

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Originally Posted by Lost View Post
This is a well thought out post. I agree with pretty much all of it...Well, read ARMY GI's post over and over.
Thank you. I wish it wasn't like that, but that has been my experience.
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Old 07-09-2011, 8:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Army GI View Post
Thank you. I wish it wasn't like that, but that has been my experience.
That is what most people experience, I think. In my experience, it's a constant gripe of those going from AD to the Reserve Component, and those few that have the drive for AD, but end up in the RC instead for one reason or another.
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  #10  
Old 07-10-2011, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Lost View Post
That is what most people experience, I think. In my experience, it's a constant gripe of those going from AD to the Reserve Component, and those few that have the drive for AD, but end up in the RC instead for one reason or another.
I'm going to have to call that as mostly being dependent on where and what unit you end up in. I went straight into the Guard, so I don't have any personal experience on the active duty side, but there are a multitude of people in my unit now that have come from active duty Army and Marines, and none of them ever have anything negative to say about how things are run, or the units military bearing (or lack thereof).

Quote:
1. You won't get much real experience.
2. What benefits are there? GI Bill type stuff? Don't expect any type of bonus. Discounts with a military ID?
3. Background? So you would use it as a resume builder? A way to get chicks (or dudes....)?
1. That depends, I've already been able to market some of the experience I've gotten in the Army. It depends on your MOS, really, and wether it has any applicable real world use. It also helps if the course you go through gives you any good college credits. I'm only a few credits away from an associates strictly because of AIT.

2. For people with families, the benefits can be pretty good. The health/life insurance is pretty snazzy, and cheap compared to civilian equivalents. GI bill is excellent, Post 9/11 GI bill if you end up qaulifying for it is even better, and you can get a nice little kicker bonus to that if you go Guard. It's true they've cut way back on signing bonuses, but if you go into a critical MOS, I know you can still get them- it's just going to be harder than it used to be. If you live close enough to a military base, your family will also have access to the commissary and stuff, and you can get some pretty decent deals there.

3. I'm not sure how to cover this one. The military is a good life experience I think, but just being in service by itself isn't a huge resume boost. It does look good, and I know for fact it's gotten my resume second looks at jobs I've gone for, but it's not an end all be all.



I'm not saying GI or Lost are wrong, I'm just saying it's important to look at all sides of things. For some people, the reserve components are the better option- for a lot of people, active duty turns out better. I know people from both sides- Some hate it, some love it. It just depends on what you want. There's no shame in going reserves over "Real Army" either. We go through the same training, we go on the same deployments. We wear the same boots and shoot the same rifles. One team, one fight
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------
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SFC Ryan Savard KIA 13 OCT 2012
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Old 07-10-2011, 1:34 PM
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Good points SGT Loco!

I tried to keep my opinion limited to my experiences. Some of what I said should have been qualified, and wasn't, but I think you pretty much covered those areas.
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:12 AM
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I will take a major risk in chiming in here. I’m a newly enlisted reservist with no prior experience and 38 years old with extensive civilian experience and credentials. I ship in 2 months for BCT and AIT.

I just barely made it in by 3 days. Because when I started the application process the age limit was 42, and in the process the army lowered it back down to 35, and I signed up 3 days before that took effect, and I could only do so as a reservist because the moment I signed was the moment the my in service clock started. To have gone active would have required I ship out before that dead line and that was impossible to find a job and unit in that time and still be able to tell work I’m quitting in 3 days.

I’m not your typical young soldier looking to set out in life after high school or college. I am seeing two kinds of soldier in my unit in the time I’ve drilled with them.
1) Young ones just counting their time till they are out after having served their stint as active duty, and trying to milk the education incentives the best they can.
2) Older ones like me who are using the reserves as an enhancement to their otherwise lame civilian lives.

I’m also not intimidated by the “discipline” of my unit. I’ve seen a lot more discipline in marching bands (this is not an exaggeration).

I think I got lucky, and my MOS is everything. My unit actually does things, and picks up the slack for the regular army. In fact, the administrative aspect of being “mission ready” like range, and vehicle and supply maintenance seems to get in they way of keeping up on our MOS mission.

Our two weeks a year is spent overseas. So as for the ease of earning ribbons yep, it’s there. There is a reserve ribbon for training overseas for 10 consecutive days. POOF, I’ll get a ribbon just for showing up to annual training.

However, not being MOS qualified I spent my last entire drill both days sitting in the supply Sgt’s office with the others not MOS cleared just screwing around. The only productive thing we did was inventory obsolete uniforms to be returned and replaced with new ones (and that only took an hour).

My company is only 30% strength. Officers and Warrants out number enlisted. However, there seems to be really poor coordination in letting the rest of the world know about these openings. I don’t know if they only like to fill one at a time or what, but I was given the impression I was lucky to find my MOS opening, only to find out the unit has 80 openings at all sorts of ranks and MOS’s.

My impression is I can excel in the reserves if I want to, and opportunity is there for those that can navigate the system.
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoopy47 View Post
I will take a major risk in chiming in here. Iím a newly enlisted reservist with no prior experience and 38 years old with extensive civilian experience and credentials. I ship in 2 months for BCT and AIT.

I just barely made it in by 3 days. Because when I started the application process the age limit was 42, and in the process the army lowered it back down to 35, and I signed up 3 days before that took effect, and I could only do so as a reservist because the moment I signed was the moment the my in service clock started. To have gone active would have required I ship out before that dead line and that was impossible to find a job and unit in that time and still be able to tell work Iím quitting in 3 days.

Iím not your typical young soldier looking to set out in life after high school or college. I am seeing two kinds of soldier in my unit in the time Iíve drilled with them.
1) Young ones just counting their time till they are out after having served their stint as active duty, and trying to milk the education incentives the best they can.
2) Older ones like me who are using the reserves as an enhancement to their otherwise lame civilian lives.

Iím also not intimidated by the ďdisciplineĒ of my unit. Iíve seen a lot more discipline in marching bands (this is not an exaggeration).

I think I got lucky, and my MOS is everything. My unit actually does things, and picks up the slack for the regular army. In fact, the administrative aspect of being ďmission readyĒ like range, and vehicle and supply maintenance seems to get in they way of keeping up on our MOS mission.

Our two weeks a year is spent overseas. So as for the ease of earning ribbons yep, itís there. There is a reserve ribbon for training overseas for 10 consecutive days. POOF, Iíll get a ribbon just for showing up to annual training.

However, not being MOS qualified I spent my last entire drill both days sitting in the supply Sgtís office with the others not MOS cleared just screwing around. The only productive thing we did was inventory obsolete uniforms to be returned and replaced with new ones (and that only took an hour).

My company is only 30% strength. Officers and Warrants out number enlisted. However, there seems to be really poor coordination in letting the rest of the world know about these openings. I donít know if they only like to fill one at a time or what, but I was given the impression I was lucky to find my MOS opening, only to find out the unit has 80 openings at all sorts of ranks and MOSís.

My impression is I can excel in the reserves if I want to, and opportunity is there for those that can navigate the system.
Hey Man good luck in BCT and AIT. I was 27 when I joined the USAR and thankfully I only went to one drill before I shipped. Being 'that guy' in civvies lurking around the company area sucks. You will show back up to your unit with moto to spare. I had a blast and my unit went all over the world on A.T.

I'm sorry to read posts about sloppy discipline in the NG and Reserves. If you are as dedicated as I'm sure you will be you will move into a leadership position quickly and then you can have some say in acceptable standards.

Good luck and PM me if I can answer any questions.
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Old 07-20-2011, 5:05 PM
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Good luck and PM me if I can answer any questions.
Thanks, Iím out of questions. My swear in date and ship date are 6 months apart. Iíve had A LOT of time to hash things out.

Iím only doing what I can do with the expectation if I put in enough years I will eventually deploy somewhere. I didnít sign up to ďnotĒ deploy.

My short term goals are around linking up with a 30+ y/o battle buddy and totally sand bagging any sort of range qualifications.

It looks like my unit is getting squared away (we have a new company CO), and now that Camp Parks is turning into a TRADOC location expectations are ALL units stationed here will act in accordance with regulatory discipline (like having to march to the mess if there are 3 or more of us in a group).
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Old 07-20-2011, 6:36 PM
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if you do join up. do not i repeat do not do spilt option. do your basic and AIT in one shot. the main reason is this. that you will more than likely be in the best shape you have ever been in. it's best to get it done in one shot work wise as well. your employer has to deal with you being gone for Basic and AIT not Basic one year and AIT the next.

it's your choice. i have Soldiers in my unit who are split op and are more out of shape than a basketball. and round is not a shape you want to be in the Army.

good luck to you.
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Old 07-21-2011, 1:33 PM
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I will take a major risk in chiming in here...
Good stuff! Sounds like you have the right attitude and with your "life experience", you should have a decent time through BCT and AIT. Good luck!
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Old 07-26-2011, 3:21 PM
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Good stuff! Sounds like you have the right attitude and with your "life experience", you should have a decent time through BCT and AIT. Good luck!
Yea, I tried to become a cop and put myself through (and graduated) a police academy. Not saying that's the same thing, just saying I've had days like getting "gassed", and being attacked by a big SOB dressed in pads beating the crap out of me until he decided I had enough.

I'll keep my mouth shut, and when range time comes along and I sand bag it, and the Drill Sgt asks who taught me how to shoot I'll say YOU DID DRILL SGT!!!!!!
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Old 07-28-2011, 8:52 AM
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Yea, I tried to become a cop and put myself through (and graduated) a police academy. Not saying that's the same thing, just saying I've had days like getting "gassed", and being attacked by a big SOB dressed in pads beating the crap out of me until he decided I had enough.
In all honesty, that was probably harder than basic.
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