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How "part-time" is the Guard in reality?

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  • How "part-time" is the Guard in reality?

    Hi all,

    I have been thinking about joining the National Guard, mostly for three reasons: 1) I want to serve my country, 2) I want to grow as a person, really challenge myself and push my boundaries to see what I'm capable of, and 3) the idea of having a job that isn't "9-to-5" which would allow me to be a stay-at-home-mom/house-spouse when I'm not on duty is really appealing to me.

    Regarding #3 - I'm wondering how "part-time" the National Guard is in reality these days? I don't mind the idea of deployment, and I know the frequency/length of deployments can vary based on the MOS and the current state of world affairs, but I guess I'm just looking for a general rule of thumb. Is the committment these days (given that Iraq and Afghanistan are winding down) closer to "part-time" status or in reality is it closer to "full-time" status? Is it appropriate to see the Guard as something that can compliment being a stay-at-home mom/house-spouse, or will I be gone so much that I might as well just have a full-time job or join the regular Army? I just want to check my assumptions/expectations here to make sure they are realistic?

    In case it makes a difference - my husband and I don't actually have any children yet, but are looking to adopt children sometime over the next several years. Not sure yet how old our adopted kids would be, but most likely under the age of 12.

    Thanks ahead of time for any advice/insights!

  • #2
    Re: How "part-time" is the Guard in reality?

    i just graduated basic December 2012 and it is part time unless a natural disaster happens and as for Deployments its usually every 3-5 years for the guard and about anywehere from 6 months to a year im infantry so they call us first so it might be different for the MOS you choose im guard and a security offcer i love being in the guard its the best choice i made you meet alot of cool people. hope this helps you out.

    oh and P.S the deployment pay is pretty good.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How "part-time" is the Guard in reality?

      It sounds like you have done some research, so some of this will be old news. But I will review just in case. Basic training will last about 9-11wks. Some of that depends on how long you stay in reception and then your project end date. After that, if you are going enlisted (as compared to the officer route) then you will go to AIT to train to do your job. Depending on your MOS this could be several months more. Then you come home to your drill unit.

      The officer route is a little different, so if your interested in that info let us know.

      The level of "Part-Time" once you get back depends on MOS, Rank and self drive to a large extent I believe.

      In the Junior Enlisted ranks as an M-Day soldier (one weekend a month, two weeks a year) you pretty much get to just show up to the drill weekends without a lot of prep work. There may be some reading or studying that you have to do in order to prepare for the weekend, but from what I have seen the junior enlisted have pretty light loads.

      As you move up the ranks and make Sergeant and Staff Sergeant then there can be more involved. Then you have more paperwork, soldier reviews, prep to make sure that everything is ready for drill weekend, maybe a meeting or two between drills where you will discuss your plans for drill weekend with your command and so forth.

      Depending on when you hit Sergeant then there are more classes that you can take that will take a few weeks to a few months of your time. These help towards promotions and MOS training.

      Once again, officers have a different path and more expected of them between drills. It is also dependent on your MOS and Chain of Command.

      I hope this helps get you started. If you have more questions let us know.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How "part-time" is the Guard in reality?

        1 weekend a month and typically 2-3 weeks annual training a year. Guard Rotations overseas are slowing down.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: How "part-time" is the Guard in reality?

          Originally posted by Ryan Wilson
          From my experience so far the Virginia National Guard is one big joke. Maybe it's because I have left active duty with in the past 6 months. However, at this time, I really regret choosing National Guard to finish out my contract. If there was someway out of this waste of my time I would take it. So, I definitely would not recommend the National Guard, especially the VA National Guard.
          The experience will depend on the unit. I served in the Guard in two states and I have to say my last two units were awesome and I will stand them up against any AD unit (at the time 1998-2003) on leadership, training and readiness. One unit is now disbanded.

          You make your military service on what you intend it to be.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: How "part-time" is the Guard in reality?

            Originally posted by Ryan Wilson
            From my experience so far the Virginia National Guard is one big joke. Maybe it's because I have left active duty with in the past 6 months. However, at this time, I really regret choosing National Guard to finish out my contract. If there was someway out of this waste of my time I would take it. So, I definitely would not recommend the National Guard, especially the VA National Guard.
            Perhaps you could be more specific as to the problems you're facing, as well as what you have done to make your unit better.

            Comment

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