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Advice on joining enlistment/OCS

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  • Advice on joining enlistment/OCS

    First let me let you in on my background. I'm 27 and already have a career as a High School Teacher/Coach. I am also about to get married. Joining the guard is something that I have always wanted to do and finally convinced my soon to be wife to allow me to do this. I am in present contact with my recruiter and he has said to me that enlistment active training is 4 years, if you want to go the OCS route it is 6 years. I am looking for advice on which route I should go. I am joining the guard to serve my country/pride and my own self satisfaction that I have acomplished something great. With that being said, I want to be able to do something that that I cant do in my civilian life, but be able to still balance the demands of the guard to the demands of my full time civilain career. I know that I don't want to just be a paper pusher, I can do that in my civilian job. I guess the question that I have is will it really be worth it going to OCS to become a 2 Lt. or will I enjoy the other route better. The MOS I am looking at is 13F. Any advice anyone can give me on this decision would be greatley apprciated. I know for a fact that I do not want to serve one weekend a month and go and sit at a desk and simply give order and oversee. I rather be the one down in the mud with them training along side of them growing as a person and getting to do something that only the military can provide.

  • #2
    Re: Advice on joining enlistment/OCS

    HOLD UP!!!! I don't sit at a desk all drill! lol. I've said this before, but I'll reiterate, that it depends on the officer and the people around him what happens during drill. I love to be around my guys, so during drill I'm with them doing what they are doing, working with my SGTs to conduct classes and give them all I can. However, that means I'm busier throughout the month. I attend more meetings, and devote my time to working out the paperwork issues and such on my personal time. In your career, you are already a leader, so becoming an Officer sounds like it would benefit you more, but being enlisted is also a leadership experience AFTER you put in your first few years. You will not be in charge of personnel until you become a SGT, or possibly a senior E4. It really is what YOU want to get out of it, more than anyone telling you what we think you should do. At the risk of sounding cliche... you have to choose your own path :-) lol

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    • #3
      Re: Advice on joining enlistment/OCS

      If you want 13F, just become a 13A, Artillery Officer. You'll learn everything that 13Fs do, and actually get to play 13F during live fire at BOLC. 13As definitely do not sit at a desk pushing paper during drills, either. We push a lot of it while our soldiers are sleeping, but during training hours, we're right there with them.

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      • #4
        Re: Advice on joining enlistment/OCS

        Having fun in the mud with the guys has a short life as an officer. As you progress in the O side of the house each next step takes you further and further away, and rather quickly too. If you plan on making the guard a second career then Officer is a good route. If you are looking to have a lot of fun for a few years and then get out then maybe enlisted is the right route for you. You can go to OCS later in your career, so maybe after 2-3 years or so of being enlisted you might feel you want to make it a career and then go to OCS.

        You could be a fire support officer as a 13A, but you could also be a fire direction officer in the FDC(fire direction controll). Still out in the field but not doing grunt work. I can't remember how long you can be a FSO but probably not past 0-2, so the real fun only lasts a few years.

        As an enlisted 13F you will be guaranteed to be a forward observer calling in rounds. Depending on whats offered in your state you could be part of an Artillery Battalion and call in 155mm rounds on targets when you go to live fire exercises. Or maybe part of an infantry battalion calling in mortar rounds in support of the infantry. Either way you will be calling in indirect fire and will spend time in the field. You could do this for years and rise through the NCO ranks, all while having fun and being very personally involved with other soldiers and subordinates. With officers they are involved but not nearly as much as the NCO's. NCO's have a much more direct influence on their soldiers and a much closer involvement in their career progression and personal lives. Soldiers will look up to their team leaders and squad leaders(NCO's) far more than their platoon leader(Officer) simply because of the level of personal involvement. They don't call us the backbone of the Army for no reason.

        NCO's also have slightly less responsibilities between drills. I say slightly less because there is still a good amount of work that needs to be done. Lots of soldier issues, paper work, preperation for training classes etc. So when you think about balancing all that is required of you in your civilian job, family life and the guard, enlisted will be far less of burden, especially the first few years.

        I'm very seriously considering going down the officer path when I get back from my upcoming deployment, however I'm very glad that I've had experience being a NCO.

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        • #5
          Re: Advice on joining enlistment/OCS

          OK thanks guys you have given me some things to think about. I am meeting with my recruiter next week to talk some more. If you are a 13A do they basically learn all the skills for the 13 MOS? Like I said in my earlier post. I want to be sure that I can balance my marriage and career with the guard. With that being said, I am worried about going enlisted because I am 27 and very mature/goal oriented. I don't' want to be grouped in with a bunch of 18 year old adults that have different views/goals then I do. This is why I am considered going the officer route. I know I want to do something I cant do in my job and have some great experiences to take away from my duty so I didn't know if the officer career could fulfill that goal for me.

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