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Army Guard vs Air Guard

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  • Army Guard vs Air Guard

    hey guys, hope everyone is doing well. I've posted here a few times over the past month or so. I've got a spot being held for me with the Army Guard, but have told my recruiter that I'm also going to speak with the Air Guard before signing any papers.

    I've done lots of research online, reading forums, posts, articles, etc. It seems that the Air Guard has a much better life in the military than those in the Army. Ive read their living conditions/quarters in deployment make the Army soliders jealous, they get paid a bit more, have much shorter deployments (4-6 months) rather than the 12-15 months w/ the Army. I've also been told that the Air Guard still may give a bonus to enlist, while the Army Recruiter I have said I wouldn't be able to get one through them. I've got a close friend who enlisted for 4 years in the Active Army a few years ago, and he got a $20,000 enlistment bonus. I find it pretty disappointing that if I signed up with the Guard for 6 years, that I wouldn't even get a small bonus.

    Saying all that, I've always been interested in the Army, and had never really thought about the Air Force or Air Guard. Another close friend who just got out of the AF after 8 years is almost trying to force me to go with the Air Guard, saying its not even comparable. Jobs are much more abundant in the civilian world with the AF on your resume, over the Army, etc. Now I'm not trying to offend any soldiers or airmen on either side, these are just things I've read and been told.

    I would love to hear insight from anyone that has an opinion or information regarding comparing the two. The Army sounds like what I want to do, but part of me enlisting is to help get a career going in the civilian world, and to have a nice resume to get that started. I've read atleast a couple dozen former Army Guard who later switched to the Air Guard and have said how much the Air Guard is better all around, etc.

    This decision is tough as hell for me, as I'm 110% going to enlist in one or the other. All insight and info would be appreciated.

    Thank You.

  • #2
    Re: Army Guard vs Air Guard

    My brother is Air Guard, maybe I can help. 1. It's widely known Air Force living conditions are better. Won't matter to much being you drill once a month. 2. If you have an interest in the Civilian world you would like military training in that only one or the other offers, then go for it. My brother wants into optometry, and he's an Air Force optometrist. 3. If shorter deployments are a plus for you, then Air Guard. Yes I thought thir average was 3-6 months and I know Army is beginning 9 months. 4. All pay is the same depending on pay grade. PFC and Airman first class? Get the same pay. 5. My brothers' job didn't come with a bonus, it's not by branch, it's by MOS. 6. I've heard Air Guard is quite relaxed. If you like that more business-like feel, then go Air Guard. 7. I'm not sure about promotion. It will depend on MOS. Most combat MOS's promote faster, due to people getting out because of them being harder, and not being career grunts, Cav scouts etc. So it comes down to personal preference. I hear AF has the hottest chicks. + Keep in mind, I'm just an US Army wannabe. Hope I helped.
    Last edited by TreyAR; July 22nd, 2012, 02:17 AM.

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    • #3
      Re: Army Guard vs Air Guard

      I'm full time Army Guard and I work with a lot of Air Guard as we are on a joint mission. I have a good insight but I've never been in the Air Guard so my opinion only goes so far. It really depends on what you want to do job wise. For instance, if you want an office job like HR then choose Air Force. If you want a really technical job then choose Air Force. If you want a combat job choose Army. If you want to learn leadership skills then choose Army. In the Air Force they have leaders and they develope leadership skills as they move up but not near to the level that Army or Marines do. You will have more responsibility more quickly in the Army vs the AF. Even in the very few combat fields in the AF, the leadership stress isn't as big comparatively rank to rank. In the Army we are expected to lead more people at a lower rank with more responsibility and with a combat focus. A company commander in the Army will be in charge of over 100 people. In the AF an officer may not see numbers like this till they hit LTC. Its very similar for the enlisted side too. I'm not saying the AF has bad leaders because they don't, I'm just stating that their stress of leadership is different and not as diverse as it is in the Army.

      There are plenty of technical jobs in the Army, you just have find if any of the ones you are interested in are available in your state. There are jobs as technical as satelite communications (SATCOM) specialists in the ARNG. Not to mention intel jobs. Again, you have to see if what you are interested in is available in your state. For things like this you might have better luck in the AF.

      Living conditions, yes the AF historically has had it better then us. I've spent many drill weekends out in the woods, sleeping on the ground in the rain, snow, dirt etc. Even sleeping in a tent for a year during deployment. But I knew I would be getting into this being combat arms. The AF takes better care of their people in this regard, they have better facilities. BUT, the Army seems to stress adaptability. I remember being in a meeting with the bigger heads talking about supporting troops over a weekend before they moved to the border mission. There was an issue with where 100 service members would sleep. The Army officers suggested a few drill floors and cots for these service members over night stay. Pretty typical for the Army and for us not a big deal. The AF officers wouldn't have that. They INSISTED that they get hotel rooms for all 100 personnel! I was blown away. Different mindset.

      Enlistment bonuses. They are few and far between. We are going through a draw down period and there is more people wanting to get in compared to openings. Simple supply and demand. The Army doesn't have to offer a bonus as an incentive to get people to enlist. The same goes for the AF. In fact, the AF has even less openings compared to the Army. A few years ago getting a 20k bonus was common but not anymore.
      Last edited by Explosive Hazard; July 22nd, 2012, 07:35 PM.

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