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  • College/Military Advise to College first

    I'm thinking in joining any of the military branches that could fit my plan:

    In this moment I'm a college student on his freshman year as a Electronics Engineering BS. Also, I'm Permanent Resident with 10-years greencard holder.

    I'm a little concerned(I'll be honestly) about my financial situation over my studies and my life, I come from a family with military history in another countries. So, I'm thinking right now to join one of the branches that USA can offer me, but I don't want to stop my studies in college.

    My first option was the Air Force, recently, I speak with a recruiter in the AF ROTC program, and he told me that I can't have some benefits as a permanent resident. How I say, my decision is "College First" between a College/Military live. But seems that I cannot do it.

    So, the first question that you people could help me: Which branch will be the best for me as a "college-friendly-first"?

    The options I like: National Guard, Air National Guard, Air Force, Air Force Reserves. But I don't know which one is the best for a college student.

    1.I'm thinking about the National Guard(Army or Air, preferred Air) and the Reserves, but I really don't see any differences between them.
    2.Do you guys think what would be the best for a college student, if I join a "Regular Duty" I mean active duty, or any Reserves or National Guard.
    2.To be honestly I am concerned about the deploys, because a I don't want to stop my studies.
    3.For a college student, the Part-time duty is the best fit?
    4.I heard that I can accelerate my naturalization in this country if I join any military branch, is it true?
    5.There is a SMP for the ANG and Air Force?
    6.I don't have and "stable" residency right now, the military could help me with that?
    7.There is no option to prevent any deploys if I am in college?
    8.All the branches have the same benefits, I mean the tuition assistance?

    ---------------------------------------

    The best "plan" I see:

    -Join any National Guard or Reserves, keep in college.
    -Get the nationality "fast".(M-400 or M-476)
    -Join AF ROTC while in NG or Reserves(Is possible?).
    -Join the AF ROTC, finish college, get commissioned.
    -I can "sacrifice" some semesters for the BCT and get my nationality then finish college with AF ROTC
    -Get a job/career about my major EE BS.

    It is doable?

    Thank you in advance for your help!



    -------------------------------------

    Sorry for my English, is not my native language. But don't worry, I learn fast.

  • #2
    Re: College/Military Advise to College first

    I think your plan is doable, but it looks like your primary focus is Air Force. Is that the branch that appeals to you the most?

    I can't speak to what the AF can offer, but I can say that being in the National Guard is a great option for college students. The Federal Tuition Assistance, possible State TA, and GI Bill make the NG ideal for those worried about paying for college tuition. Here's some basic information on TA.

    As to becoming a US Citizen, I am aware of programs in the past where Green Card holders were able to fast track their citizenship process. However, I would recommend speaking with a recruiter about this option to see what is currently available.

    A few things I want to point out about enlisting in the military. The first is that you will need to make time during your school schedule to attend training; specifically Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training. If you plan on attending ROTC as an SMP applicant, your training timeline might differ. But in general, allow yourself at least 10 weeks for BCT and on average an additional 9-10 weeks for AIT (lengths vary on the job specialty with the shortest being 4 weeks and some being as long as 18 months). This is doable in a summer; you'll just need to plan for it.

    Lastly, you mentioned your fear of deploying. While it's understandable, you should be prepared that this is a reality being in the National Guard. There are a few variables that can affect your likelihood of going and the amount of time away for a mission (such as your job specialty), but I caution you about enlisting without understanding what you're committing to. Even if you don't want to go, you must be prepared and willing to do so as this is part of being a Soldier.

    I'm more than happy to help answer your questions about the enlistment process. Hopefully, this information is a good start for you. As always, be sure to verify everything with a recruiter as states can dictate their own enlistment requirements based on their mission needs.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: College/Military Advise to College first

      Yes, my first choice is the Air Force, but I heard "somewhere" that they don't have a SMP program with the National or Air Guard, like the Army... is it true?

      I can join the ROTC but as I say, I'm permanent resident, so I can't get some benefits(some of these, scholarships, my principal objective ).

      But I'm still have a question, the best choice for my is the Part-time duty or the Active duty? I mean some recruiters told me that in active duty I can't study in "physical presence or normal form" just online, I don't know if you can understand. Some others told me that in Active Duty I can without any problem. To be honestly and no offense, but the words for me are worthless.

      I plan to keep(If it is possible) my full time on college.

      Another thing...is what is the difference, for example, between "Air National Guard" and "Air Force Reserves", okay, maybe different branches but...the "job" is the same, isn't it?.....both have the same benefits? The same system? Different uniforms? Or what?

      Ah, and the last one, my focus to get a career in the military will be the Electronics Engineering, or something related to it. BUT if I see that my best option is finish the BCT and the AIT as short as possible I can choose whatever job, I don't care . And with my Major, later, I could work as a civilian, or maybe commissioned...

      Part-time have the same benefits with Active Duty? Can I transfer later to another branches if I want, or if they let me?

      Ohhh, and important one: What is the most critical things,that have to be in the hypothetical contract? I don't wanna sign a "bad deal" due to my inexperience if you know what I mean.

      Thank you for your help, and again sorry for my English, have a good day.
      Last edited by Jsch; November 21st, 2012, 05:40 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: College/Military Advise to College first

        What is the "National Air Force"?

        There is the full time Air force, Air Force Reserves, and Air National Guard.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: College/Military Advise to College first

          Oh, sorry, fixed it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: College/Military Advise to College first

            Originally posted by Jsch View Post
            Yes, my first choice is the Air Force, but I heard "somewhere" that they don't have a SMP program with the National or Air Guard, like the Army... is it true?

            Unfortunately, this is an Army National Guard Forum, so this kind of question cannot be answered entirely. You will need to speak to an Air Force recruiter. If they are telling you a benefit is not available, I would be inclined to believe them. There's no benefit for any recruiter to lie to a quality applicant.

            I can join the ROTC but as I say, I'm permanent resident, so I can't get some benefits(some of these, scholarships, my principal objective ).

            But I'm still have a question, the best choice for my is the Part-time duty or the Active duty? I mean some recruiters told me that in active duty I can't study in "physical presence or normal form" just online, I don't know if you can understand. Some others told me that in Active Duty I can without any problem. To be honestly and no offense, but the words for me are worthless.

            If you are wanting to stay a "full time" student, then your best option is a Reserve component; whether that be in the Army or Air Force is a matter of preference and the benefits they offer. What others are saying about education in the Active Army is that, yes, you can work towards a degree while on Active Duty. However, your primary responsibility will be to be a Soldier not a student. This means that your best option to get a degree would be online. In my opinion, this would not meet your needs and would leave you frustrated.

            I plan to keep(If it is possible) my full time on college.

            Another thing...is what is the difference, for example, between "Air National Guard" and "Air Force Reserves", okay, maybe different branches but...the "job" is the same, isn't it?.....both have the same benefits? The same system? Different uniforms? Or what?

            The difference between "Guard" and "Reserve" comes down primarily to funding. For example, the Reserve is often funded by the Federal Government, while the Guard is under the direction of a state's Governor. This means that a state can offer benefits above what the Federal Government offers. When considering education, that's important because some states do offer tuition assistance beyond the Federal TA you will get automatically. Something to consider when you decide which to enlist in

            Ah, and the last one, my focus to get a career in the military will be the Electronics Engineering, or something related to it. BUT if I see that my best option is finish the BCT and the AIT as short as possible I can choose whatever job, I don't care . And with my Major, later, I could work as a civilian, or maybe commissioned...

            Whatever you want to study is entirely up to you. I would suggest at a minimum picking an MOS (military job specialty) that you enjoy. Otherwise, your time in service will be long and boring. Like I mentioned above, there's plenty of MOS' that can be completed within a summer. Just talk to your recruiter up front about what you're looking for.

            Part-time have the same benefits with Active Duty? Can I transfer later to another branches if I want, or if they let me?

            The short answer is, no. Not all Active Duty benefits are available to Guard/Reserve service members. Transferring to another branch is difficult if you are under contract. With some MOS', it is impossible. Transferring to Active Duty from the Guard/Reserve is also difficult. The bottom line on this is to join the branch you want to stay in or wait until your contract ends.

            Ohhh, and important one: What is the most critical things,that have to be in the hypothetical contract? I don't wanna sign a "bad deal" due to my inexperience if you know what I mean.

            Actually, I'm not sure I want to assume to know what you mean. Can you be a bit more specific here? What are you worried about the most? In other words, what is a "bad deal" to you?


            Thank you for your help, and again sorry for my English, have a good day.
            I've answered your questions in bold. In sum, if the Air Force is the branch you are most interested in overall, I would recommend enlisting with them and not bothering with the Army. It is not an easy thing to switch back and forth between branches.
            Last edited by RyCass; November 23rd, 2012, 09:07 AM.

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