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  • College really possible?

    I just met today with NG recruiters. Everything is good to go and waiting to hear back about what jobs are available. I'm 25 and have 1 year of college completed.

    My question is.. if a 3 year enlistment starts the moment you take oath, I would assume you wait about a month or more to ship out, then have to complete basic and AIT which that whole process could be anywhere from 5-8 months total... leaving you with 2 years and 4-6 months to serve.

    Once home though if you are activated and deployed (which I was told about a year) then you could ultimately be looking at only a year or so of time that you had to take advantage of attending classes full time paid for by the guard?

    Maybe there are NG service members here that could give me some advice as to what the realities are of attaining an education while serving. When i thought about it in this sense, it seemed like it could still take a long time to finish college while in the National Guard.

    Thanks for any information and knowledge regarding this.

  • #2
    Re: College really possible?

    Originally posted by bkallday View Post
    I just met today with NG recruiters. Everything is good to go and waiting to hear back about what jobs are available. I'm 25 and have 1 year of college completed.

    My question is.. if a 3 year enlistment starts the moment you take oath, I would assume you wait about a month or more to ship out, then have to complete basic and AIT which that whole process could be anywhere from 5-8 months total... leaving you with 2 years and 4-6 months to serve.

    Once home though if you are activated and deployed (which I was told about a year) then you could ultimately be looking at only a year or so of time that you had to take advantage of attending classes full time paid for by the guard?

    Maybe there are NG service members here that could give me some advice as to what the realities are of attaining an education while serving. When i thought about it in this sense, it seemed like it could still take a long time to finish college while in the National Guard.

    Thanks for any information and knowledge regarding this.
    jwarren has an inspiring story to tell. I'm sure he'll chime in at some point.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: College really possible?

      I've got 9 years of service and 90 credit hours. If I handn't taken a break after the first two years I would already have a BS, so my best advice is once you start don't stop. The caveat being initial entry training (basic and AIT) and deployment. Those are breaks that you have to just deal with as part of being in the service. I actually got pulled from my freshman year of college to deploy for OIF 3.

      Getting a degree while serving in the NG is most certainly possible and most people I know managed to get a 4 year degree within the time span of a 6 year enlistment. The rest of us have either had many deployments with little time between or made a few decisions (bad in my case) that stretched out the time it takes to get a degree. Once I come back from my deployment I'm going to school full time to finish this damn degree.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: College really possible?

        The fourth year of my first semester is just about to end right now. Im planning on going to basic and then ait in March, hopefully sooner if I can get an earlier ship date. When I get done with that I will resume classes next fall semester and hopefully graduate in fall of 2014 since I have to do a semester long internship. I'm also going to do smp once I finish basic and ait. So college and NG is possible for sure, especially since you have those nice loan deferments while you are on duty of any type.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: College really possible?

          Originally posted by bkallday View Post
          I just met today with NG recruiters. Everything is good to go and waiting to hear back about what jobs are available. I'm 25 and have 1 year of college completed.

          My question is.. if a 3 year enlistment starts the moment you take oath, I would assume you wait about a month or more to ship out, then have to complete basic and AIT which that whole process could be anywhere from 5-8 months total... leaving you with 2 years and 4-6 months to serve.

          Once home though if you are activated and deployed (which I was told about a year) then you could ultimately be looking at only a year or so of time that you had to take advantage of attending classes full time paid for by the guard?

          Maybe there are NG service members here that could give me some advice as to what the realities are of attaining an education while serving. When i thought about it in this sense, it seemed like it could still take a long time to finish college while in the National Guard.

          Thanks for any information and knowledge regarding this.
          For my experience, I did have a few deployments that hit after my freshman fall semester. That took me out of college for a couple of years, but after that, I was able to complete a bachelors degree with little to no interruption. The initial training I decided to do before college so that I would not have to deal with it during the summer. My MOS at the time would have allowed me to finish it all in one summer, but that's not always the case.

          Overall, I would plan on the potential interruptions. Be sure to talk to your recruiter about your goals so that they can give you all the options you have available to you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: College really possible?

            Originally posted by bkallday View Post
            Maybe there are NG service members here that could give me some advice as to what the realities are of attaining an education while serving. When i thought about it in this sense, it seemed like it could still take a long time to finish college while in the National Guard.
            I'm not sure about the three year enlistment thing, but with a 6+2 (six years drilling, two IRR) it's definitely possible. I dropped out of high school at 17, joined the NG at 18, and started classes at Rutgers as soon as I finished AIT. I was deployed after completing one semester and re-enrolled at Rutgers about a year and a half later. I transferred to Cooper Union (which awards all of its students a full scholarship) and attended accelerated OCS between my junior and senior years. As a senior, my unit was alerted for a deployment and I voluntarily withdrew from school one semester away from graduating (yeah, that sucked) in order to attend IBOLC and get on the deployment. About a year and a half later after having returned from the deployment I re-enrolled at Cooper and finally graduated. I started my undergraduate studies in the summer of 2003 and received my BS in mechanical engineering in May 2010. I maintained a 3.6 GPA -- so yes, it can be done.

            While at Rutgers, I used my NG tuition waiver as well as my GI Bill benefits so I was, in effect, being paid to attend school. I was able to maintain a very comfortable standard of living the entire time. At Cooper, I didn't need the tuition waiver but the GI Bill benefits were still there (and after returning from my second deployment and having over three years of active service my monthly stipend was huge -- not least of all because Cooper is in Manhattan, which has a very high cost of living).

            Keep in mind that the deployment schedule has calmed down a lot since I was in school, so you might not face as many interruptions. Several years ago my "rule of thumb" was that you should expect to spend about one third of your time in the Guard on some kind of active duty. Nowadays that's probably not true.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: College really possible?

              If you sign for 3 years you will not get the reserve GI Bill or the kicker which is about an extra 500/month while you go to school. You may want to sign for 6........especially if you're going to college.

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              • #8
                Re: College really possible?

                Thank you very much for all of your responses and input with your personal experiences. As I'm sure some of you may know, being 25 with one year of college and on your own I'm kind of panicking at times wondering if I should take out loans to just cover the living expenses/college tuition & get it done in 3 years, or if doing something like the NG and serving my community/city of NY/and country while at the same time getting a free education in maybe a slower amount of time than the other route, is best. No 10-15 years of debt and being locked into some job you may hate. Sometimes I'll feel like being 32 and just finishing up is late, but then I look at a vast majority of my friends with loan debt and in jobs that they really don't like such as retail management, etc.... and then I think "well what's the rush?"

                I have more to discuss with my recruiter, especially jobs available to me. My ASVAB overall score was an 85, but I forget the section breakdowns. Out of curiosity I wanted to [B]see if there is a Special Forces option to try out despite being National Guard[B] (Not sure how that would work out...if they allow Special Forces soldiers to be part timers like NG members.

                If you do 6 & 2 in your contract are you guaranteed the GI Bill + the Kicker? That means as long as you are enrolled FULL TIME as a student...for each month that you are attending FULL TIME you get a check for $3-500 in the mail?

                And one final question. Is there truth to the statements I see saying that deployments to Afghanistan, etc are becoming less of a reality for NG members now that we are in a drawdown for 2014? I know you can't go in thinking you won't be called to do your job, but are deployments becoming significantly less often or shorter in length?

                Thanks again for all the input. It's well appreciated.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: College really possible?

                  Guaranteed the GI Bill ~360/month, the kicker is ONLY for certain mos's, a ~$200/month. They send the money to your school who then sends you a refund check....

                  http://gibill.va.gov/benefits/montgo...d_reserve.html

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: College really possible?

                    Deployments are generally slowing down for now. But a lot can change during an 8 year enlistment. Also, when defense spending is reduced, the military downsizes and some benefits or programs also get reduced or eliminated.

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