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National Guard vs Active Duty

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  • National Guard vs Active Duty

    Okay so I am in the process of enlisting into the Army National Guard but I can't help but wonder if maybe I should go Active Duty instead.

    -My questions are: What are the differences between the two regarding the benefits of education, health care, veteran status, retirement and anything else you can think of? Pros and cons of each?

    Also I am female 17 year old high school junior wanting to be an Airborne 35m and needing as much college benefits as possible (going for a Ph.D in Sociology), with that said what do you think is the right path for me to go?

  • #2
    Re: National Guard vs Active Duty

    Originally posted by *Curiousity.89 View Post
    Okay so I am in the process of enlisting into the Army National Guard but I can't help but wonder if maybe I should go Active Duty instead.

    -My questions are: What are the differences between the two regarding the benefits of education, health care, veteran status, retirement and anything else you can think of? Pros and cons of each?

    Also I am female 17 year old high school junior wanting to be an Airborne 35m and needing as much college benefits as possible (going for a Ph.D in Sociology), with that said what do you think is the right path for me to go?
    Both paths are good but going active is a full-time job and will take up a big portion of your day and possibly weekend. Right now, since I returned from deployment, we are getting a lot of 3 day and 4 day weekends. I earned my associate's and bachelor's in the Guard and master's on active duty and completing them while in the NG and RA were both were a challenge. Personally, I recommend when someone is young, to get active out of the way, if they are not going to make a career out of the service because you can maximize your education and veteran benefits. Plus, you can possibly travel to foreign laws (not combat zones) and enjoy much experiences. I have served in Okinawa and Germany during my active service, plus been all over the world.
    Last edited by Chief Kemosabe; February 9th, 2013, 10:01 AM.

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    • #3
      Re: National Guard vs Active Duty

      If you want to do school I'd recommend Guard. You'll have college paid for and you'll have the time to actually go to school full time

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      • #4
        Re: National Guard vs Active Duty

        Originally posted by jc091393 View Post
        If you want to do school I'd recommend Guard. You'll have college paid for and you'll have the time to actually go to school full time
        Active duty service members still have a lot of opportunity for college. I was in your shoes too I didn't know which branch I wanted to be in or if I should go active or reserve. To be honest I would of been happy with any of the branches but what I would have maybe not been so happy if I would have been a reservist first. What did it for me was seeing the older guys graduate,go into the guard, and come back and basically do the same stuff they did in high school. I wanted to go into the military because I wanted a change and go to Iraq or Afghanastan. Well I'm still waiting for that combat deployment but I've gotten to do and see another side of the Military that I wouldn't have had I done differently. I've been to Okinawa 3 times, Thailand, Indonesia, and I was part of the humanitarian aid when Japan was hit by a tsunami. The memories and people I've met on active duty has been an experience unlike any other .Being active duty forces you to grow up fast and now that I have my priorities straight I feel like I am better prepared to go to college as well as the reserves.

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        • #5
          Re: National Guard vs Active Duty

          Thank you all for answering my questions. I am still torn but you have helped a lot. I'm wanting to make the military my life long career I just don't know how to start it. Because I want to go to school full time and then use my Ph.D as a 35m which makes me lean towards National Guard. But getting to travel around the world and having maximum benefits for education and veteran status makes me lean towards Active Duty. I have considered going National Guard first and then right after college switch to Active Duty?

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          • #6
            Re: National Guard vs Active Duty

            You can always do that by going guard/rotc and doing the smp program. Also consider this, last year my unit went to South Korea for annual training and some of our guys got an opportunity to go to Germany for 2 weeks in the fall.

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            • #7
              Re: National Guard vs Active Duty

              Originally posted by *Curiousity.89 View Post
              Thank you all for answering my questions. I am still torn but you have helped a lot. I'm wanting to make the military my life long career I just don't know how to start it. Because I want to go to school full time and then use my Ph.D as a 35m which makes me lean towards National Guard. But getting to travel around the world and having maximum benefits for education and veteran status makes me lean towards Active Duty. I have considered going National Guard first and then right after college switch to Active Duty?
              I will go to an Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard recruiter; just to get educated on the options involved. Even though this is opportunity to travel; there is no guarantee. The chances are greater in the active component because of the wide-range of assignments. Also, while on active, you can earn the Post 9/11 GI Bill and that will even pay for your rent when you leave the service. In a Reserve component, you will have to serve active for a total of 36 months to receive maximum benefits.

              I have served in all components so I know the pros and cons of each. Again, many of the opinions will be based on personal biases, so that is why I said you need to sit down with each recruiter to sit and talk about it.

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              • #8
                Re: National Guard vs Active Duty

                Originally posted by *Curiousity.89 View Post
                Thank you all for answering my questions. I am still torn but you have helped a lot. I'm wanting to make the military my life long career I just don't know how to start it. Because I want to go to school full time and then use my Ph.D as a 35m which makes me lean towards National Guard. But getting to travel around the world and having maximum benefits for education and veteran status makes me lean towards Active Duty. I have considered going National Guard first and then right after college switch to Active Duty?
                I will go to an Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard recruiter; just to get educated on the options involved. Even though this is opportunity to travel; there is no guarantee. The chances are greater in the active component because of the wide-range of assignments. Also, while on active, you can earn the Post 9/11 GI Bill and that will even pay for your rent when you leave the service. In a Reserve component, you will have to serve active for a total of 36 months to receive maximum benefits but remember the Guard affords to opportunity to take advantage of free State Tuition and use of FTA.

                I have served in all components so I know the pros and cons of each. Again, many of the opinions will be based on personal biases, so that is why I said you need to sit down with each recruiter to sit and talk about it.

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                • #9
                  Re: National Guard vs Active Duty

                  Originally posted by *Curiousity.89 View Post
                  I have considered going National Guard first and then right after college switch to Active Duty?
                  Its getting harder and harder these days to switch from NG to active duty because of the draw down. Going the ROTC route gives you the possibility of going active duty after you commission (assuming you make the AD cutoff) but that is assuming you would want to be an officer down the road. I recommend going active duty first for at least 3 years. You will then leave AD with 100% post 9/11 GI bill benefits and a lot of unique experiences. After AD time you can transition to the NG and continue to serve while you get your degree. All the while using that awesome GI bill.

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                  • #10
                    Re: National Guard vs Active Duty

                    Getting a 35M position will be tough, let alone Airborne. If you're dead set on that MOS, contact Active, Guard and Reserve Recruiters and make it clear that's what you want and won't accept anything else.

                    I've been Active, Reserve and now Guard. It's VERY challenging to knock out college while on Active. The Active Duty GI Bill is worth more money toward college than the Guard's Montgomery GI Bill but you also pay into the Active Duty one. You can also use State or Federal Tuition Assistance while in the Guard.

                    My advice would be to join the Guad and consider going to college and pursue ROTC/SMP.

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                    • #11
                      Re: National Guard vs Active Duty

                      Its crazy how similar your goals an ambitions are to mine, i could really need your help im in the same boat. have you made a decision yet?

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