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  • Guard or Reserve?

    So I made a deal with my mom I wouldn't enlist and that I would enroll in the ROTC program after I graduate. I have talked to both NG and U.S. ARMY recruiters and I like what both have to say, but after I graduate ROTC I need to pick one. Since dear old dad is paying my tuition I don't feel tuition assistance is a concern. So I'm stumped. My desired MOS is a 31 MP Officer. I want to be mobilized and see other places so deployment oppertunites are important. I know this forum is bias to USAR, but tell me why you would go with one or the other? I really want a challenge and the chance to lead soldiers. This is the response I got from a soldier from the GOARMY Forum;

    We are federally funded...while funds are getting tighter all around...we don't have to worry about our state's budget for training money.
    We are not bound by state lines. We can promote easier because our radius for finding units is much larger.
    MP's are going to be relatively small in the Guard due to the fact that most Brigades are based around Infantry or other Manuever elements. They will fall within the support elements. In the Reserves, we have a MP Command, plus many other support commands that all have 31A slots. There is a lot larger MP community in the Reserves....this opens up more options over your career.
    I disagree with *****....the Reserves has the capability to deploy more. We typically can deploy as company sized elements and be attached, detached, etc as needed to fill out deployment rosters. We also can cross-level much easier than the guard can...so if there is a need for a MP Officer in a unit that is deploying, you can volunteer. We also will be geographically alligned, just like the big Army....the Guard will not.....this means that there will be a higher OPTEMPO as we work to gain proficiency in the missions and tasks that our AO requires.
    You may decide you want to do something a little different than MP since you are choosing a career in LE....we do not have the combat arms that the Guard does, but we have some units they can barely dream of: Civil Affairs, Psyops, Strategic level Signal/Intel/Space/Sustainment commands that are typically a Reserve element of the Active Duty unit (this includes all major area commands such as CENTCOM, etc). Civil Affairs and Intel can be HUGELY helpful when applying to LE agencies or in furthering your LE career.
    We can augment Active Duty faster than the Guard which opens up a lot of opportunity
    We have a much stronger AGR program should you decide you want to serve full-time. It's still competitive but much more robust than the Guard's program.


    Thanks, Jacob

  • #2
    Re: Guard or Reserve?

    Wow. So much misconception, with a few accurate bits in there.

    We are federally funded...while funds are getting tighter all around...we don't have to worry about our state's budget for training money.
    So is the National Guard. The State money is in addition to the federal money. That's been going on for over a century now.

    We are not bound by state lines. We can promote easier because our radius for finding units is much larger.
    That's great if you want to drive to Nebraska to get promoted. They also have a force structure that's one third smaller than the Guard.

    The USAR probably has more MP force structure than the Guard, I can't state that definitively. We have enough to keep you busy, though.

    We typically can deploy as company sized elements and be attached, detached, etc as needed to fill out deployment rosters. We also can cross-level much easier than the guard can.
    This may not be a good thing, to be parceled out as pieces-parts for an active component unit. Who gets the crap duty under that situation? The "real" Soldier, or the Christmas help?

    We also will be geographically alligned, just like the big Army....the Guard will not
    I'm getting the exact opposite vibe from my spies at the Pentagon, that the active component won't regionally align their brigades, but the Guard will.

    we do not have the combat arms that the Guard does, but we have some units they can barely dream of
    Accurate statement. Of course, the types of units he mentioned aren't particularly prevalent, and if they don't interest you, it means nothing.

    We have a much stronger AGR program should you decide you want to serve full-time. It's still competitive but much more robust than the Guard's program.
    I have no idea what that means, or on what he bases that statement. Their AGR program also can send you all over the world, which may or may not seem an advantage to you. Our Title 32 AGRs stay in their home state, although our Title 10 AGRs are subject to worldwide assignment (although >75% are in the National Capital Region).

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    • #3
      Re: Guard or Reserve?

      I've served in all three components as an officer and enlisted so here's my take on what you got:

      MP's are going to be relatively small in the Guard due to the fact that most Brigades are based around Infantry or other Manuever elements. They will fall within the support elements. In the Reserves, we have a MP Command, plus many other support commands that all have 31A slots. There is a lot larger MP community in the Reserves....this opens up more options over your career.
      That's semi true. The USAR does have an MP command. Most MP units are based on the east coast. The rest of the slots are just like the NG. Spread throughout units as either the PMO or force protection officer. Unless you're actually serving in a MP battalion/brigade, you're career advancement as an MP is the same as the NG's.

      We also can cross-level much easier than the guard can...
      Far too easy compared to the NG. 24 months of stabilization and you're ready to go again. This constant cross leveling is why they are so short on officers. The NG you will typically only cross level within your state vs the whole USAR.

      We also will be geographically alligned
      No. I don't where they got this. The NG is probably more aligned with AC commands then the USAR.

      Civil Affairs, Psyops, Strategic level Signal/Intel/Space/Sustainment commands that are typically a Reserve element of the Active Duty unit
      CA/Psyops, Army water craft and rail are about the only fields that are solely found in the USAR. Intel, sustainment, signal ect are all found in the NG as well.

      Civil Affairs and Intel can be HUGELY helpful when applying to LE agencies or in furthering your LE career.
      No.


      We can augment Active Duty faster than the Guard which opens up a lot of opportunity
      This is not a good thing. AC has no way of taking care of you as a RC Soldier. Your pay ect is screwed up, then you have to find a way of fixing it.

      Overall, you got a lot of opinion and not a lot of facts. There are pro's and con's to both and you need to see what's in your area and ask follow up questions.

      A big pro that many overlook, while you can promote faster in the USAR, you're also thrown into jobs that you're not ready for. Command as a 2LT is not appropriate. XO or S3 as a CPT isn't either. The NG maybe a little slower but you also have career stability and far better mentorship then the USAR.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Guard or Reserve?

        thank you sir!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Guard or Reserve?

          Dear JacobThomasFoster,

          I apologize that you have been in contact with an Army Reservist that has drank the Army Reserve cool-aid. Much of what he said is simply not true.

          1. You get more educational benefits by being part of the Guard. Consider that as a Guard member you will get more educational benefits (depending on the state). For example, Army Reservist (A) would be done with his education, however depending on your state, for example in Oklahoma you go to school for ABSOLUTELY FREE as a Guard member. Or once you use up FTA you can use State tuition Assistance and get another degree.

          2. Title 32 vs. Title 10 As a member of the Guard you can go on home missions, such as natural disasters. Do Army Reservists respond to hurricanes, snow storms, floods, fires, and tornadoes? Naaaaah....they are sitting at home watching football.

          3. The National Guard is the Big Daddy! Since 2001, no reserve component has had more deployments to combat than the Nation Guard. Size matters, consider there are only 88,000 Army Reservists verses 358,000 National Guardsmen. We are four times larger! The National Guard has probably had about 90,000 reservists on active duty since 2001, which considering the total number of reservists on active duty is about 120,000 and 90,000 are Guardsmen...you do the math, who gets deployed more?

          4. We do almost everything they do. I guess Army Reservist (A), failed to realize that the National Guard does do space as well. While you were listening to some Reservists ramble on about his opinion, there was a National Guard unit watching the sky 24/7 for intercontinental ballistic missiles.

          5. The Army Reserve has units spread across the nation. Sometimes the Reserve has units spread over extremely large geographical areas, when the Guard is located in one state. This means a lot to me. If I was a reserve Chaplain or Chaplain Candidate, I would have to travel often by plane from unit to unit, and maybe only get to one unit during a weekend. As a member of the Guard, I can cover two or three units at a time. I don't know how some reserve chaplains take all of the plane rides to other states EVERY MONTH.


          I could go on about the advantages of the National Guard.... I hear this nonsense all the time about how much better the Reserves is over the Guard. If you want more education money, more home missions, and more deployments go Guard.

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