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  • Split-Second Joining

    Backstory: female, 28, couch potato but of the thin-and-nerdy variety (120 lbs and 5'1").

    I am currently a teacher. There is a local army/NG band that needs a flute player and the position itself is very appealing. I understand I need to audition, go through basic, etc.

    I have had most of my questions answered, but I'm concerned about my current position. There is nobody else that can cover my job if I am gone, so assuming I somehow pass the audition and get the gonads to join, I'd like to do EIT sometime starting the middle of June. If I go at the beginning of June, there is a trip I am in charge of, and if I wait too long, school starts up. There is no one that can cover my position if I am gone, as I teach a specialized area in an extremely distant rural school.

    I wouldn't have a lot of time to read up or prepare for basic if I went through with this. Are there a lot of people who join up unprepared mentally and/or physically? Can it be done? Should I pass on the opportunity, and maybe prepare if there's an opening in the future? I won't lie that my current occupation means a lot to me and is a bit consuming, but I'm willing to make the effort if it seems possible.

  • #2
    Re: Split-Second Joining

    In terms of mentally, you won't be expected to know much. It helps if you study up on rank structure, general orders, Soldier's Creed, etc. but most of the time you won't be expected to know this when you arrive. Physically? Yes you need to be in as best physical condition as possible. Because you won't be expected to know a lot mentally, you will be...let's say 'encouraged' to do so by a lot of physical corrective training (i.e. getting smoked). A good measure, albeit the minimum measure, is the APFT, ask the unit you want to join to run you through a 1-1-1 or even better a 2-2-2 version of the APFT (the physical fitness test all soldiers must take and pass often). If you can't pass the APFT (especially the 2-2-2, the one that is given to all soldiers in the U.S. Army) then you have your answer as to whether or not you're prepared physically.

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    • #3
      Re: Split-Second Joining

      Getting a BCT slot this late in the game for June is going to be extremely difficult, at best. You *may* want to consider joining up now and spending some time... a lot of time (up to a year in your case)... in RSP. Once there, you'll be on a pre-BCT status, which is also paid. You will learn all of the knowledge which you need for BCT.

      Now, given your unique band situation, you will then have a year to prep for military band. Also, I don't think it would be a stretch to say that the RSP would let you spend some drilling time with them, learning the roles, practicing you craft and what not.

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      • #4
        Re: Split-Second Joining

        I am in one of the National Guard bands - and am also a teacher. If you do Basic Training this summer (10 weeks), and the Army School of Music next summer (10 weeks) it should not interfere with your civilian employment. In fact, there are over 20 teachers in the unit I am in...I would almost guess it would be the same for the unit you are interested in as well.

        Speaking for myself, I joined and was NOT well-prepared. I enlisted mid-April (hadn't run in probably 6-8 years, and could barely do 5 push-ups and sit-ups) and shipped off the beginning of June. It's impossible to be 100% prepared for Basic Training - just do your best before you go (to get ready physically and mentally), and give everything you've got while you are there. It CAN be done!

        I see a lot of similarities between myself and your story, and would gladly speak with you further if you would like to chat (I will message my phone number - don't worried, I'm married LOL). I will gladly help out in any way I can.

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