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  • Tough Choice, Some Questions.

    I have been reading the forums now for a few weeks, soaking up all sorts of information about the National Guard. I have also been reading comparative posts between other components of the military.
    With that said, I am still stuck and looking for some input.
    I am currently considering Air Force with the prospect of becoming an officer. At the same time I am also considering the National Guard as an officer.
    I originally began looking at the military as a means to get an edge on other applicants for a civilian job and to help pay back my student loans which are looming in my face a mere few months from now. As I started reading more I became increasing interested in the specialized training I could receive. I am not dead set on one particular job per se' so, that is not my concern. However, I am not particularly happy with where I am in respect to the jobs. I make minimum wage and struggle to make my bills some months above others, and I do not love the jobs I have. I currently work 2 part time jobs at about 60 hours per week total, to make the bills. I also have a fiance' who is considering going for her nursing degree and is worried about credits transferring to another state should we move. She really would not like to move, but would if we had too.
    I am under the understanding the if I went active I could obtain tuition assistance and it could be transferred to her, so she could obtain her degree. Does anyone have experience on how that works?

    At this point part time guard looks pretty good to me considering the loan repayment program (considering my own personal debt), and a potential incentive (to pay back some more debt) should I sign the dotted line for a job that the guard desperately needs filled. I was told that I could go reserve for awhile, and before I was shipped to basic I could switch from reserve to active. Given the timeline, I'd have 6-7 months before that happened, since my recruited said they usually have that in June or July. Though from what I read, I am under the impression that is false.

    Then there comes the Air Force. Given that my Grandfather was in the Air Force, it has a great deal of appeal. They cannot help me pay back my loans but they do offer a change, and a permanent job for at least 4 years. That unfortunately would put my fiance' under the bus in terms of her aspirations to stay home and finish that nursing degree. The application process is also tougher, and I am not guaranteed to get in due to the demand for the Air Force.
    I have been searching for more pros and cons, but find most of the same posts.

    I have personally met the National Guard recruiter and he has been helpful in obtaining information for me, but in the end his stress point is that I can be part time and live my life in the civilian sector. He did point out that while I was in the guard I could transfer to active, should I want too...but again, as mentioned above, I am being advised that is terribly hard to do, and almost never happens.
    At the same time, I am unable to meet the Air Force recruiter due to distance, and he hasn't been able to help as much due to his busy schedule with the other prospects he has.
    I see so many posts about people who despise the Guard the wish to go active and never look back, I would just hate that to be me, or vise versa, despise active and want to go to guard.

    I have been thinking about this for well over a month, and cannot seem to make a choice. I am always going back and forth between one and the other.
    So, I am looking on input pertaining to the concerns I mentioned.
    Thank you.

  • #2
    Re: Tough Choice, Some Questions.

    Tuition assistance doesn't transfer. The post 9/11 GI Bill does, which is a benefit you only get for active duty service. Forget about going from guard to active right now, there is a 0.0045% chance of that happening. Actually...lets make that a 0.00000876% chance.

    Your post seems to be all over the place, and I am unsure what your goal is. If you want specialized training, then you need to enlist. Officers are generalists. Furthermore, the air force is a full time job, and the national guard is not.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Tough Choice, Some Questions.

      You also mention a couple times having 'personal debt'. Past due bills, collections and poor credit can afect your ability to obtain a security clearance and as such, limit your choice in jobs or OCS.

      You would drill in the state you enlist in (for the National Guard) so you would not have to move.

      Did you take the ASVAB yet? Your score will also have a bearing on your eligibility for not only OCS in the Guard, but OTS in the Air Force.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Tough Choice, Some Questions.

        I was Army Guard and went active in 2003 during a time when it was much easier to do so; plus I did that before back in the 80s.

        Have you completed your bachelor's degree? You did not mention that in the post.

        Realitycheck is correct about Post 9/11 GI Bill transfer but you have to earn that on active and if you are a reservist/Guardsman that does only a limited time of active service due to a deployment; then benefit decreases substantially.

        Many AD spouses use MyCAA as a tuition benefit and that saves you more in the long run.

        http://www.military.com/education/mo...ncial-aid.html

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Tough Choice, Some Questions.

          I apologize for my post being unclear. I blame that partly on the fact that I an ultimately unsure of what I want.
          As far as my degree? Yes, I will obtain the diploma in a few months I am currently in the last class that I need for my bachelors.
          As far as the MyCAA, that is what I was talking about.
          As far as debit, my credit is not perfect score wise, but it is clean. I have no bad remarks on my credit at all, I pay all my bills on time and at least the minimum payment, though I hate doing that and prefer to pay more. I simply have a lot of it. Around 30k in college debt, 7k in credit card debt due to college, lack of immediate money, emergency situations, etc etc. I also have my car payment as well. My total monthly cost for all my bills, is about 1200 per month. I work 60 hours and barely have enough for those bills. The loan repayment would take a huge burden off my shoulders as that will be an additional 2-300 per month and I just have no idea how I would be able to hand all of that should I not be able to get a better job that pays more.

          The general consensus that I find, is that is is better to enter as enlisted, get trained as enlisted, and the apply for commission. Does that seem correct? That is what I am getting from reading posts made for others in similar situations.

          I have not taken the asvab test yet either, that is another issue is the decision making. I was told that I sign the initial contract, and then go down to see what I score on the asvab, and pt test and afterwards, I am stuck with whatever score I get and what options those hold.
          I am looking at criminal investigations as my career choice, I had origionally wanted an MP, but found out that it is not really like being a police officer or similar.
          I am to meet with my NG recruiter in about 2 weeks, unless he has spot open sooner then that to discuss my choice, but as you can see I have yet to make one.
          I am wondering if I should meet with an Army recruiter to see what the enlisted aspect has for me should I go full time that way.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Tough Choice, Some Questions.

            Well, from what I see, becoming an active duty officer in the Army or Air Force seems like a rational decision. If qualified, I will pursue that. You can make 40 to 50K a year starting.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Tough Choice, Some Questions.

              Originally posted by Chief Kemosabe View Post
              Well, from what I see, becoming an active duty officer in the Army or Air Force seems like a rational decision. If qualified, I will pursue that. You can make 40 to 50K a year starting.
              This is way underestimated. It is more like 65K or so factoring in BAH and BAS.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Tough Choice, Some Questions.

                Originally posted by realitycheck View Post
                This is way underestimated. It is more like 65K or so factoring in BAH and BAS.
                For a married O-1 at Fort Bragg with < 2 yrs TIS:

                Basic pay: $2,876.40
                BAH: $1,101
                BAS: $242.60

                That's $4,220/month, or $50,640 per year. However, neither BAH nor BAS are taxable, so that distorts things somewhat.

                I'm an O-2 with > 10 yrs TIS at Bragg and my gross annual pay is < $70k (I'm not currently on jump status).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Tough Choice, Some Questions.

                  Originally posted by realitycheck View Post
                  This is way underestimated. It is more like 65K or so factoring in BAH and BAS.
                  You are way overstating.

                  I was giving an average based on the low spectrum.

                  http://www.navycs.com/2013-military-pay-chart.html <--2876 for a Second Louie

                  http://www.valoans.com/bah-rates-mha...UCKY&mha=KY106 <--1062 Fort Campbell since I am a former Band of Brother. Other places like Polk and Rucker are cheaper.
                  http://www.valoans.com/bah-rates-mha...IANA&mha=LA115 <-990 @ Fort Polk

                  Officer BAS less than enlisted 262

                  2876+1062+262=4200X12=50400. Less if at Polk and base pay is getting taxed!!

                  SWISH!!!! Have a nice day.
                  Last edited by Chief Kemosabe; August 7th, 2013, 03:46 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Tough Choice, Some Questions.

                    Originally posted by Chief Kemosabe View Post
                    You are way overstating.

                    I was giving an average based on the low spectrum.

                    http://www.navycs.com/2013-military-pay-chart.html <--2876 for a Second Louie

                    http://www.valoans.com/bah-rates-mha...UCKY&mha=KY106 <--1062 Fort Campbell since I am a former Band of Brother. Other places like Polk and Rucker are cheaper.
                    http://www.valoans.com/bah-rates-mha...IANA&mha=LA115 <-990 @ Fort Polk

                    Officer BAS less than enlisted 262

                    2876+1062+262=4200X12=50400. Less if at Polk and base pay is getting taxed!!

                    SWISH!!!! Have a nice day.
                    As I always tell young troopers, you have to do a reverse pay calculation of your net pay to find out what you really need to make on the civilian side to net the same. 20K in BAH/BAS is not the same as 20K on the outside because its not taxed. I as a SSG need a civilian salary of 74,500 to bring home what I bring home now, and if you were to do 2+2 on the pay chart you would come up with my gross pay around 60K.

                    My day is going just fine, thank you.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Tough Choice, Some Questions.

                      Well, I met with the army recruiter and he offered to take me down on Tuesday to take the asvab. I took a pretest and got above 65 on everything, which he said is not accurate but a good indicator of what I would get overall.
                      Once I get the results back I can sit down and decided knowing full what what all of my options are.
                      He did tell me that the loan repayment is frozen for all components of the military, that was interesting to hear.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Tough Choice, Some Questions.

                        You will need a GT score of 110 or over to qualify for OCS or Air Force OTS.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Tough Choice, Some Questions.

                          Originally posted by Chris36 View Post
                          You will need a GT score of 110 or over to qualify for OCS or Air Force OTS.
                          65 probably refers to the individual test score. GT is a composite score (formed from two tests) so if the OP got 65 across the board that would imply a GT score of 130. I'm pretty sure that if his GT score was 65 he wouldn't be able to find the keyboard with both hands.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Tough Choice, Some Questions.

                            Originally posted by Jersey Dirtbag View Post
                            65 probably refers to the individual test score. GT is a composite score (formed from two tests) so if the OP got 65 across the board that would imply a GT score of 130. I'm pretty sure that if his GT score was 65 he wouldn't be able to find the keyboard with both hands.
                            Thanks! I had them confused.. When he said he got a 65 'on everything' I assumed he meant his GT.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Tough Choice, Some Questions.

                              Well, it was something like 65, then 67 and a 62. But I cannot remember what the actual parts were, I do know my math was pretty good, which is odd cause I have not had much math in college. It said the GT score was something like 105. It also has a few other numbers and letters at the bottom of the page.
                              I have a few more hurdles to get over, but am hoping everything will work out.
                              The main hurdle is a medical concern that I had not even though off for quite sometime. It happened in my childhood and cleared up by the time I was 14 or 15 at the latest if I remember right. I plan to see my recruiter tomorrow afternoon to discuss my options before I go any further.
                              The asvab is the first. After that I am all set as soon as I can pass the physical exam, which I am getting very close. I can run 2 miles in just a little over 15 minutes depending on if I get a cramp in my side or not. The pushups I can get about 40 before my arms turn to jello and I need a rest, this is done in about a minute and a half, so that needs work. My situps are getting there with about 45 in 2 minutes. I am aiming for increase those numbers by 15 each before I go for the testing.

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