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Should I join?

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  • Should I join?

    Hi all,

    I am a 16 year old (closing in on 17) and I am heavily considering a military career. I guess I just wanted to get everyone's opinion (based upon experience) of whether or not Army Reserves or National Guard is the right choice for me. Basically, I have a really large interest in both technology and mechanics and I want to also serve for my country. However, I would not describe myself as someone who wants to necessarily be on the front lines, I don't mean to say that I am unwilling to be that person, but that isn't really my objective if I were to join. What I really want to do is be able to learn more about fields that I'm interested in while also serving for and helping my country. Obviously, only the ASVAB will give me my final choices regarding job choices, but in your experience, do you find that your tasks generally pertain directly to your job, or do you end up having a lot of other things that you may not want to that don't really relate to your interests?

    Thank you all very much for your responses.

  • #2
    Re: Should I join?

    I've been Active Duty, Reserves and now Guard. In every one, regardless of the MOS I was in, I did plenty of tasks outside of my MOS. You'll find yourself becoming an expert custodian and landscaper until you make SGT. Then you'll be tasked to take charge of the details preformed around a post or armory.

    Basic and AIT (job training) is the same for Guard & Reserves. AIT is typically where you'll learn the most about & use your MOS the most. Much depends on your MOS & Unit as to how much you use those skills once you return to your unit. For example, if you enlist as a 25B, IT Specialist and your unit is going to the range for drill to qualify, you're not going to be using the skills you've learned.

    If you're looking at the differences between Guard and Reserve, depending on the State in which you reside, the college benefits are better in the Guard, there are more job (MOS) opportunities with the Guard (AR doesn't have Combat Arms). The Guard is often tasked with assisting with statewide emergencies where the Reserves do not.

    My experience in the Reserves was beyond boring and terrible but not all experiences are the same. This is a Guard forum so you're likely to get biased opinions so do your own research, talk to both Reserve & Guard Recruiters and make an informed decision.

    Best of luck!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Should I join?

      Thank you very much for your response! I really appreciate your input on both an MOS and on Guard vs Reserves.

      In your experience, have you found that you do/did a lot of work (beyond basic around-the-post) tasks that pertains to other MOS'? For example, if I were to enlist as a 15R helicopter repairer, do you think that there is a good chance that during deployment I would end up doing infantry stuff?

      Thanks again for your feedback.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Should I join?

        In MY experience, most of the more technical MOS's stuck to doing their jobs. The mechanics, admin & commo guys stayed on the FOB to keep things running. This is not to say that there weren't times when an Intell, Commo or Mechanic would roll out the wire doing missions but typically they volunteered to do so. My driver was a 92Y, Unit Supply Specialist.

        Here's the skinny, everyone is trained to be an Intfantryman. If the mission calls for you to grab your M4 and put it to use, then that's what you'll do. If you want to be as far from harms way as possible, maybe the Peace Corps, Coast Guard or Air Force is your calling.

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        • #5
          Re: Should I join?

          If the mission calls for you to grab your M4 and put it to use, then that's what you'll do.
          Just returned from a deployment and the "support" MOS's were outside the FOB everyday vs the infantry who left the FOB only once or twice a week. YMMV of course.

          As far as which is better, that depends on what units are in your area and what you want to do. There are pro's and con's to both.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Should I join?

            AVN is a different animal though.

            If you're a hangar or flight line guy (i.e. 15R - this is a maintenance MOS), that's where you are going to stay. There are select few AVN MOSs that will really leave the airfield to include armament and refuelers.

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            • #7
              Re: Should I join?

              Thank you for your responses, everyone. I definitely think that the military is increasing in my interest as something that I would like to pursue. Now I guess my question is really choosing between National Guard, Reserves, or Active Duty.

              If there is a great likelihood in being deployed as a member of the Guard or Reserves then would I be better off just going Active Duty? In your experiences have you found that being in the Guard or Reserves is a large enough commitment that you might be better off deciding to go Active Duty instead?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Should I join?

                I'd recommend anyone teetering on the decision to go Guard or Active to just go Active. If you already have a job you love, a family, and a place to call home that you want to stay in forever and ever, amen, then the Guard is for you. Seeing as how you're 16, I'm sure that doesn't apply to you.

                If you go Guard, your chances of deploying are slim. Many of us in the Guard are chomping at the bit to deploy, and the likelihood of that becoming a reality just isn't there.

                I went Guard after 6 years in the Marines because I wanted to finish college, and my wife just commissioned and is doing her initial 4 years, so it lined up perfectly for me. I tried to go Active Army, but as a prior enlisted, there were a total of 0 slots for me. There was an MOS available that I signed paperwork for, but a week later it came back denied and all the spots had been filled.

                Morale of the story is: If you go Guard and ever want to go Active after that, you most likely won't. My advice is to Active, get those military, life, and becoming a man experiences, and then decide after your 4 years whether or not Active or Guard is right for you. 4 years goes by in a heartbeat.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Should I join?

                  Originally posted by superbowl View Post
                  Thank you for your responses, everyone. I definitely think that the military is increasing in my interest as something that I would like to pursue. Now I guess my question is really choosing between National Guard, Reserves, or Active Duty.

                  If there is a great likelihood in being deployed as a member of the Guard or Reserves then would I be better off just going Active Duty? In your experiences have you found that being in the Guard or Reserves is a large enough commitment that you might be better off deciding to go Active Duty instead?
                  Being in the National Guard will not give you a definite chance of deployment. It's really based upon what you do in the guard (ex: Infantry, Artillery, etc.). If you want to be deployed then active duty would be right for you because the chances of deployment are much greater. I'm not currently in the military in any way but as soon as I graduate from high school I will be joining the National Guard and I've done enough research on my own to help you out. If you are looking to stay in the country and help in defense against attacks and help others in need during natural disasters and also having more time with your family then the guard would be right for you. From what I hear from others that have been in the guard is that joining active duty for 4 years then going into the guard is also a good decision. Not an expert but thought I could help a bit.
                  Last edited by Bowski; October 2nd, 2013, 07:47 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Should I join?

                    I am 17 fixing to be 18 and I just recently started thinking about the guard. And I it's not easy for me to keep the weight on because I have a high Matbelism and so when I run or work out or play sports I lose my weight but I usally gain and lose and some times I only lose like 2 pounds is that good or bad in the National Guard?
                    Last edited by WalkerBarrett18; October 4th, 2013, 11:27 AM. Reason: added more info

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Should I join?

                      Originally posted by superbowl View Post
                      Thank you for your responses, everyone. I definitely think that the military is increasing in my interest as something that I would like to pursue. Now I guess my question is really choosing between National Guard, Reserves, or Active Duty.

                      If there is a great likelihood in being deployed as a member of the Guard or Reserves then would I be better off just going Active Duty? In your experiences have you found that being in the Guard or Reserves is a large enough commitment that you might be better off deciding to go Active Duty instead?
                      That is a very common fork in the road for potential recruits. Your decision should be made based on what you want out of not only the Army but your life. Do you want to be a full time student? Do you have family that is ready to move to a duty station? Active Duty and National Guard are polarizing in many respects. Deployments will always be a possibility regardless your duty status. Personally I wish that I had gone Active Duty. I joined the NG to go on a deployment with some friends who had an upcoming tour. But now I'm pursuing a degree full time. I'm still home with my family and in my hometown. You should make a list of pro's and con's that coincide with your priorities.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Should I join?

                        I am wondering if it is bad to have a high metabolism, because I do and I don't gain weight has fast or as much as people with a non- high metabolism and I lose the weight just exercising, is that good or bad? Can someone give me some advice on this subject please? :unsure:

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                        • #13
                          Re: Should I join?

                          Your high metabolism doesn't mean squat to the military if it isn't a documented medical condition. As long as you continue to meet the height/weight standards, you'll be fine.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Should I join?

                            Originally posted by WalkerBarrett18 View Post
                            I am wondering if it is bad to have a high metabolism, because I do and I don't gain weight has fast or as much as people with a non- high metabolism and I lose the weight just exercising, is that good or bad? Can someone give me some advice on this subject please? :unsure:
                            If you get there (BCT) and aren't meeting height and weight because you lose too much, you'll get fed double rations. Happened to a female in my Platoon at BCT. They either ran her through the chow line twice, or made her eat an MRE after chow line until she met weight. LOL. She was a PT beast though, highest scoring female in the Battalion during our cycle.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Should I join?

                              Okay thank u SteveLord that helps me out a lot

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