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Not sure if I want to go 09S or stay an E-4

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  • Not sure if I want to go 09S or stay an E-4

    Hello, I am currently in college and graduate this coming May. I have been talking with a recruiter already and I am set to go for my officer interview and PT at the end of March. I was hoping to get some opinions on wether to go 09S or to go enlisted, possibly as a 31B as that's what I a interested in. I really want the leadership experience officer candidate school will provide but I also really want to be hands on in my unit. I am hoping to get some personal experiences to help choose a path. Thanks

  • #2
    Tell us more about your strengths, your priorities, what is important to you, and where you want to go in life.

    Being an officer isn't necessarily "better" than remaining enlisted, it's just different. Each path has its advantages and disadvantages.

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    • #3
      I think it would be inaccurate to say officers are not hands on. As a junior officer, you will be very close to your soldiers, and you will go where they go (or, to be more precise, they will go where you go). You will still conduct personal marksmanship, and (depending on branch) vehicle gunnery. My first platoon leader even broke Bradley track with his crew. You won't be as hands on with a mop or floor buffer, but that is no great loss.

      I enlisted on Active Duty with a degree, with the intent of eventually going to OCS. However, after my first deployment, I was about halfway done with my enlistment and just decided to stay enlisted. When I entered the Guard after a break in service, I actually had an 09S contract. However, due to a combination of poor health (since improved, thankfully) and a perhaps unexplainable unwillingness to trade my stripes for OCS insignia, I elected not to attend the school. A fair amount of time has passed since then, and the old draw to the officer side (commissioned or warrant) has been getting stronger. If I qualify and can get the support of my chain of command, I may make a move in that direction again. If I cannot, at least I can use my experience to assist others.

      The advantage of an 09S contract is that you know you are going to OCS. If you enlist first, it may take more time and effort to get there. Your recruiter may be faster with your paperwork than your unit training NCO.

      I have had the privilege of working alongside some great soldiers, both officers and enlisted. You can make a great career, either way.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the responses, they are greatly appreciated. I am majoring in political science with a minor in criminal justice. As a civilian career I plan on going in to law enforcement. I have been trying to find a forum on what an officers duties entail after they are commissioned and complete their training but have not been successful in finding that information. If I choose enlisted, I know that I will be able secure an MOS going into Basic. And if I go into basic as an 09S I will be branched according to the militates regardless if it is what I want. I am leaning towards enlisted because it eases me knowing that I will be able to choose my MOS and that it would be something that I choose. If I were to enlist as military police, from what I have gathered, I would get AIT as an MP and continue through out my military career carrying out duties in my unit as an MP doing more work relating to my training than an officer would. However if I were to become an officer it is strictly leading my unit and creating plans for drill, other than that I am not really sure of what and officer does in there specific branch. I may have this information completely wrong, and really appreciate what anybody has to share regarding duties of military police or duties of and officer whether it be what they do on weekend drills or deployment. Thanks again.

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        • #5
          Without knowing what you enjoy, it's hard to say which is better. I've enjoyed both enlisted and officer side of things.

          I would say being an officer has probably lent more experience to being in law enforcement as you're used to making quick decisions without knowing all of the facts. While officers may not be as hands on, they do quite a bit of work that you normally won't see during a normal drill weekend. Being an officer requires quite a bit of work outside the normal drill weekend as well.

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          • #6
            Have you considered becoming a warrant officer (09W) at some point? Even though you can't apply directly unless you're already in the Guard (excepting aviation) in addition to meeting some other requirements, it sounds like you want the focused career path of an MOS whilst acquiring the responsibilities and leadership of an officer. Going warrant, at least to me, seems to be the best of both worlds.

            Then again, I'm biased because I'm joining the Guard with the specific intention of applying for warrant later down the road.

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            • #7
              31D is a feeder MOS for CID Special Agent, a warrant officer position. I'm not sure how many of those are needed in the Guard, but that is one path. You will need to serve several years before you will be eligible.

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              • #8
                Great suggestions, I have not thought about going warrant officer later on but that does sound like something I am interested in. I want to be able to master which ever MOS I obtain, and later in my career provide experience a lead soldiers under me.

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