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  • NTC, College and the Guard

    Ok, a little back story first. I just joined the TN Guard. I just came off Active Duty for 4 years. Main reason I joined the Guard is to retain Tricare for my kids and because my state offered me stabilization for 2 years plus cut the last 2 years off my total obligation. So basically I just have to drill for 2 years and then I am free and clear from the Army completely instead of doing the IRR thing for 4 years.

    I am a full time (15+ hour) college student and I rely on the Post 9/11 GI Bill BAH, and unemployment as my primary incomes. I have drilled twice with my unit and I got an email the other day from my Ops NCO that contained a memo from the Regimental Commander (Full Bird). It says that the entire regiment will be attending NTC next year. (not posting dates because OPSEC). My question is this:

    I know that employers are required to accomidate Guardsmen under USERRA, but how does that apply to colleges? We will be gone for a full month beginning very close (like a week after) to the start of my last semester at my current school. I will be taking a full18 hour load and I can't afford to miss +- 90 class periods. Not to mention that if for some reason my school changes my full time classification, then I will lose my GI Bill money for the entire semester (costing me in the neighborhood of $7500+). The COL says all exceptions have to be approved by him personally and that it is a mandatory training event.

    Some other factors that may or may not play a part:
    1.I have been to NTC twice, once in 2010 and once in 2013.
    2.I deployed to Iraq Jan-Dec 2011. So while one can never have "too much" training, its not like this is my first rodeo.
    3.My unit is not on any sort of deployment timetable, and even if they were, I wouldn't deploy with them.
    4. By the time the unit goes to NTC, I will have either 10 or 11 months left in the Guard. (NOT reenlisting...under ANY circumstances)
    5. If it matters, I'm a single dad, (divorce final after enlistment into Guard, but before my first drill) and I have no way of creating a viable Family Care Plan (not sure if that is as big a deal in the NG as it is on AD)

    I emailed the Ops NCO back about an hour after receiving the memo (6 days ago) but haven't heard back. I just don't know how the NG works when it comes to full time students, because I will not compromise my education and my income over a training rotation.

    Thank You for Your Responses and Advice,
    hmd810

  • #2
    I just came back from NTC last month and mentioned that on this forum. I was with 4th ID for rotation 14-02 (here is the army times announcement before I left for NTC http://www.armytimes.com/article/201...ents-announced) for 41 days because I was on torch to trail party. 3-1st AD was 14-01. DA rotations are not an OPSEC violation because there are DA rotations that necessarily do not deploy after their rotations (which happened with 14-01). I did a JRTC rotation at Fort Polk with the Guard back in 99 that was for 2 weeks and it was a joy. The unit may be slated for a month but your time over there may be much less (e.g.14-21 days). You most likely will not be on a torch or advon team. Your leadership may want you to go NTC because of your experience with NTC and your combat experience. I still went to NTC even though I was not deploying with my unit because my leadership wanted my expertise to ensure a successful rotation and for me to evaluate my interim replacement. 2 weeks in the box without a shower sucked lol.

    Also, what is wrong with going IRR for four years knowing you will not get called up whatsoever? Personally, I do not see an issue with that. You still have Obamacare

    I am lost with your USERRA college question. If full-time training conflicts with your school schedule, either you have to work with that with your COC or with your professors at school. I finished a master's while on AD (started it while I was in Germany/first tour Afghanistan and finished it up on my second tour in Afghanistan) and completed my bachelors while attending UCONN while working full-time, school full-time, OCS candidate (which I did resign and ultimately became a Warrant Officer) and NG M-day Soldier. All this with a newborn at the time and a working spouse. So I am an expert in time management and juggling many goals/tasks.

    Also, do not shoot the messenger (OPS NCO). Deal with your chain of command based on your circumstances if you looking for a bye for this rotation but find a way to make up those annual training days. Come up with a plan. Remember, you signed the Guard contract so bring it down a notch about not compromising your college and income situation. The Guard is flexible even though they not under obligation to do so. You do require a family care plan in the Guard.

    Good luck with your two years in the Guard. Piece of cake.

    Chief
    OIF/OEF Vet
    24 years of service and counting
    Last edited by Chief Kemosabe; December 25th, 2013, 10:11 PM.

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    • #3
      My last rotation with 1CAV was 13-02 and we weren't ramping for deployment, but 13-03 was 3-1ID out of Riley and they were ramping for an Africa rotation. So far as what I have heard, my NG unit is not even projected for a possible deployment until the end of 2015 and even that is just rumored, My last rotation i was the only lower enlisted in the BN to get Family Sep because I went out as ADVON1 and came back 36 days later on MB19 haha.

      The main reason that I went NG instead of IRR was the "what if" factor. Many of the guys that got called back during the OIF surge didn't think they would ever have to worry about it either.

      My main concern is losing my GI Bill benefits. I know that employers cannot legally fire someone due to NG obligations, however if my school drops me, it will be the same effect as me "getting fired" because of not only the large amount of money I will lose out on directly, but it will also jepordize my other financial aid as well as cost me 4-5 months of GI Bill benefits. That is WAY too much for me to lose over an NTC rotation, I would just as soon push the Family Care Plan issue and be chaptered out than I would put my education and families financial standing at risk.

      I do appreciate the info, and I will talk to my CoC and my school's VA rep and advising office after the new year and see what can be done.
      Last edited by hmd810; December 29th, 2013, 12:12 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Also, not that it actually bears weight in this situation, but I am a 91H (Track Mechanic) who has found myself in a unit with no tracks, and no heavy recovery section. So its not as though I will be mentoring and training new soldiers on how to work on tracks or do heavy recovery.

        This whole NG thing is quite a culture shock after spending the better part of 4 years in an Armored BDE and deploying with Mechanized Sappers. I about died when they told me to take a 5ton LMTV on a test drive during my first drill with no valid unit drivers license (only my 348 from my old unit), no kevlar, no dispatch signed by the CO and a PFC as a TC! Doing that at Ft Hood would've been the equivalent of just handing your rank and paycheck over the the BN Cmndr, but apparently it's SOP at my new unit...

        Comment


        • #5
          Main Body 19? You must have brought the whole brigade and then some with you lol. We just had up to MB9 or 10 I think. My family sep just hit my December pay and I even received per diem (an extra 500 bucks) since our cooks did not arrive until day 10 when we were in the RUBA. I went to the PX and restaurant daily until we moved into the box lol.

          Also, no kevlar is a major safety violation. Hopefully, the master driver clamp down on proper procedures with that and dispatching the vehicles.

          Seems like you have more than enough reasons not to go (like I did lol) but if you properly address the matter with your CoC, they should help you with your situation.

          Comment


          • #6
            1.I have been to NTC twice, once in 2010 and once in 2013.

            Ok but it's not about you, it's about the unit's collective training event

            2.I deployed to Iraq Jan-Dec 2011. So while one can never have "too much" training, its not like this is my first rodeo.

            Ok but it's not about you, it's about the unit's collective training event

            3.My unit is not on any sort of deployment timetable, and even if they were, I wouldn't deploy with them.

            Still makes no difference. Your unit still must meet certain training requirements.

            4. By the time the unit goes to NTC, I will have either 10 or 11 months left in the Guard. (NOT reenlisting...under ANY circumstances)

            So?

            5. If it matters, I'm a single dad, (divorce final after enlistment into Guard, but before my first drill) and I have no way of creating a viable Family Care Plan (not sure if that is as big a deal in the NG as it is on AD)

            Since it's not your first rodeo, you should know you need to get a Family Care Plan.

            BLUF: This is a huge collective training event for any unit and very rare for NG BCTs to get. You're going to have a hard time justifying to your command why you should be excused. I got that you're getting out but until then, you're still part of the unit. You do have protections now that you're in school. This is a fairly recent change.

            I'd suggest you start working with your professors first before your unit.

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            • #7
              Ok, with all that being said. If I were to choose to not make a Family Care Plan, how does the chapter process work in the Guard? I know on AD, the soldier gets an initial counseling from the CO and is given 30 days to complete the FCP. After that 30 days if a viable FCP is not completed then the CO can choose to extend for an additional 30 days if he feels that the soldier is actually attempting to put something together, or he can initiate a chapter packet. How does this time frame change with the NG (if at all)? For instance, if I talk to my unit about my lack of FCP (they have never brought it up to me) then will I have until the next drill to come up with a FCP? Or will it still be based on the CO's counseling?

              Comment


              • #8
                It's been quite a while since I have had to deal with a FCP but it's a fairly short time line. Once you're coded as needing one, you either get one or get chaptered out. There's really no wiggle room for the commander. Your unit probably doesn't realize you need it yet.

                Family Care Plans is a metric most commanders/commands track, so it will not be blown off.

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                • #9
                  good article http://www.armytimes.com/article/201...ool-deployment

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