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Pharmacy Student National Guard Questions

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  • Pharmacy Student National Guard Questions

    My younger brother just started at the USMA in New York. Over the past year his experience with that, among other things, has inspired me and sparked an interest in serving my country.

    Some background on my situation... I am 21 years old and starting my 2nd year of a PharmD. Program at UGA. This means I have 3 years (2 class years + 1 clinical rotation year) remaining. This may allow time to complete the 2 year ROTC program at UGA but would be difficult with my course load (18-20 hours/semester). My father owns 3 independent pharmacies in south Georgia and my plan is to end up back there working in retail pharmacy. I have been very blessed with financial stability so scholarships and monetary benefits of the Army and National Guard are of little interest to me, I just feel like I can contribute to the country and I feel the need to do so in some capacity.

    I plan to work as a pharmacist full-time after graduation which makes the National Guard and the Reserves very appealing to me as it would allow me to pursue my career and to serve my country while I am physically able at the same time.

    On the National Guard and GoArmy websites I find it difficult to sift through all the advertising and pushing of "benefits" and such. I understand most of the basic information from these websites including commitment, pay, time, etc. What I really want is some input as to what I would really be committing to.

    I was looking at the career fields for officers (I would plan on enrolling in ROTC or OCS after graduation) and considered infantry and chemical corps. With my pharmacy school and undergrad background in biochemistry and pharmacology, I feel that I will have a good base for Chemical Warfare training. But, What type of duties should I expect both during training and deployment in the chemical corps??

    On that note, I understand that I will be deployed and that is part of the job. I have a vague understanding of daily duties of infantry officers but any additional information would be appreciated. What is a chemical corps officer's daily life like during deployment?

    One thing about the national guard that really interests me is the opportunity to serve during domestic situations and natural disasters. Any information on how often that happens (specifically for the Georgia National Guard) and what type of work is asked of the guardsmen during this situations?

    Thank you for any information or input that anyone can offer.