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Need advice: would you join as enlisted and immediately apply for OCS?

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  • Need advice: would you join as enlisted and immediately apply for OCS?

    Hello everyone,

    Firstly, thank you for taking the time to read this! I really need real-world advice from people who are serving in the Guard.

    I have a serious impediment: I was born Canadian. I have lived in this great country for 10 years and 1 month to the day and truly can say this is the land of opportunity. This country has given so much to me (cliché alert), and now I want to give back. I've been seriously thinking about this for almost two years and have decided the Armed Forces Reserves is how I want to go about it. Yes I can volunteer, hand out food, build people houses, but it makes me sick how many of our brave young men are dying every single day over in Afghanistan and therefore want to do everything I can to help prevent that.

    I am extremely technical, driven, and focused, as well as possess great social and leadership skills. At work I am a Computer Engineer architecting large distributed systems delivering advanced services such as Video On Demand to your television and mobile phones. I also lead small development groups building specialized software solutions when custom integrations are required. Snore right? Enough about what I do.

    I want to contribute out of the box thinking, fresh perspectives, and exceptional problem solving and analytical skills to fields that I can prosper in. I've done research and from what I can tell, Communications and Intelligence would be fantastic matches for me. You must be thinking, so great, what's your problem?

    Because I cannot get a security clearance as I am not yet a citizen, my ability to contribute in a manor that leverages my skill set is not possible. A MOS that was suggested to me for time-to-market reasons was 88M, Truck Driving.

    What I need advice on, is whether or not you think it would be a good idea to:

    1. Join as enlisted, as 88M or something similar
    2. Go through BCT at my age (35)
    3. Apply for citizenship while at BCT/AIT
    4. Get citizenship in 30-60 days (immediate citizenship is granted because we are in a time of 'military hostilities')
    5. Start drilling as 88M and apply for OCS and cross fingers
    6. Pray I get accepted to OCS
    7. If accepted, start doing the 16-18 one-weekend-a-month OCS training

    I really truly am trying to do what my heart is telling me to, but I am very apprehensive about joining as 88M (or similiar) and getting deployed. I understand I wasn't born in the U.S. and so I need to jump through hoops, but I feel like this would be too much of a stretch for me. Now, deploying as Intelligence or Communications, I am ALL FOR THAT and would relish in the opportunity.

    I would feel much more comfortable if I could get a "conditional OCS acceptance" based on successfully completing BCT and getting citizenship.

    Also, I'm certainly not joining for financial reasons and in fact would take a huge loss attending an AIT that essential is somewhat "throw-away" because it wouldn't be in a field that makes sense for me. For example, in 88M, I would lose 4 weeks, with 10 weeks of BCT that's 14. 14 at my salary is about 3.5 months at about 18k per month: $63,000. Obviously I need to subtract what the NG would pay me, but as you can see, it's a non-trivial amount of money for me to sacrifice to satisfy my morality. (And, bathroom and kitchen renovations don't seem to be getting any cheaper for some reason.)

    All this considered, would you do it? Will the NG be able to fill the void in my life and make me feel like I'm part of something bigger and doing something for the greater good? Only you can answer that for me, so please do!

    Thanks for reading everyone, I really appreciate it.

    Christiaan.

  • #2
    Re: Need advice: would you join as enlisted and immediately apply for OCS?

    As far as I know, you do not need citizenship to get a secret clearance, BUT you absolutely do need citizenship to become an officer. That is an issue you should discuss with your recruiter in exploring what enlisted jobs may be open to you.

    Once you are in, there should be an office at the state level that can assist you in your application for accelerated citizenship based on your current military service. I cannot comment on how long that takes or what the process is cause I have no clue.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Need advice: would you join as enlisted and immediately apply for OCS?

      greencard holders =/= no security clearance

      (99.99 % sure, but I dont recruit anymore )
      Last edited by SGT Bart; September 1st, 2010, 08:00 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Need advice: would you join as enlisted and immediately apply for OCS?

        Originally posted by SGT Bart
        greencard holders =/= no security clearance

        (99.99 % sure, but I dont recruit anymore )
        You are correct, you must be a citizen in order to obtain a security clearance.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Need advice: would you join as enlisted and immediately apply for OCS?

          The seven-step plan you have described is exactly what I would have recommended to you based on your situation. Spooky.

          I must assure you that your chances for OCS are not as dicey as you may imagine. If you meet application standards, you'll get your chance at OCS. I can't tell you that you'll succeed, of course, because that's an entirely different proposition. Lack of US citizenship is your key obstacle to overcome.

          Because you're not getting any younger, I recommend starting now with a traditional enlistment, in order to start the process. As you stated, military service will speed up your citizenship application, which is another way starting now will save time. If you wait until all the lights are green before you crank the engine, you'll never get anywhere.

          Your post mentions how much money you earn in your civilian career. Your post leads me to believe that you realize that the most valuable things in life are those which cannot be bought. Nothing significant comes without sacrifice.

          Best wishes, keep us informed.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Need advice: would you join as enlisted and immediately apply for OCS?

            Originally posted by christiaan
            I have a serious impediment: I was born Canadian.

            I truly feel sorry for your predicament...it impedes thousands of people born every day

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Need advice: would you join as enlisted and immediately apply for OCS?

              I would add a couple of things:

              1. pick a really short MOS-look at ATTRS,
              2. be open to the idea of accelerated OCS. At your income level, you almost certainly have a cushion, if not you need to save and have a cushion because when you get deployed you are gonna need a serious cushion.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Need advice: would you join as enlisted and immediately apply for OCS?

                Originally posted by 49thadband
                I would add a couple of things:

                1. pick a really short MOS-look at ATTRS,
                By ATTRS, do you mean this: https://www.atrrs.army.mil/

                Originally posted by 49thadband
                2. be open to the idea of accelerated OCS. At your income level, you almost certainly have a cushion, if not you need to save and have a cushion because when you get deployed you are gonna need a serious cushion.
                Amen to that--I don't want to deplete my savings account doing a MOS that is unrelated to where I want to ultimately be. It's truly a balancing act: shortness of MOS versus applicability of training towards Signals or Intelligenence...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Need advice: would you join as enlisted and immediately apply for OCS?

                  Originally posted by matthew.ritchie
                  Your post leads me to believe that you realize that the most valuable things in life are those which cannot be bought. Nothing significant comes without sacrifice.
                  You are 100% correct Sir. Thank you for the comments!

                  Comment

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