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  • Guard OCS to Active Duty?

    Those of you that know me, I'm interested in going into ROTC as an MS3 and attending LTC, I have about 2 years or less of undergrad remaining. Because of work and financial independance, the ROTC shedule is doable but tough and costs me money and time to attend.

    I really am thinking about doing the 90 credit Federal OCS option with the Guard if it's still around? I know the guard had the traditional, acelerated, and the federal option. I'll list a few concerns/questions and hopefully I can get some opinions?

    1) If I go federal OCS through the guard, honestly how hard will it be in the future to leave the guard for the active army or reserves mid contract?

    2) When my guard contract expires 6-8 years, will I be able to join the active army?

    3) I would like to do some active duty but I am thinking of retiring in the reserve or guard, is OCS a safe bet to 20 years (holding other things constant)?

    4) Would it be wiser and more rewarding to complete ROTC in the long run, or is OCS and ROTC in the same basket? (again holding other factors constant)

  • #2
    Re: Guard OCS to Active Duty?

    1. Possible, but you can't presume that you'll get a release prior to the expiration of your contract.
    2. Once you complete your contract, you are welcome to join any component that will take you.
    3. Not sure what you mean by this comment. Once you have a commission, no one really cares about your commissioning source (much like no one cares about your SAT scores once you get into a college).
    4. See above. I generally recommend ROTC first, since it tends to be the most convenient option if you're already full-time at college anyway.

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    • #3
      Re: Guard OCS to Active Duty?

      Originally posted by matthew.ritchie View Post
      4. See above. I generally recommend ROTC first, since it tends to be the most convenient option if you're already full-time at college anyway.

      Best piece of advice...the only thing DIFFERENT is you will add 2 days out of 30 where you will be drilling. In return....your raking in an insane amount of benefits........Wish I was 18 again........

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      • #4
        Re: Guard OCS to Active Duty?

        If I enlist and go to basic and to traditional OCS will I get the GI bill while attending OCS?

        If I enlist and get back from basic but earn 90 credits before the start of my OCS class can I switch to acelerated or federal?

        If I enlist with 80 or so credits will my basic training credits count to bring me to 90 reguardless if my college accepts them?

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        • #5
          Re: Guard OCS to Active Duty?

          Originally posted by metalhead201 View Post
          If I enlist and go to basic and to traditional OCS will I get the GI bill while attending OCS?

          If I enlist and get back from basic but earn 90 credits before the start of my OCS class can I switch to acelerated or federal?

          If I enlist with 80 or so credits will my basic training credits count to bring me to 90 reguardless if my college accepts them?
          1) Only if you also attend AIT before OCS.

          2) Maybe. Depends on the seats avaiable, and how willing your state is to move you. Also, Federal OCS requires a degree to attend. They no longer allow soldiers with 90 credits to attend.

          3) No. IIRC, your 90 credits have to be on your transcript from an accredited college.

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          • #6
            Re: Guard OCS to Active Duty?

            I'm not positive, but I believe that's correct that you need a completed degree to attend federal.

            Your commissioning source is meaningless in terms of career. West point gives you head start on networking with people that'll tend more career active duty, but other than that no source has any advantage over any other. No one really cares, or for that matter knows, where you came from. Each has their advantages that makes you better prepared for different aspects when you hit the ground in your first assignment, but that's all evened out within the first few months to a year.

            Guard OCS gets you a commission in the guard. They won't just turn loose of you when you complete, and active duty won't just automatically pick you up. It would be difficult for you to get from guard OCS (to include the guard sending you to Federal) to active duty. It has nothing to do with the quality of the program - they are on par. It has to do with they want to pick their own folks from the start and they want their investment back out of them.

            At this point, you could complete ROTC and compete for active duty, or you could hold off and apply for OCS through active duty.

            OCS to active duty will give you very limited and maybe not desirable branching options - they get mostly left overs making up shortfalls after USMA & ROTC did their picking. That said, it will get you guaranteed active duty, with a three year obligation from commissioning.

            There is a risk in ROTC you will not get active duty, but you will have much better branching options than active duty OCS. ROTC of course comes with a 4 year obligation.

            Short answer here is don't do any form of OCS through the guard if your intent is to serve on active duty.

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            • #7
              Re: Guard OCS to Active Duty?

              Thank you everyone that was some helpful information. It seems the most benifits come with basic/AIT.

              Is there a basic and AIT route I could complete in one summer before the fall semester but after the spring semester?

              If I'm going into the guard from ROTC, if I cant finish my degree on time but have over 90 credits and completed ROTC will I still be commissioned?

              If I'm in the guard and my unit has been activated over 3 years over the course of my 8 year obligation, will I get active duty GI bill benifits for education later?

              If I complete my 6-8 year obligation with the guard and I later decide to go active duty, how many years will be substracted from the 20 years if any?

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              • #8
                Re: Guard OCS to Active Duty?

                Originally posted by metalhead201 View Post
                ...

                If I'm going into the guard from ROTC, if I cant finish my degree on time but have over 90 credits and completed ROTC will I still be commissioned?

                If I'm in the guard and my unit has been activated over 3 years over the course of my 8 year obligation, will I get active duty GI bill benifits for education later? ...
                No. ROTC will not commission you until you graduate. There are policies and proceedures in place to prevent exactly that.

                Soldiers become eligible for Post 9-11 GI Bill after 12 months of Federal (Title 10) service for 50% of the benefit. 100% requires 36 months.

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                • #9
                  Re: Guard OCS to Active Duty?

                  metal, there are several options for you. If you are dead set on doing it in the summer, I recommend infantry, OSUT, 13-14 weeks. Look up the ATRRS(or is it ARTTS), to see when courses start. There are a couple of other options, kind of interesting, if you ask me.

                  They involve what I call the "flip-flop". What you do is you take your full 12 hours during the summer, then do your basic+AIT immediately after, during the fall semester. This gives you more time to complete the training, and doing the fall basic gives you better weather to execute your road marches, etc.

                  More importantly, it gives you many more choices, because you actually have all the way from middle August until middle January to complete Basic + AIT.

                  There's an even bigger option, which I am now calling the "super-flop", which is really interesting. This option involves joining the guard sometime in the fall or summer and going to basic + AIT in the spring and possibly summer. Now you can pick virtually any MOS, go to basic and AIT from mid December until mid August. Now you're talking big $$$, being gone that long. and also being in great shape as well.

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