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Should I have joined the NG instead of the Reserves?

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  • Should I have joined the NG instead of the Reserves?

    TL;DR at the bottom

    All right, here's the deal; I swore in for the Reserves 3 weeks ago, and I haven't gone to drill or anything. I haven't been to Basic either, but according to them, I'm an E-1.

    I found out that my Army recruiter wasn't being honest with me when he said that the National Guard rarely lets people go to Active Duty, and the Reserves is more likely to let their people go Active. First of all, is this true?

    And I originally wanted to go Active Duty 11B Infantry, but my parents stomped on that idea, since "joining the Army is for high school dropouts, don't risk your life for that" and told me to go to college like everyone else. They told me this a few weeks before I went to MEPS. Keep in mind that they were ok with it until then (which was a few years). I had to settle for the Reserves or Guard, but my recruiter advised me not to go Guard.

    The Reserve jobs I was interested in were 31B MP, 68W Healthcare Specialist, and 89B Ammunition Specialist. The only one available was 89B, so I took it.

    Then I heard from various sources that NG not only gets FEDERAL and STATE funding, but also has Combat MOS's as well as more benefits for school.

    The only things I care about are how easy it is to switch into Active Duty, my MOS, pay,and financial aid for school (as long as I get something I'm happy) in that order. I want to switch into full time after I graduate from college.



    TL;DR

    1. How much federal funding is the California National Guard getting? And is it a lot?
    2. Will my pay be any different from the National Guard's if I joined the Reserves in Southern California?
    3. Are Infantry/Cavalry Scout slots commonly open for the Guard in California?
    4. Is it true that the NG has sub-par equipment/uniforms compared to the Reserves?
    5. Does the NG have a bigger budget than the Reserves?
    6. If I do decide to go Guard, is it possible to transfer to the Guard, then Active later on? As in transfer out of my current unit, go Guard, then transfer to Active.

    I guess what I'm getting at here is; is the NG better than the Reserves?

  • #2
    Re: Should I have joined the NG instead of the Reserves?

    Your recruiter was right, it is not very easy to be released from the Guard to go active.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Should I have joined the NG instead of the Reserves?

      Originally posted by Big_Boss View Post

      "joining the Army is for high school dropouts, don't risk your life for that" and told me to go to college like everyone else.

      1. How much federal funding is the California National Guard getting? And is it a lot?
      2. Will my pay be any different from the National Guard's if I joined the Reserves in Southern California?
      3. Are Infantry/Cavalry Scout slots commonly open for the Guard in California?
      4. Is it true that the NG has sub-par equipment/uniforms compared to the Reserves?
      5. Does the NG have a bigger budget than the Reserves?
      6. If I do decide to go Guard, is it possible to transfer to the Guard, then Active later on? As in transfer out of my current unit, go Guard, then transfer to Active.

      I guess what I'm getting at here is; is the NG better than the Reserves?
      The statement your parents made is the most ridiculous and uneducated statement I have heard in a while. I am about to have a masters degree, make more then most my friends, have zero debt, and guess what .....I joined the Army.

      1. The budget of the National Guard should not be your concern at this stage. Furthermore, no one here is going to know a number.

      2. Pay, as in salary, no. As far as aid for college, you will almost always get more in the Guard.

      3. VERY!

      4. No

      5. See number 1

      6. Is it possible, yes. Is it probable or does it make sense..not always. It isnt always difficult to get out of the Guard, it is usually more difficult right now for any prior service to enlist active duty because we are all overstregth. If your plan is to be in a part time status and go to college, you need to take a STRONG look at the SMP program. That is where you participate in ROTC and still operate as a member of your Guard/Reserve unit. That is how you will max out your money.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Should I have joined the NG instead of the Reserves?

        1,800 deaths happen every year on college campuses that are related to alcohol. And doing what everyone else does isn't always the best. The average college student has tens of thousands of dollars in student loans when they graduate. I'm sure they are more concerned with your safety. CA is not the best state to join the Guard in but other states have awesome education benifits, such as OK that will waive ALL tuition to their schools. I know a lot of people that get really sweet jobs because of their service, even if it is in the reserves.

        When it comes to state education benifits, the Guard is far better than the Reserves since the reserves has ZERO extras. However it depends on the state and in CA last I heard they don't do anything, so there it's equal.

        Pay is the same either either way. Anyone who suggests that the Guard get substandard equipment, or uniforms compared to the reserves is speaking a myth. And all budgets are about to get cut.
        Last edited by Chaplain4me; September 20th, 2011, 08:35 AM.

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        • #5
          Re: Should I have joined the NG instead of the Reserves?

          Originally posted by Big_Boss View Post
          TL;DR at the bottom
          I found out that my Army recruiter wasn't being honest with me when he said that the National Guard rarely lets people go to Active Duty, and the Reserves is more likely to let their people go Active. First of all, is this true?

          Conditional release policies can and will change depending on who the GO level commander is for both the NG/USAR. Your recruiter may not be lying, it just maybe his experience.

          And I originally wanted to go Active Duty 11B Infantry, but my parents stomped on that idea, since "joining the Army is for high school dropouts, don't risk your life for that" and told me to go to college like everyone else. They told me this a few weeks before I went to MEPS. Keep in mind that they were ok with it until then (which was a few years). I had to settle for the Reserves or Guard, but my recruiter advised me not to go Guard.

          Your parents probably have never served in the military or knew anyone who did.

          The Reserve jobs I was interested in were 31B MP, 68W Healthcare Specialist, and 89B Ammunition Specialist. The only one available was 89B, so I took it.

          Then I heard from various sources that NG not only gets FEDERAL and STATE funding, but also has Combat MOS's as well as more benefits for school.

          Funding for college will also greatly vary from state to state. There's usually a lot of fine print that applicants will over look. Also, with the economy the way it is, many of the benefits are probably no longer being offered. The state funding affects the NG in ways that would not help/hurt you.

          The only things I care about are how easy it is to switch into Active Duty, my MOS, pay,and financial aid for school (as long as I get something I'm happy) in that order. I want to switch into full time after I graduate from college.



          TL;DR

          1. How much federal funding is the California National Guard getting? And is it a lot?

          Unit funding is complex and cannot be answered by a blanket statement. You could easily see two units in the same reserve center/armory getting funded at two different levels.

          2. Will my pay be any different from the National Guard's if I joined the Reserves in Southern California?

          No

          3. Are Infantry/Cavalry Scout slots commonly open for the Guard in California?

          Don't know, ask a NG recruiter.

          4. Is it true that the NG has sub-par equipment/uniforms compared to the Reserves?

          Again complex issue and can vary from unit to unit.

          5. Does the NG have a bigger budget than the Reserves?

          Yes but they also have a larger force.

          6. If I do decide to go Guard, is it possible to transfer to the Guard, then Active later on? As in transfer out of my current unit, go Guard, then transfer to Active.

          I guess what I'm getting at here is; is the NG better than the Reserves?

          No.
          Overall, you're not going to see a huge difference between the NG/USAR at your level. Each has its pro's and con's.

          You seem to be hung up on the funding, I'm not trying to dumb it down but it is very complex with many varaiables. At your level the only thing you would probably see is more then 14 days annual training.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Should I have joined the NG instead of the Reserves?

            Since you are young and naturally naive to the military; it is expected and normal to fall into this type of trap.

            Personally, serving your Country is an outstanding thing to do regardless if its the Reserves, Guard or Active in which I served in all three.

            Just like Paralegal, I am finishing my masters, have a nice new BMW and getting a new home built in Colorado. This is not bragging but shows that someone in the military can have a decent standard of living at all grades and echelons. In any job, you save your money and have good credit; you can improve your standard of living. The military with its job security and outstanding benefits facilitates that.

            Of course; you are serving in a dangerous profession but there are tons of civilian jobs which are dangerous as well. (e.g. police/corrections/firemen).

            The education benefits in the Reserves has paralleled its Guard counterparts in many ways.

            The bottom line is that you get the MOS that you desire. Regardless of what component you get it in.

            Good luck.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Should I have joined the NG instead of the Reserves?

              So the difficulty level of transferring out of my Reserve unit and going Active Duty is no different than transferring out of an NG unit and going full time?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Should I have joined the NG instead of the Reserves?

                From everything I've seen, it's always a lot easier to transfer to AD from the reserves.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Should I have joined the NG instead of the Reserves?

                  Originally posted by Big_Boss View Post
                  So the difficulty level of transferring out of my Reserve unit and going Active Duty is no different than transferring out of an NG unit and going full time?
                  To be a little more specific on what RSP NCO is saying, its different and sometimes considered easier in a way because the Reserves are part of the "Big Army" or Federal Army and you dont need a conditional release to go from Reserves or Active Duty. From the Guard you need to be conditionally released because you belong to the State. However......

                  The part you seem to be missing is that the biggerchallenge lies with getting onto active duty as a prior service military member. If what you want in life is ultimatly to be enlisted Active Army then go see a recruiter and try to do it now. The Active Army is very full on numbers and very VERY few prior service people can get in. I suspect it will be like this for quite some time but it is all a numbers game. When the wars were at full throttle and we needed bodies badly they would take almost anyone, even certain felons. The less the need the more qualifications to get on. If it gets any tighter you will need a freakin 4.0 an Harvard Degree just to enlist. No one here can tell you what the recruiting outlook will be like in a few years after you are done playing in college. If there is a major world conflict then no problems, if not, again....Harvard Degree.

                  I have told you your best scenario is the SMP program. Why are you not looking into it??

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Should I have joined the NG instead of the Reserves?

                    Just throwing this out there. The Guard does have several full time opportunities. Granted, they all practically fall in administrative, support, recruiting or instructor roles. In addition to federal technician positions. Search through the forums for keywords like ADOS, ADSW, AGR, technician.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Should I have joined the NG instead of the Reserves?

                      Originally posted by ParalegalNCO1 View Post
                      To be a little more specific on what RSP NCO is saying, its different and sometimes considered easier in a way because the Reserves are part of the "Big Army" or Federal Army and you dont need a conditional release to go from Reserves or Active Duty. From the Guard you need to be conditionally released because you belong to the State. However......
                      This is incorrect. The USAR requires a conditional release, just the same as the NG, to trasnfer to Active Duty. The problem with the USAR is, you can have multiple GO commands in a geographic area and each can have thier own CR policy. CA is great example as they have at least 3 different commands.

                      What is easier is going into the USAR vs the NG as it's a simple 4187 vs an enlistment contract/Fed Req board.

                      Active Duty recruiters may feel it's easier with the USAR as they can also fill USAR vacancies and are more famaliar with local commanders/polices vs the NG who have their own recruiting/retention command.
                      Last edited by RedLeg; September 21st, 2011, 01:39 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Should I have joined the NG instead of the Reserves?

                        Originally posted by RedLeg View Post
                        This is incorrect. The USAR requires a conditional release, just the same as the NG, to trasnfer to Active Duty. The problem with the USAR is, you can have multiple GO commands in a geographic area and each can have thier own CR policy. CA is great example as they have at least 3 different commands.

                        What is easier is going into the USAR vs the NG as it's a simple 4187 vs an enlistment contract/Fed Req board.

                        Active Duty recruiters may feel it's easier with the USAR as they can also fill USAR vacancies and are more famaliar with local commanders/polices vs the NG who have their own recruiting/retention command.
                        I tried to dumb it down and it sounded totally wrong. Im agreeing with you (for once) the process is just streamlined. Essentially in the Reserves, someone is just cutting you an active duty assignment order..whereas in the Guard its entirley like joining the military all over again.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Should I have joined the NG instead of the Reserves?

                          I'm definitely not interested in being an officer, that's why I didn't mention SMP.

                          Also, I think I'll just change my contract to full-time, then take it from there.
                          Last edited by Big_Boss; September 21st, 2011, 08:12 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Should I have joined the NG instead of the Reserves?

                            Originally posted by Big_Boss View Post
                            I'm definitely not interested in being an officer, that's why I didn't mention SMP.
                            Then what exactly is the point of going to college and THEN enlisting Active Duty. Enlist now, while you can, go to school while you are in. It can be done.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Should I have joined the NG instead of the Reserves?

                              My parents refused to sign my Active Duty contract, but signed my Reserves contract. I know I should have waited until I turned 18, but my parents "forced" me into the Reserves. If I went to college first, they wouldn't care about what job I have next, military or civilian.

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