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Accountant/CPA --MOS 36 or 36b

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  • Accountant/CPA --MOS 36 or 36b

    I am a senior Accounting major at a college in the lower Hudson Valley. I've been in talks with the Marines about joining as Active, but I am facing familial dissuasion due to our current state of war.

    I'm married, 27 (almost), no kids, and my wife has been carrying us during school and I think its high time I carried us (financially).

    My interest in the Guard is two-fold. First, SLRP. Need I say more? The job market is where it is right now, and it scares me. I've got over 50K in loans and currently no viable outcome that will pay them back. Secondly, I'm interested in service to my country. My wife and I have been hashing out ideas for jobs and somehow the military option keeps showing up (she isn't thrilled, but the Guard is her first choice).

    Here's my question in regards to Civilian Transferable Specialized: Should I attempt to get my CPA licensure prior to enlistment? Please let me know of the pros/cons of financial management within the Guard, as well as whether OCS (I'll have a B.S. in August) or enlisted is the better option. How easy is it to transfer to Active if I discover my true calling is full-time duty?

    I know these are a lot of questions, and I'm sorry if I posted in the wrong area. I looked through all the pages of this particular sub-topic and didn't see any in relation to MOS' 36 and 36b.

    Thank you in advance for your replies.

  • #2
    Re: Accountant/CPA --MOS 36 or 36b

    No expert at some of your questions, but an opinion from someone who was enlisted. If I had to do it over again, I would have officer as my long-term goal. The benefits of being an officer are so much higher than they were when I was in the guard, it's ridiculous.

    Here are a couple of ideas.

    1.a.Go enlisted, complete basic + AIT. You might want to try to find something that is completely away from your expertise, to give you new experiences. Think of it as a hobby, or think of it as a chance to learn a skill you've never explored before. As you are looking at jobs, you should consider how long the AIT will be. Do you want money now? You're gonna make pretty good money if you enlist with a B.S., because you'll start off as an E-4.

    b. after a couple of years and you see that the SLRP is being paid off pretty well, go to OCS. This is where I get cloudy. I don't know if SLRP stops right then because you seek an officer position or not.

    2.a. the other idea, a lot of people would say enlist as an officer candidate, because they offer SLRP for officer candidate.
    b. the only problem with this is that once you get in as an officer candidate, you're not going to get as much money right away, because you're only going to attend basic, with no AIT right away. You will most likely then come back from basic and enroll in the 18 month OCS program, which is one weekend a month for a couple of months, then 2 weeks active duty in the summer followed by a year of drilling and then another two week training period, for a total of 18 months.

    c. the other problem with this choice is that you won't get to experience anything the guard has to offer in terms of being an enlisted person. You won't get to see how the enlisted person sees things. sure you will go to basic, but you won't have a point of reference with regard to being a National Guardsman. Many people disagree with what I am saying on this one, you will want to talk to some officers in the guard to get some opinions.

    d. the other problem with this is that you will be highly discouraged from getting a finance officer position straight out of OCS. You will be highly encouraged to select from the combat arms and support branches. One reason is that evidently there are very few 2nd Lt. slots for Finance. This goes back to the idea of choosing something not in your area of expertise.

    3. a. another choice for you, if you really want to get some great exprerience, is to go Active First as enlisted. This would involve going to basic then AIT immediately, and then after that, your family would join you for an Active Duty assignment for the next however long your active duty time would be, you would be active for at least 3 years total.
    b. this is a great choice for you now, because you don't have children yet. your wife would get to travel with you to your assignment, and experience army life, and that way the two of you could decide if you like the active side or not.

    c. if you decide you like the Active Army, one really nice carrot to look at is the Green to Gold program. You would have to do some research, but in my limited internet research, I have found that the Active Army really, really pays if you want more education. If selected, they would pay you active duty pay, to go to college, you could get your Master's in Accounting, while completing ROTC. Obviously this is a competitive thing, but even if you didn't do that, after 3 years of Active Duty you could follow the Active First committment, which would mean spending time in the National Guard after your active time, and while in the Guard, you could get the new Active Duty G. I. bill, which is basically the same as a full athletic scholarship. iow, it pays for basically everything!

    d. however, if you go Active First, I'm not sure you can get the SLRP with Active First, I'm thinking maybe not

    Let us know what you think.