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Thinking of enlisting - have a few Qs

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  • Thinking of enlisting - have a few Qs


    I'm seriously considering joining the Guard. Honestly, if I didn't have my kids (a 3 year old girl, and a 4 month old baby boy), I would have joined by now (I'm married, so my husband would care for them while I am gone).

    I am scheduled to take the ASAVB next month, and I have to wait until it has been 6 months postpartum (as I had my son via c section) for the physical. Then I will see which jobs are available to me, and make my final decision.

    A few questions:

    1) I am a green card holder, and my recruiter told me that once enlisted, the Guard will expedite my citizenship process. Has anyone gone through this? I am curious if its as easy as it sounds, and if I would have to go through the American History Exam, and pay the expenses myself.

    2) I served in the Israeli Defense Forces in Intelligence so I am familiar with the army structure and Intel work, I'm super interested in putting my skills and knowledge to use again in a military structure, but I have to wait until I am a citizen. My question is - How easy, or complicated, is it to re-class to a new MOS with a security clearance within the Guard? How long does it take? Would my background in the IDF prevent me from getting a clearance (even though Israel and the US have similar security interests).

    3) Does anyone know if the PA National Guard (I live in PA) have spots available for Mortuary Affairs Specialist (my #1 choice as of right now), or Multimedia Illustrator (my #2 choice).. I am studying for the ASVAB with these current MOS in mind.

    4) How does the process of going from part time to active duty go? Can I just request to go AD within my MOS, or will I need to be trained in a whole new MOS?

    5) What are, in all honesty, the chances of being deployed while serving in the National Guard? Generally, how long? As I said, my only concern would be being away from family, namely my children. Otherwise, I have no problem serving, and am actually excited at the prospect (yes, even BCT...).

    6) At AIT, can you go visit home on weekends, assuming you are within decent driving distance? Can family come visit you? I know neither is allowed during BCT except for during Exodus.

    Thanks so much!


  • #2
    Re: Thinking of enlisting - have a few Qs

    Michelle, I too am a Green Card holder (UK Citizen) and recently enlisted.

    I cannot answer all of your questions, but like you, I plan to change MOS (Civil Affairs) once I get my citizenship. I have spoken to my recruiter and RSP and they advised that there IS an Accelerated Citizenship Program that we can enroll in. I will be speaking to Processing at Ft Knox when I ship in 13 days about this.

    RE AIT: I would imagine you will be there for the long term.

    Either way, good luck in your enlistment!


    • #3
      Re: Thinking of enlisting - have a few Qs

      Kudos for your IDF tour...I spent a week in Israel and met some IDF folks.

      Reclassing won't be hard, but it won't be short. The Army will send you to school for an MOS, and expect you to serve some time in that MOS...kind of like getting what we paid for. But most people with careers serve in several areas.


      • #4
        Re: Thinking of enlisting - have a few Qs

        Thanks guys, I appreciate it!


        • #5
          Re: Thinking of enlisting - have a few Qs

          A fellow Israeli!!! I was born in the U.S. though.

          Would your time in the IDF prevent you from getting a security clearance? Well that depends on a couple factors. You will not be granted a security clearance if you are still considered an Israeli citizen. The U.S. does not recognize dual citizenship, so you will have to denounce your Israeli citizenship and forfeit your passports. From this point you could be granted a clearance once you become a U.S. citizen, possibly before but from what I understand its after. Its a long process and could take quite some time.

          Going active duty from the National Guard can be difficult and tricky depending on your state, and thats the key. My state is notorious for not releasing people to go active duty. A soldier equals money in the National Guard, the state pays X amount of dollars to train you and pay you in exchange for a contracted amount of sevice. Many states are hesitant to release a soldier for active duty because they want to get every cent they can out of the investment(the soldier), so many states prefere that you fullfill your obligation in the National Guard then go active duty.

          The chances of being deployed are pretty good. You should expect to be deployed at least once in a 6 year enlistment. The current deployment rotation is supposed to be once every 5 years. That doesn't always happen but that is the projected deployment cycle. The typical Army deployment is 12-15 months. 2-3 months of pre deployment train up, 10-12 months in theater of operations, 1 month(typically less) for ramp down.


          • #6
            Re: Thinking of enlisting - have a few Qs

            Today a good friend of mine just became a U.S. citizen. He graduated basic training just a few days ago so as far as having the process being expedited, I would say the Army will really come through for you on that one.