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  • How long before I start drilling?

    I've been patient but i'm starting to lose some of it.
    My app went to the recruiter late Oct. I don't need any waivers but I am an E6 and apparently it also needs state approval. the recruiter did 'text me' (which is the easiest way to get a hold of her) that the unit approved me but the package it's sitting at the State HQ.
    I understand the delays due to the holidays and pre-deployment training. followed by blocked leave. By the way, the unit should've mobilized this week.
    But, How long should a prior service E6 wait before his first drill?

    I guess she's giving me time to figure out what to do with my Marine Corps uniforms.

  • #2
    Re: How long before I start drilling?

    I'm not sure how long you should wait for the State HQ to do something. But I do know that once you sign the contract, you're assigned a unit immediately. And since you're prior USMC, like me, you don't have to attend basic training or anything like that. The next drill your unit has will be your first drill. If your recruiter is good, you should get a schedule from the unit. If not, you'll have to contact the unit's office phone and simply ask.

    If the unit is not too far from your recruiter, she'll probably escort you there to get you checked-in and introduced to your command (Company Commander and 1st Sergeant). If you're like me, and your unit is 4 hours away, then chances are you'll have to report to your unit solo and in your civilian clothes. All the "Class Alphas" reporting-in you did in the Marines...toss it. Your unit should issue you at least a pair of boots, set of ACUs, and a cover. The rest you might have to wait on for your Supply NCO to order...like I am currently. So before you go to your unit, find out what supplies they have readily available for you. I did the Marine thing of planning ahead so before my first drill I also ordered name tapes, the US Army tape, rank, unit insignia, the colored American flag, two sand-colored moisture wicking t-shirts, and boot socks; because my unit didn't even know I was coming to them. You don't have to do this, since its your unit's responsibility to do that for you, but I like to be squared away.

    Oh...and on your first drill...if indoors you still form up wearing your cover and you still salute (yes, indoors too) the Company Commander when ordered to present yourself to him/her (so you can be introduced to the rest of the unit). I found this out the hard way. Haha.

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    • #3
      Re: How long before I start drilling?

      Trust me I would've taken the over and handle it myself long ago if I could've. I haven't signed a contract yet waiting on State approval. That's why I'm still waiting to hear from her. Her office is actually in the same compound as the unit. Maybe, I should show up and have her show me around. At least show my face in there.

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      • #4
        Re: How long before I start drilling?

        Contact your unit directly and see if you're on their roster.

        I went through the same thing a few months ago: State had to approve me as an E-7 and it did take some time. As a former staff NCO, you know the drill: hurry up and wait.

        You Teufel Hunden are lucky: I'm heading to WTC in a few weeks so I got that going for me...which is nice.

        SFC L

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        • #5
          Re: How long before I start drilling?

          Don't wait around on texts and emails. Call her/someone else there or if you can...physically go there until you're satisfied.

          People who don't know you will wonder what you're doing, you tell them and you'll get help.

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          • #6
            Re: How long before I start drilling?

            Originally posted by SteveLord
            Don't wait around on texts and emails. Call her/someone else there or if you can...physically go there until you're satisfied.

            People who don't know you will wonder what you're doing, you tell them and you'll get help.
            I agree. One of the things about the Marines is that you never stepped out of line for anything. If the Marines wanted you to have it, they'd issue it to you. If they wanted you to do something, they told you. If you did something wrong, you were corrected on the spot. Basically, you were not allowed any sort of common sense...unless they taught you the rules to abide by first.

            The Guard expects you to have common sense and they're a much more relaxed environment to work in. Because of that, the high-speed, stress, locked-on mentality, etc. isn't there (mind you this is based on my experience)....therefore sometimes you have to step out of line to get the information you need, the stuff you require, etc. As long as you're squared away, nobody is going to correct you on the spot about what you're doing wrong.

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            • #7
              Re: How long before I start drilling?

              Basically, you were not allowed any sort of common sense...unless they taught you the rules to abide by first.
              Oohrah! First word the DI taught the recruits was DISCIPLINE. SIR Discipline-is-the-instant willing obedience to orders respect for authority and self reliance Sir!

              The Corps strives on small unit leadership! Thats why we have Lcpl's & Cpl's as fire team leaders, Sgt's & Cpl's as SL, and SSGT's as Plt Sgt's. When I earned my rocker I was on top of the WORLD!

              We don't question orders (lawful orders) we follow them! How many times did you hear: "If you got paid to think recruit you would be broke" now get on my quarter deck. Bend and Fking thrust till your heart pops!

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              • #8
                Re: How long before I start drilling?

                Originally posted by 7011USMC
                The Corps strives on small unit leadership! Thats why we have Lcpl's & Cpl's as fire team leaders, Sgt's & Cpl's as SL, and SSGT's as Plt Sgt's.
                Yeah it's too bad the Guard doesn't do the same...well, my unit doesn't. My squad leader is a SSG, and my platoon sergeant is an SFC. The only thing familiar to me from the Marines is having a butter bar as a platoon commander. As a matter of fact, I'm having a hard time adjusting to how the Guard works because even as a Specialist, I see the "nastiness" of what some of the SGTs and SSGs are doing in my company and I have that Marine urge to lock them on. Haha. I miss being an NCO...then again...there's certain things I don't miss about it.

                But....you can't beat the relaxed environment. In the Marines I always felt I had to watch my back or I'd get burned somehow. In the Guard...I don't feel that and as a result, I feel more dedicated to being a soldier instead of determination to become a civilian once again.

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                • #9
                  Re: How long before I start drilling?

                  In the Marines I always felt I had to watch my back or I'd get burned somehow
                  Oh so true; In the Corps, we were taught to always "lead by example" and to "take charge". Leadership is engrained in us from day one. It starts with discipline and it's meaning.

                  All pay grades were held to the highest impeccable standard. Look back at just your average Marine that was a 4.4/4.5 and look at the 4.8/4.9 Marine what was the difference? Not much. The ave Marine was a 245-270 1st class PFT, shot low expert 220-225 on the rifle range, and maybe 3-5 MCI's.

                  The sheoit hot Marine was a 300 PFT, high expert 240-248 rifle range, max MCI and education points...and did everything just a little better.

                  Why wouldn't he? They're fighting for that Marine of the Month, Quarter, Year, and meritorious promotion. WHY? Cause rank has it's privilideges, your trained to be a leader, you want more rank, pay, and responsibilities.

                  The point I'm making is Marine Corps engenders LEADERSHIP, envy, back stabbing, and cut throating. Always looking over your back, the brown nosing, and the people that will step on you to get to the next level does get old. NEWS FLASH it's in everyday walk of life.

                  I agree it is a breath of fresh air not being in that enviroment. However if you keep your standards high, don't gossip/complain about your leadership, and go the extra mile/be that teamplayer/be the go too.....Sheoit will happen. Whether your a "full bird pvt" or a SGM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: How long before I start drilling?

                    Originally posted by rkendry
                    I've been patient but i'm starting to lose some of it.
                    My app went to the recruiter late Oct. I don't need any waivers but I am an E6 and apparently it also needs state approval. the recruiter did 'text me' (which is the easiest way to get a hold of her) that the unit approved me but the package it's sitting at the State HQ.
                    I understand the delays due to the holidays and pre-deployment training. followed by blocked leave. By the way, the unit should've mobilized this week.
                    But, How long should a prior service E6 wait before his first drill?

                    I guess she's giving me time to figure out what to do with my Marine Corps uniforms.
                    same thing happened to me. Ended up taking 4 months before I "showed up on the books" at my unit. I nagged everyone I could but the "state approval" sat on someones desk for quite a while. Swore in 30 March and first drill was end of July.

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                    • #11
                      Re: How long before I start drilling?

                      I'll tell you, reading all your comments took me back. Jesus, things are so different now. I'll be patient but, of course i'm going to nag. As we know if you want thigns done right, do them yourself. I am planning a visit to the unit. I'll keep you all posted.

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                      • #12
                        Re: How long before I start drilling?

                        Well, I've been in contact with my recruiter the last couple days and looks like I'm not getting what I wanted. I was aiming for a 25B opening but i need to reclass. I do have enough civilian education and a clearance but that's not enough. I would need to redo both. And, as an E6 just complicated things. Promotions are slim for MOS qualified E5's, apparently.

                        So looks like the easiest way to get my foot in the door is to go back to my roots as an Admin. 42A. Now, we're looking for an open position. And, the State has to agree that my 12 years of Marine Corps and Joint Admin experience is enough to call me qualified.

                        I can't seem to be able to get away. Another tour as a pencil pusher. At least I'm good at what I do.

                        Let's say hypotherically, that in a year or so I'm more qualified to reclass, I'll have to figure out how. But, how hard could it be then? I know it mostly depends on the unit leadership. But I wanted to see what your experiences have been.

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                        • #13
                          Re: How long before I start drilling?

                          Sounds similar to me. I have to go to AIT because my Marine MOSes don't quailfy me to be MOS Qualified in the Army.

                          If you're going in for a one year contract, you can reclass to 25B when you reenlist. This is what my recruiter told me. But in my case, I'm not reclassing, I enlisted in a similar MOS to what I did in the Marines and I'm going to AIT within my first contract of one year. Hope I haven't confused you here. haha.

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