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Working towards being a PA in the Guard

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  • Working towards being a PA in the Guard

    I'm currently a Signal CPT in the Guard. I'm also a 2nd yr Physician Assistant student, attending a civilian school and will be graduating in Aug. 2013. My goal is to work as a PA as a civilian and in the Guard. I wanted to know what I should do to prepare, like transferring from Signal to Medical Specialist, getting dates for and attending BOLC, etc. I've asked around but have gotten vague answers.

    I also wanted to know if it's possible that a PA can become a company commander. I was certain that that was possible but I read a prior post stating that that will never happen so I'm just curious to the validity of that statement. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

    nebulus20
    CPT, SC, NYNG

  • #2
    Re: Working towards being a PA in the Guard

    Originally posted by nebulus20 View Post
    I'm currently a Signal CPT in the Guard. I'm also a 2nd yr Physician Assistant student, attending a civilian school and will be graduating in Aug. 2013. My goal is to work as a PA as a civilian and in the Guard. I wanted to know what I should do to prepare, like transferring from Signal to Medical Specialist, getting dates for and attending BOLC, etc. I've asked around but have gotten vague answers.

    I also wanted to know if it's possible that a PA can become a company commander. I was certain that that was possible but I read a prior post stating that that will never happen so I'm just curious to the validity of that statement. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

    nebulus20
    CPT, SC, NYNG
    You need to contact your states AMEDD recruiter, assuming they utilize one. Start with the State Officer Strength Manager if you have to just to get a good POC. However, I am pretty sure a state as large as NY most likely has a dedicated AMEDD recruiter. That is your single best POC for transferring from basic branch to AMEDD.

    AMEDD and JAG officers can only command units of their branch. You won't find any JAG commanders in the National Guard, but you do see them in the reserves as they have legal service units filled with nothing but JAG corps people. A doctor for example can command a hospital, but not a Brigade Comabt Team. So the chances of a PA being a commander are slim to none, unless you are assigned to a stricly medical organization and get extrememly lucky. The surgeon general for the Army, a 3 star position, is a nurse.
    Last edited by ParalegalNCO1; December 27th, 2012, 03:46 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Working towards being a PA in the Guard

      As the previous poster stated, your state AMEDD recruiter should have all information for you. This would include bonus availablity.

      Regarding being a company commander - absolutely. I have seen duty of two different companies since joining as a PA. Both have had PAs as company commanders. Now, they were medical companies, if you get into a line unit, then not so much.

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      • #4
        Re: Working towards being a PA in the Guard

        Originally posted by nebulus20 View Post
        I'm currently a Signal CPT in the Guard. I'm also a 2nd yr Physician Assistant student, attending a civilian school and will be graduating in Aug. 2013. My goal is to work as a PA as a civilian and in the Guard. I wanted to know what I should do to prepare, like transferring from Signal to Medical Specialist, getting dates for and attending BOLC, etc. I've asked around but have gotten vague answers.

        I also wanted to know if it's possible that a PA can become a company commander. I was certain that that was possible but I read a prior post stating that that will never happen so I'm just curious to the validity of that statement. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

        nebulus20
        CPT, SC, NYNG
        I had a question to ask you related to your post sent to you inbox. Please check and reply when you can. Thanks!

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        • #5
          Re: Working towards being a PA in the Guard

          Originally posted by nebulus20 View Post
          I also wanted to know if it's possible that a PA can become a company commander. I was certain that that was possible but I read a prior post stating that that will never happen so I'm just curious to the validity of that statement. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
          It can happen but is less than likely that it will happen.

          The Army has many times more 70B than it does PAs. So while you could gun for a command slot, there will be a lot of pressure in your earlier career (pre-LTC) to function as an actual provider rather than commanding a unit. The latter requires so much time and energy that you will not be able to function in your clinical role, which is typically harder to fill. Being the CO of a medical unit with no actual providers would be a bit weak.

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          • #6
            Re: Working towards being a PA in the Guard

            Originally posted by nebulus20 View Post
            I wanted to know what I should do to prepare, like transferring from Signal to Medical Specialist, getting dates for and attending BOLC, etc.
            I'm a new PA in the NG so I am working through some of these issues but I can add some info regarding BOLC and dates. BOLC for NG and RC are the same and comprise two phases. Phase I consists of an online DL component where you study the make-up of the Army, learn basic Army structure and tasks, and learn the roles of leadership and the requirements of being an officer. As you are already an officer you would probably breeze through that portion but it is long and time consuming. Phase II consists of a 28 day field exercise at Ft. Sam Houston. The active duty component has a 12 week BOLC and we augment with them when they are scheduled to go to the field. You have to complete Phase I before you can register for dates for Phase II. I actually just finished Phase I and I'm in the process of registering for dates for Phase II.

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