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  • Officer vs. Enlisted help.

    I'm 29, I have my Associate's and Bachelor's Degree and scored high enough on the ASVAB to participate in the Guard OSC program. I'm looking to change careers and get into the technology field. I was wondering whether to go enlisted and go through the signal 25B (AIT) and after completion try OCS or just go to OCS right away. I'm just curious if the signal 25B course gives me enough training and skills for the civilian world and if the accrediations earned through AIT are accepted in the civilian world? On the other hand I want to gain the most from my Guard experience and wanted to know if it would more beneficial to go straight to OSC after basic, for faster advancement during my Guard Career. If anyone can give me some advice/insight into this it would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Officer vs. Enlisted help.

    Chief Kemosabe is the guy to talk to on Signal related experience.

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    • #3
      Re: Officer vs. Enlisted help.

      If you're looking to gain technical skills that the civilian market values, then stay enlisted for a few years in the 25-series jobs. You might also consider pursuing service as a Warrant Officer, which will take several years of hard work and dedication.

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      • #4
        Re: Officer vs. Enlisted help.

        I went straight OCS from Basic and branched 25A. From the officer side the SBOLC (the officer version of AIT) gave me a decent overview of the equipment that is used in todays' army. Some of the things I learned can be directly transfered to the civilian world (I earned a Security+ cert while there), but a lot of the material is very army centric such as Radios and Antenna types and so forth. It gives a good overview of what your soldiers will be working on and the terminology that is used, but will be no means make you an expert.

        I compare it to a good mid level manager who has techies working for them. Its not the supervisor level that came up the ranks, but maybe their boss who came directly from school. This person knows to a good extent what is being talked about, but isn't in the weeds to really get down and help figure it out. Now, the more time I spend in the field and the more I learn, the more I am able to help figure out the solutions, but it doesn't start that way.

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        • #5
          Re: Officer vs. Enlisted help.

          Originally posted by Mitch Atkinson View Post
          I'm 29, I have my Associate's and Bachelor's Degree and scored high enough on the ASVAB to participate in the Guard OSC program. I'm looking to change careers and get into the technology field. I was wondering whether to go enlisted and go through the signal 25B (AIT) and after completion try OCS or just go to OCS right away. I'm just curious if the signal 25B course gives me enough training and skills for the civilian world and if the accrediations earned through AIT are accepted in the civilian world? On the other hand I want to gain the most from my Guard experience and wanted to know if it would more beneficial to go straight to OSC after basic, for faster advancement during my Guard Career. If anyone can give me some advice/insight into this it would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
          Mitch,

          I am a Signal Warrant with over 20 years in the IT sector. 25B AIT will provide you with the basic skills necessary to perform entry-level civilian IT jobs and vouchers to earn IT certificates that are recognized world-wide.

          Also, the LTC is correct about becoming a Signal Warrant Officer because it will take many years to become eligible to apply. I been doing it for over 5 years on active duty and there is still tons for me to learn. That is how vast and diverse the field is.

          I would be rich now if I had a dime for every NCO/Soldier who has approached me for a letter of recommendation or information on becoming a Warrant Officer due to the drawdown and retention control point changes. To purse a Warrant career is not based on a plan B, C or D attack because your present career plans have changed. Its a path that is desired and wanted from inception and to grasp the reins and run with it. Many senior Warrants will not write a letter of recommendation until an application has fully had time to learn what the Army is about.

          I suggest if IT is your desire; then purse the enlisted option and work towards that Warrant goal. If you want to utilize your education to its maximum potential, then go the Officer route and hope for the best in your career field selection and gain that managerial experience.

          Good luck.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Officer vs. Enlisted help.

            Originally posted by Mitch Atkinson View Post
            I'm 29, I have my Associate's and Bachelor's Degree and scored high enough on the ASVAB to participate in the Guard OSC program. I'm looking to change careers and get into the technology field. I was wondering whether to go enlisted and go through the signal 25B (AIT) and after completion try OCS or just go to OCS right away. I'm just curious if the signal 25B course gives me enough training and skills for the civilian world and if the accrediations earned through AIT are accepted in the civilian world? On the other hand I want to gain the most from my Guard experience and wanted to know if it would more beneficial to go straight to OSC after basic, for faster advancement during my Guard Career. If anyone can give me some advice/insight into this it would be greatly appreciated, thanks.


            Mitch,

            I am a Signal Warrant with over 20 years in the IT sector. 25B AIT will provide you with the basic skills necessary to perform entry-level civilian IT jobs and vouchers to earn IT certificates that are recognized world-wide.

            Also, the LTC is correct about becoming a Signal Warrant Officer because it will take many years to become eligible to apply. I been doing it for over 5 years on active duty and there is still tons for me to learn. That is how vast, ever-changing and diverse the field is. But that what IT technology encompasses. Moore's law at its finest.

            I would be rich now if I had a dime for every NCO/Soldier who has approached me since 2009 for a letter of recommendation or information on becoming a Warrant Officer due to the draw-down and retention control point changes. To purse a Warrant career is not based on a plan B, C or D attack because your present career plans have changed. Its a path that is desired and wanted from inception and to grasp the reins and run with it. Many senior Warrants will not write a letter of recommendation until an application has fully had time to learn what the Army is about.

            I suggest if IT is your desire; then purse the enlisted option and work towards that Warrant goal. If you want to utilize your education to its maximum potential, then go the Officer route and hope for the best in your career field selection and gain that managerial experience.

            Good luck.
            Last edited by Chief Kemosabe; March 22nd, 2013, 03:52 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Officer vs. Enlisted help.

              The fastest route to a high paying civilian job in the IT/defense/tech sector is to get a BS Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, or Computer Engineering degree and have a Secret or higher security clearance. I think we would all agree that this route is much faster if the OP is not even a member of service yet and wants to become a Warrant Officer.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Officer vs. Enlisted help.

                Originally posted by Polo08816 View Post
                the OP is not even a member of service yet and wants to become a Warrant Officer.
                I've been seeing this a lot lately.. Seems like there is a misunderstanding of what a WO is/does.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Officer vs. Enlisted help.

                  Originally posted by Lance13A View Post
                  I've been seeing this a lot lately.. Seems like there is a misunderstanding of what a WO is/does.
                  Yes. They may not realize that this is a ten-year goal.

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