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  • New here. Looking for information and insight regarding OCS

    Some information about me first. I am 26 years old and I will be graduating in 2 weeks with a B.A. in Athletic Training from the University of Southern Maine (I did not do ROTC). I have a strong background regarding injury prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, biomechanics, and overall health and wellness. I was born and raised in the state of Maine and currently still live here. I am seriously considering and looking into the National Guard since it's always been on my mind since the beginning of my college days. At this point in my life, even though I will be graduating soon, I am still unsure what my ultimate career passion is, and I am not ready to "settle down" into the hum drum 9-5 life. Without getting too deep into my current thoughts as I reach graduation, I am still looking for more fulfillment in life in regards to careers and giving back to my community and country. I'm looking to start a new journey and adventure, and I think the National Guard can help me with that! On top of everything else, the benefits that the NG has to offer appeal to me in many ways.

    I have not talked to a recruiter yet, but I plan on it soon. Among the many questions that I have (that I will have to discuss with my recruiter), what are some career paths/jobs I could take within the NG with my educational background in Athletic Training? Would their be Officer related opportunities for me with this degree?

    Any information appreciated, thank you!

  • #2
    Re: New here. Looking for information and insight regarding OCS

    Your Athletic Training degree may help you as a physical motivator, but it's not going to lend itself to any jobs within the Guard.

    Do you already have a job lined up? You mentioned not knowing what your "ultimate career passion" is and not being ready to "settle down." At this point in your life, you're still young enough to qualify for Active Duty OCS (age cut-off is currently 30). I'll have to say, IF that is an option for you the time is NOW to apply. The acceptance process used to be much longer and arduous including Company interview, Battaltion interview, then Army Recruiting Command Board packet review. Acceptance was at about 30% or lower at any given USAREC board. Now if you make it through the Battalion interview, you're almost a shoe-in. I think the selection rate has gone up to about 80%, so long as you have a good GPA, your extracurriculars, good letters of recommendation, and can conduct yourself well in an interview.

    Since you don't have anything tying you down, I'd personally say this is your best route. I went down this route at one point (at your same age, albeit I'd been out of school and working for about 3 years already) but my family and work situation changed, making the Guard a better fit for me. You could go do your 6-8 years as an Active Duty Officer then transition into the Guard if you so chose to. Visit ArmyOCS.com for some more info on that process.

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    • #3
      Re: New here. Looking for information and insight regarding OCS

      I agree with what the OC said.

      Based on your post, the NG OCS plan isn't going to fulfill completely what you are looking for. You would have to come back to the 9-5 gig once you got back from BCT and OCS drill weekends.

      While I love helping people into the NG OCS, the program is more geared twords settled adults with careers and what not...

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      • #4
        Re: New here. Looking for information and insight regarding OCS

        Originally posted by rbourque314 View Post
        Some information about me first. I am 26 years old and I will be graduating in 2 weeks with a B.A. in Athletic Training from the University of Southern Maine (I did not do ROTC). I have a strong background regarding injury prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, biomechanics, and overall health and wellness. I was born and raised in the state of Maine and currently still live here. I am seriously considering and looking into the National Guard since it's always been on my mind since the beginning of my college days. At this point in my life, even though I will be graduating soon, I am still unsure what my ultimate career passion is, and I am not ready to "settle down" into the hum drum 9-5 life. Without getting too deep into my current thoughts as I reach graduation, I am still looking for more fulfillment in life in regards to careers and giving back to my community and country. I'm looking to start a new journey and adventure, and I think the National Guard can help me with that! On top of everything else, the benefits that the NG has to offer appeal to me in many ways.

        I have not talked to a recruiter yet, but I plan on it soon. Among the many questions that I have (that I will have to discuss with my recruiter), what are some career paths/jobs I could take within the NG with my educational background in Athletic Training? Would their be Officer related opportunities for me with this degree?

        Any information appreciated, thank you!

        If I were you I would take the ASVAB, score a 110 GT or higher on it, then enlist with an 09S option. When you're done with OCS and BOLC go get your Masters degree in Occupational Therapy on the civilian side. Have the Guard pay for it. Check out the link below:

        Last edited by VICEROY06; May 1st, 2013, 01:12 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: New here. Looking for information and insight regarding OCS

          Originally posted by TxIntel 1978 View Post
          I agree with what the OC said.

          Based on your post, the NG OCS plan isn't going to fulfill completely what you are looking for. You would have to come back to the 9-5 gig once you got back from BCT and OCS drill weekends.

          While I love helping people into the NG OCS, the program is more geared twords settled adults with careers and what not...
          I'll tag back off of this. I have a few young gun, fresh out of college types in my OCS class, and they too are probably in similar situation as yourself. One in fact DOES have a fitness degree and just finished school and is working as a Trainer for now. Anyways, it seems those types that aren't tied down get that initial taste of this and start thinking they want to do it full-time and they start thinking "Oh I'm going to switch to Active Duty first thing."

          Not saying this will be you, but I'll just give you a fair warning on that and anyone else with that mindset. You can do plenty of research on this board and elsewhere, and while maybe about 5 years ago you could do it fairly easily those chances are far from and in-between now. The best you're probalby going to get is ATTEMPTING to apply for a Call To Active Duty once you've reached CPT, that is assuming that annual program is still around at that point and you're competitive enough to be selected. There is none of that "getting picked up for AD at BOLC" crap. Ok off my soap-box now. If you can't tell I've had this conversation face-to-face with a few folks.

          Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to steer anyone away from the NG whatsoever. However, if I'd had the forsight to go for it right after college when I was still single and such (or had done ROTC), I would have just gone AD to start off.

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          • #6
            Re: New here. Looking for information and insight regarding OCS

            Thank you for the responses! I have certainly gone back and forth on looking at AD as well. The main reason I've been considering the NG route is that since I will be fresh out of college and really haven't gotten into the work force with my degree (However I have always been in the work force since high school), at this point I'm not ready to fully commit to AD since I don't really know what lies ahead for me in terms of civilian career options. I'm looking for balance. I currently have an OK paying job, but it's certainly not something I want to be at for the rest of my life and also not what I went to school for.

            Do you think my best options right now are to speak to recruiters from both sides and see what they have to offer?

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            • #7
              Re: New here. Looking for information and insight regarding OCS

              Originally posted by rbourque314 View Post
              Thank you for the responses! I have certainly gone back and forth on looking at AD as well. The main reason I've been considering the NG route is that since I will be fresh out of college and really haven't gotten into the work force with my degree (However I have always been in the work force since high school), at this point I'm not ready to fully commit to AD since I don't really know what lies ahead for me in terms of civilian career options. I'm looking for balance. I currently have an OK paying job, but it's certainly not something I want to be at for the rest of my life and also not what I went to school for.

              Do you think my best options right now are to speak to recruiters from both sides and see what they have to offer?
              Yup. 4 years as an Army officer is a lot better on a resume than 4 years working at JCPennys. Just saying.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: New here. Looking for information and insight regarding OCS

                Originally posted by rbourque314 View Post
                Thank you for the responses! I have certainly gone back and forth on looking at AD as well. The main reason I've been considering the NG route is that since I will be fresh out of college and really haven't gotten into the work force with my degree (However I have always been in the work force since high school), at this point I'm not ready to fully commit to AD since I don't really know what lies ahead for me in terms of civilian career options. I'm looking for balance. I currently have an OK paying job, but it's certainly not something I want to be at for the rest of my life and also not what I went to school for.

                Do you think my best options right now are to speak to recruiters from both sides and see what they have to offer?

                You have two serious options to consider:

                (A). 4 years as an AD Army Officer as TxIntel 1978 suggested. Use your G.I. benefits to get your Masters degree in OT or PT.

                (B). 2 years of getting a Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy or Physical Therapy.

                Why do I keep harping on OT/PT? Because with your background and B.S. degree you'll have a better chance at plugging up prerequisites right off the bat in the Masters program. Secondly, median income for Occupational Therapists hover around the $70,000 to $85,000 area with PT being slightly less but still very good.

                You'll still be in your 20's making a hell of a lot more money. You'll still have the option of enlisting afterwards, either going 09S in the National Guard and scoring an SLRP and/or direct commission in AMEDD.
                Last edited by VICEROY06; May 2nd, 2013, 01:35 PM.

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