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  • Becoming an Officer, Questions

    Hello everyone,

    I'm new on this site and I'm currently going through the (very early) motions of joining the National Guard Reserves. I apologize for my ignorance because I don't know as much as I probably should and as a result I have a lot of questions that I'm hoping to find answers for.

    Anyway, I took my ASVAB and scored in the 90s and I have a college degree that I am not really satisfied with. If I pass the physical and everything my recruiter has recommended OCS, which is what I am going to do.

    As stated, I am not satisfied with my college degree and I want to go back to school for something else. I know the guard offers educations benefits. How would I eventually go about doing this? I saw a few 5 year bachelor/masters programs but I did not know if I would be able to do such a program. Generally to go back to school for a masters it would take getting a good score on the GRE and also meeting the pre reqs for the programs. Currently, I can't say that I meet the pre reqs to get into most of the programs I want to and that's kind of why I am looking at 5 year Master's so that I can change my discipline and become specialized in another focus. I was stupid and went to school just to get a degree. Would I be able to do a program like this or at the very least takes classes to get into a program?

    Also, my nature is to be more hands on and active. Reading through the jobs I was interested in jobs that require hands on activity and also some thinking. Most of them involved working with aircraft maintenance and logistics, engineering, missles, nuclear jobs, and to some extent medical. However, I was told that officers don't "get jobs" but rather they're assigned a particular field (combat, medical, etc.). I'm slightly lost as to how this works and the type of training I'd get considering I wouldn't have a job such as an aircraft electrician or topographic surveyor or whatever. I am against desk work and basically any jobs that requires mostly paperwork so I'd like to avoid this at all costs.

    Any help on these matters would be great, thanks guys!

  • #2
    Re: Becoming an Officer, Questions

    Almost all 'Officers' have a desk and do paperwork.

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    • #3
      Re: Becoming an Officer, Questions

      Whether or not you can do a master's program like you describe comes down to your ability to manage your time and schedule. Your goals aren't really that clear, so it's hard to give you any advice. At a basic level, if you're asking "Is it possible to be an officer and go to school?" the answer is Yes. There are plenty of guys here that can give you more insight into what that's like.

      As to your second question, one way of thinking about the responsibilities of an officer versus those of enlisted soldiers is to consider an officer a generalist (wide body of knowledge, not a lot of expertise) and enlisted as a specialist (narrow body of knowledge, lots of expertise). You're expected to lean on your subject matter experts and lead them to mission success. For example, as an Engineer Officer, I've been exposed to construction AND combat operations and have held assignments in both types of units. In both cases, the enlisted soldiers acted as the subject matter experts - that is I understood the broad concepts and missions requirements, but had to utilize the working knowledge of my enlisted guys to get everything done.

      I'm being pretty general, but intentionally so. If you want to know more about education benefits and enlistment options / how to become an officer, continue to work with your recruiter.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Becoming an Officer, Questions

        There are some other options you may not have looked at. Search for my posts on "ROTC" and "OCS" to get some good comparisons between the two and how it relates to what you want to do... Mainly, if you go through OCS, your OML is going to dictate what branch you get. Unless you are super-rockstar, there is a good chance you won't get your heart's desire. ROTC is a path to individual branch selection, but it comes with some other points that you'll want to look at.

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        • #5
          Re: Becoming an Officer, Questions

          Originally posted by JCon View Post
          I am against desk work and basically any jobs that requires mostly paperwork so I'd like to avoid this at all costs.
          If this is the case, you should enlist. Planning (paperwork) needs to be done in any type of unit, even combat arms.

          Also, check out this thread from the other day about Guard benefit/ second Bachelor's:

          http://www.nationalguard.com/forums/...chelors-Degree

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Becoming an Officer, Questions

            Thanks for all of the help guys. As mentioned, I would just be planning on doing reserves so I don't think finding the time for school would be too much of a problem, especially if I cut back to a part-time position. Also, I doubt I'd be eligible for an ROTC program considering I have a bachelor's already.

            Additionally, it's not like I'm trying to completely avoid paperwork it's just that I'd like to be a little more involved. I'd like to have a knowledge of what the soliders are doing and potentially be able to do it myself. I think it would be pretty ridiculous to holler at a soldier for not doing his job correct if I myself can't even do it or don't know what goes into doing it.

            So I guess what it really comes down to is what kind of education benefits (aside from paying back federal loans) are offered? I'm wondering if the benefits also apply to officers as well.

            Thanks so much for your help guys, it's a big life decision so I'm just trying to gather all of the facts and know what to expect and where I can go from here.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Becoming an Officer, Questions

              Originally posted by JCon View Post
              Also, I doubt I'd be eligible for an ROTC program considering I have a bachelor's already.
              Matters not. I went in with 2 Bachelors and got my MS degree from ROTC.

              Originally posted by JCon View Post
              I think it would be pretty ridiculous to holler at a soldier for not doing his job correct if I myself can't even do it or don't know what goes into doing it.
              Officers don't yell at soldiers. Heck, we *rarely* discipline them, unless they are doing something truly stupid. That is not our lane.

              Originally posted by JCon View Post
              So I guess what it really comes down to is what kind of education benefits (aside from paying back federal loans) are offered? I'm wondering if the benefits also apply to officers as well.
              Not many in those terms. We get the state benefits, GI BIll and the like. I could be wrong, but I don't think we get SLRP...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Becoming an Officer, Questions

                Originally posted by JCon View Post
                Thanks for all of the help guys. As mentioned, I would just be planning on doing reserves so I don't think finding the time for school would be too much of a problem, especially if I cut back to a part-time position. Also, I doubt I'd be eligible for an ROTC program considering I have a bachelor's already.

                Additionally, it's not like I'm trying to completely avoid paperwork it's just that I'd like to be a little more involved. I'd like to have a knowledge of what the soliders are doing and potentially be able to do it myself. I think it would be pretty ridiculous to holler at a soldier for not doing his job correct if I myself can't even do it or don't know what goes into doing it.

                So I guess what it really comes down to is what kind of education benefits (aside from paying back federal loans) are offered? I'm wondering if the benefits also apply to officers as well.

                Thanks so much for your help guys, it's a big life decision so I'm just trying to gather all of the facts and know what to expect and where I can go from here.
                Plenty of opportunity for this; in fact it will be expected in many cases. If I have a PL that can't set up a dual primed, dual initiated charge, I've got a big problem.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Becoming an Officer, Questions

                  Originally posted by TxIntel 1978 View Post
                  I could be wrong, but I don't think we get SLRP...
                  Unless things have changed in the last year, 09s are eligible for SLRP. I had about $7k in loans but instead opted for the $10K Officer Accession Bonus, only to find out the MEPS liaison didn't put the addendum in my contract after swearing it was there. I'll never make a $7,000 mistake like that again....Read every word of everything you sign!
                  Last edited by enceladus; June 5th, 2013, 03:57 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Becoming an Officer, Questions

                    Thanks a lot for the input guys, it helps me out a lot.

                    Originally posted by TxIntel 1978 View Post
                    Matters not. I went in with 2 Bachelors and got my MS degree from ROTC.
                    That's awesome, I am going to check with my recruiter and see what I can do about this.

                    And as someone had mentioned, right now I don't have clear goals, in general. I've just been very dissatisfied with how the past 4 years after college have been, I've always wanted to join the Army National Guard and I feel that this is a great time for me to take the move.

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