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  • Few questions

    So I've got a few questions. To let you know where I'm coming from, I'm a 21 year old girl, rising senior in college getting a major in Biology and minors in Biomanufacturing and Genetics. I am located in Raleigh, NC right now and will likely remain in NC with the fields I'm interested in for civilian paths.

    I am interested in going to OCS after I graduate and I would like to either enter the job field or go into grad school for either one of my minors. I would be interested in branching into Aviation or something with the Medical after OCS. Not something that's gonna put me on the front lines.


    First off, perhaps someone could just give me a reality check on to what I'm looking at getting myself into.

    Second, I was wondering about NG vs Reserves? I talked to a NG recruiter and he said the biggest advantage was two places of funding vs one. Is that true and are there any other advantages/disadvantages to one or the other?

    Third, I'm pretty small. 5'3" (maybe 5'2.5", no one can see to give me a consistent height record), weigh approximately 118 lbs, and I'm horribly out of shape. Would my size be an issue or anything?

    Lastly, for now, what types of benefits are there that can help me out with paying for school, family and living expenses/life in general.

  • #2
    Re: Few questions

    Originally posted by lor View Post
    So I've got a few questions. To let you know where I'm coming from, I'm a 21 year old girl, rising senior in college getting a major in Biology and minors in Biomanufacturing and Genetics. I am located in Raleigh, NC right now and will likely remain in NC with the fields I'm interested in for civilian paths.

    I am interested in going to OCS after I graduate and I would like to either enter the job field or go into grad school for either one of my minors. I would be interested in branching into Aviation or something with the Medical after OCS. Not something that's gonna put me on the front lines.


    First off, perhaps someone could just give me a reality check on to what I'm looking at getting myself into.

    Second, I was wondering about NG vs Reserves? I talked to a NG recruiter and he said the biggest advantage was two places of funding vs one. Is that true and are there any other advantages/disadvantages to one or the other?

    Third, I'm pretty small. 5'3" (maybe 5'2.5", no one can see to give me a consistent height record), weigh approximately 118 lbs, and I'm horribly out of shape. Would my size be an issue or anything?

    Lastly, for now, what types of benefits are there that can help me out with paying for school, family and living expenses/life in general.
    Here's some pointers for you based off of the above.

    1) Aviation and Medical are not typical branch choices out of OCS. Aviation is do-able, but very hard. It is moreso reserved for service academy and ROTC grads. Medical is absolutely NOT available out of OCS, it is only available through direct commission. There are special ARNG Medical Recruiters that you should seek out for the skinny on that because it all depends on your medical career field and amount of experience as to when/how you can come in.

    2) You don't have to wait until you graduate to do OCS in the National Guard, unless you just want to wait. You can begin the OCS program with 60 credit hours and commission as a 2LT with 90 credit hours. You cannot however promote to CPT or beyond without your Bachelors degree.

    3) Aviation and Medical are great branch choices. They may not put you ON the front line, but you'll be NEAR the front line. Every branch that isn't Maneuver, Fires, or Effects (formerly Combat Arms) supports the ground troops and you could just as easily wind up right beside them at any time. Also if you read up a little on the two simultaneous wars we've been fighting and the other hot spots around the world right now, there really isn't such thing as a front line anymore. Our enemies are cowards and know no boundaries, so attacks happen anywhere and almost everywhere troops are. As a (potential) soldier you shouldn't shirk from that, it's part of what we do and something you have to be prepared for no matter what your MOS or branch may be. That goes for any future soldiers out there.

    4) NG has a dual mission for both the state you serve in and the larger Army. You end up with some unique units and other missions you wouldn't otherwise get on Active Duty or in the Reserves. Reserves are just that, a reserve component of the larger Federal Army. It is probably true that they lack the same amount of funding and support (congressional comes to mind) that the National Guard does. There are plenty that can offer pros and cons on both sides, so I'll leave that to the officers who've been on both sides.

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    • #3
      Re: Few questions

      I was also wondering, since I want to train after I graduate, would it be better to sign in 2013 or wait until 2014? Or if that has any effect on ship dates. I'd most likely be trying to get one of the summer sessions in case I do decide to go to grad school.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Few questions

        This site has a wealth of information about OCS and the different paths to becoming an officer, so I would start looking through threads here (http://www.nationalguard.com/forums/...Branch-Officer) and you'll quickly find answers to a lot of these questions.

        As far as time commitment, you'll find you have only nominal control over training dates. If you do OCS, there are 3 types, Accelerated, State, and Traditional. ROTC is also an option to you if you go to grad school. When I joined they let me select my BCT/federal OCS date, but YMMV, and after that, you will drill for a while then will have to attend your ~4-6 month Basic Officer Course (which will be much longer if you go aviation).

        And, if you're horribly out of shape, start fixing that now. To succeed at OCS you need to be in very good shape, which takes time.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Few questions

          To add a few things, branching is very state dependant. Both MS and AV are availabe to branch but it'll take a lot of work on your part to get.

          Funding has more to do with the type of your unit you're in vs the component. The state is not going to add it's own funding for unit training. The only thing they state will fund, that you'll notice, is extra education benefits. There are pro's and con's to both the USAR and NG.

          It won't matter when you sign as the next class for most states is next spring.

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