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ARNG - Considering Joining - Need Answers!

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  • ARNG - Considering Joining - Need Answers!

    Hi Everyone.

    I apologize if some of my questions and concerns have been answered in other threads. I have spent hours reading through as much as possible and would like to post my questions at this point.

    I am in the beginning stages (just spoke to a recruiter a few days ago) of pursuing a 35F position at my local unit here (in Utah). I have a Bachelors and Masters degree and would prefer to join as an Officer. My primary question is; if I join as an Officer, is my job (35F) guaranteed prior to actually joining and shipping to Basic?

    Also, many threads have talked about Officers having much more of a commitment then the usual "one weekend a month, two weeks a year" situation. Can you experienced Officers elaborate on that a bit more (i.e. is it more like two weekends a month, or 3-4 days at a time, etc?).

    I hope my questions are clear. I want to make sure I have all (or most) of the details settled before I make a decision. I have an excellent civilian career, married, and not strapped financially or career wise - so I would really be doing this just to serve, learn additional skills in an area of interest, and at some point, lead soldiers under whatever capacity necessary.

  • #2
    Re: ARNG - Considering Joining - Need Answers!

    A position as an officer is not guaranteed. It's highly dependent upon openings in units as every unit only needs a few officers compared to the amount of enlisted. If your state has a good officer strength manager they will be able to assist you in finding open slots. It's also good to find any intel units in your area and talk to their command about openings and what they're looking for.

    As far as time commitments, leaders are expected to put more time in outside of the weekend drill for doing research and planning for the next weekend. You can't just forget about NG stuff and show up expecting something to happen, you have to make decisions and plans for your unit, especially if you're in direct command of troops. During my platoon leader time I would spend plenty of time at home looking up tasks and making training plans or equipment requests in order to make sure that when everyone arrived, we'd have an idea of what was going on and could start training. If you just want to show up, play army for a weekend and go back home and forget about it, the officer corps is not for you.

    Check with the recruiter and the officer strength manager about requirements for becoming an O in your state. I know active army is apparently not letting people go to OCS unless they've served a year enlisted. One of the NG recruiters up here said you can't be an O unless you were prior service, but I'm not sure if that's just the state or nationwide now. Good luck.


    • #3
      Re: ARNG - Considering Joining - Need Answers!

      Maybe some other officers may attest but the extra days planning for the next drill are not paid for. Possibly not even time counted for retirement. Enlisted get guarantee jobs before going to basic; not the majority of Officer jobs; except if you go for Nursing, Legal, Medical or Chaplain.


      • #4
        Re: ARNG - Considering Joining - Need Answers!

        OP - first and foremost, 35F is not an MOS open to officers. Now you can be an MI Officer, but your responsibilities will be different than those of the enlisted 35F troops you might work with.

        If you want to join as an officer, it's likely your enlistment contract will not be for 35F, but more likely an O9; you'd go to basic and then OCS (instead of AIT). Prior to completion you will be assessed a branch and when you graduate you'll report to the unit in which you have been assigned based on your branch assignment. No branch is really guaranteed under this scenario and officer MI slots tend to be low in supply and high in demand.

        You could always enlist into the 35F slot and pursue OCS down the road. Again, no guarantee of your slot once you commission, but that's another path you could take. If you heart is set on MI, the closest you'll get to a sure thing is to enlist and abandon the notion of joining as an officer (at least for now).

        As for time spent, I'm almost done with my second year in command. I spend, on average, 10-12 hours/week between drills handling unit business, none of which I'm financially compensated for. Last year I think I missed about 20 days of work for military commitments - drills, AT, Yearly Training Briefs, USR briefs, etc. All of these were paid days as I was in uniform, but it was still time away from work/home. This year will be similar, though I haven't checked yet so I'm not sure on the exact count to date. I'd guess my platoon leaders are probably in the 4-8 hour/week range, with minimal requirements to be away from home/work outside of drill/AT.

        Hope that helps.