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  • general concerns

    I've spent the majority of this evening reading up no other people's questions/concerns and I have a few of my own.

    Recently a 13D opening came into my email from one of the copious career websites out there. Being that I have a fairly lengthy career going in computer systems as it is, I thought I would look into this. My father served this country faithfully for 28 years in the U.S. Army and I feel as thought I should do my part as well.

    Now, I'm 30 years old and would have to buckle down to get into better physical shape, but, that's very doable. I'm not on any medications or have any diagnosis. And I'm not overweight, but, I've been a smoker for a very long time and cardio would kick my ass at this point.

    My current job is a contractor to a federal agency and I support a specific group of I.T. systems for them. I have been at this same location for over 10 years. 3 of those years I was a federal employee but I went back to contracting for the money. In the short term money is where my concerns are. If I made the decision to join and serve, I would have to go on LWOP for the 10 weeks of BCT and then an additional 7 weeks (I think) for AIT. So that's 17 weeks without my current paycheck. Now, I understand you get paid while you're going through BCT and AIT, however, I know that it's probably not nearly what I am making now and more than likely won't cover my bills. Would it be in my best interest to bank as much $$ as I can in my current job to make sure my bills can get paid for those 4 months or so that I am in training?

    And is the commitment term still a minimum of 8 years?

    Thanks for anyone that takes the time to read and write back. Your thoughts are appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: general concerns

    Originally posted by M416 View Post
    Would it be in my best interest to bank as much $$ as I can in my current job to make sure my bills can get paid for those 4 months or so that I am in training?
    Well, I think you should always have enough money in the bank to cover you for at least 4 months in case of emergencies, unemployment, etc.

    As for the pay disparity, it may not be as bad as you think. If you have a mortgage or can provide a valid lease for a rental property, you will receive BAH (basic allowance for housing) based on your home of record, on top of your regular pay. Type in your zip code here to see what you would get--> ( I received $500/month more for BAH than what I paid for rent.

    Also, your meals will be paid for and you will have very few expenses, so basically every dime you spend will be saved.

    Have you checked with your employer to see if they have a policy on military leave? My employer (I'm also a federal contractor) gives me 2 full weeks of paid leave, separate from regular PTO. I also know some employers will pay the difference between your salary and mil salary for a set period, and other similar incentives.

    I don't want to pry into your family or financial situation, but I have little doubt if your tighten the belt for a while, leaving for 4 months will not kill you.


    • #3
      Re: general concerns

      You will definately want to have your finances in order prior to shipping to Basic. Setup as much as you can for Auto pay and any what you can't setup you will need to have a relative or someone you trust pay them for you. You will not have access to a bank or computers during BCT.

      Your commitment time depends on the contract you sign. If you sign up for 4yrs then it is 4 years in a drilling status with another 4 years in IRR (totalling 8 years). A 6 year contract is 6/2. So you are correct in that it is 8 years, but the time drilling and IRR are based on the contract you sign.

      Smoking is something that you will want to give up prior to BCT as well. You can't smoke during Basic so it would be best to reduce and quit at your own pace rather than going through withdrawls during the few weeks of Basic. Just my .02c


      • #4
        Re: general concerns

        You can also try to freeze/defer payments on larger items like car/house payments while you're gone. I would suspect the "going to basic" story is not uncommon amongst banks.


        • #5
          Re: general concerns

          I did all of this when I went as a 31 yr old with mortgage, family, etc. As a federal contractor, they'll be pretty understanding... and so will the banks. I would double check that LWOP bit though.


          • #6
            Re: general concerns

            If you coudn't financially survive a deployment, maybe you reconsider joining the NG. Also, just becuase you complete BCT/AIT, there are other schools and training events you're going to have to attend.


            • #7
              Re: general concerns

              Many thanks to all of you who have responded. I will dig deeper with my employer and mortgage holder to see what I am up against there. I know that my employer does offer some length of Military leave; I'm just not sure what it is.

              After reading what you all posted here, it doesn't seem like it would be as big of a strain as I had made it out to be in my head.

              On to a little more research! Thank you all again!