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  • Considering Joining as 11b, questions inside

    Hello all that read this,

    Currently I'm 22 years old in my 3rd semester of nursing school and considering joining the National Guard when I graduate.
    Joining the military was something I have always wanted to do, but life had other plans in the works for me.

    My brother made a commitment to join the Army and that is when the National Guard was brought up as an option for me to serve,
    yet still be able to fulfill my responsibilities in my civilian life.

    My plan would be to enlist as 11b for a 6 year contract when I graduate nursing school and begin working on my masters around 2 years after that ( 1 year to get my BSN, another year ICU experience).
    In yalls professional opinion, should I get through master's school first? and then join the guard? or do you think I would be okay doing graduate school and the guard? I am raising a family, so finishing school Is my highest priority.
    I'm not sure what the chances of deployment are, but I've been reading I can expect to have 1 deployment in a 6 year contract. Is this still holding true? or are deployments slowing down for the guard? I've talked to some people who say that even after begging to go they never went, others have said they were deployed pretty quickly.

    While serving as an 11b would I be doing the 1 weekend a month, 2 weeks a year type of deal? or would it be more than that?
    I know that there are also schools available based on funding and other factors such as airborne, ranger, pathfinder, etc.
    If for some reason by the grace of god, good pt scores, and generally being squared away I was able to do something like airborne or ranger school,
    would there then be more than just the 1 weekend a month, 2 weeks a year expected of me?

    Assuming that National Guard soldiers, upon completion of ranger school would not be in the actual ranger regiment,
    would I simply return as an 11b with a ranger tab?
    My real question is, what would change for me if I completed something like airborne or ranger school, as these are a huge interest of mine and something I would love to do provided
    the opportunity presents itself.

    I apologize for any inaccuracies or false assumptions that might be in this post,

    have a great Sunday all.

  • #2
    I have responded the same to numerous posts on your question. Yes, it is possible. I have finished my bachelors degree while in the Guard while having a full-time job and going to college full-time and having a family and child. I had a child when I finished my bachelors, children when I finished my masters haha. I even mixed traditional OCS for a duration of those years.

    I switched to the Regular Army back in 2003 and have been on active duty for over ten years and finished a masters program that circled around two deployments to Afghanistan. It is all time management and realistic course load. Good luck.
    Last edited by Chief Kemosabe; January 26th, 2014, 05:18 PM.

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    • #3
      Don't push the cart before the horse. Bottom line is that special schools are harder to come by than active duty. I am in a class now with Guardsmen and only one has an airborne and air assault badge that he earned last year at 49 years old (plus the German Proficiency Badge). The active duty in the class are the ones with all the badges. Why is that? Again, because on active, it is much easier to get those schools based on location, MOS and money. I earned one personal award during my 8 years with the Guard and earned 11 of them in a 10-year span on active duty lol. And that is because we go to the field and receive impact awards and awards when you PCS. Simply, they are just two different animals.

      If you set upon having a ranger tab and all those badges, then do an active duty stint and knock them out.

      In the Guard, I was activated for Operation Noble Eagle and on active duty (this time with the Army), been deployed three times. Once to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan. Almost three years of my life downrange out of ten. My brother was in jail for less time.

      BTW, there are Soldiers with various jobs/MOSes that have Ranger tabs.
      Last edited by Chief Kemosabe; January 26th, 2014, 05:16 PM.

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      • #4
        Forget about Ranger school. If you do join then maybe you can think about it after a few years if you are able to get high enough on the Order of Merit List (OML) that I'm sure the company or battalion has. But even being #1 on the OML doesn't guarantee the opportunity to go. Funding and unfortunately politics will play a huge role. Many 11B's have the chance to attend Airborne at the end of AIT provided they have a high PT score and are not D-bags in the eyes of the DI's. This is because Airborne is held on Benning, same place as AIT. So the state doesn't have to spend nearly as much money, just extend your orders another 3 weeks. Some state are so broke they wont be able to afford to even do that but the possibility is better getting it then than later down the road in your career. I'm assuming your in Texas, and Texas has the only NG airborne infantry battalion. Opportunities should be better there.

        Going to college while in the NG is easy. Especially as a E-4 and bellow when all you really have to do is keep yourself in shape and show up once a month. By completing AIT you will qualify for the GI Bill which will be a nice monthly stipend while you work on your masters. As for deployments its a possibility for sure but the likelihood is shrinking rapidly now that we are reducing numbers in Afghanistan and have been out of Iraq for a while. Deployments are going to become few and far between where before it was true that you could expect to deploy at least once in a 6 year enlistment. How soon you can deploy depends on the unit you are assigned to as every unit has a deployment training cycle of about 5 years. That doesn't mean every unit will deploy when they reach the deployable year, most won't. But if they do deploy and you show up in the 4th year then you will likely deploy with that unit about a year after graduating AIT. Show up at year 1, you get the idea. And that's just generalizing as some units have been deployed earlier in that cycle but these days that will be very unlikely.

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        • #5
          Both of you, thank you for your replies!

          The chance to attend Ranger school would be a dream come true more than anything else, but I realize that with the National Guard funding plays a huge role and that is just part of the territory. I was more just inquiring on whether or not it would affect the time demanded for drill and the like.

          As for Airborne school that is some good news, I was thinking that it would be a greater possibility than Ranger school, and the fact about Texas having the only Airborne Infantry Battalion is pretty cool to hear.

          I still need to talk this over with my other half, I'm not sure how it will go to be honest. I joked around with her about joining the Army with my brother and that wasn't taken to well.
          I'll explain the benefits, especially things like the stipend during master's school as I won't be able to work during that time. We'll see how it goes.

          Thank you both for the information, it really helped.

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