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Unit LOA for December Graduate

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  • Unit LOA for December Graduate

    Greetings Everybody, I'm currently a MSIII going to LDAC this summer. However, I will not be graduating until Dec 14. My first question is at what time would I be able to search for and obtain a LOA from a Unit being a Dec grad? My second question is since I'm commissioning in December, will I have an easier or harder time finding a unit with the branch of my choice(MI) or is there no way to know? Also, I don't know if it makes any difference but I am going to be looking to find a unit in the Maryland, DC, Virginia area.

  • #2
    Re: Unit LOA for December Graduate

    It's never too soon. I recommended to MSI cadets to make contact with their OSM, with the expectation that they wouldn't get an actual LOA until MSIII/IV year.

    Here's my standard guidance to cadets wanting MI branch:
    1. Do some research, because you may have misconceptions about the branch. It's extraordinarily tedious work. It's not James Bond.
    2. The personnel model is more of a diamond than a pyramid, which means that MI needs more captains than lieutenants. This means that you chances of getting MI as a lieutenant are low, because the force doesn't need that many MI lieutenants.
    3. That also means that the branch needs a number of mid-career captains to switch. Ergo, consider serving in a combat arms branch as a lieutenant, then seek an MI slot as a captain. I recommend Field Artillery (the thinking man's combat arms).

    So, go ahead and seek an MI slot, but have a Plan B and a Plan C. Also realize that you may have an MI slot ... but it's six hours from your house. Be realistic about that, and think that through now. Personally, I think that three hours is about the max a human being can sustain over the long-term as a drill commute, but that's your decision.

    The OSM in Virginia is MAJ Bryan HAMILTON (bryan.s.hamilton.mil@mail.mil).

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Unit LOA for December Graduate

      Thank you for the response Sir. I will definitely gather the contact information for the state's OSM that I'm interested in ASAP. As far as MI goes, I was unaware of the personnel model and as far as the work itself, I fully didn't expect it to be James Bond work. I was under the impression that it was analytical work(studying images, maps, the weather, etc.) as well as written reports(please correct if I'm wrong). My desire to go to the DC area is not to work for a Gov't agency but to work for a consulting firm. I'm a little unsure by what you mean by extraordinarily tedious work as we all have different ideas of what that entails.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Unit LOA for December Graduate

        Originally posted by matthew.ritchie View Post
        It's never too soon. I recommended to MSI cadets to make contact with their OSM, with the expectation that they wouldn't get an actual LOA until MSIII/IV year.

        Here's my standard guidance to cadets wanting MI branch:
        1. Do some research, because you may have misconceptions about the branch. It's extraordinarily tedious work. It's not James Bond.
        2. The personnel model is more of a diamond than a pyramid, which means that MI needs more captains than lieutenants. This means that you chances of getting MI as a lieutenant are low, because the force doesn't need that many MI lieutenants.
        3. That also means that the branch needs a number of mid-career captains to switch. Ergo, consider serving in a combat arms branch as a lieutenant, then seek an MI slot as a captain. I recommend Field Artillery (the thinking man's combat arms).

        So, go ahead and seek an MI slot, but have a Plan B and a Plan C. Also realize that you may have an MI slot ... but it's six hours from your house. Be realistic about that, and think that through now. Personally, I think that three hours is about the max a human being can sustain over the long-term as a drill commute, but that's your decision.

        The OSM in Virginia is MAJ Bryan HAMILTON (bryan.s.hamilton.mil@mail.mil).
        +1.

        I would recommend infantry over field artillery for many reasons.

        The max I would consider commuting for drill is approximately 2 hours and this is with an extremely reserve friendly employer.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Unit LOA for December Graduate

          Originally posted by Writ42 View Post
          as far as the work itself, I fully didn't expect it to be James Bond work. I was under the impression that it was analytical work(studying images, maps, the weather, etc.) as well as written reports(please correct if I'm wrong). My desire to go to the DC area is not to work for a Gov't agency but to work for a consulting firm. I'm a little unsure by what you mean by extraordinarily tedious work as we all have different ideas of what that entails.
          Do you find Sudoku puzzles interesting or maddening?

          I'm all about metaphors, so this is my metaphor to describe tactical intelligence (which is the Guard's MI focus).

          Put a bunch of people in a room at different tables. Take two or three different jigsaw puzzles, mix up the pieces. Give a handful of random pieces to each table, throw away half of the pieces. Do not let anyone see the picture on the box. Each person is welcome to go around to the other tables and look at their pieces, but they can't move the pieces from one table to another.

          Now, tell me about the picture on the box that you never saw, and you have two hours to figure it out or your buddies on patrol could die.
          Last edited by matthew.ritchie; March 30th, 2013, 01:55 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Unit LOA for December Graduate

            Originally posted by matthew.ritchie View Post
            Do you find Sudoku puzzles interesting or maddening?

            I'm all about metaphors, so this is my metaphor to describe tactical intelligence (which is the Guard's MI focus).

            Put a bunch of people in a room at different tables. Take two or three different jigsaw puzzles, mix up the pieces. Give a handful of random pieces to each table, throw away half of the pieces. Do not let anyone see the picture on the box. Each person is welcome to go around to the other tables and look at their pieces, but they can't move the pieces from one table to another.

            Now, tell me about the picture on the box that you never saw, and you have two hours to figure it out or your buddies on patrol could die.
            Nice way of describing what the MI branch does sir!

            Writ42, yes as an MI officer your main focus will be analysis(especially if you are in the S2 shop) and recommendations- how does all the information fit into the bigger picture, what is the enemy doing, what does your commander need to know etc.. In garrison if you are on staff you'll also have a part in the production of the OPORD, specifically the INTSUM and situation/terrain/weather parts of the OPORD. It really depends on what unit/role you get posted to. My current unit is about 2.5 hours away from where I live so you need to take commuting time/money spent on accommodation into consideration as well.

            Any reason why you want to go MI in the guard? (verses AD or USAR)

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Unit LOA for December Graduate

              OP, there are a few members on this forum who are MI officers (including myself) who can offer a pretty good insight to the branch.

              The LTC is correct in the overall mission and the complexities that we face. PeaceKeeper described a Staff S-2 with mostly accurate info (In reality, the S-2 is usually a O-2P/O-3 and will have a few NCOs and enlisted to accomplish the S-2 functions, with them being the overall manager of the shop. While the S-2 will have to know the INTSUM, OAKOC and Weather analysis, it will come from the work of their subordinates).

              I am an MI Platoon Leader in a MI CO in an MI BN. My job is vastly different from a staff officer and for the most part, more specialized due to the MOSs of my troops. So, while I had to learn the same things in BOLC as my staff counterparts, I also had to really take heed of leadership skills that were taught in ROTC/SMP and rely on my PLT SGT for advice/guidance.

              Comment

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