Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
Branching MI in NJ National Guard? Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Branching MI in NJ National Guard?

    Hello,

    I will be participating in an ROTC program this fall as an SMP cadet. I'm currently in the NJ Army National Guard. I have heard conflicting reports about the ease/difficulty of finding a slot in a unit somewhere should I choose to branch Military Intelligence. Choosing to become an officer is obviously a big commitment and so I'd like to start putting some thought into what I'll be branching now vs. later should my number one option (MI) become no longer a viable one. Does anyone here have any experience or advice concerning this matter? Thanks in advance for your help.

  • #2
    Re: Branching MI in NJ National Guard?

    MI is a small branch, particularly for lieutenants. Ask for it, and pursue it diligently, but have a Plan B.

    My recommended Plan B: seek a combat arms platoon leader assignment, either in maneuver (Infantry, Armor), or Field Artillery. Then seek MI branch as a captain, because in many states they need more MI captains than MI lieutenants. You might even consider making this your Plan A, since it will give you a broader base of knowledge and experience, and buy you more credibility with your commander when you become an S2.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Branching MI in NJ National Guard?

      There are several points to consider when branching MI in NJ.

      First, is that almost everyone wants it. ROTC is a good way to give you a shot at it. There's rarely any MI slots left for OCS after ROTC cadets have filled out their wish lists and branched.

      Second, as far as I know, there isnt an MI specific position in the state higher than a CPT. As an MI officer in NJ you'll end up either working some type of "ground based sensor" should you get deployed or you'll be managing security clearances. Neither of which is all that helpful should you decide to work in an intelligence field as a civilian. The clearance is valuable, but not as much as people like to think it is.

      At my command we put very, very little emphasis on if someone is cleared already because these days we can get them cleared in a few months and keep them busy in the mean time.

      I'm not saying that branching MI is a bad idea. I'm saying you probably have some higher expectations and may be disappointed with reality. If you're willing to commute for a more interesting MI position, the PA guard has several MI units of all type. I dont know how full they are, but its worth considering.

      EDIT> Also, in NJ be prepared to be double or even triple slotted. This means you'll be considered excess. There are a ton of MI LTs running around and about half as many slots. I sometimes suspect that NJ keeps offering MI as a branch just to pull in officers to throw into logistics once they make Captain

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Branching MI in NJ National Guard?

        Thanks for the feedback, LTC and LT. My plan B's were Infantry, Aviation, and Quartermaster (I'm currently a 92Y). I would consider making the monthly trip out to PA, however I would prefer NJ because of the tuition waiver program. I'm planning on attending law school after I finish up my undergrad and masters. LT, if I were to branch MI and find a slot where let's say I am only managing security clearances, wouldn't the addition of a TS clearance and military background on top of a strong academic resume help me land a decent civilian job? As you said, I definitely had higher expectations for what branching MI and the security clearance would get me.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Branching MI in NJ National Guard?

          Originally posted by saighdiúir View Post
          Thanks for the feedback, LTC and LT. My plan B's were Infantry, Aviation, and Quartermaster (I'm currently a 92Y). I would consider making the monthly trip out to PA, however I would prefer NJ because of the tuition waiver program. I'm planning on attending law school after I finish up my undergrad and masters. LT, if I were to branch MI and find a slot where let's say I am only managing security clearances, wouldn't the addition of a TS clearance and military background on top of a strong academic resume help me land a decent civilian job? As you said, I definitely had higher expectations for what branching MI and the security clearance would get me.
          I'll chime in....

          Plan B should probably not include Aviation as it is as hard, if not harder, to get than MI. \

          If you don't want to be stuck in Staff getting everyone coffee, look for a PL slot in a HUMINT/SIGINT/MFT platoon. You will get some really good training and face time with troops.

          The TS/SCI is going to be a foot in the door for an entry-level position with many different government contractors and NGOs that deal with the government. To get the really good paying gigs is A) Experience in the MI field (years + rank + deployments in the MI field) and B) location, location, location. If you stick to the DC area (Eastern seaboard), you are going to be hard pressed b/c everyone and their dog seems to have a TS out there. Look at opportunities in other parts of the country (ie - Texas, Washington, Utah) where its far more lucrative in terms of landing a high paying TS job.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Branching MI in NJ National Guard?

            Originally posted by saighdiúir View Post
            Thanks for the feedback, LTC and LT. My plan B's were Infantry, Aviation, and Quartermaster (I'm currently a 92Y). I would consider making the monthly trip out to PA, however I would prefer NJ because of the tuition waiver program. I'm planning on attending law school after I finish up my undergrad and masters. LT, if I were to branch MI and find a slot where let's say I am only managing security clearances, wouldn't the addition of a TS clearance and military background on top of a strong academic resume help me land a decent civilian job? As you said, I definitely had higher expectations for what branching MI and the security clearance would get me.
            I'm not aware of any law schools worth going to which accept the NJ tuition waiver. Rutgers, while a decent school, is not even on the radar for top law firms. Most of the people I know who have a JD from Rutgers make about as much money as an E5 on active duty. Just sayin'.

            Also, while the promotion situation isn't nearly as bad for MI as for IN, NJ is typically among the most incompetently administered states and people routinely spend six years as lieutenants. Furthermore, because the state is so poorly funded, your chances of ever doing anything remotely interesting while deployed are indistinguishable from zero.

            Go across the river to the PAARNG and get your JD from UPenn, or don't bother with it at all.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Branching MI in NJ National Guard?

              Originally posted by TxIntel 1978 View Post
              I'll chime in....

              Plan B should probably not include Aviation as it is as hard, if not harder, to get than MI. \

              If you don't want to be stuck in Staff getting everyone coffee, look for a PL slot in a HUMINT/SIGINT/MFT platoon. You will get some really good training and face time with troops.

              The TS/SCI is going to be a foot in the door for an entry-level position with many different government contractors and NGOs that deal with the government. To get the really good paying gigs is A) Experience in the MI field (years + rank + deployments in the MI field) and B) location, location, location. If you stick to the DC area (Eastern seaboard), you are going to be hard pressed b/c everyone and their dog seems to have a TS out there. Look at opportunities in other parts of the country (ie - Texas, Washington, Utah) where its far more lucrative in terms of landing a high paying TS job.
              This is very true, when I speak, I speak for this area (the northeast). I work intel in the civilian world. With any luck I'll very soon be transferring to a senior position in the community at the pentagon soon. At my agency and a few others we've worked out we wont even consider a prior intel person for a position unless they're E-6 and up on the enlisted side, O-3 and up on the officer side. We dont consider clearance at all. With the latest initiatives it seems that time has improved enough that we can submit someone and have them cleared in a matter of a few months.

              Managing clearances doesnt do too much unless you're shooting for that solid GS-7 personnel security specialist and want to continue doing the same thing on the outside with no hope of getting past GS-11. Then again, I can train you for that right now, on the forum, about a paragraph.

              We look for someone with solid analyst time, experience in special programs or extensive SCI work is a plus too. I'm fairly certain NJ has none of those (except for a few enlisted analysts). All source or Multi-source analysis seems to be the big ticket these days. If its an officer we're looking for times managing overall intel programs and personnel, general knowledge of management practices.

              You need to decide whats best for you.... tuition waiver? (very valuable).... Good MI position? (relatively valuable)

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Branching MI in NJ National Guard?

                Man, lot of information.

                @Jersey Dirtbag: Hey LT, without getting too far into my own personal situation, I can only receive educational benefits in PA if I live there and that isn't an option. Nor is commuting to UPenn even if it was. I live in North Jersey and so if I were to attend law school somewhere besides a tuition waiver accepting school like Rutgers, I would cross another river, the Hudson, and attend Columbia law school which is much higher ranked than UPenn anyway for whatever that matters. As far as attending Rutgers and making less than 40k a year, I'm not sure what your friends' situation is but I know plenty of people who've graduated from Rutgers-Newark law and have done exceptionally well in private practice, in government etc. I guess it's all what you make of your time at the school. So I suppose I'm stuck in NJ with all that incompetence and whatnot.

                @TX Intel 1978, A foot in the door is all I'm hoping for. I'm not sure what you meant by:"...look for a PL slot in a HUMINT/SIGINT/MFT platoon."?

                @show_stopper999, LT, I was hoping that the TS clearance would open up some doors beyond the National Guard. In trying to make the most of my time in the Guard, I'm hoping to combine the undergrad/masters program I'm working on right now with a TS and a law degree down the line in applying to places like the Foreign Service, State Dept, NGO's etc. If the TS doesn't matter as you say, and it would be in my best interest to focus on promotion as an officer, would going the Quartermaster route in NJ be a better plan? Is there more upward mobility branching Quartermaster and so then after I make CPT (hopefully) I could then start thinking about branching MI? Also, I understand that it is going to be difficult, but I love a challenge, so what can I do to increase my chances of branching MI or Aviation coming out of ROTC?

                Thank you all for advice and help on here, really appreciate it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Branching MI in NJ National Guard?

                  @TX Intel 1978, A foot in the door is all I'm hoping for. I'm not sure what you meant by:"...look for a PL slot in a HUMINT/SIGINT/MFT platoon."?

                  Being an AS-2 as a 2LT isn't going to get your diddly in terms of Intel experience. Literally, you'll be doing PowerPoint slides, wathing time-hocs and coffee duty. If you want to learn some good, marketable skills... shoot for a Platoon Leader slot in one of those discipline I mentioned. That experience, coupled with a TS/SCI and your degree is going to help you open doors your peers won't be able to.

                  One thing I should mention about being an AS-2... With that path, you'll have free time to persue your personal goals and you'll get to rub elbows with people who can help you in the future with promotions, assignments, etc. So, it's not *all* bad.


                  @show_stopper999, LT, I was hoping that the TS clearance would open up some doors beyond the National Guard. In trying to make the most of my time in the Guard, I'm hoping to combine the undergrad/masters program I'm working on right now with a TS and a law degree down the line in applying to places like the Foreign Service, State Dept, NGO's etc.

                  The TS/SCI combined with experience will help you greatly here

                  If the TS doesn't matter as you say, and it would be in my best interest to focus on promotion as an officer, would going the Quartermaster route in NJ be a better plan? Is there more upward mobility branching Quartermaster (Quartermaster will help a lot in the logistics field as a civilian, but I don't think you want that route) and so then after I make CPT (hopefully) I could then start thinking about branching MI? Also, I understand that it is going to be difficult, but I love a challenge, so what can I do to increase my chances of branching MI or Aviation coming out of ROTC?

                  Stay NG. Start talking to units as an SMP and grease those slides. Once you have the almighty LOA in your paws, then you are golden. SMP with a unit that you want to go to if possible...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Branching MI in NJ National Guard?

                    As TxIntel 1978 said, on the east coast I would focus elsewhere. If you plan on going federal government they're officially not even allowed to ask what kind of clearance you have, only if you have any problems submitting to background investigation. They will ask you anyways sometimes.

                    Honestly, if your goal is intel and you want to stay on the east coast, I would enlist as an analyst or humint collector (35M I believe) and work from there. Go Warrant a little later.

                    Even so, you're looking at a long time before hiring. As of right now we cant hire anyone who isnt already an Army employee, local and in a lateral hire, meaning no promotion.

                    This is due to the force sequester. I say forced because we're forced to furlough although our agency can afford to take the budget cuts and not furlough. so much that they are approving overtime requests and hiring contractors to fill the void, yet we're force to take an unpaid day off every week.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Branching MI in NJ National Guard?

                      What do you think about this guy being denied a security clearance? Take a look at the "Finding of Facts" section.

                      http://www.dod.mil/dodgc/doha/indust...2-05847.h1.pdf

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Branching MI in NJ National Guard?

                        Good Lord Almighty.... I've heard about these interview going all whomperjawed but man.....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Branching MI in NJ National Guard?

                          @show_stopper999- I'll be starting the ROTC program in the fall so it's a bit too late for me to MOSQ into 35M. A year ago it might've been a different story.

                          @TxIntel 1978- Should I contact a recruiter about getting in touch with an MI unit in my state regarding a LOA? What is the SOP for an SMP cadet to contact another unit about a possible slot?

                          Once again, much thanks to everyone for their advice.

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X