Joining National Guard
I'm 26, yes I know I'm kind of old, but being from a culture where you aren't a man yet until you have served (even if its Air Force- no offense to AF) yet, I think I should do it before I'm really too old for it.
I know a lot of these questions are for the recruiter but I wanted to get some advice here too.
I'll be joining the Army NG. I'm going to quit my current job, go back to school, and plan out how I'm going to go about joining the NG. I have a bagload of questions, and I'm hoping you guys could help me with them. I've divided them into short term and long term concerns. Fitness wise, I think I'm good to go. Despite being really out of shape since I've stopped training almost a year ago, I can still do 2 miles in 16 mins, 51 pushups, and max out in situps. I'm going to do everything I can to bring the push up number up to 60 (I used to do 66 in 2 mins, but i've put on 25 lbs!!), and run the 2mi under 15:30.
My timeframe: I'd like to get started ASAP. I'm hoping to get out of my current job by mid-March. I have been accepted for college (this is my 2nd bachelors. I already have a BS and JD) to start in late June. I can't postpone admissions, because I don't think I'll get accepted into the Fall semester. If I start, I can have up to one semester off.
I want to get school done and out of the way as fast as possible. It will take me at least 3.5 years to finish, if I don't fail any classes.
My plan is to join ROTC and do the SMP program while I'm doing school. I think it would be great to get both enlisted and officer experience. Also, I believe it will allow me to attend extra training that would be difficult for me to attend otherwise, like airborne school. here is my 1st question:
1. I know finishing ROTC commits me to at least 3 years of service afterwards. I don't need or plan on getting the ROTC scholarship (I have enough money for school already). Does that mean I can choose to do my 3 years as a NG officer?
2. If I don' finish my 4 year commitment as an enlisted guardsman when I finish ROTC, does that mean I have to finish it before I become an officer and begin its 3 year commitment?
2. SMP program. Is it correct that as soon as I am done with AIT, I have to go to my school's ROTC commander and sign an SMP agreement, unless I want to get deployed during school?
Also, I have this time frame issue.
3. How soon can I get into a boot camp slot? I am really hoping I can get it out of the way before school starts in late June
4. As a guardsman, can I defer AIT until next summer? If so, do those weekends count toward my initial commitment?
5. Can you get deployed before you finish AIT? I'm presuming if I do get deployed, they'll just send me to AIT before shipping me off overseas.
6. I take it not being a graduating high school senior, I am not eligible for the college first program.
More long term questions
I've wanted to do something really hooah. 19D sounded pretty awesome. Unfortunately, there are no cav scout jobs available near where I will be going to school. Also, I have partial color blindness and I'm not a US citizen (I'll have my citizenship before I finish ROTC). So the only hooah jobs I'd have been eligible for is infantry and cav scout.
I have to face reality. I know I'll be ridiculed for this, but I don't care. I am married now, and I've already put my wife through a lot of things because of my life. I don't want to put her through even more by getting hurt or killed overseas. So, if at all possible I wanted to pick a fairly rear echelon job. I can't pick most jobs that will help me see the 'other side of things' for my engineering degree (cizitenship) so I have to pick between supply, finance, maintanence (non electronic) and human resources type jobs.
Given my background, I'll most likely end up 36B.
I have some specific questions related to this.
1. which MOS tends to have more slots for E-5?
2. anybody have experiences in these jobs?
Finally, should I be gunning for any specific enlistment bonuses? I know if I delay AIT I wont' be eligible for a lot of them, but I'm not sure how all of that works out.
Ahh, I know this is a bundle of questions but thanks in advance.
Head over to military.com All the Qs you have above plus more can be answered there a lot more thoroughly than they will here. They have some recruiters online there. Don't knock the AF, you get to serve your country and enjoy soft serve ice cream at the chow hall at the same time, it's really hard to beat.
Got it Vorpal. Please let me know if you have just general advice.
I completely agree w/ Vorpal about military.com. It really helped me out when I applied for NROTC. But if the National Guard has the same guidelines as the Navy, I am not sure if you are even able to do ROTC. I had to hold back on classes because I couldn't have more than 30 completed credits or I was not eligible. Seeing as you have a degree already, then they may see it the same way. I hope not.
Originally Posted by dwkfym
Also, I believe that you are commissioned as an officer either during or immediately after you compete the ROTC program. Again, I'm basing this off of my dealings with the NAVY, but you don't get to choose to be an officer for your service term, the point of the program is to make you an officer for your service term.
I hope this works out for you and that what I've said helps. Get as much info as you can before talking to anyone, and remember that the recruiter doesn't have to be a part of the ROTC process - its a officer scholarship that you can turn down, not an enlistment process. If you can't get ROTC, then maybe think about Officer Candidacy School while enlisted, which would likely be the next best option.
Thanks KFJ. I found out AF and Navy doesn't let you do that, but Army ROTC lets you pursue a 2nd degree while doing ROTC. (through military.com and NG forums, thanks) However, I am not 100% sure since I also have a advanced degree. I sent an e-mail off to the contact listed at my university's ROTC unit.
Be advised that there will be some self-described tough guys who will have a lot to say when they find out you have a martial arts back ground.
Enjoy boot camp and let us know your thoughts about what they teach IRT MACP.
Take care of your feet, yes really.
Last thing; in basic keep your mouth shut and listen, the nail that sticks up is the one that gets pounded down. ;-)
If you are accepted into SMP, your basic training will be scheduled during your Summer between school years. You will be expected to satisfactorily participate in ROTC while at school, participate in weekend drills at your NG unit and complete scheduled training during Summer months. Once basic training and advanced individual training is complete, you MAY be selected for additional training such as air assault or airborne. Selection is by brigade based on order of merit. Upon completion of the program and commissioning, you will receive orders based on order of merit. Some graduates are given active duty with regular Army and the others are given one form or another of reserve component assignments.
Last edited by DaTedBear; 2/27/2012 11:21am at .
Well it looks like most of your questions were answered. I actually work with NG recruiting and can tell you that the SMP is an amazing program that you should take full advantage of if you can.
Phrost, after bar exams I will message you with Qs.
DaTedBear and everyone else,
after ROTC, do you have a choice between active duty/reserves?
Active duty is determined by order of merit.