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Joining Military Reserve/NG while being a cop.

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by nikerret, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. nikerret

    nikerret Mr. Awesome

    Mar 29, 2005
    How many on here have joined the Military Reserve or National Guard while being employed full time as a cop?

    Is anyone still in?

    For the formers and current:

    How well did it work with balancing the Stateside Military obligations with the LE ones?

    Pros, cons, things to look for...?
  2. 2-8 Marine

    2-8 Marine Limp Member

    Oct 30, 2009
    Originally, I did my four for the Corps 1965-1969 and became a police officer after discharge. About 1977, I signed up with the New York Air National Guard - Security Police - and did an additional five years. For me it worked out pretty well until my department got a little porky about a three week forced active duty tour (Attica Prison Strike) and my annual two week active duty time. So eventually, I gave it up.

  3. woettinger

    woettinger King Nothing

    Aug 13, 2004
    World Wide

    Left active duty in 1993 and joined the reserves in 2002.

    Still doing both..

    Works good for me... If you can join a IMA detachment then you get the best of both worlds.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  4. Gombey


    Oct 10, 2011
    I just got home from Drill. It works out great for me. I do, however; have a set schedule. I work weekdays.

    My TAC Officer from the academy is an MP in the Reserves, there is a female in my unit that works for a PD in the state as well.

    It works out great! If you're thinking about it go for it!!
  5. Depends.

    For my work it did not work out well. But I had 12 years active. I wanted to do 20 in the Guard, but when I hit 10 I got out so I could do my Police job that demands a bit of my dedication and time.

    As a Patrol Officer it caused some issues, as a Supervisor it really caused some issues and is what made me decide to get out/retire.

    Now I was Infantry/Scout in a key unit for my state. 03-05 in Iraq (given 2 weeks notice to deploy and gone for 18+ months). Returned to work and deployed for Katrina and Rita support (given a days notice, and my city took in people from the hurricains and needed all officers for security and safe areas that were set up) we were gone for a few months. Called up to help for floods, ice storms, downed planes/space shuttle (Columbia) and possible Hurricains like Dean and others, where we were gone for a week or more. 08-09 in Iraq for only 12 short months. We are one of a few units that deployes armed for security and has mostly first responders so we get tasked to go in first. If other units are being called to help, we respond to help and provide security.

    The unit was great and many people worked close to full time as we always had missions/jobs that needed to be filled (guys left full time jobs and stayed doing missions from 2002 till current). I only went on mission when I was picked. Spent many days/years away from home in places that sucked. Always treated well and always doing great things, but my PD and family was left short many times.

    If you work for a large agency that can do without you, go for it. If you plan on a career, IMHO pick Police or Military as you can only really do one job well. If you being gone would hurt the PD, I would pass.

    National Guard is 20+ years and you can get retirement pay at age 60... Not the best deal going. You will give up some good week ends and will do more that two weeks a year in most units.

    Best place I went was the Czech Republic to train with their Recon, worst was Camp Ashraf Iraq to set up a FOB.
  6. blueiron


    Aug 10, 2004
  7. I joined the Navy reserve after two years on the job. I don't have a crystal ball handy to tell you how things would have been had I not joined, but it does not "seem" like it has helped my LE career at all.

    My goal had been to work with a large command structure and to build some team skills that I could not get at the time for my PD.

    I ended up working in the worst command structure imaginable. I got to the point where I believed that every step forward in the military was a step backward in LE, for me anyway.

    I also learned the real meaning of "overworked" since that one weekend a month time became very valuable to me.
  8. merlynusn


    Nov 16, 2007
    Sad thing is, I can see the not starting to receive pension benefits until age 60. It actually makes sense financially. No need to pay someone 30-40k a year starting at age 38-42 when they can go get another job.

    To the OP, if you are in patrol, I could see it. If you are a detective, no. If you're a supervisor, I would look long and hard at joining the guard or reserves because you will leave your shift partner short when you deploy - and you will deploy.

    I've been out for 5 years and have debated going back in numerous times. I finally have set my mind and I'm not. It isn't worth being deployed again and again and again. It was one of the primary reasons I got out of the military.
  9. md2lgyk


    Mar 23, 2001
    I was already in the Air National Guard when I became an LEO. There was never a problem. But I was never deployed while an LEO.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
  10. We have guy on our department that is in the Air NG and he seems to do it pretty well. We work 12 hour shifts so he has two weekends off a month and tries to go to drill on one of his weekends off but that isn't always the case so he does have to miss some work.
  11. douggmc


    Feb 23, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    I would imagine that enlisting while actively employed with your department might be a bit challenging (vs. already enlisted, having completed all training, and now serving as a reservist THEN getting on with your department). Reason: Depending on your MOS, your active duty training commitment will be anywhere from ~4 months (~2 months BCT + a month of AIT, add in a month of reception, separation, etc.) to 2 years (some MOS training can be 18 to 20 months). Does/will your employer "hold" your position for you for a minimum of 4 months? I do not think they are obligated by law to hold a position for you, as if they would be if they hired you as an active reservist/NG to begin with and you had to deploy.

    Also, as a post above illustrated, a NG commitment will quite likely be MORE involved than a AR. NG, under the command of the governer, has a broader set of responsibilities (i.e., natural disaster response, etc.) than the typical AR unit.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  12. The time in training is a bit as is the odds for injury. Most cities/states must hold a Guard soldiers job, or take a cut on all Federal funds. You can not be fired/punished for service to the Military offically. But odds are your work will take a hit and you will not move with your PD peers for special jobs/promotions.

    Something to think about on the east coast right now, your city is hit by storm, all officers are called in to do over time. They get the pay and retirement perks along with support of your community. People you help will know you for life in that community. But if your in the Guard, you might take leave without pay or use your leave to serve in the Guard, and be sent to another city where you know only the guys your with. You might get that pay check a few months later and you PD pay might be short that month. At 20+ years of Police service, odds are you will get less retirement than peers. Odds also say you wont serve 20+ years in the Guard nor will you live to 60 years old to get Guard retirement.

    Dont get me wrong, I love the Texas National Guard, but I also love Police work and they do not mix as well as one would hope. The training from each will help the other, but you will master neither job.

    Keep in mind, everytime I deployed lawyers have a field day wanting a speedy trial along with the suspect if they cant face the accuser, as they will get set free in many cases.
  13. douggmc


    Feb 23, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    My point being ... does the law allow for someone to NEWLY enlist while employed and be afforded the same protection (i.e., employer must keep the job (or similar) open for service member if deployed, must allow for annual drill time off, etc).

    In other words, can Joe Schmoe after working for XXX company for 10 years, newly enlist in the Army Reserve and be on active duty training for nearly 2 years (e.g., say like a 98G learning Korean for 18 months), and is the company required to give the job (or similar) back to Joe Schmoe when he comes back and starts his actual Reserve service?

    I don't know the answer to this, but I suspect it DOES NOT apply to above scenario (i.e., employers can cut you loose if you choose to NEWLY enlist).
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  14. blueiron


    Aug 10, 2004
    In a current gov't job? Yes [based on my experience back when].

    I was going to re-enlist as an mil EOD tech and if I recall, the school was at least 12 months long. I passed everything and then got selected for a Federal job. I stupidly went with the Fed job. The city was going to retain my job for as long as it took.
  15. nikerret

    nikerret Mr. Awesome

    Mar 29, 2005
    I am not worried about getting skipped over for promotions or any upper movement. At the department I work for, there is none. We only have a few "special duty jobs" and few of those come with extra pay. We have a lot of guys that have a few years more experience than me and are looking to be doing more non-patrol stuff (all on the proper Good Ole Boy system), when something opens up, I already know I don't have a chance.

    One of the major negatives is: I arrested one of the local US Army Recruiters after he attacked another Deputy, we had a nice little fight. The other Recruiter and I had a negative encounter during a traffic stop after he left the bar.

    I do worry about leaving the other guys to pull my weight. We are a small department and my shift has the fewest guys. Right now, the department is looking to be down three patrol guys in the next two months (military, injury, retirement).

    If I am going to do the military route, I have to do it soon, I am 26 and am already noticing I don't bounce back, like I used to. I feel bad for not having joined when I should have and don't want to feel more regret the rest of my life for not going when I still have the chance.

    I've been thinking about this for the last few years, but have always dedicated my effort to my LE career. I don't want it to suffer and I don't want to leave my friends hanging. Then, I remember: No matter how good of a job I do, right now, the job will still have to be done hereafter.
  16. douggmc


    Feb 23, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    My advice after reading your this most recent post. Go. Enlist. You will regret it if you don't. It sounds to me like it is the decision you know is right "in your gut".

    The worry about recruiter stuff is a non-issue. They have no control or sway over you. Go to a different recruiting station.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  17. Things can change over 6 years. Best to join when young. I joined at 17 years old right out of high school where I played football and wrestled. Once you get to 30 years old, you will feel the pain, so join soon if thats your plan. With a guy at work deploying Military, you should listen well and see how higher ups look at the Guard service (my work cant stop you from joining, but we now dont hire if we know your in the Military as you will be taking tome off and causing others to adjust shifts...). One important thing is to find the Mil job that you want to do. Know what Armorys are in your area. Going Guard you can use a state recruiter vs a local one.
  18. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

    Jan 16, 2005
    Had a Florida deputy in my platoon in basic at Ft. Sill this summer. Talk about a non-rifle-shooting S.O.B. - I was personally embarrassed for him. I would have thought he'd be a top guy, but as the other drill sergeants said, "that guy's just real f*&^*^% angry." :rofl:

    Join the military if you can - that window will close and you'll regret not doing it.
  19. blueiron


    Aug 10, 2004

    Go. It is time to enlist if you must/go officer if you can.

    If you are regretting it now, you are really going to be miserable in your forties. As to "worrying about having others pull [your] weight", that isn't happening. You are going to go into the military and that is far more difficult than anything in policing is. Your obligations are going to go way up and your department will function with you off serving the nation. You will pull more weight than anyone else.

    Get to a gym and prep hard for boot/basic. Prepare yourself mentally for being treated like a know-nothing teenager by those in charge and like a grandfather by those in your recruit unit.

    Check out the unit before you enlist. Some NG units have serious problems - AZ NG units are a scandalous mess because of misconduct and lack of proper leadership. Reserve units seem to have less of a problem.

    Good luck.
  20. VPD4327


    Jun 30, 2009
    East Coast
    I think it depends on your PD. Some PD's have the staffing to deal with you being gone for things like basic training or other schools. Other departments will throw an absolute fit and expect you to be everywhere at once. I've worked for both. The reserve/national guard will expect you to meet available 24/7. If you're in patrol, it's easier for your dept to fill your slot while you're away. However, as someone said earlier, when you move up, so do your responsibilities. The same can be said about the guard/reserves. It's really hard to climb the ladder and excel in both...there are only so many hours in a day-not to mention if you'r married, your wife won't be a happy camper.