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Need advice regarding joining Army Nat. Guard

  1. I have been interested in the military for as long as I can remember. I wanted to join the Army after high school but my only brother was already active Air Force. He & I talked it through and basically came to the conclusion it would be pretty hard on our Mom to have both her boys in the active military. So, instead, I went to college & got a degree but have never been able to shake my interest in the Army.

    I am 25 y/o & am interested in joining the nat. guard. I have a bachelor's degree so I've been told I'll be an E-4. Is that correct?
    I spoke with a local recruiter & he seemed reasonably straight forward regarding my questions. I go to meet with him face to face tomorrow night but I'd like to gather as much information as possible beforehand.

    FWIW, I am not stupid so (meaning no disrespect) I don't really want to drive a truck or guard a gate. I took my ASVAB in 8-06 & scored a 95 with zero study time. Basically, I walked into the recruiter's office & told him I was interested but wanted to know what my options would be. He said "First step is to see what you're qualified for by taking the ASVAB. There's a bus leaving right now if you want to go." So, I went.

    In the guard, can some of you give me an idea as to what MOS would be decent? I cannot go full-time, just as a weekend warrior because I can't leave my family's farm save for deployment. On that note, what is the standard length & interval of deployment for a guard unit?

    Any input is appreciated.

  2. Yes, with a college degree you would go in as an E-4. There also seems to be a shortage of company grade officers (at least there is in the USAR), so you would probably have a pretty easy time getting commissioned as an officer if you want.

    As far as MOS, people don't necessarily pick them based on what "smart guys do." It's the Army - you are likely to find people doing computer stuff because the military is their best shot at ever doing it, while you may find some really high IQ/GT/QT types in the infantry for the adventure, since they aren't going to have a hard time doing the mental stuff in the civilian world later. Personally, I have a law degree and am a practicing attorney in civilian life - in the Army reserve I enlisted to be a drill sergeant and my primary MOS from active duty is field artillery cannon crewman. I have no interest or need for the career advancing options and would never consider a desk/office type of job. It just depnds on what you want out of it.

    The main reason I can see for joining the guard, instead of reserves, is that you can choose a combat arms MOS (infantry, artillery, armor, etc.). However, you will be away from the farm for training for a few months and you are fairly likely to get deployed, which I believe is running about 15 months at a time.
  3. I can't speak for Reserve, but current National Guard deployment policy is 12 months including premob training and demob. That's 2 months premob, 9 months in country and 1 month demob. Keep in mind policies change like the weather. Previously we were doing 18 months start to finish.

    Ask yourself a few questions,

    What do you want to get from the military (job skills, adventure, play with cool toys, etc)

    What types of units are nearby?

    Do you want to do something related to what you do in the civilian world or something completely different?

    If you are looking for adventure combat arms is the way to go, it's job skills or just wanting to do really hands on technical stuff then go to service/support.

    You can do anything from being a cook, repairing radios, military intelligence to infantry or armor. Since you already have a degree you might want to consider OCS to become an officer.
  4. Good advice has already been given above but I suggest looking at MOS descriptions on usmilitary.bout.com or goguard.com. If you find something interesting you can ask about it here or join up at military.com. Something to keep in mind is that with the Army NG you will enlist for a specific vacancy in a specific unit. Each unit recruits for itself. In my area, we have Army NG field artillery units, transportation (trucks) units, a medical unit, and an RTI (MOS reclass instruction). If you want an artillery MOS, go to see the field artillery unit. If you want to be a medic, go talk to the medical unit. There are some MOS's that will probably be open in any unit, like personnel, supply, mechanics, or cooks. Re: officer- a lot of states have their own accredited OCS programs. This may or may not be of interest to you. In my state, you can do OCS as a combination of drill weekends and 2 annual training periods.
  5. Dude got a 95 on the ASVAB. Being an officer requires a 110. Even with his degree he's SOL unless he retests and does better. If he retests and does worse, they'll keep that score. :wavey:
  6. I took his post to mean that his AFQT score was in the 95th percentile, not that his GT score was 95. AFQT only goes up to 99. The GT score of 110 is the officer requirement.
  7. Sorry for the confusion, yes my afqt was 95. My GT was something like 136 or so. I have the sheet here some place. I know I did the best on the nuke section with a 140something, I think. Like I said, it's been almost a year since I even looked at the sheet. I know the army recruiter told me I could have whatever mos I wanted based on my scores.
  8. With your scores and college degree, especially since you aren't set on some other option, becoming an officer would be your best choice. It requires a little more training, but it also gives you a status that will boost your civilian career and you will make a lot more money. I work with some attorneys who are JAG officers (Natl.Guard and Navy reserve) and they clear a lot more while on military duty than in their fairly high level state government attorney jobs.
  9. The first decision is combat arms vs non-combat arms.

    Do you want to blow stuff up, or do you want to learn job skills?

    Once you decide that, then decide enlisted vs officer?

    Keep in mind that if you choose to enlist in the combat arms (which I did) you will probably get assigned to do staff work because since you have a degree you can type (yes this is Army logic). This happened to both my father and I when we enlisted. It took me a year to get out of staff work and to a line company to do what I had joined to do.

    Post back and give us all a better idea of what you are looking for. Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions about the infantry MOS and anything else.

    Most importantly, talk to a vet that you trust carefully about the recruiting process before you go and sign anything. Your recruiter may be a decent guy but you have to assume otherwise. Decide on what you want before you go in, do your own research. Then just let your recruiter know what you want and that you will not accept anything else. Make sure it is all in writing before you sign. If it ain't there, you ain't getting it. Good luck!
  10. ...well, with my 88GT score, I didn't know what was going on. :thumbsup:

    <--blows stuff up in dreams
  11. I am limited in my choices because I don't want to go full-time & I do want to stay close to home. Without trying to sound conceited, the job skills available don't apply to what I do. I am the 4th generation on my family's farm and we run ~10K acres here in central KS & I fully intend to make this my life's career. I love what I do here but for some reason I have a desire to participate in something more.

    I spoke with the recruiter last night and we discussed a myriad of topics, all of which I took notes upon. I was blatantly honest with him & told him that I want to do something interesting & challenging but with a reasonable amount of safety (possibly an oxymoron?). There is an MLRS group an hour away from my home which has an opening currently. After doing some research on it, it does look interesting to me. If I had less responsibility here at home with taking over the farm & such, I'd do something different & in my mind more beneficial such as a combat medic.

    I'm still weighing options & I do appreciate the input. I'm sure that, to those who've been & done, I sound green as a gord. I don't know what I don't know so I'm trying to convey my thoughts as succinctly & effectively as possible to you.


  12. Mike-

    any military experience is going to be good life experience, even if it is just basic training and the different kinds of people that you get to meet.

    It sounds to me like you want a job that is non-deployable. If that is true, you may want to reconsider joining. The jobs that are truly non-deployable are not very interesting IMO but most of the time they will still find a way to ship you over to Iraq doing a job you weren't training to do. Perhaps join a fire or police department instead. This will let you get that action (an EMT instead of a medic for example) but stay close to home. And you'll be helping other people.

    From what I say, the "safer" jobs are either really boring because you never leave the FOB or not really "safer" at all because you end up out on the streets with a bunch of people around you who aren't really that well trained and don't want to get in a fight.

    I'm really biased. I say join the combat arms so you can go blow stuff up and kick in doors or don't even bother. But you have to go with what is really in your heart. Try to think about how you will feel when you are 40 - will you regret not taking a riskier job with the military or does that not matter to you?

    Best of luck to you-
  13. I guess what I mean to say is that you can plan on things not going to plan if you join. For example, let's say you join a rocket artillery unit because it is "safe". Next thing you know you will be patrolling the streets on foot and on Humvees and your MLRS systems will be back in the States. So you might as well do what you really want and forget about what is "safe" because the Army has a way of turning your plans upside down. :)
  14. That's the truth, just ask a few artillery guys what they did overseas, our entire artillery battallion had a total of 4 guns. Everyone else was in uparmored humvees doing convoy escort and training police.
  15. I understand exactly where you are coming from & this may be the most sage piece of advice I've gotten on this topic to date. For what it's worth, I'm already a firefighter & am slated to take the EMT course in January '08.

    Good words to consider & it's something I'll chew around on for a while.

  16. Just a follow-up on what was already stated.....

    My hometown guard unit is Field Artillery.....they are currently on a 12 month tour in Afganistan doing force protection (being gate guards/towers) and doing convoy escorts.....

    They have no big guns there.....

    Before that, they were asked (a bunch volunteered) to get re-trained and worked as MPs right after 9-11 in Germany.......

    Just some thoughts.....

    Have you thought about the KS Air Guard....? They have a couple of units (one in Topeka and one in Wichita).....
  17. FWIW, I sent him a pm recommending the Air Guard (or Air Force Reserve). I switched to the Air Guard last year and think it's a good choice for someone like him. Besides the Air Guard units already mentioned, there's an Air Force Reserve unit at McConnell Air Force Base by Wichita- 931st Air Refueling. The Air Guard is also located at that installation.
  18. That is funny that you are in Kansas. I am home on leave right now in Wichita before I head to Ft Sill in Aug. I am a 13M (MLRS). If it is a job that you are thinking of doing I will be more than happy to answer questions for you. The others are right about deployments. We did alot of door kicking, gate guard, and driving trucks.

  19. Have you considered the Air National Guard?? I was in one of the units at McConnell for a while until I moved East. ANG units usually have a greater variety of jobs. And the way they treat their people is head and shoulders above the Army.
  20. What ever are you talking about?!?!! The Army got me a nice new pegleg - made from cedar, not the cheap stuff!!!

    (OK just kidding)
  21. My GT was 155 and I chose Infantry(11C) and spent 15 years in the Army. I did take a 3 year break from the Infantry, but went right back to it as soon as I could.:thumbsup: I was active duty for the whole time, though, and spent plenty of time away from home.:wavey: I wasn't looking for a job to keep me near home.
  22. keep in mind it isn't a matter of if but when you get deployed. The OP tempo of the guard high. Odds are in you basic enlistment you will probably get deployed 2 times.
    As far as jobs go like it has been stated above just cause you are in job x doesn't mean your are going to do job X
    you may be doing jobs Y and Z
    pick what you want
    if you don't join no biggie but you will be thinking for the rest of your life what you could have done.
    either way
    best of luck to you
  23. thought I'd bring this back up on the list for those who may be interested. I requested my medical docs the other day and am looking at a 6yr commitment w/ the KS Army Nat. Guard. I spent a good amount of time looking into this, spoke with everyone I knew of who either was or is in the guard. Also spoke to an Army Reserve recruiter & spent some time reviewing the Air Nat. Guard but neither had anything to offer that interested me. Looks like if I can get the waivers on my heart & on my hand (past surgery on both) then I will be enlisting as a 13M with the intention of dropping my OCS packet at some point during my enlistment. My wife doesn't understand at all but I feel this is something I'll always regret if I don't do. I can't explain it effectively enough to let her understand but I'm not getting any younger so I guess it's time to get after it.

    Thanks guys!
  24. I've long said that every generation has a duty to defend our nation, and my generation (and I) got out of having to fulfill that duty. Sensing my own hypocrisy, I (finally) raised my hand at age 40 and joined the reserves. My wife wishes that I'd never said anything, much less sworn to uphold the Constitution, but she appreciates that I'm true to my values.

    I'd rather have people sneer at me when they find out that I'm in the Army than have that come as a complete surprise. It's the difference between reputation and character. I'll take character any day.

    Serve, serve well, and come back.

  25. i joined the NYARNG at age 41.im going to Ft Leonard Wood 20081004,MOS 31B.Im fit and im looking foward to BCT/AIT.
  26. And I thought people were giving ME grandpa comments (at 27) though we had a 31 and 34 year old reservist in my BMT platoon......ouch.
  27. My section commander, a Capitan, pulled me into his office for a heart to heart. This was 1977.

    He spoke highly of me and was impressed with me. He told me of his younger brother who was two years his junior, making twice his yearly salary and enjoying life as a civilian. He asked me my intentions. I told him career NCO in the Air force. He responded I was much too bright and gifted and strongly recomend I leave the Air Force at the end of my enlistment!

    I later found out I was going to fly a desk in the support office for the rest of my career due to a snafu that kept me out of an upgrade school, I needed to go to this school while in the US before my transfer to my unit in Germany. I would never get the opportunity to go to that school. As a result I would never get to fly as a crewman on the AWACS plane or work again in the RADAR section when I transfered back to the states.

    I took his advice and left the military but not before an accident nearly killed me and left permanent disabilities I deal with to this day.

    Wanna join the guard and serve in Iraq or possibly any other hot spot?
  28. There are people who won't join the military because there is a war going on and there are people who do join the military because there is a war going on. My advice to those who want to avoid going to war is to avoid the military, but I'm glad we have plenty of the other type.
  29. Gee, a 155 GT score that is real impresive. :wow:Considering the score only goes to 130. I know I have a 129 and in my whole Army career have only met one person with a higher score a 130.
    But congrats to the poster for choosing to serve. I am 31B active. we can use all the help we can get.
  30. You are incorrect. My GT score, and all my line scores, are above 130 and I have seen higher. (11B primary 13B secondary, BTW). I actually had heard that it only goes to 150, but I have no confirmation of that.
  31. FWIW... I was AD for four years, got out joined the National Guard. I am currently AGR status and am Training NCO for a FSC that supports an FA unit. IMHO, the National Guard is a great opportunity and I thank you for your interest. I spent 14months in Iraq as a medic with a FA unit that was retrained to do convoys. The point is that when you get deployed it will not always be doing your specific MOS duties or your Unit mission. My unit now has over half of our soldiers deployed as attachments to other units that were short. I dont know about your state, but here in Pa the Guard offers 100% tuition assistance and up to $15k bonus for 6 years. Granted, part of that 6 years will most likely be somewhere hot and sandy, but if you are considering military service, you should be already prepared for that. Best of luck and feel free to PM me if you want and more specific info or have questions. :wavey:
  32. ASVAB breakdown scores go to 130. Overal score goes to 99.
  33. Did your whole Army career include the period from 1975 to 2002? That's when I was in.
    Anyway, here's a scan of my Personnel Qualification Record printout(with my SSN blocked out). Line 11 is GT score(It says GT SCORE).


    BTW, I knew another guy who had the same GT score, but he was an idiot. It was nice having him around, though. He made me look good, just in comparison.:wavey:
  34. It's not just when you're deployed that you work outside your MOS.:cool: In 15 years active duty with the Army, I probably spent at least 5 of those years not working in my MOS(11C and 84B). Of course, that's not always a bad thing. It gives you some variety and the chance to learn something new. Of course, one of the downsides of that is that, even when I wasn't working in my MOS, I was responsible for keeping up with my proficiency in it. Every year, I had to take the SQT. They probably have something different now, but they still probably measure your proficiency in your MOS every year.:dunno:
  35. Not sure when it changed but the current ASVAB GTs only goes to 130. I guess back in the olden days the scales were different.

    Soldiers who are impressed by their own ASVAB scores annoy me (not saying anyone in this thread, just in general). We had a guy in CO who had a 130 GT and liked to brag about it. Couldn't carry his ruck for 1 day by himself. In Iraq one of the other soldiers broke this guy's nose while they were on OP together cause he was annoying him so bad.

    Hey if you are infantry a GT of around 45 is all you need baby!

    I dunno FourDuece, you sure you didn't type that by yourself to win an argument on the internet ;)
  36. Yep, you found me out.:crying::tongueout: That's what I do for fun. Notice on the paper I scanned, I made myself a SSG. I didn't want to make myself a General. That would have been too obvious.
    What's funny is this is the second time I've been called a liar(or just told I was full of it) on this board.:dunno: Over on the artillery thread I explained how I used to be a FO(forward observer) when the mortar platoons had their own FO's, and someone told me I was wrong on that, too. I guess I could be wrong, and maybe I never worked as a FO in a mortar platoon. :supergrin:
    Heck, maybe I never even joined the Army.:cool:
  37. FourDeuce - I just want to make clear that I was joking about you forging your records. Internet not good for joke sometime.
  38. Got it.:thumbsup: I know some people actually do that and claim awards and experience they never got. :drillsgt:
    I guess it was good that I didn't mention the fact that I had made SSG just over 4 years from the time I went back in the Army as an E2. ;) Some people might have had a hard time believing that one, too. Not that it was that hard to do, since I had 6 years prior service before that.
  39. AFQT definitely goes to 99. You may be talking about the line score parts of the asvab (GS, AR, WK, etc.), but the scores on your 2-1 are Army line scores (not the same for other services), such as GT, FA, EL, CO, etc., are composite scores made up of combinations of the ASVAB lines scores (i.e., GT score is ASVAB AR + VE), and they definitely go higher than 130.

    My GT is 135. Searching a little on google, I just found a few references to a max of 140, others say 130, like you, and another saying 135 is the max for any line score (definitely wrong, because I have several above 135. I don't know what the max really is, but it is above 130 and others go above 140). This is a recent test (Nov. 2006) because nobody could come up with my 1980's scores when I was working with the recruiting office to reenlist. My 80's scores were lower, with a 121 GT (16 years old vs. 41 with a couple of college degrees). I don't know if the scores were different back then, although Mensa required a GT of 136 to join before 1980, but they no longer accept the GT.
  40. AFQT definitely goes to 99. You may be talking about the line score parts of the asvab (GS, AR, WK, etc.), but the scores on your 2-1 are Army line scores (not the same for other services), such as GT, FA, EL, CO, etc., are composite scores made up of combinations of the ASVAB lines scores (i.e., GT score is ASVAB AR + VE), and they definitely go higher than 130.

    My GT is 135. Searching a little on google, I just found a few references to a max of 140, others say 130, like you, and another saying 135 is the max for any line score (definitely wrong, because I have several above 135. I don't know what the max really is, but it is above 130 and others go above 140). This is a recent test (Nov. 2006) because nobody could come up with my 1980's scores from my high school test when I was working with the recruiting office. My 80's scores were lower, with a 121 GT (16 years old vs. 41 with a couple of college degrees). I don't know if the scores were different back then, although Mensa required a GT of 136 to join before 1980, but they no longer accept the GT.