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Old 07-02-2012, 09:17 PM   #1
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Few Army Reserve Questions

Well I recently found out I was a non-select for Active duty Army OCS. I thought I had a decent chance however it seems with selection rates as they are, I missed the mark. I had a 75/75 on my local board, 274 PT, 121 GT but only a 2.9 GPA in college which wiped me. The average GPA for this last board was a 3.49 I believe.

Anyhow, enough of my sorrows. I was offered a commissioned MI reserve slot just down the road in Tucson and am strongly leaning toward accepting it but wanted some of your guys' input.

I know reserves is part-time, however, I have a few sources that tell me you can volunteer for "stints" in between your once-a-month duty. How truthful is this? (I have a full-time job now so Im not overly concerned with this... I was just really hoping to play a more active role in the Army).

How are the health benefits for reservists? As I understand it, Ill have to pay some for the same tri-care as active duty. Are reservists on a different health plan than active duty though in terms of co-pays ect?

Anyhow, Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for your help!

-Kris
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:58 PM   #2
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As a reservist, you do not get healthcare. You can however pay for it. Not sure how much it is but healthcare in the military sucks and is very limiting.

When you are on active duty (as a reservist), you get AD care...which still sucks.

Look into the USAF in the Tucson. There is an Air National Guard unit at the Tucson Airport and a Reserve unit at the base.

The military has changed dramatically over the past 5-10 years but I would still choose the AF over the Army. Also look into the Coast Guard.

By the way, I am on a military contract now supporting the US Army and have a shit load of respect for those guys. PLUS, the sole reason the USAF exist is to support the ground forces.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Taco Gunner View Post
As a reservist, you do not get healthcare. You can however pay for it. Not sure how much it is but healthcare in the military sucks and is very limiting.

When you are on active duty (as a reservist), you get AD care...which still sucks.

Look into the USAF in the Tucson. There is an Air National Guard unit at the Tucson Airport and a Reserve unit at the base.

The military has changed dramatically over the past 5-10 years but I would still choose the AF over the Army. Also look into the Coast Guard.

By the way, I am on a military contract now supporting the US Army and have a shit load of respect for those guys. PLUS, the sole reason the USAF exist is to support the ground forces.
I appreciate your input TacoGunner. My father is a retired f-16 pilot and he advised I look into the ANG as well. I actually have done quite a bit or work with a local recruiter for the tucson unit as I am interested in a sensor operator position.

One of the major reasons I am considering a commissioned Army reserve slot though is because of the commission. I know ill just be part-time after training, however while active (in training or on deployment) the pay is quite different. I am not greedy and am not just joining for money clearly, but I do have a family I have to support and the commissioned pay will closely match what I am making now.

Im really just gathering as much info as i can right now to help me make my decision. ANG is still a strong possibility if I can get a sensor op. job.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by TRDguyKC View Post
I appreciate your input TacoGunner. My father is a retired f-16 pilot and he advised I look into the ANG as well. I actually have done quite a bit or work with a local recruiter for the tucson unit as I am interested in a sensor operator position.

One of the major reasons I am considering a commissioned Army reserve slot though is because of the commission. I know ill just be part-time after training, however while active (in training or on deployment) the pay is quite different. I am not greedy and am not just joining for money clearly, but I do have a family I have to support and the commissioned pay will closely match what I am making now.

Im really just gathering as much info as i can right now to help me make my decision. ANG is still a strong possibility if I can get a sensor op. job.
Yes, try Army national Guard or Air National Guard.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by AzogSS View Post
Yes, try Army national Guard or Air National Guard.
If you dont mind expanding.... Why Army national guard vs. reserves?
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TRDguyKC View Post
If you dont mind expanding.... Why Army national guard vs. reserves?
I was in the reserves for 2.5 years. I've been in the Army National Guard now for 9 years and they have many opportunities to be a full time soldier. Many jobs within the state that help you get extra retirement points, or make a career of it. I start recruiting next week.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by AzogSS View Post
I was in the reserves for 2.5 years. I've been in the Army National Guard now for 9 years and they have many opportunities to be a full time soldier. Many jobs within the state that help you get extra retirement points, or make a career of it. I start recruiting next week.
Do you know what the process is for joining with a commission? I have completed all the steps for a commission in the reserves, do you know if the physical and the testing will all transfer over? Is there even a chance to join as an officer?

I Appreciate your help.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TRDguyKC View Post
Do you know what the process is for joining with a commission? I have completed all the steps for a commission in the reserves, do you know if the physical and the testing will all transfer over? Is there even a chance to join as an officer?

I Appreciate your help.
Not exactly sure what the reserves had you do. The Guard has its own OCS... I was in it before my last deployment. Also you can go ROTC and come in with a commission. A recruiter in your area can have you come in and get OCS in your contract if you have enough school credits etc. I have a 4 year degree from USC and have decided after this last deployment to remain enlisted. Many more job opportunities for enlisted on the full time side so I am happy.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:39 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by AzogSS View Post
Not exactly sure what the reserves had you do. The Guard has its own OCS... I was in it before my last deployment. Also you can go ROTC and come in with a commission. A recruiter in your area can have you come in and get OCS in your contract if you have enough school credits etc. I have a 4 year degree from USC and have decided after this last deployment to remain enlisted. Many more job opportunities for enlisted on the full time side so I am happy.
I have a 4 year degree as well. Im an oldie now trying to join at 26. I too noticed the expanded job market for enlisted vs officer..... Ill do some more research. Thanks for answering my questions!
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:42 AM   #10
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In the order of your first post:

You can get on "stints" as you referred to them...more commonly known as "orders" for short/long term durations. This is including but not limited to professional development schools, missions, etc.

Example: lets say as an LT, you become an XO of a company. Well, you can come on orders for X amount of time in preperation to push troops out on a deployment, or for an event, etc. The issue/challenge commonly found with Reserve Soldiers coming on/off orders all the time is your civilian employer. To them, it gets old. So balancing both careers can be difficult.

Healthcare: You would be eligible for Tricare Reserve Select (TRS). It's approximately $55/month for single Soldier and $195/month for you and your family. Dental coverage is offered seperately. As Active Duty you pay less and fall under Tricare Prime (better coverage). Check out the Tricare website for details as I am no expert on this matter.

Good luck!
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:46 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by AZ TXPRO View Post
In the order of your first post:

You can get on "stints" as you referred to them...more commonly known as "orders" for short/long term durations. This is including but not limited to professional development schools, missions, etc.

Example: lets say as an LT, you become an XO of a company. Well, you can come on orders for X amount of time in preperation to push troops out on a deployment, or for an event, etc. The issue/challenge commonly found with Reserve Soldiers coming on/off orders all the time is your civilian employer. To them, it gets old. So balancing both careers can be difficult.

Healthcare: You would be eligible for Tricare Reserve Select (TRS). It's approximately $55/month for single Soldier and $195/month for you and your family. Dental coverage is offered seperately. As Active Duty you pay less and fall under Tricare Prime (better coverage). Check out the Tricare website for details as I am no expert on this matter.

Good luck!
Fantastic information. Thank you, I really do appreciate it.
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Old 07-04-2012, 03:19 AM   #12
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Quick note about the Sensor Operator thing....

They are the future, plain and simple. Contract ballers (unofficial term for them) can make up to 25K a month. I know this for a fact...I just landed after flying some of them/
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:21 AM   #13
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Where I am at in PA there are a lot of reservists on active duty. They pick up orders doing deployments as the prior posters mentioned.

Don't forget that once you are an officer in the reserves you will need to have a certain amount of time in service/grade and then you can go active and maintain your comission. You would have to ask a recruiter the specifics but guys do it all the time.
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:34 AM   #14
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You have a lot of good information in this thread. But my question to you is, why do you want to join the military? Whichever branch, there has to be an underlying reason. Once you figure out what it is, create a goal and get after it. As for the reserves vs the ng; the reserves are a federal organization and the ng is ran by the state. The problem with the ng is that you are owned by the state. Even though it is possible to transfer out of state, it is extremely difficult because the ng is MOST states are either over strength or at strength so there are no slots. The NG kills the reserves in ONLY one area, they pay more money for state funded college. You already have your degree so that shouldnt be an issue. From my experience working with the ng and reservists (not all, but most), they are un knowledgeable about what the hell is going on. They have little to no discipline, mainly because the consequence is only on one weekend once a month. What do you want out of the military?
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:40 AM   #15
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You also never slated as an option as going in enlisted as an e4 and trying an OCS packet again once you are in. If you are squared away, when your officers see you have your degree, they will most likely push you toward that anyway. Also when you are enlisted first, you tend to be a better more rounded and knowledgeable officer. I cant stress enough how important it is to k ow what the fuck is going on when you are deployed, other than just what you learned in school (or what you did one weekend once a month for a year or so. That is only 36 days...smh). Tricare is great medical insurance. Granted you dont get to pick and choose every option you like as others allow you to, but then again, you pay pratically nothing for any and all services rendered. I cant imagine why someone would down tricare's medical insurance
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:43 AM   #16
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Slim,

10 years ago I would have agreed with your assesment of the NG and Reserves. However, current Op tempo puts Reserves and Guard on a 1 deployment in three year cycle. As a result they are spending a lot of time on active duty in theater and doing the "real" Army job. A lot of the shit bags have been weeded out and the weekend warriors understand they are actually training for a real world mission.

On one of my deployments with the PA NG we took over a small clinic in Iraq and our M Day medics worked side by side with the Active Army medics. However, the M day guys were Civillian Nurses, medics, and a PA when they werent in uniform. Our guys had so much more experience that we were more prepared than the Active duty guys. That may not apply to say an 11B but you get the idea.

Admittedly pulling out of Iraq, and the eventual draw down in Afganistan will decrease the deployments, but the No go guard and reserves of the 80's and 90's are no more.

When joining the military, regardless of the branch, assessing your goals/reasons is ESSENTIAL. Where do you want to be in 5-10-20 years? If you have an idea of what you may want, the Army will likley have avenues that will help you get there. If you pick an MOS that goes along with your life goals you will be head and shoulders above the other guys when its time for you to get back into civy life. Not to mention the education benefits

Not saying there is anything wrong with infantry, just not as many jobs on the civillian side when you get out.

Lastly, I wont say officers have it better, but it is different. The pay is higher, your housing is better, and you wont be digging many ditches or pulling all night guard duty.
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:01 AM   #17
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Do you want to be an MI officer? What type of unit would you be in as an MI officer?There is great potential in the MI world, both in and out of the Army Reserve.

The MI world has great funding and many opportunities for short tours and training, both stateside and abroad.

Ive heard good things about Tricare Reserve Select for folks that don't have employer provided healthcare. Don't discount it.
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:03 PM   #18
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Is the MI slot going to require you to get a Top Secret Clearance and can you get one, you will need good credit and a clean record? If it requires a TS and you join then do not get your TS you will be put wherever you are needed. Like everyone has said before look at your long term goals and see how the reserves or guard will assist you in getting there. Think long and hard because this decision will have many implications in your future. Explore all possibilities and talk with all branches. And lastly remember when you raise that right hand you are swearing to give it all up to and including your life. It is worth it, yes you will sacrifice alot but I would not take anything for my service.
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:15 PM   #19
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Look at

Army Aviation and a Warrant slot. Plenty of opportunities in the outside world when you get your wings.........like US Customs/ICE flying Blackhawks and Falcons all over the world. Maintain your NG/USAR "weekend" flying status and have a great civilian job with double benefits.......
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:19 PM   #20
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Name: Kris
Joined: Sep 2008, #9316
Location: Glendale, AZ
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco Gunner View Post
Quick note about the Sensor Operator thing....

They are the future, plain and simple. Contract ballers (unofficial term for them) can make up to 25K a month. I know this for a fact...I just landed after flying some of them/
This is one of the reasons I am interested in the sensor op. position. My brother in law is currently deployed under contract. He is an operator of the scan eagle at Argentech. Needless to say he makes quite a bit of money.... when on deployment.... at the cost of being separated from my sister.

About a year ago I was no doubt going to go this route... however, at the time there were no sensor op. positions in Tucson. That AND, I realize that two of the most crucial skills wanted in new hires with sensor operator positions are 1. a security clearance and 2. Pilot license/time.

Still an option, but, it seems as though its harder to get an enlisted sensor op. position than get an officer slot in the army.... which is odd to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slimwood Shady View Post
You also never slated as an option as going in enlisted as an e4 and trying an OCS packet again once you are in. If you are squared away, when your officers see you have your degree, they will most likely push you toward that anyway. Also when you are enlisted first, you tend to be a better more rounded and knowledgeable officer. I cant stress enough how important it is to k ow what the fuck is going on when you are deployed, other than just what you learned in school (or what you did one weekend once a month for a year or so. That is only 36 days...smh). Tricare is great medical insurance. Granted you dont get to pick and choose every option you like as others allow you to, but then again, you pay pratically nothing for any and all services rendered. I cant imagine why someone would down tricare's medical insurance
I have considered joining enlisted to go officer........... The reason I do not consider it any longer is because I have had numerous officers and enlisted friends/references tell me NOT to enlist if your goal is to become an officer. That it may only lead to let downs and negativity. (my references include my father (ret. Lt. Col), my wifes uncle (ret. Army spec. forces major), and a few of my friends currently serving enlisted army/air force).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdcmn7 View Post
Slim,

10 years ago I would have agreed with your assesment of the NG and Reserves. However, current Op tempo puts Reserves and Guard on a 1 deployment in three year cycle. As a result they are spending a lot of time on active duty in theater and doing the "real" Army job. A lot of the shit bags have been weeded out and the weekend warriors understand they are actually training for a real world mission.

On one of my deployments with the PA NG we took over a small clinic in Iraq and our M Day medics worked side by side with the Active Army medics. However, the M day guys were Civillian Nurses, medics, and a PA when they werent in uniform. Our guys had so much more experience that we were more prepared than the Active duty guys. That may not apply to say an 11B but you get the idea.

Admittedly pulling out of Iraq, and the eventual draw down in Afganistan will decrease the deployments, but the No go guard and reserves of the 80's and 90's are no more.

When joining the military, regardless of the branch, assessing your goals/reasons is ESSENTIAL. Where do you want to be in 5-10-20 years? If you have an idea of what you may want, the Army will likley have avenues that will help you get there. If you pick an MOS that goes along with your life goals you will be head and shoulders above the other guys when its time for you to get back into civy life. Not to mention the education benefits

Not saying there is anything wrong with infantry, just not as many jobs on the civillian side when you get out.

Lastly, I wont say officers have it better, but it is different. The pay is higher, your housing is better, and you wont be digging many ditches or pulling all night guard duty.
Thank you for the informative response. My original intention was to make a career of whatever it is I do in the military.... That has now changed slightly because I didnt make the cut. I do realize however that I can make a career of reserves/NG.

The reason why I am pursuing the officer slot rather than enlisting is exactly what you said. Im planning for my future. I want to be as marketable as I can be either while in or after my service..... That being said, GENERALLY SPEAKING.... (not always, so dont get me wrong please) being an officer will be a +1 on a resume.... if for nothing else than the leadership you gain by going to OCS.

And the reason MI, is also because of future opportunities... The security clearance will help, and MI is not as "targeted" of a career choice... vs something like sensor operator.

Thanks again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bakerla View Post
Do you want to be an MI officer? What type of unit would you be in as an MI officer?There is great potential in the MI world, both in and out of the Army Reserve.

The MI world has great funding and many opportunities for short tours and training, both stateside and abroad.

Ive heard good things about Tricare Reserve Select for folks that don't have employer provided healthcare. Don't discount it.
Thanks for the advice. This is why I am strongly considering the MI slot at Ft. Huachuca in the reserves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandboxpirate View Post
Is the MI slot going to require you to get a Top Secret Clearance and can you get one, you will need good credit and a clean record? If it requires a TS and you join then do not get your TS you will be put wherever you are needed. Like everyone has said before look at your long term goals and see how the reserves or guard will assist you in getting there. Think long and hard because this decision will have many implications in your future. Explore all possibilities and talk with all branches. And lastly remember when you raise that right hand you are swearing to give it all up to and including your life. It is worth it, yes you will sacrifice alot but I would not take anything for my service.
The MI slot will require me to get clearanced no doubt. I have no debt ATM other than a car payment, and have not ever had any financial difficulties. The only Legal trouble I have gotten into was 3 speeding tickets w/in an 11 year period.

Thanks so much for taking your time to help me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teniente View Post
Army Aviation and a Warrant slot. Plenty of opportunities in the outside world when you get your wings.........like US Customs/ICE flying Blackhawks and Falcons all over the world. Maintain your NG/USAR "weekend" flying status and have a great civilian job with double benefits.......
I too was considering this route. Had I gotten an active duty slot, I most certainly would have put my packet in for aviation while in OCS....... My hesitation with this field however is the dangers involved (dont take this statement wrong. I know I am potentially sacraficing my life no matter what I do). That being said, id rather not put myself in more danger than necessary..... and lets face it.... there are jobs within each branch that are more dangerous than others. I only hesitate because I have a family and I have a duty at home as well.

As I understood (could be mistaken), Aviation officers actually fly a bit less than warrant officers... more ppwk and desk job work.

Also, at the moment, the civilian market for helicopter pilots is saturated. This doesnt mean it will remain that way, nor is it a reason for me to "turn away".... I am still considering this route as well.



I would like to wrap this post up by thanking all of you who contributed to my post and future decision. It really means a lot to me that you each took the time out of your/your families day to speak to me on my difficult decision.

Thank you much.

-Kris
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