06-26-2012, 02:31 AM
Hey guy's looking to see if anyone on here is ANG or AFR?
Im wanting to enlist, and I would just like to hear any experiences good or bad that you have had. I'm currently in college, just finished my AA degree about to begin my BA in accounting. School is important to me which is why I'm not wanting to go active yet. Anyway's just wanting to hear some stories, and maybe ask a few questions! :usa:
07-01-2012, 12:19 PM
I am currently USAFR, and was Active Duty. I was enlisted, and am now an officer.
There are good and bad parts about everything.
From my experience;
Active Duty: You are full time on the hook. Depending on your job, you may be very busy, or not at all. The best part about Active Duty IMO is that you get paid twice a month like clockwork. Unlike the Reserves or Guard that only "have" to pay you your bare minimum (1 weekend a month, 2 weeks a year). My Active Duty experience was a good one. I had no problems with it, and would reccomend it to others.
Reserves: This is where I am now. Good thing about being a Reservist is that you apply to the base you want. So, if you get hired on, you know exactly where you will be stationed from the beggining. With Active Duty, you are at the mercy of the Air Force, and they will put you where they need you (not necissarily where you want). And, you will probably move a few times if you make a career out of it Active Duty wise, whereas a Reservist, you stay with your unit until you are done (which is the same for the Guard). The other thing that is nice about being a Reservist, is that you don't have to work full time if you don't want to. A lot of times I make my own schedule. Keep in mind that this will be totally depending on your unit, and how much work, or lack of work they have available. They only have to pay you the bare minimum 1 weekend a month, 2 weeks a year, anything on top of that will depend on how much they need or can use you. This is the bad part about being a Reservist or part of the Guard. You can never 100% rely on the Guard or Reserves to have a full time paycheck. So far, my unit has been great, they need me often so I work full time.
The Guard: The big difference between the Reserves and the Guard, is that the Reserves is funded by the Federal Government, and the Guard is funded by the State. This basically means the Reserves are an augmentation of Active Duty, and seemed to get used more than the Guard. I have seen many Guard units in financial trouble, and usually that means that they have less money, which ends up meaning less ways for you to get paid (and that is bad). One thing the Guard offers that the Reserves does not, is that the National Guard are the ones in times of natural disasters that go to work helping out. Like Hurricane Katrina, and other natural disasters, the Guard is fully responsible to help out with that, on top of its military requirements. Other than that, the life in the Guard should be very similar to the Reserves.
I have 2 other pieces of advice I am going to offer you. 1st, and most important; research the job you want, and make sure you will be happy with it, no matter what part of the military you want to belong to. Recruiters will lie to fill in spots they need and tell you how awesome a really bad job is just to fill their quota. Trust me, happiness in your job is everything. I have seen people feel like they are in jail just because they hate thier jobs, and they live out their carees like jail sentances. Most of them thought their jobs would be much different than they were. I reccomend finding someone who works that specific career field you are interested in and ask them plenty of questions. On the other side, I freaking LOVE my job, and it is one of the greatest things that has happened in my life. But it all depends on what you want to do.
The 2nd piece of advice I will offer is whether you want to join as enlisted, or become an officer. If you finish off your BA degree you will have everything you need to become an officer. Now, there is nothing wrong with being enlisted, I was for 4 years, and enjoyed it. But, as an officer you will get paid much more, have more responsibility, and authority. This also is personal preference, as I know many enlisted people would not want anything to do with being an officer. Depending on what way you go either enlisted or officer will also have different jobs.
Good luck with your decision. Feel free to ask any questions to me or anyone else on here (it would be very wise to learn as much as you can before you sign on any dotted line).