Military Hotrod Club - Any Reservists, looking for info...
02-05-2008, 10:35 AM
OK, why not take advantage of the chance to ask questions right?
I have done the Army Active duty thing and have been out for over 6 years now. I have finished school and have a prospering career since then, but I still have part of me that loves the military and I have thoughts of rejoining. With my career on such a strong upswing and my wife's career going strong as well I conceded that giving it all up for the military wouldn't be the smartest things we did with our lives. But the talk has been changing to possibly joining the Reserves, but I don't really know much about the reserves.
I plan on talking to a recruiter at some point, but was hoping to loose a little weight first, I picked up about 15# by sitting behind a computer for a living. So for now I am just researching with the help of you guys...
How much of your life revolves around being a Reservist? Of course that is when you’re not deployed.
How does that whole 1 week a year, 1 weekend a month actually work out?
My understanding is there are only certain jobs in certain areas, like the closest reserve unit I have found to me is an MP unit, does that mean I would have to be retrained since I was a 19D (Cavalry Scout) when I was in?
What are the chances to change your MOS? How tough would it be to get a rank increase or maybe even a commission since I have completed my degree and got into a good career after getting out in 2001 as an E3?
I spoke to a reserve captain on a flight a few weeks ago and she told me that they have been handing out commissions right now, is this pretty accurate?
She also suggested contacting the local reserve unit and asking questions from them, but I wasn't sure if it had to do with job skill or just the unit?
Anyone know of a good reserve recruiter that will give me the info I need without the fluff?
02-05-2008, 12:39 PM
The units in your area will have lots of MOSes in them, but yours is a specific one only found in a Cav unit from what I understand. If you had a support MOS (like 92, 63, 52, 42, etc.) you would probably find a home without having to reclass. But if there are no Cav units in your area, you are probably looking at reclassing... But that is a good thing. You can pick whatever you want. Don't let the recruiter BS ya... Call the units in your area yourself and find out what vacancies they have.
With respect to the time and effort involved... It really depends on your rank and if you give a shit. If you are E6 or above, chances are you are going to have a lot of responsibility either for functional areas or with personnel reporting to you. You can't just show up Saturday morning to formation without any idea of what you are doing or where your people are... Well not if your 1SG and/or CO are on the ball at all. Either way, it is not in line with the Army values to just be a ghost and max the minimum - especially for leaders.
As lower enlisted you basically can just show up and be ready to do whatver is asked of you and be good to go. Not a lot of prior planning for drill (battle assemblies) or anything. As an NCO or Officer, you will be attending meetings and making calls during the month. When I was a Squad Leader I had 10 people reporting to me and that meant lots of phone calls to relay information and make sure they were going to be there, etc.
If you have a bachelors degree, I highly suggest getting a Direct Commission. It takes the ROTC/OCS thing right out of the picture. All you have to do is complete OBC for the branch you are going to be serving in. It depends on your aptitude, your experience, and the needs of the Army with respect to what you will qualify for but usually they like to see you become an Officer in the career field that you were previously enlisted in (in your case, Cav). But if you have a lot of civilian experience in a certain area, that can work as well. And of course the needs of the Army always trump everything...
I was a Reservist for 12.5 years. I went from E1 to E7 and got out last June. I just needed a break from it all. I did one deployment to Iraq during my time. I completed a bachelors degree during that time and looked into a Direct Commission before I got out. I know how you feel. I really don't foresee being out for very long.
02-05-2008, 04:50 PM
My father started out active AF then went Guard and is now going Reserve (Guard unit lost its jets).
He is a Msgt and wanting to get Smsgt before he retires and found it will most likley be easier to get that in a Reserve unit then Guard.
HOWEVER, I new a guy that was ARMY Guard and was combat comm and was promoted to SFC due to time in rank only. He was a Ssgt for AGES because there was no open SFC slots.
Remember that the ARMY Guard/Reserve unit guys are deploying for long periods of time if you are still wanting a nice civilian job.
You can go Reservie/Guard with the one weekend a month thing then start applying for a full time slot (pretty much active duty but nicer and don't move around).
If you like the idea of officer I would go for it, but there are some die hard NCO's and SNCO's out there and there is noting wrong with that.
NCO or Officer everytime you get a promotion you get mroe reponsibility. Once you go senior officer or senior NCO you will get quite a bit more and things change.
At least with the AF side when it comes to Guard/Reserve there are only so many senior slots. If you are a Ssgt you can go to pretty much any base you want because the jobs (most of them) are not slot limited. With the senior ranking position there are.
For example you being a scout if you get Msgt there may only be 5 Msgt slots in your unit?
In other words if you go back in get with a unit and in a job you will be happy with and can stay in till you get out for good or settle down before you get to those ranks.
Also ask around (not to the recruiters per say) and find out that the units promotion rates are. If promotions for lower to mid level NCO/officer ranks are slow due to limmited slots for all the ranks then that might be an issue for you (same thing happend to the guy I mentioned earlier)
When my dad was looking for units he called each unit in the surrounding states and asked them what slots were open. Ending up talking to a Col. about a job that he later took.
Pretty sure the ARMY will put you in a hotel for the weekend so if its a few hours of a drive that not a big deal because its just one weekend a month really.
We are in Indianapolis and he was looking as far as St. Louis.
02-06-2008, 08:06 AM
I've been in the reserves for just over 5 and a half years now. You do one weekend a month and it's usually just a Saturday and Sunday. Occasionally you have to do a Friday evening, Sat, Sun. Then you do 2 weeks during the summer for your Annual Training (AT). Rank is much easier to obtain in the Reserves as you do not necessarily need to be in a *insert rank here* slot. I'm not sure if you would have to go back thru basic though. If you did be ready for 20ish weeks at Ft.Leanordwood, MO. I was an 88M(Motor Transport Operator/Truck Driver) originally. I reclassed as an MP (31B) and it was a total of 4 weeks of training/school. I will tell you though, MP's have a high rate of deployment. This is my 2nd tour here. I came over first as an 88M then reclassed and within a year I was back. Call around and take the time to choose what you want to do. Me, I wouldn't have done it any differently
02-06-2008, 08:17 AM
Thanks for all the info guys...
Oh and I didn't want it to sound like I was thinking of reclassing as an MP, I was just noticing that when I searched for units in my area all I got were MP or JAG units.
I would love to stay a scout as it is a small distiguished brotherhood within the Army, but as was stated above I don't see too many scout or recon units in the reserves, at least not in my area. Does anyone know of one? If I had to reclass I might as well do something similar to what I do now, but not sure if that is possible either and if I was able to do that then I would try to go in as an officer since that would be more of what I do in the civilian world. If I can't do that then I might settle for something fun, but we'll see what the options are...
02-06-2008, 08:20 AM
I actually don't think 19D is an MOS available to reserves. Reserves don't have any "combat" MOS'. We have combat support MOS' though. So you may have to go Guard then.
02-06-2008, 09:48 AM
This might sound like a dumb question but aside from the state vs federal thing what is the differences between reserves and guard?
I was thinking reserves because I know that in a few years (2-5 depending on finances) my wife wants to move to the west coast so I thought it would be easier to move units in the AR then the NG, since I would be joined the PA NG. I know the PA NG has a scout unit (104th Cav) but I know less about the guard then I do about the AR...
02-06-2008, 06:01 PM
The NG promotes like active duty does. So you will have to be in that slot in order to be eligible to make that rank. In the Reserves, not so much. That's one of the financial aspects. While drilling it won't make much of a difference, but on a deployment, rank plays alot into finances. I think with NG units though, you are more often deployed as a whole. Whereas, with the Reserves, they can pull you into any unit across the nation. So you may have more comradery in the NG than you would in the Reserves. Call up an NG unit and ask them how difficult it is to transfer to an out of state unit when moving. They'll be able to more ably answer any questions pertaining to the matter.
02-06-2008, 06:45 PM
As a 19D, and me being a 19K (basically same thing), I just got out, talking to the reserve side man, you have ALOT of options. I didn't go reserve or anything but I did talk to retention, something you gotta do when you get out of course. Heck go find the retention NCO on a local post and everything, or talk to a recruiter, and put a boot in his arse when he starts giving you a reach around lol.
02-07-2008, 12:58 AM
My father was AF guard for like 22 years and to transfer he just had to find a unit with a slot and file the paperwork and that was it. I doubt the ARMY Guard is much different.
We have a pretty nice GUARD INF unit here (76th INF Brigade) and I knew their CSM and he loved every minute of it, was "time in forced out" from what I hear and was told he is now at Benning back active on voluntary recall.
A friend of mine is a Scout out at Bragg and loves it but is going to supply.
The thing about the Guard and Reserve is a lot of the times the units ar emore we... efficent. People/units stay together for A LONG time because its not like active when you move around every now and then. You work with the same guys for years and years.
I know of a now disbanded F-16 Guard unit with maintainers as old as 40+ that turned jets in a war zone faster then active units with guys half their age and they also set a few combat records. Just because everyone knew their job and had been working with each other for a long time. Funny thing is the active guys made fun of them when they first saw them because they thought they were old crusty supervisors hahaha.
Good luck to you man.
02-16-2008, 09:21 PM
I was active took 2 years off and went back in the reserves and I love it. Rank and even a commission is easy to pick up. It is way better than active duty, a completely different mentality. I really enjoy it. They are giving out direct commissions pretty easily. PM me if you want more info. MOS retraining s the norm in the reserves. The benefits are well worth it.