Anyone out there, either currently or historically, serve in the reserve forces of a military branch?
Something I have been contemplating but just can’t quite decide on.
Let me know what you thought.
I did three years active army, and three years inactive reserves. Had I to do that over again, I would have joined the active reserves, but I spent 13 months in my last unit, 4 months with the best CO I had in all three years, and the next 9 months with the worst officer I ever cam across. Within less than 6 weeks of taking over the unit, he completely destroyed the spirit and attitude of almost every last person there (the only exception being out E-7). Needless to say, I let that dictate my decision to not go active Reserves.
In time of a serious period of combat, Reserves are going to be called up. and that means, you get to see what combat is all about, directly (if you are combat arms) or indirectly (if support). And in some instances, support troops may see combat.
Our move from a draftee Army to an all volunteer Army has put unusual stress on troops, especially combat, a point worth considering.
All branches of the military need people.
You don’t say your age - are you in or through college? Considering the Reserves, with benefits to pay for college?
I’m actually done with college and have been in my career field for the past 4 years or better. I’m 26 with a young family.
Thanks for your service and your feedback. I really like the idea of potentially being able to keep my career while pursuing a career in the reserves. I just know that there are some risks and some downfalls so I am trying to weigh those out.
One of my family members recently joined the National Guard to pay for college.
Do they like it?
Just started… I’m not a magician to read her mind.
Haha well that f you get a chance to ask her let me know what she thinks.
Well, at your age and experience, you are not going in starry eyed. It might help if you and your wife took an afternoon off, away from family, and have a long chat about it. Put all the pieces on the table; time you need to take off and be at meetings, training, and etc.; the possibility of deployment; and any other issues that may come up.
As a suggestion: do a “Ben Franklin T” as you talk; and make sure she freely speaks her mind on the matter (if Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy…). Note down the pluses and the minuses. Yes, if deployed, you could be injured or killed. You could suffer the same fate taking a drive somewhere.
And there may be a number of positions you could fill within a Reserve company. I was in combat intelligence, and there are several different positions within that, as well as counter intelligence.
I will put it this way: had I not let my anger and disgust over the last 9 months of BS from that Captain, I would have stayed active in the Reserves. I left Ft. Hood, Texas for grad school in August 1971 and that miserable excuse for a mouth breather was riffed out of the military in November. Justice prevailed and the Army was better off.
I was ROTC in college and then 8 years in the National Guard
Great experiences, and I would do it all over again.
I was in the ANG for 12 years. Joining was one of the best decisions i ever made. I got out because i work long hours during the week and the weekends were the only significant time i got with my kids and decided that was more important than staying in. one weekend a month is really not a lot but i felt like i was missing out with my kids. Now that they are getting older and don’t go to bed so early i get more time with them during the week so it would not be as big a deal today. I know plenty of people who had young families that continued to serve though. over all i look back very fondly on my time in the ANG and even miss it sometimes.
Even if you are done college they may pay back some student loans for you as an incentive. In my state they would pay back up to $20k. Tuition assistance could also be used for a masters if that is something that interests you (assuming you don’t have one)
That’s a great idea. I think we may both go down and speak with a recruiter about options within the next couple of weeks.
It really sucks that happened. As they say it only takes one bad apple to ruin things.
That is awesome thanks for your service! Did you have a family at home at that time?
Thanks for your feedback! We’re the financial benefits worth the time spent, other than time away from your kids of course?
Did they assign you to a location near your home?
Yes I did have a family at home, but it was active reserves (National Guard). One weekend each month, and a two week Advanced training each year.
The furthest I ever went away from home was Ft Knox for our yearly advanced training ( I was in Armor). I was never deployed anywhere. Even for Desert Storm, there were enough active duty armor units, or units from some of the States in the Southwest that had training in desert combat, desert navigation. That was not us
Absolutely worth it, i got free college tuition and also GI Bill and “GI Bill Kicker” money every month. that combined with getting paid for drill weekends and as many training days as they would let me take let me not have to have another job during the semester so i could concentrate on school work. The training/experience was great for my resume and am confident it helped me get my full time job.
They did not assign me a location, i picked what unit i wanted to join and knew the location upfront.
Coast Guard may be more interesting.
I spent 4 years in the Marine Corps on active duty. My job was infantry and I deployed twice to Iraq back in 2005 and 2007. I would recommend joining active duty over the reserves. I had many friends join the reserves after their 4 years of active duty and they said it was much different. If you want the full blown military experience, I would join active duty first. Honestly, it was probably one of the best decisions I could have made with my life and I have friends that I served with in combat that I now consider brothers. Just my 2 cents.
I’ve been both reserve and active. What country are you from? Anything I could share would be from the US perspective and might not be applicable.
Yeah I live here in the US. The reasons I’m leaning reserve are that my family is settled where we live, I have a good job and a lot of family nearby.
Haha I’ve thought of that but they are very hard to commission into especially as a reservist