Army Reserve

Army Reserve

This is a discussion on Army Reserve within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I've been considering joining the army reserve. I'm currently going through college so am leery about joining anything full time. After weighing the options i ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array zeppelin03's Avatar
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    Army Reserve

    I've been considering joining the army reserve. I'm currently going through college so am leery about joining anything full time. After weighing the options i think it is something i am ready to step up and do.

    Can anyone inform me as to the process after i initially visit a recruiter. I would assume testing and physicals, etc. I had a friend explain a bit after he looked to join the marines, but I figure there are some differences.

    Also, it appears that you still go for standard basic training before moving into the reserve schedule of once a month. Is this the case?


  2. #2
    Member Array TangoMonkey's Avatar
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    I am 1LT over in Iraq. I would suggest you either join ROTC, or finish school and go OCS. I respect NCOs completely, but if you are working hard to get your degree, let it work for you. PM with your email and I will answer any specific questions you have.

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    To TangoMonkey's good advice I would add - go shopping with your checkbook at home. Talk to recruiters from all 4 branches, AND the Coast Guard, but tell yourself in advance that no matter how good a pitch you hear, you will not sign up "today." Give yourself ample time to digest all the information.

    I'm particularly fond of the Marine's Platoon Leader Corps (PLC) program. I know I'm dating myself, but a friend elected that route in college (early 70's) and just last year retired from the Corps as a two-star general!

    And to the extent possible... if a recruiter makes what sounds like a promise, get it in writing.!

    Good luck to you!
    Smitty
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    Senior Member Array zeppelin03's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses. Definitely some things to consider. I am making a point of soaking in all the info. Or trying at least. Find I get a head of myself a lot.

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    Member Array 120mm's Avatar
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    Seriously?

    Army Reserve would be my last choice as an initial entry point. I am currently technically Army Reserve, and it is NOT a good place to be getting your start, as either a lower enlisted or a new officer. You want to go National Guard or Active Duty, where you have a chance at having some kind of leadership above you.

    Leadership positions in the Army Reserve are non-competitive, and the quality of leadership shows, imo. There are pockets of good units, but they are an exception.

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    Member Array FroMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TangoMonkey View Post
    I am 1LT over in Iraq. I would suggest you either join ROTC, or finish school and go OCS. I respect NCOs completely, but if you are working hard to get your degree, let it work for you. PM with your email and I will answer any specific questions you have.
    I'm with Tango. Go ahead and finish school and then join. You're payscale will be upped and you can guarantee non-deployment until after you are done with school.

    I'm currently in seminary going into the Chaplain Candidate program and I will be an inactive reserve status throughout the rest of my schooling to guarantee non-deployment. It's more of an ROTC type so that I can finish seminary.

    Once you get all of your paperwork in and pass the physical at MEPs, it's off to training.

    Have you thought about joining the National Guard?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array zeppelin03's Avatar
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    Haven't even thought about the National Guard. Should look into it though. Any advantages?

    I'm real glad I posted this. Giving me a good reminder that I got some options to look at, and some serious things to consider.

  8. #8
    Member Array MSteve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TangoMonkey View Post
    I am 1LT over in Iraq. I would suggest you either join ROTC, or finish school and go OCS. I respect NCOs completely, but if you are working hard to get your degree, let it work for you. PM with your email and I will answer any specific questions you have.
    I've got 8 years active (captain right now) and have the same recommendation. If you can afford school, keep going. Do ROTC. Even if your school does not have it, there will most likely be one nearby that does and has an affiliation with your school. I went to one university and did my ROTC at another. Also, talk to the ROTC about scholarships. It's been awhile since I went through, but back then they usually had more 2 and 3 year scholarships than they had applicants. I ended up with three free years of school for something I was doing anyway. The scholarship will work different if you plan on commissioning reserve/guard, but each ROTC program has an officer whose job it is to explain all this to you.
    Because you are already in school, I would keep it that way. Even if your final intent is to be an enlisted Soldier, finish college first.
    Also, know that if you enlist, you will have to attend basic training and advanced individual training. (I know this is true for the guard/pretty sure it's the same for reserves.) So, you could be looking at several months, as some AITs are upwards of 20+ weeks in some of the more technical fields. Also, make sure when you ask about lengths of training, that you find out any and all additional skill identifiers that you will have to get at the same time. I commanded and AIT unit. One of our MOSs was 10 weeks AIT + 9 weeks for an ASI that they all had to get. In nearly 100% of cases they didn't realize they had that additional 9 weeks until they were already there. That can be bad if you have a wife waiting on your return, or a school semester already paid for. If the recruiter can't answer that question, Google the MOS, find out where the school is and call and ask them.
    Also, like the LT above, feel free to send me any questions you have. My background is active, but I may be able to help aim you in the right direction.
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    Distinguished Member Array Madcap_Magician's Avatar
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    Join the Air Force.

    (From a 4-year Army Guard soldier).
    Hakkaa päälle!

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    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamRudolph View Post
    Join the Air Force.

    (From a 4-year Army Guard soldier).
    +1 On Air Force, My FIL Retierd from ANG ; ) PS Finish School FIRST
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    Keep in mind that Reserves are not the weekend warriors of days past. Many of them spend as much time on duty are regulars.

    Unless you're just interested in toting a firearm around, I say go Air Force. Regardless of branch selected, definitely let your college degree give you the advantages that it can. No sense working for pennies when you can earn dollars instead!
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Daddy Warcrimes's Avatar
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    Please don't discount enlistment in the Army Reserve just yet.
    The views expressed here are that of an Army Reserve career counselor:

    Pay less attention to the component or service you want to join, and get to know the units available to you. Talk to the servicemembers about their experience. I've seen good and bad leadership in every component.

    I've never been in the Guard, but the things I have seen and heard would make me cautious. Guard experiences can vary greatly from one state to the next. Service requirements for benefits and incentives can vary. I've heard guard members tell me they had to extend without any other incentive to obtain tuition money. I've heard of Guard soldiers cut off from tuition assistance (TA) when the budget runs low (same can happen in other components, but the well is deeper). The Army Reserve OTOH has uniform standards which can be advantageous if your future career(s) involve relocation.

    The type of Army work you wish to do may also affect your choice between Guard and Reserve. The Guard consists mainly of combat arms (infantry, artillery, armor) where the Reserve is almost entirely support structure (medical, logistics, MPs). If you want to be a grunt, don't join the Reserve (the only USAR infantry I've heard of is in Guam).

    There are a lot of ways to become an officer. There are in fact at least 2 ways that I have seen to employ ROTC. The easiest that I've witnessed so far is direct commission. If you have a few years of school left, you could feasibly be a sergeant by the time you graduate. That leadership experience combined with your degree and recommendations from your commander could easily qualify you for commission.

    A newly appointed 2LT does make more money than new PVT, but a 2LT with a couple years of service makes more than either. I don't mean to sound pushy, but the sooner you start the more money you stand to make (if such a thing motivates you).

    If you wait until after graduation, most of the funding available will only apply to future education. Officers typically get cut from TA before enlisted; those with degrees get cut before those without. The GI bill only pays if you're going to school. Enlisting while in school and full ROTC scholarships are the best ways to get Army school money.
    "and suddenly I can not hold back my sword hand's anger"

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  13. #13
    Senior Member Array zeppelin03's Avatar
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    That is one thing I noticed with reserves. A lot of support roles. I am in school for finance. I saw that they have a financial management engineer or something of the sort. Would be a good match with what I'm going for. While part of me thought infantryman would be interesting, it would be good to run with something I am proficient in.

    I figured sooner than later. Would help to have the tuition assistance, extra income, as well as the experience.

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    Senior Member Array kellyII's Avatar
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    Well I can tell you from experience that no matter weather you go reserves or national guard, you can just about guarantee that you will get deployed.

    The reserve components of today are not like they were 10-15 yrs ago. Do your research and make an educated decision.

    As far as the ROTC thing, thats great I encourage you to go that route also. Theonly thing I dislike about it is this, you finish school and get your commission and now your in a leadership position and have no experience leading troops, and you have no idea how and what the enlisted troops go through.

    I have more respect for officers that were enlisted soldiers first. JMHO

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    Quote Originally Posted by kellyII View Post
    I have more respect for officers that were enlisted soldiers first. JMHO
    That's fine at your end of the rank spectrum, but "Mustangs" normally don't progress as far in the officer corp. I'd hate to see his career advancement limited by a Mustang tag.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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