Air National Guard- stay in/get out?

This is a discussion on Air National Guard- stay in/get out? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I would like to get some honest feedback, especially from the other vets on this forum here as I need to give my unit a ...

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Thread: Air National Guard- stay in/get out?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array EW3's Avatar
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    Air National Guard- stay in/get out?

    I would like to get some honest feedback, especially from the other vets on this forum here as I need to give my unit a final answer by this weekend.

    I'm in the PA Air National Guard and am nearing the end of a 6 year enlistment. Between this 6 years, 1 year in the Army Guard and the time I spent in the Army on Active Duty I have 12 years of creditable service to date.

    I am really torn between re-upping for 6 years, or just bagging it all and getting my weekends and freedom back. If I do the additional 6 years, then I'd be in it for the long run to the 20 year mark. When you hit 20 years of creditable service in the Guard, you are eligible to draw a retirement check starting at age 60.

    I keep going back and forth, making myself crazy. The unit wants to give me a $15,000 reenlistment bonus(minus taxes, of course!) and another stripe (to E-6) "within a year". The job is OK; I basically answer help desk calls all weekend and try to fix people computers. The call-up system is very different from the Army; we don't get sent to war zones as whole Brigades or Divisions for 15 months, instead we get sent in small groups for 4-6 months, mostly voluntary. I work at a major defense contractor, and getting time off to go to drill and deployments has never really been an issue.

    Am I being stupid for wanting to get out with 12 under my belt? Like I said I keep going back and forth; I've never been this conflicted in my life about a major issue! For what it's worth, I have a gut feeling that I just can't seem to shake that it wouldn't be a good idea, that I should just wrap it up in April. Then again I'd be throwing away everything I've worked for and put up with to this point! See how I am making myself crazy?

    Help, I need some help! Should I stay or should I go???
    "Naked and Starving as They are We Cannot Enough Admire the Incomparable Patience and Fidelity of the Soldiery" – George Washington, Valley Forge, 1777.

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    Senior Member Array ridurall's Avatar
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    My wife and I are retired Air Force and my father is retired Air Force Reserves. Non of us have regretted sticking with it at all. In the past 3 years I've had $250,000 worth of surgery. My parents are 84 and 85 years old and for the past 25 years they probably used over a million in medical care and prescriptions. My family's medical costs while more then the Air Force agreed to for all those years we were in have sure saved our bacon. Our prescription costs alone would break me now. My suggestion is stick with it. I'm almost 52 years old and feel like 70 but when you get to 60 your going to start to need all kinds of nuts tightened. Having paid medical care and prescriptions will make a big difference in quality of life. By the way I just had cataract surgery last Wednesday and I opted for the Rezoom expensive lenses. If I just got the regular lenses it would have cost me $12 but I want to do with out glasses so it costs me $2300 per eye. By the way the extra $2000 a month retirement pay helps quite a bit also. When my father was in the Reserves he figured he would only get about $140 a month. It's now up to over $1000 and he and Mom are able to put money in the bank every month with what they saved up and the different retirements they now have.
    Life member NRA since 1983
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  4. #3
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    Your half way there... I'd stick it out.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  5. #4
    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    I got out at 6 as an E-6.

    I have a few reservists that work for me and they hate it because they have to take "paid time off" everytime they have to drill or just not get paid.

    To me, I would choose it based on 2 things.

    1. Is it holding you back from something you would really like to do?(8 years is a long time to put off plans or a career change)
    2. Do you have other retirement and medical options for when you are in your 60's?

    I had to answer both of those questions in the affirmative before I could get out, and I believe you should be able to answer Yes to both of them before you do.
    There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

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  6. #5
    Member Array bones's Avatar
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    12 years in? The rest is a piece of cake. I had a similar problem. Got completely out after 8 years. Heard a Huey helicopter fly over. Couldn't stand being away from it. Joined up again and stayed another 22 years. I don't regret any of it. You just have to choose what you want, what you'll miss, what you'll feel good about with your decision.
    "There is no such thing as too much ammo. Unless you're swimming!"

  7. #6
    Member Array LastManOut's Avatar
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    Unless you absolutely hate the ANG, hang in there. Negotiate for the stripe at signing, take the re-up bonus and finish it out. The perks at E-6 used to be a bit nicer that at E5 and even better at 7,8 and 9. A friend finished his career as an E9 and gets tons of base privileges with his double retirement, the other being from the USPS.

  8. #7
    Member Array Arisin Wind's Avatar
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    Stick with it. When those retirement checks start coming in you'll be glad you did.

  9. #8
    Ex Member Array Duff's Avatar
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    I've heard too many of my old supervisors complaining about how much they want to kick themselves in the ass when they separate after getting halfway to retirement. Think back on how short that amount of time really was, then think about how much shorter the rest of the time is going to be. Stick it out and get the retirement check!

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array EW3's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies so far. It seems like the consensus is to stick it out and go for the 20. I just did 7 years, and it really didn't take all that long to go by (wasn't it JUST 12-31-99, and we were all running around like idiots because of the Y2K Bug, LOL?)

    I guess 8 more isn't going be all that bad.

    Here is a pic of me at Keesler AFB in 2006. I was retraining into my current AFSC (MOS)

    "Put widget A into slot B"
    "Naked and Starving as They are We Cannot Enough Admire the Incomparable Patience and Fidelity of the Soldiery" – George Washington, Valley Forge, 1777.

  11. #10
    Member Array livetohunt's Avatar
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    stay in I had the same choice and my 20 would been done a year ago regret it now
    The Democwats hate Consewvatives and want to Ewiminate ouw Fweedoms Dang Wabbits

  12. #11
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    I agree with the others about staying the course.

    I got out of the Army after 10 years, half way to a pension.

    Dumbest thing I've ever done!


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry

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