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  1. #1

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    Default Thoughts on National Guard

    We just had a recruiter move up and in high school I had given them my contact information. He called me for a follow up session and gave me some information I had not heard yet.
    I am bearing down on college and the debt is getting kind of high, I am not worried about the debt, but I was interested in the possibilities being a guard member could bring to my law enforcement career.
    I am wondering what I would be getting myself into, the ups downs and in betweens, what the training is like and so forth.
    I am thinking of going in, but was wondering if there are any Guard vets on the forum that have some input, maybe some pointers to ask or be aware of before I go into the office.
    Thanks.
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  2. #2

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    Maybe it would help bring some stability to your life.

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    Go for it! It should be looked at as an honor to serve our nation, but more and more it's looked over. We have a good friend who did the National Guard through college, and stuck with it afterwards, he's been in about ten years now and is full time with them, last we talked with him he was running a armory pretty much by himself everyday, and loving it. Joining up is a great way to help with college and you will come away with a great life experience.

  4. #4

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    Join but not because of debt load.

    You're young and it's not going to take anything away from you. Most of ppl your age are afraid they will miss something, you won't. You will not regret it, will see things most don't, and the benefits will last you a lifetime.

    I was regular Army, full time for 4 years during Desert Storm I and overall it was the best decision I ever made in my life....aside from joining Club Polk. Talk to your family and those you care about in regards to the decision....have a serious discussion about all aspects of it before you make the decision. Either way, good luck.

    I'm available by email or otherwise if you want to chat to someone prior service.

    -Mark

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    Keep in mind that Guard and Reserve units have made up such a large part of the force for so long that they have been deployed repeatedly and for extended periods over the past 20 years or so.

    I would say that the active force has been shrunk way too much; but, that would be a political statement so I'll refrain from doing so.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by aviator View Post
    Keep in mind that Guard and Reserve units have made up such a large part of the force for so long that they have been deployed repeatedly and for extended periods over the past 20 years or so.

    I would say that the active force has been shrunk way too much; but, that would be a political statement so I'll refrain from doing so.
    I agree ! There were many National guard troops deployed to Iraq. Don't just go in for the finacial aid. It is a great honor to serve but be prepared for anything.

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    Just go all out and join the Marines. Much more to do, tons of action, and you'll get those soft hands dirty.
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    PC - PM me if you want and I'll call my buddy who is in the guard and give him your number if you would want someone to talk to who is currently in the guard. He was a recruiter at ASU, has been deployed so he knows his stuff. He won't give you any pressure or anything, very nice guy, let me know.

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    I honestly wish I had done a 4 year stint instead of wasting 15K+ at college barely going to class b/c I had no frickin direction.

    That being said, I'd give it a thorough scrub and make sure it's for you (talk to Mark and other folks that have already served for sure!) And keep in mind the possibility of a deployment to Iraq...

    Good luck!
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  10. #10

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    The military is never a bad idea

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    PC, you've received good advice.

    TALK to doro and cody's friend (who's in the Guard).

    Ask yourself what you would do if you join the Guard and are later called up to serve overseas in a hot zone.
    Only 1 choice, IMO. If you believe there is more than 1 choice in that situation, then I'd suggest you re-think joining the Guard.

    I personally don't know anyone who's served honorably and regretted it.

    And, like anything in life, you'd get out of it what you put into it.
    TANSTAAFL.

    Good luck with your choices.
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  12. #12

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    Indeed, I have.
    I talked to the recruiter. It ended up being an Amry recruiter, very nice guy. He gave me no BS and cut to the chase. I got a print off of different career paths and what I could do.
    He reccomended me go in as a military police since I am going as a criminal justice major, I would do 5 years wherever and a guaranteed year somewhere overseas as a military police guard. Which was rather appealing.
    I have some papers to go over, some decisions to make, but I know for sure, I am waiting until I have my 90 credits, he said if I am go there, play hard and keep focused I could be E5 within a year of enlisting. That was appealing as well. From what I understand, it is more laid back then the Marines etc.
    I can take the wife wherever I go, free top notch health care, great benefits and I did the math, the pay would be an equivalent of working at a job that pays 12.50-14 an hour depending on rank.
    It is something I am seriously thinking about.
    I went in asking for the national guard, ended up with a bunch of army pamphlets, but that is okay.
    It has always been on the back of my mind, with a huge military back ground as I have already, I do not think it could hurt.
    Even if I just enlist for the 8 years they require, it is still good money, a great experience and fantastic for any law enforcement resume'.
    Maybe just a shot in the dark, but are there any individuals that have actually gone through the military police portion as their part of the force?
    If not that is okay, which part did you choose, what was it like. All I have are just types of positions I could choose, and very vague descriptions...
    How was home life, I have a wife. No kids and I rent a house, so moving wouldn't be that hard. Is there anything that I do not know that could turn me away? It all seems like a good opportunity, I would patrol a base and act as a police officer and that is what I would do. It seems like a very quick way to do what I want to do.
    Enlistment ends in I think Janruary he said, but I would like to wait until my 90 credits are up.

    Is there any advice when enlisting, if I choose to do so that would be helpful?
    Thanks for all the help.
    As for dorokusai it is the debt that piqued my interest, I am around 11,xxx in debt with college and 1.5 years to go. I went in thinking as easy money, but came out thinking as a great opportunity. Mt recruiter seemed very down to earth and a guy I can talk too which was great, he did not even pressure me one bit which was great. It seems like a great way to carve a path, with two of my uncles and one of my grandfathers having extensive backgrounds I have a lot of support. If you wouldn't mind, my uncle was actually desert strom in the navy, you said you did the army, I wouldn't mind knowing about what you did and what it entailed any advise or stuff to watch out for.
    The biggest thing is that I don't want to go in thinking one thing and leave thinking another. From what I have heard, it seems like a good choice, benefits are great and pay is fantastic. Experience is remarkable.
    So, what do you guys have in response to some of the questions above?
    Thanks so much!
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by PerfectCreature View Post
    As for dorokusai it is the debt that piqued my interest, I am around 11,xxx in debt with college and 1.5 years to go. I went in thinking as easy money, but came out thinking as a great opportunity. Mt recruiter seemed very down to earth and a guy I can talk too which was great, he did not even pressure me one bit which was great. It seems like a great way to carve a path, with two of my uncles and one of my grandfathers having extensive backgrounds I have a lot of support. If you wouldn't mind, my uncle was actually desert strom in the navy, you said you did the army, I wouldn't mind knowing about what you did and what it entailed any advise or stuff to watch out for.
    The biggest thing is that I don't want to go in thinking one thing and leave thinking another. From what I have heard, it seems like a good choice, benefits are great and pay is fantastic. Experience is remarkable.
    So, what do you guys have in response to some of the questions above?
    Thanks so much!
    I'm not typing or emailing any of the specific information that pertains to my actual work or jobs in the military, so if you want to chat offline, that's fine....otherwise, just make sure you go with a friend, someone you trust(Uncle) and that they are present for every step of the process. There is not a single part of the recruiting process that has to be private or without counsel. Generically, I was a 31 series communications grunt since that's public record And no, I wasn't a black ops guy either, it's just too much to type.

    I'm sure the recruiter is cool but keep in mind that they are supposed to be and as awesome as he may be in reality, his job is to get you to join the military, period. The actual pay when you get in sucks but the college money is certainly a positive factor afterwards. Many are offering sign-up bonus', which is very helpful to some in the short term.

    I believe it's a great choice at this point of your life and am sure you will make the right decision either way. Good luck.
    Last edited by dorokusai; 06-28-2011 at 09:05 PM.

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    I did 22 years in the Air Force and retired - Excellent career choice for me. I will always recommend service - and it's more than just a way to get out of debt. Once in, bring it all to the table and learn to embrace the traditions, and your job and you will do very well. Immediately separate yourself from the enevetable whiners and complainers as they do little in their careers and are known only as detractors and malcontents that distract from the mission. Good luck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorokusai View Post

    I'm sure the recruiter is cool but keep in mind that they are supposed to be and as awesome as he may be in reality, his job is to get you to join the military, period. The actual pay when you get in sucks but the college money is certainly a positive factor afterwards. Many are offering sign-up bonus', which is very helpful to some in the short term.

    I believe it's a great choice at this point of your life and am sure you will make the right decision either way. Good luck.
    All things I will definitely agree with. A recruiter's job is to "sale" you the military dream. Now that doesn't mean it's a bad thing, after all the government spent money to send that young man/woman to recruiter's school. Like Doro mentioned, take someone with you, and hear the entire obligation out before you even think of picking up that black ink stick. If you do get a signing bonus make sure you know what is required up front. Try to get into a career field you can benefit from in the long haul. If your looking to be a cop, try to see if military police has slots for you to get into.

    Other than that, prepare to get in shape before you go off to boot camp. It will be around 8 wks, but it will seem like an eternity in there with a busy training schedule. Get familiar with rank structure, general orders, Army history as you will be fed this stuff daily during training.

    I'm a former Marine, so training will vary. Surely some of the guys will give you the specifics and details. If you have an issue with discipline and following orders you will run into headaches with your DI's. Train hard, and enjoy the travels when you get out there.

    I wish more young men would follow your lead. I'll leave that part alone, but cheers if you decide to do it bro.
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    Very good response, even if it's from a meathead Marine

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    My boy went Army Guard his senior year in high school and is currently in basic training at Ft. Jasckson, S.C. Obviously we don't have a world of experience to offer at this point, I will let the old dogs chime in on that, but as to the above mentioned signing bonus I can offer some limited help.

    As I understand the situation, any military personel that refers a recruit that signs up is eligible for a $4000 ( I think) bonus. My boy had two friends of mine that offered to refer him. One offered to split the bonus and one offered to give kevin the entire bonus. There was also a substantial "bonus bonus" if he joined the R.O.T.C.


    That may be something to look into and of course in Polkie tradition I am sure my boy would return the favor and pass on the cash to you if you are interested (Minus the customary steak dinner tip)


    Good Luck

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    If you're thinking about going active and becoming a MP, we're not the people you need to talk to.

    You need to find some MP's on active duty and let them fill you in on whats what and whats not.

    When I was a pup most installations were open and looking around wasn't a problem, today I think most are closed. Tell your recruiter you'd like to visit the MP school at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, I'm sure you'll find plenty of folks that will talk, either on base or off.

    Don't get in any rush to put your John Hancock on anything, after college will work fine, its not like the Army is going out of business any time soon.

    I grew up in an Army town, Mineral Wells/Ft Wolters, TX and only thought I knew what I needed to know when I signed up.

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    Last edited by aviator; 06-28-2011 at 09:30 PM.

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    There are a lot of choices. Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard.
    Go with an open mind. Take the tests before talking with any of them ,
    and you'll know what doors the scores will open you up to.
    It's all nonsense until the test, they are just flapping their gums.
    That goes for the "E5 in a year" thing , too. You couldn't even do that
    as a Nuclear tech on a sub. Take your family anywhere you go?
    Also utter BS.
    Ask questions of people who have done it. The more specific the MOS,
    the better. Any branch has military police. Don't limit your options.
    BTW, they may ask you about your choice of duty stations.
    And then they will send you wherever THEY want.
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  20. #20

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    I was Regular Army for 4 years, 79-83 and served 2 years in the Reserve. I was in a tactical unit during peace time, but we trained hard. Some of the best times in my life. Military service can be a good thing, but be prepared to make some sacrifices if you decide to enlist. In my case, it wasn't like a 9-5 job. I was in the Signal Corp and worked as a Radio Teletype/Morse Code Operator. In Garrison, we worked an average 12 hour day and trained in the field a lot. My unit deployed twice a year and I was away from my wife anywhere between 6-12 weeks at a time. Much of what too expect depends on your MOS and what duty station you choose. Good luck!
    Last edited by Keiko; 06-28-2011 at 10:03 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sucks2beme View Post
    There are a lot of choices. Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard.
    Go with an open mind. Take the tests before talking with any of them ,
    and you'll know what doors the scores will open you up to.
    It's all nonsense until the test, they are just flapping their gums.
    That goes for the "E5 in a year" thing , too. You couldn't even do that
    as a Nuclear tech on a sub. Take your family anywhere you go?
    Also utter BS.
    Ask questions of people who have done it. The more specific the MOS,
    the better. Any branch has military police. Don't limit your options.
    BTW, they may ask you about your choice of duty stations.
    And then they will send you wherever THEY want.
    This is great advice. Do your homework. Look at all branches and all MOS's pertaining to law enforcement if that is your passion and career goals. Get the best MOS that you can. If you live near either ocean, I would also consider the Coast Guard. I have a friend who did 30 years in the Coast Guard reserve and loved it. He would spend his drill weekends out on the ocean.
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  22. #22

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    I understand the whole, do not sign without reading. I normally read everything. I am not one to make rash decisions. I usually make concise and well thought out decisions.
    Hence why I asked for prior experiences etc.
    As for enlistment bonus? I never asked, I went in for National Guard. He will be back sometime next week from what I could get out of the ordeal. They are making renovations to their office, moving them to a different portion of the building.
    As for exploring options? Navy is a no go because I hate water, I was nearly drowned as a kid by an older individual who was playing a practical joke. Some joke. Air Force? I do not think I would be accepted due to my vision, I have yet to ask since the closest recruiter is about 5 hours away for that particular sector of the military. Besides, I do not like extended heights, roof top heights are fine, but thousands of feet? I dunno.
    As for moving around and the like? Whatever, I know where my family is. The whole taking my family? I was informed after training and when I am settled in, as long as were married and there is room, the wife is more then welcome to shack up. If not, I pay out of pocket to get here there, and shelter her.
    The whole comment about MP or Guard, well. I have not decided. I still need to talk to the guard first, find out what they have to offer and what sort of benefits I am looking at, from what I hear they are more of less the same.
    As for the Military? I do not consider that a dream, for some sure, but others far from it. I have friend who rave and friends who despise the military. As the recruiter said, the most truthful information I believe is that it is not for everyone, but those it is for usually enjoy their stay.
    As for Marines? I had a recruiter turn me away. I disliked what he had to offer and most likely will not go that direction due to his attitude. A new one has been placed, so I may venture down that direction, but most likely not.
    Not to hate on Marines or anything. I actually advertise for them with my lanyard that holds my keys.
    As for the comment about bringing a friend (my uncle) he lives in Florida and I in Maine, so that would be rather hard.
    I would not plan to even enlist for another, I think year. That way I would get to 90 credits. I might even be done college by then, if I planned right.
    I have 70-ish out of 120 required.
    I have a couple college teachers that are retired military that I plan to seek out and talk to.
    I am more or less in the...pondering phase I suppose you could call it.
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    Well if your that close to getting your degree than. IMHO - I recommend you hold out and take a commission as an officer. As a whole, the military services are a whole lot better for officers than enlisted. Pay alone is usually 3 or 4 times for officers than enlisted. ~ and even more as you promote to the Field Grade Commands. The sole purpose of a commissioned officer is to lead enlisted members to accomplish the mission. Take a little time to study up and look at the military chain of command structure, pay scales, responsibilities of enlisted verses commissioned officers. If your recruiter knows your that close to getting your degree, if he's worth his salt, he ought to be referring you to a commissioned officer recruiter, not enlisted. But, like every recruiter I've ever met, they have a quota to meet and you're on his quota list.
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    He did mention the higher your rank the further from your job (e.g. MP) you will get.
    I do remember some talk about officer positions.
    I can ask him about that. He gave me a manual on officer training, mentioned something about reading it over. He did stress the fact i need to make a desicion on weather I want to be reserve, guard or otherwise. He wanted me to bring him a game plan on what I wanted to do and he wanted to review it before he would even let me see the paperwork.
    I can look into the officer recruiter though
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    You might also ask about delayed entry (if they still offer it). Not sure if it would work for you, but it gives you some extra experience and $'s.

    Basically, you sign up and they send you to basic. When you graduate basic, you come back home and drill weekends with a local reserve unit. When the time of the delay is up, you go through your MOS specific training (AIT) and are assigned to a regular duty station.

    Couple of other things:
    - E5 in a year is almost unheard of. I suppose there could be a couple that did it. If you go in as an E3, you could be an E4 in a year. The E4 rank is also kind of tricky. If your an Specialist 4 (SP4), your not an NCO. E4, Corporal you are. E5 in 2 years is possible but it will take some diligent work.

    - As other have said get real specific with the MOS and figure out exactly what you want to do. You will be doing that till reenlistment time. You should also explore the paths that lead from the starting MOS and where it might take you. If your going into the MP's your first year will be a lot of checking badges and making rounds.

    - The military will be easier without kids till you get some rank. You won't get to take your wife with you everywhere and live on base. Yes, you can live off base but on the lower ranks salary it will make it a bit harder. It would be far more difficult if you had kids.

    - If any one ever asks me if they should join the military, the answer is always YES. If you decide to join you will learn skills and meet people that will be with you for the rest of your life. There are a lot of employers out there that like to see military service on the resume.

    - Basic training is easier in the fall and winter. Yes, it will be pretty physical but it is easier if the temp is 50 vs 100. Usually, for basic training, the living conditions are pretty spartan. Don't expect AC in the barracks. Some large fans and open windows will have to suffice. Basic will also be easier if you go to the gym and get some treadmill time and do push-ups and sit-ups and pull-ups. We never really ran anywhere, we just did the airborne shuffle and 5 - 10 miles was no sweat at that pace. Life gets better after basic.

    - I think if you talk to most people they were glad they served. The ones that didn't like it probably didn't enjoy their job or were forced into the military for some reason. I can't say every day of my service was wonderful, but the experience as a whole was good for me. Of course I didn't spend much time in the field (but that was the way I wanted it).

    - Lastly, life is better as an officer. If your close to graduating you might want to investigate the delayed entry thing and see if OCS is a possibilty.

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    If your going to finish college 1st then I would highly recommend you go the officer route. It will open many more doors for you career wise, financially, and tons more other benefits like better housing, etc. Pretty much everything is 1st rate when your a ZERO (jargon for officer).

    Sucks2beme/Gadabout gave some excellent advice. You will get to bring your family along when "possible". Your orders will dictate when, where, how and with whom. If your heading overseas, your family will need to have area clearance, military ID, etc. to be in the area. I work for John Deere now, we have contracts with the military and even then I still have to play by military rules (sometimes) since there is SOFA in place overseas. If your in the USA, then your good. We have contracts in place with all branches, so I'm on the outside looking in. If you need anything ask it, you have so many resources here who know.

    Sorry the Marine was a little harsh, try to think of it as being firm. If your all about family then definitely give some thought to the Air Force. Not sure where the height thing comes in, but not all Air Force personnel fly. They have MP's, office jobs, comm jobs, techs, etc. just like all the other branches. I will give credit to the Air Force and say they put their people first and life is alot easier in that particular branch.
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    Have you spoken to your wife about all of this? Just because he said you can take her with you, doesn't mean you actually WILL be able to. Nor does it mean she will actually want to, be able to go.

    What will she be doing with her time while you are gone? Does she have a job that pays well enough to keep a roof over her head while you are gone? What if you get deployed to Afghanistan, she will not be following you there.

    This is not just about you, what you do will have a huge effect on your wife as well.

    If you were single, I would say go for it, but you're not & as far as I'm concerned that changes everything.
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    I'd recommend sucking it up and getting your Bachelors, then get commissioned.
    If your ultimate goal is get with a fed outfit, ATF, FBI, SS, etc., then they'll want a 4 year degree anyway.
    Even if it's a local/ state PD, a college degree, and 5 years practical-management experience goes a long way.
    And don't think of the AF as a 'Lite' branch. When it comes to security, they don't f**k around!
    Good luck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by obieone View Post
    And don't think of the AF as a 'Lite' branch. When it comes to security, they don't f**k around!
    Good luck.
    Your talking Norton, McAfee or something similar? AF is a great branch, but it is the easier service of them all.
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    Great thread here. Now that you have switched directions (perhaps) I can offer some similar help - one of my best friends is finishing AIT right now for EOD. I said to him, Matt, your 6'3" and redheaded, your going to be a big enough target as it is, and your doing one of the most dangerous jobs in the Army? Crazy. I'm sure he would love to answer any questions about basic/AIT for you if you'd like, let me know. I can tell you that he eloped about a month ago with his now wife, and is moving her down this weekend, he didn't think basic was all that bad, and has enjoyed his time at AIT (blowing stuff up!). Good luck, service is a great honor, don't let anyone tell you differently.

    To all above who have served - Thank you for your service.

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