Posted on Sep 18, 2013
CPT(P) Immigration Officer
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All branches of the military have their ups and downs. Why would you pick the Reserves over the National Guard or vic versa and why? Especially when it comes to the career progression and care for the individual Soldier.
Posted in these groups: United_states_ar_seal.svg Army ReserveArmy-national-guard-logo Army National Guard
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BG Dep. Director, Military Programs
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For any of you frustrated by promotion in the NG (and I have heard a lot of grief in this area) we will gladly accept you in the Civil Affairs community. CA only exists in USAR and limited AC. You will have no problem getting promoted as long as you take care of your education, APFT, etc. Plenty of CPT/ MAJ and SSG/ SFC slots available in all units. People avoided us during the war due to very high OPTEMPO, but now you will find we are one of the sexiest units in the USAR. Fee free to contact me and I can steer you to a unit near you.
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SPC Carlos R.
SPC Carlos R.
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Sir, I would also be interested. I am currently speaking with a national guard recruiter as they trying to secure a 09S OCS slot for me. Don’t know if that is a possibility in the reserve. Served for 6 yrs in the guard and have an honorable discharge. Located in Dallas, TX
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BG Dep. Director, Military Programs
BG (Join to see)
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SPC Carlos R. - If you can get the NG Recruiter to put OCS in your contract, then I would go with that. I have had candidates also come in from a USAR Recruiter in the same manner. You go to Basic and then should come home for a period and then ship to 10 weeks of OCS. A key part is finding a unit who will have an officer slot for you and this can limit your branch options. However, whatever branch they assign you, you can always go to a unit after graduation and try to change it to a branch they need. The 490th CA Bn. in Dallas can use 2LTs in AG, MI, QM, or SG.
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PO3 Chad Rowe
PO3 Chad Rowe
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Hello BG, my name is Chad Rowe and I am prior service looking to get back in the service to finish my retirement. I am wondering if I should go Army reserve or Guard. I am looking to the Intel route. it is what my degree is in.
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BG Dep. Director, Military Programs
BG (Join to see)
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PO3 Chad Rowe - Honestly, it depends where you live or willing to commute to. There are great intel units scattered around, such as the Utah NG which are awesome and do great missions. Other places, the USAR is going to be a better choice. Best is if you can get to Ft. Meade and work out of one of the units there. The MIRC is one of the best examples of RC support to the AC and I think you would find it very challenging there and lots of promotion opportunity since you are already an E-6. Glad to hear you are rejoining, not only for your service, but to get a nice pension retirement. I think you'll find that extremely valuable in the long run.
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MAJ Executive Senior Partner
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>>Reserves<<

BLUF - The USAR provides the mid to high speed Citizen Soldier more options and personal control.

In the last year I've been asked this A LOT by my former ARNG family. They know I left a great ARNG career in 2013 to join the USAR. I miss the people, but don't miss the imposed limitations of ARNG force structure and strength management.

First, I'm a prior-enlisted Officer with ALL ARNG & USAR time. Seventeen years total service (11 ARNG - 6+ USAR). I commissioned in ARNG and made MAJ (on time) so I'm not a cry baby about my time there. In fact I still pay NGAUS dues because I love what that organization does for veterans! Now read on...

Back in 2006 COL (Ret) Hunt (former ARNG LTC) warned me, "an AGR glass ceiling was coming" to the ARNG. He saw it in UT and now my state when he moved here. He joined USAR for more career potential. BUT as a 1LT/CPT I was committed to the NG BCT I just deployed with and ignored him.

Fast forward 6 years and he was proven right. I left NGB because of these statistics:
1. >80% of the KD jobs were held for AGRs or MilTechs ('08-'12)
2. >85% Field Grade Assignments from '08-'12 were all Full-timer moves/promos
3. 100% BN XOs - 90% BN CMDR - 100% Bde Cmdr in this state were full-timers ('09-'13)
4. 100% ILE and 95% ILE-AOC classmates were AGR or Techs
5. AGR/Techs = 12% of total man power in my state and they were one of the top 5 states!
---->Do the math....

Honestly I LOVE my NGB friends and mentors, but USAR offered me HUNDREDS more options, roles and capabilities. There are ALSO as many GREAT leaders here (O, WO and NCO) as in ARNG.

Most (not all) of the stronger leaders I'm bumping into in USAR are also former ARNG leaders who crossed over.

BLUF - USAR provides mid-to-high speed Citizen Soldier more options and personal control of their career.
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SFC Chief Intelligence Sergeant
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Good sell sir.
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CPT Aide De Camp
CPT (Join to see)
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Wow, great post and stats.
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CPT Lawrence Cable
CPT Lawrence Cable
2 y
Either this is a real change or differs a lot state to state, plus I got out just before I was eligible to promote to Major. However, on the Infantry and Engineer side of the National Guard, I never had a BN Commander or BN XO that were Full Time, although that seemed to be more common once you got beyond that level. As an Infantry and Engineer Officer, I didn't see much of an issue getting to Major, so this may be more a function of Branch. If you are willing to travel, I think the the USAR gives more opportunity for advancement nationwide, especially if you aren't combat arms.
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COL Manager, Project Management Office
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It really depends on who you are and what you want.

Speaking as an AR officer, the Reserve has a decided deficit of Abrams MBTs..... Seriously, the USAR has (almost) no combat arms. For some that is a bane, for others a blessing. It definitely has an impact on the overall organizational culture. I would tend to say that it is easier to get burned out in the NG.

In my experience, the USAR is a better place for promotions for the non-combat arms and for senior-level promotions in general. With an important caveat. In the state guard, you need to be in a position at the next higher rank to get promoted. As you move up the ladder, there are fewer and fewer of those positions - and somebody is camped in them! NG stops at the state border. The exact same thing is true in the USAR - except that you can look at positions throughout all of CONUS, assuming you are willing to travel. A lot of people are NOT willing to travel, which is a bonus for those of us that are.
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LTC Martin Metz
LTC Martin Metz
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I traveled 3 hours one way of windshield time for 5 years to be in Civil Affairs Brigade. I experienced some of the best experiences in my career including a deployment for OIF.
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