Posted on Apr 30, 2018
2LT(P) Platoon Leader
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I am a 2LT commissioned in January 2011. I was assigned to an engineer unit in the FL ARNG. I graduated EBOLC in June 2012. Once I returned from BOLC my PL slot had been given to a new 2LT but I was never assigned a new unit. They (FL ARNG) were going to contact me with a new unit once one became available. For a year I bugged them almost every week day with no result. I then moved to IL for 2 years for my civilian job and started hammering contacts in the IL guard to no avail. I now just moved to CO and submitted an IST request, as well as many emails and calls (all unreturned). I finally have gotten in touch with some CO ARNG staff that can help get me assigned to a new unit. Has anyone heard of something like this before? I know of one (also a 2LT) who just waited until his “time” commitment was up and resigned commission. I have no interest in doing that as I joined to serve and want to stay in. I am actually planning to submit a packet for the call to duty program once I am back in a unit.

For some relevant background, I was an SMP cadet so I drilled as a regular NG member during college (as an MP) then later commissioned as an engineer. I have a very successful civilian career doing (mostly VA) mortgage loans. In college I wanted to be a big finance hotshot so I never wanted to be active unless deployed. Tp this day my proudest accomplishment in life is still commissioning as an Army officer. I was not mature enough at 22 to be a proper leader in the worlds greatest fighting force but I am a very different man at 29 and have decided I am going to be an active duty officer regardless of what hurdles stand in the way.

Any advice, feedback, or negative comments are welcome.
Edited >1 y ago
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Responses: 9
MAJ Cyber Security Engineer
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Why don’t you join the Reserves and then apply for Call to Active Duty? Seems like the Guard is a waste of time for you.
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MAJ Contracting Officer
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2LT(P) Platoon Leader
2LT(P) (Join to see)
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Is there really much of a difference between NG/Reserves? I went NG initially just because the available units in my area.
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MAJ Cyber Security Engineer
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Yes, in the Reserves, you can go to any unit in the world that has a need for your AOC/MOS. In the Guard, you are limited to what’s available in your state. If all the billets in your state for the next rank are filled you can’t get promoted. In the Reserves, you have more options to move to a unit out of state if you need to. I went to ILE with some Guard folks who were Captains for 10 years because there were no open Major billets. Made me happy to have only spent one year in the Guard a long time ago.
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COL David Turk
COL David Turk
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2LT(P) (Join to see) - Big difference. In the reserves, your boss is the federal government at all times. In the guard, you belong to the state, unless you are federalized. In the reserves, it’s much easier to do limited active duty. In the guard, if the unit is not called up, you have to get permission from the state for individual orders. Records are kept by the state in the NG. Reserves are parallel to the active duty side. Again, much easier to jump back and forth (having done it). In the reserves, your promotion criteria is centralized. In the guard, you are evaluated at the state level.
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1LT Finance Intern
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I won't state which is better - Guard or Reserve - in my opinion it's all about each unit's environment/atmosphere and how they operate. If your focus is to eventually become an active duty officer, you should probably ask yourself, what will get me to my goal? Guard or Reserve? For me personally, location mattered a great deal. I was able to get in touch with a Reserve Career Counselor and began the process to search for a home unit near my residence and civilian job. With a career counselor, you should be able to discuss your Army career goals and the counselor can lead you in the right direction. One recommendation I would give before meeting with a career counselor is to prepare a plan. What is it exactly that you want to do on the active side? How would you like to get there? The counselor can help fill in the gaps as they have experience and witnessed these career challenges. They can also provide you with unit information and slot availability. Rally Point has been thus far very helpful for me and can definitely be of help to you. From what I see, you can seek out a career counselor in the RP midst. Good luck to you in your career Michael.
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2LT(P) Platoon Leader
2LT(P) (Join to see)
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That's what I'm really not sure of- as far as I know switching to active is just as easy (or difficult) from the NG as the Reserves. It appears it will definitely be easier to get on active if I am currently assigned to a NG/Reserve unit. Fortunately my civilian career allows me to live in any state, so worst case I imagine I will have to leave the Denver area to get closer to a unit that needs a 12A 2LT (really should be 1LT, but I couldn't get promoted after BOLC since I wasn't in a unit).
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COL David Turk
COL David Turk
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2LT(P) (Join to see) - unless things have changed since I retired, it’s harder to go active from the NG, because you are a state asset. They have to release you (paperwork and approvals). I’ve seen more than instance of the respective state guard refuse, and/or “lose paperwork” (delaying tactics) of individuals wanting to go active, even for temporary assignments. Also, in the reserves, you would be promoted if your record warranted it even if you weren’t in a TPU. It would take longer however (more time in grade). I would check with engineer branch on the reserve side and get the straight scoop from them. Good luck.
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1LT President
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Also call your Branch Manager to make sure you can get back on track to check all boxes for advancement.
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