Posted on Apr 10, 2015
SPC Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic
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Im getting out from active duty and going to the national gaurd in los angles California (i dont know what base yet) iv talked to national gaurd recruiters and the only thing they tell me is that their state funded but i just want more info besides that can any one help out? Ps iv been active duty for close to 5 years
Posted in these groups: Army-national-guard-logo Army National Guard
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CPT Infantry Officer
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MAJ Petrarca brought up a number of good points. I've spent the entirety of my career in the reserve component, so I can't really comment on the transition. However, here's some general observations.

1. In the ARNG we try and cram as much training in as possible during our IDT weekends. Expect your Op-tempo to be much higher on a Individual Weapons Qual weekend than what you would experience on active duty. When I was ramping up to deploy we trained from 0600 to 2300 regularly.

2. Be mindful of which MOS you choose. Rank progression is tied to MTOE positions. The armorer I deployed with had 12 years in as an E4 simply because there were no E5 slots for armorers. He ended up reclassing to get promoted. Also, don't be surprised if you have to go to a different unit to get promoted. On the Officer side it's common for us to drive 2-3 hours to drill simply because that's where we're assigned.

3. A lot more responsibility is placed on the individual PT is a good example. Nobody is going to check and see if you're doing PT. You're expected to do it on your own. Likewise, the more rank you accrue the more time you're going to put in during the month. As a Company Commander I put in around 20 hours a week of my own time to ensure we're on step 8 of the TLPs come opening formation.
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MAJ Robert (Bob) Petrarca
MAJ Robert (Bob) Petrarca
5 y
Yes, you are right on target. My Guard unit was MP so the low density MOSs like commo, supply and admin sometimes had 1 even 2 breaks in rank to get to the next promotion. That and the funnel effect - one of my commo sections had 4 E-4 slots, 1 E-5 slot no E-6 slot and an E-7. what happens when those E-4s are ready for promotion and there's only one spot to fill?? I highly encouraged my folks to go MP as a secondary MOS to get some experience and open up promotion possibilities.
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MAJ Robert (Bob) Petrarca
MAJ Robert (Bob) Petrarca
5 y
CPT (Join to see), I remember those days. One year we did 4 MUTA-5s in 3 months to prep for an AT ARTEP evaluation. in 2005 getting ready to deploy, it was just work, work, work. By the time we got to Ft Dix to MOB it was like taking a break.
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SFC Patrick Machayo
SFC Patrick Machayo
12 mo
We'll put.
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SSgt Carpenter
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I've only ever been Guard, so I have a limited perspective, however I do have a few observations to make.

As Major Petraca mentioned MOS choice is important in the Guard for promotion opportunities, and for unit choice. If you're interested in keeping you 91b MOS, you should have plenty of opportunities, as everybody need maintenance.

I can't speak for the Active Duty as I was never there, but Guard units vary in their levels of competence and their cultures. If you find yourself in a place you don't like, apply to change to another battalion.

Seeing guys come off active duty to the Guard, I can make one more suggestion. Guard is different than active duty. I've seen a guy come off active and be pissed off, because he couldn't stand the more relaxed atmosphere. I've also seen the opposite reaction. "Oh crap, I'm still in the Army once a month." Be prepared to adapt, as it is a different culture, not necessarily worse, just different. In my experience, we have a much more "get it done" mindset than AD. I did a rotation through Hoehnfels, that difference was very apparent. We aren't used to having tomorrow to get something done. We definitely don't have next week. My perceptions and opinions. Hopefully nobody gets too bent out of shape.
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MAJ Robert (Bob) Petrarca
MAJ Robert (Bob) Petrarca
5 y
You're spot on. the reactions are mixed. I spent 3 years AD and returned to the Guard but its what I wanted to do and having spent time in the Guard until I went to OBC knew what to expect.
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MAJ Robert (Bob) Petrarca
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Are you going full time guard or traditional "weekend warrior"? there is a lot more politics in the NG due to the state being involved in a lot of the decisions.

NG recruiters are out for themselves to fill their units. Make sure you are getting into the unit you want and are not being pressured into an assignment.

Look out for upward mobility - again this can be political. You may need to switch units to make E-5 in your MOS when the time comes. Plan ahead. Know where the units that support your MOS are. You may have to do some traveling for that promotion.

Best of luck in your transition!
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