Posted on Dec 15, 2015
SSG Zachary Palmer
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I've been contemplating joining the National Guard or the Army Reserves. I want to get to retirement. And I know I could save money on insurance.
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LTC Hardware Test Engineer
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I spent 11 years in the Guard. tornado relief duty every spring, hurricane relief duty every fall. I decided to transfer to the Reserves for promotion, at the time the Guard just wasn't promoting CPTs. I got picked up for O4 the first board in the Reserves. That was 2 1/2 years ago and there are guys in my year group who stayed with the Guard that just got picked up for O4. For enlisted, especially the higher you go, someone basically has to die before you can get promoted in the Guard. My daughter was a SPC, 35F, and there were only a handful of E5 slots in the entire state. She finally got promoted, had to transfer to a unit that was 50 miles further from home, and the 2nd month she was there the UMR changed and her E5 slot went away. They wanted her to reclass as an 88M in order to keep the stripe, so she said "to hell with it" and went into the IRR for her last 2 years.

That said, IMHO the Reserves have been much better for me. Not nearly as much "good ole boy" network, who you know, who your daddy/uncle is, stuff. And no more middle of July ATs at Camp Shelby.
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SGT Uh 60 Crewchief
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Voted up for: "someone basically has to die before you can get promoted in the Guard"
This is the most accurate thing I have read on Rally Point.
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LTC Hardware Test Engineer
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back when I was an E4, I was #1 on the promotion list for 3 cycles running, there just wasn't a vacant E5 slot in my MOS to promote into. When I became a PL, I had a guy in my platoon that had been in the guard for 30 years and was still SPC.
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SSG Zachary Palmer
SSG Zachary Palmer
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MAJ Burch Thank you for the insight. It's looking more and more like if I do go back it will be with the Reserves.
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CMSgt James Nolan
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SSG Zachary Palmer Because you are actually considering it, you should follow through. I would say this though-not just for the pension (which will be a modest amount), or the savings on insurance.

Do it because you want to be part of something that stands for something good. To be a part of keeping us strong. For the opportunity to grow, take on challenge and adversity and overcome.

The benefits help out-no doubt. But, if the money is the only reason, you will be dissatisfied.

When looking, take a look at all of your options. Consider Air and Army Guard, as well as Reserves. Talk with them. You are no longer the idealistic 18 year old that knows nothing....do something that you WANT to do, and you will be much happier doing it.
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MAJ Contracting Officer
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The reserve retirement with 10 years active duty isn't modest for a MSG it's about $2,000 a month. ~5,000 points. Certainly go for it, look into both and pick NG or Reserves based on what unit type you'd like to join.
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1SG Claims Assistant
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If you wish to stay MI, you're likely to find much more promotion and mission potential in the USAR.
Guard MI positions are almost entirely in their battalion, brigade, and division HQs; the USAR has entire MI formations.
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1SG Training Coordinator
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1SG, the Guard has MI units as well...the state SARC in WA I knew was in a MI unit and I had a recruit last year in a MI unit in OR. That being said, I also knew an E6, an E7 & an E8 with MI MOSs in HHC 81st BDE. The E6 is, unfortunately, still an E6. The E7 is now an E8 and the E8 (MSG) is a 1SG.
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1SG Claims Assistant
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Oh I know they exist in the Guard, 1SG (Join to see), but they are a lot fewer and further between. There are about 180 MI billets within 50 miles of me in the USAR. Maybe 20 in the Guard, and that is with the TAG, Div HQ, and one of the BDEs nearby.
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SSG Zachary Palmer
SSG Zachary Palmer
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That would make the decision for me. I do want to stay MI. UASR may be the way to go.
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