Posted on Nov 8, 2013
CPT Company Commander
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I have served in both capacities and even on active duty while in the Guard. I constantly hear Active Duty gripe about the National Guard, and yet even worse I have also heard National Guard gripe about the National Guard. I am very pound of my unit's achievements in the past and while I have served with them. We have fought and lost great men just like our counterparts in the Active Duty Army. I make sure to crush it where I find it. We didn't get the name of Roosevelt's SS for nothing. We literally shredded the German's 1st SS in WWII and later deployed twice to OIF.&nbsp;<div><br></div><div>How do you approach this situation, whether you're in the National Guard or Regular Army? Or are you guilty of doing this? I was in the past.&nbsp;</div>
Edited >1 y ago
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Responses: 148
COL James Stevens Roach
185
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Edited 3 y ago
I spent 29 years on active duty, and I think that we often had unrealistic expectations of National Guard Soldiers. National Guard soldiers are often 10 to 15 years older then their active duty counter parts, and often not in as good a physical condition. Their physical condition was a function of age, and physical training - which isn't part of most civilian occupations. But the aspect that was often over looked, is that when you had a National Guard unit deploying with you, there were always a bonus effect. You had professional electricians, plumbers, carpenters, mechanics, lawyers, doctors, nurses... all of those National Guardsmen had years of experience from their civilian jobs - and that always was a wonderful bonus... and helped us solve real world problems. The National Guardsmen that I worked with were good men, dedicated and brave soldiers - but they were different from active duty soldiers, and in some ways better.
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CPT Lawrence Cable
CPT Lawrence Cable
5 mo
I did a keep up tour with the 3rd ID shortly after Desert Storm with a newly converted Brigade Combat Engineer Battalion. The Active guys were shocked when I told them that if I were in charge, I would deadline half their vehicle. My Guard Engineer Co. Mechanics could run rings around the active guys. Same with drivers and operators. Big factor was experience. I had Dozer Operators that had been on a D7 since they were 16 (coal country).
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SSG Glen Becerra
SSG Glen Becerra
3 mo
Very well put sir. I served 4 years RA and 21 NG. A big plus in NG was that we had guys in same section who trained together for years. Common tasks could be weak at times but easily brought back up to speed. PT was always a weakness for some but was always worked on. On deployment to OIF III, our Paladin unit was an equal match to RA unit we replaced, mainly because RA guys were young and ready to get the hell home and giving them a 30 day extension at last minute had to be a morale buster. Another plus was that our NCO's were alittle older and had more experience as being "handyman" since we were home owners and such, which really helped with Iraqis. I personally fixed alot of kids bikes there. All in all, like everything else there is neg and pos in all situations.
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CDR William Kempner
CDR William Kempner
2 mo
Sage comment
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LTC Multifunctional Logistician
LTC (Join to see)
11 d
Sir. Well said. I was Active Duty Regularl Army, a National Guardsman, and an Army Reservist. I relish my service I all these areas, but I was most proud of how much hard core maneuver training my National Guard Rifle Battalion could cram into one three-day weekend.

We deployed the entire Battalion from one far corner of the State, arrived at the north gate of the maneuver box, unloaded and laagered in Assembly Areas that night. The next morning, the Fid teans pushed a tactical LOGPAC, and the companies when out on search and attack missions against a live OPFOR. Meanwhile, the TOC and CTCP monitored the fight as the Mortar Platoon ran a Live Fire. We even managed a mass cal for the Medics.

Late that afternoon, the Companies established defensive battle positions, including survivability and complex obstacles...and the Field Trains ran another LOGPAC.

Next morning, the Companies defended against a live OPFOR, we ended the exercise, held AARs, policed the Training Area and headed back to the Armories.

That summer, we held Annual Training in rehearsal for a JRTC rotation -- kicking the festivities off with a Battalion Air Assault.
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1SG Steven Stankovich
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I believe that there is a time and a place for some good natured ribbing and joking between branches, services and components.&nbsp; With that being said, I have served with members of the National Guard in both Afghanistan and in Iraq and to me and my Soldiers, the only difference was the patch on the shoulder.&nbsp; It's a non-issue in my book.
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GySgt William Hardy
GySgt William Hardy
>1 y
As an active duty Marine, I was stationed at Patch Barracks in Stuttgart, GE and was surrounded by mostly soldiers, but Air Force and Navy also. One day this Army CPT came in my office and said, "SSgt Hardy, I was told you might have nails I could get from you." My response was, "Sorry Sir, I ate my last ones for lunch!" Yes, there is a place for good natured ribbing, but when it comes to differences between active and reserve, there should be no difference. If you run across a bad unit, that unit is bad, not the whole system. I have run across both good and bad in active and reserve status.&nbsp;
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LCDR Judge Advocate General's Corps Officer
LCDR (Join to see)
7 y
Mid-deployment, we had a visiting CO and CMDCM. There was an active-duty E6 who said, "What's up with all of these reservists?! They may flip burgers in their civilian career, and then they come over here (in theatre) and don't know their jobs!" Mind you that most of the room were reservists including our CO, XO and CMDCM. Thankfully, the visiting CMDCM mentioned that his entire command were mobilized reservists "who can go tow-to-tow" with any active duty command he had been at.

My personal opinion is that after you are deployed for a few weeks or months, everyone settles into their jobs, and besides patches, you can't tell who is active, reserve or National Guard. Many active duty don't have extended interaction with reserves or National Guard, but it is definitely more than a "one weekend a month, two weeks out of the year" commitment.
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LTC Self Employed
LTC (Join to see)
>1 y
LCDR (Join to see) - LCR, I am sure that many reservists have over 3 years active duty, over 3 deployments since 2001. Due to the recent downsizing talk of reducing the active army by 40k, the active component will have to work alongside the reserve/guard units because of sequestration of $100 billion over the next 10 years. We have come back to the Donald Rumsfeld 'go with what you got' mentality. Rumsfeld said that Kuwait in late 2004. I was not at that meeting where he answered the Louisiana ARNG soldier's complaints about lack of up-armored vehicles with them at Camp Udari.
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CSM Michael Poll
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Like many of my counterparts here in this thread, I have served in the AD and am now a reservist.&nbsp; There is some good old fashioned ribing, but there are those out there who think of the Reserve and National Guard as substandard.&nbsp; What COL Roach says in this speaks volumes, but another aspect is this,&nbsp; We "part time" Soldiers are able to complete missions in combat with training only 2 days a month and 2 weeks in a year and are able to keep up and sometimes out perform our AC counterparts.&nbsp; There are thos out there that see this, however I do not believe we will ver totally get out of the "Nasty Guard or Reserve" mentality.&nbsp; Only those that served side by side with them will have a new respect for us.&nbsp; I amproud to be a reservist.&nbsp; We are able to juggle the Military, our civilian job, family school etc.&nbsp; AC is able to concentrate on thier full time Military occupation.&nbsp; Be proud of who you are, AC, Reservist or National Guardsman because in the end we all are on the same team fighting the same fight!
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SFC Lock And Dam Operator
SFC (Join to see)
6 y
I believe in the guard been deployed in hostile area and the guard performs to and above standard of active army. i know a retired active 1SG who has said he would reather have a national guard unit on his six than active. if that says what the guard is made of i'll take that anyday over what other recuiters have to say about us. also when i got home from our last deployment i had to go to ft. campbell for therapy for my back while there i worked side by side with active army, to quote a SFC that was trhe DFAC manager SGT Sarrell i would have never guessed you were national guard had you not told me so appearently we are doing something right
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CW4 Craig Urban
CW4 Craig Urban
>1 y
The guard. Is necessary.
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GySgt William Hardy
GySgt William Hardy
2 y
SFC (Join to see) - I served with Doug Sarrell back when he was a SP4 working on a gun truck in Iraq. The job our unit did, gun truck security, was one to be proud of. Excellent road record. As their Ops Sergeant, I was well versed on what they had done on the hundreds of missions we carried out in 2006-2007. They even let me leave the FOB and go with them from time to time. We were most definitely professionals.
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SSG Edward Rhyan
SSG Edward Rhyan
15 d
We had people from 5 states making up our unit in Iraq in 06-07. We performed more work hours and more 250 hour services (24 VS 17) on Apache Helicopters with 19 people than the previous AD shop with 41 people. I had 6 years previous AD with 5 in the NG at that time. There were many full time Technicians and AGR that really had their eye on the ball. We would finish up a phase in 2-3 days and spend the other 2 troubleshooting and clearing status's.
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