I am often accused of being negative, so read with caution! I believe it is my job to be objective (who is John Galt?) My personal belief is that yes men (not to be confused with following orders) are the problem.
Yes, the NG needs people like yourself to go the extra mile. And you will be rewarded under the right command. However; I see an alarming trend that extends to all Reserve Component soldiers. Nearly all NG/RES Soldiers are required to do MANY extra hours with no pay, and do 2-3 months of required schools AND still attend AT. At first glance this will benefit the unit and the common cause of unit readiness.
I have personally seen the negative effect. On my deployment in OIF 2/3 we had Welders, Construction Contactors, Electricians, Engineers, and many other skilled civilian workers. What we lacked in "Soldier Skills" we made up for in technical and general know how.
With the current OPTEMPO in the NG; anyone with a decent civilian job CANNOT stay in the NG. Yes, there are laws; but if a worker needs 3 days a month and 3-4 months a year off they are of no use to a business.
As a result; we are losing these skilled workers and they are being replaced with good people, but with no civilian skills to add to the mix. I believe this takes away the real value of the NG.
If you can balance the two; you are destined for greatness! Good Luck!
One issue with the reserves is that it's not always the best people who get
promoted, it's the people who can take time off from their real jobs (the job
that pays their bills and feeds their family).