Posted on Aug 17, 2015
SGT Intelligence Analyst
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I am currently serving on active duty orders but am curious to find out if I have an option to transition to the Reserves or the National Guard. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
Posted in these groups: D3fe61e5 Army Reserve ElementsMilitary civilian 600x338 Transition
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Responses: 31
CSM Michael Poll
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The biggest difference I see with USAR and the NG is in the promotions. The USAR you can cross State lines to receive promotions, in the NG, you are stuck within the State. I would not be a CSM right now if I were in the NG, because in the NG, you have to wait for a slot to open within the state. I was able to serve in MI, IN, IL and OH because of the versatility of choice the Reserves offer.
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SSG Robert Boggs
SSG Robert Boggs
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You have an excellent point CSM.
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SGT Randall .jay Gamble
SGT Randall .jay Gamble
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but if they choose to go than . its there choice.
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CPT Multifunctional Logistician
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I know people who have played both sides of the fence successfully. There have been several O-5's I know who were destined to retire there in the Guard but went to the Reserves and picked up O-6 very quickly. I also know someone who went from the Guard to the Reserves to get O-4, and then several years later came back to the Guard to get O-5. It helps to keep your options open.
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CPT Ela Teacher
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Keep your options open as well too. I left Active Duty in Fort Benning, GA, and the Reserves would have kept me promoted on pace with Active Duty, but the nearest unit was Engineer with no Non-MOS Q positions available, so had I gone into the Reserves, I would have been SOL. Right across the river in Alabama was A Battery, 1-117FA, and they almost tripping over themselves to sign me up. Within two days of notice, I had received a call from both the State J-1 Office and the Battalion Commander asking me join.

My advice is do you homework, find out where you want to be, want to live, understand that you can change states in Guard with about four months of effort, and just decide what's best for you and your family. Good Luck!
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SFC Reserve Component Career Counselors (Rccc)
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The biggest difference between the ARNG and the USAR is the state vs. ferderal aspect. If you plan on remaining in one state for the foreseeable future them the Guard may be for you. If you think that you might end up moving around for job/school to other states then the Reserve may be the better option. When it comes to promotion, in my experience, the USAR has better opportunities. There are exceptions.

When you are out-processing you will be required to talk to a Transition NCO or Reserve Components Career Counselor (RCCC). Many Soldiers go in just to get their initials on the sheet. Actually talk to them. They can give you the complete run-down on what is available in your area upon ETS for both USAR and ARNG.

Don't feel like you must make a decision at that time. If you want to take some time after ETS, or you aren't seeing the position you want, you can transfer to the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) (inactive reserve). You will be contacted by an Army Reserve Career Counselor and they can facilitate a subsequent transfer to the USAR. It's very simple. Plus they can sometimes have a better idea of what is avaiable locally than the RCCC.
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MAJ Executive Officer
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I guess I'll present the dissenting opinion today. Having served in both organizations, I would recommend the National Guard. The National Guard typically has more funding, more equipment, and better infrastructure available.

There is some truth on the promotions piece. In the NG you are not promoted until you're in the paragraph and line number of the next grade. You're also confined to the MTOE and TDA positions within your state, rather than nationwide. You'll have to decide if it's worth driving to another state to pick up a rocker. Having driven 7 hours one way to drill for awhile, I can tell you that it's not worth it to me.

Another positive the NG offers is a much greater variety of jobs and positions available. The National Guard has everything from Finance to Special Forces to attack aviation. There's also CSTs and other mission specific units the USAR does not have. Comparatively, the USAR has a much shorter lists of MOSs available. In all fairness, the USAR does offer Psy Ops, Civil Affairs, and Drill Sergeant duty while the ARNG does not.

Finally, I think the biggest advantage the ARNG has is its force structure alignment. When USAR troops deploy it's typically as an individual augmentee or a small unit level. When the National Guard deploys, it's the entire BN or BCT. This means better missions, in my opinion, and having your own headquarters on the ground with you. Having been jerked around by some active component troops while overseas, I was glad I had my own field grade I could call when necessary.
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LTC Charles T Dalbec
LTC Charles T Dalbec
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And the ARNG is lower ranks and mostly Combat Arms!!
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