Posted on Apr 6, 2018
PO1 Brent Meyer
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I am Navy Veteran, served on subs for 8.5 years. Been out of active duty for little less than 4 years. My wife and I have talked about getting back in, particularly the reserves, and I am just trying to get as many people's opinions/experiences as possible. I have already talked to recruiters and try to talk as many people as I can but figured it cant hurt to ask a few more people. Basic questions Im asking are; Whats the typical drill weekend like? Whats the typical 2 weeks a year look like? Deployments, (What/Where/How likely?) How good/bad is Select Reserve Tricare? Actual monthly pay? Actual pay from 2 week training? Are there any sign on bonuses available (for real)?
Some more info on me, I was E-6, Navy Nuke ET, currently wanting to at least go in as conventional ET, but open to other rates (wanting to keep rank). Have full time job and family that are both fully on board with reserves and military support. I live about 2 hrs from the closest Navy Reserves base.
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LCDR Sales & Proposals Manager Gas Turbine Products
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PO1-It's been a few years since I left, but here's my experiences associated as a Selected Reservist at a NOSC.

First, it's definitely not like the Fleet. There's no way to mirror the experience of being part of ship's company, living and working together 24/7 when you only meet occasionally. That said, it is still the "Navy" in the sense that the Reserve is supporting the active component...somewhat.

Drill weekends (in my experience) were exhausting because nothing ever seemed to get accomplished...other than the endless medical screenings, urinalysis, and other tasks related to maintaining "deployment readiness". Saturday night was kind of time to go out and let off steam, but this also created a lot of risk for administrative troubles later.

All that said, IAs come from the Reserve, and that's how I found myself on 2 year activation orders and downrange in Afghanistan doing more "active" stuff than I ever did while on AD.

Like anything, there's pros and cons, but if you can stand the "administrivia" and surreal nature of a NOSC...it's not a bad way to continue the career and stay involved. I miss it often.
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LCDR Robert S.
LCDR Robert S.
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I want to emphasize what he said here about the "administrivia". I spent the first 11 years active, and the remaining 15 reserve, and the most notable difference between the two is the amount of time you spend doing your "real" job. All of the administrative requirements, mandatory training, PRT, medical & dental, etc. that are spread across 52 weeks of the year in the active Navy have to fit into 24 drill weekend days for the reserve. In the fleet, for PRT, you spend 15 minutes one morning, and a couple hours the next, twice a year - which makes up about a quarter of a percent of your working hours. In the reserve, that two hours and 15 minutes, twice a year, represents 2.5% of your working hours. If you spend a day doing medical and dental in the fleet, that's less than 1% of your working hours for the year, whereas for a reservist, it's almost 5%. And with all the little requirements added together, it sometimes feels like you're never doing any *real* work. I'm not trying to discourage you from coming back in, I just want you to be ready for the annoyance of feeling like you're never accomplishing anything.
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PO1 Douglas Baird
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Edited 2 y ago
`I was active duty reserve support years ago... but from what I saw it depends on what type of unit you are assigned to... When I was at a SIMA NRMF the reservists from the detachments did 2 weekends at their local reserve centers and one weekend at the SIMA actually working in their rates each quarter. plus coming to us for their annual. It was the same when I was on a reserve FF.
ET1 Doug Baird USN rtd
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SCPO Registered Medical Assistant
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It can be challenge..with the right attitude, and focusing on the mission, and possibly retiring is the goal.if that is your plan
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