Posted on Aug 26, 2014
SFC Special Security Representative
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The MDARNG units I have went to, have a lot of MUTA 6s or 2x2x2. This sometimes makes it extremely hard to complete college assignments by their due date. With 58th BfSB, it looks like i only have one drill in conflict with this semester.... how do you handle soldiers and college? It is a valid excuse to not attend a MUTA 6 or annual Training? I had an NCO tell me that the soldier should not take a class during Annual training dates.... for 2 weeks of training out of a semester? that just sounds unrealistic. I always see college as a priority for soldiers, they are taking the time to progress themselves. If their is no way to get internet or their would be no time they could complete their assignments, i would approve the SUTA...
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1SG Drill Sergeant
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SFC (Join to see) - that's when you use RSTs. I have Soldiers attending classes and I understand that occasional, unavoidable conflict. The key words here are occasional and unavoidable. I raise more than an eyebrow when the same people are using the same excuses, especially when we just happen to be having an APFT or FTX that weekend.
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COL Jason Smallfield, PMP, CFM, CM
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- I started out enlisted in MNARNG and have two AC/RC assignments.
- Short answer, no. College is not a good excuse for not attending drill.
- From a Soldier perspective. The key to success is planning and communication. Know both your annual drill schedule and your college course schedule. Communicate early and often with both your NG chain of command and also with your college professors. Deconflict as much as possible. Where you can not deconflict, again, communicate with both your chain of command and your professors to work out what should be priority.
- From a chain of command perspective, you need to make decisions on a case by case basis but you need to have some sort of criteria to weigh and approve or disapprove each request.
- College is no different than a civilian primary employer in terms of this question. Take out college and would "is my primary employer a good excuse for not attending drill" drive you to the same answer either from a Soldier or from a chain of command perspective?
- The way you worded your question, you imply that college should always take precedence over your NG duties. Apologies if I inferred incorrectly. Obviously I disagree that college should always take precedence but there may be times such as end of term exams where college might take precedence especially when non critical events are planned for the drill weekend.
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CW3 Network Architect
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COL Jason Smallfield, PMP, CFM, CM Sir, I really have to take issue with what you said in this part of your response: - College is no different than a civilian primary employer in terms of this question. Take out college and would "is my primary employer a good excuse for not attending drill" drive you to the same answer either from a Soldier or from a chain of command perspective?

If the civilian employer, sir, is unwilling to work with the Soldier over AT requirements, the Soldier can get the commander involved, but what is the Soldier supposed to do? You and I both know very well that there are ways and ways again for employers to get around the laws that protect us as Reservists. A civilian employer ALWAYS has to come first, because you should not have to be unemployed and/or homeless to be in the Army Reserve. As a senior leader, you really need to look at the realities of being in the Reserve, ESPECIALLY for junior enlisted and mid-grade NCOs
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COL Jason Smallfield, PMP, CFM, CM
COL Jason Smallfield, PMP, CFM, CM
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CW3 Walker, we must agree to disagree. Look at my complete answer. Yes, there are employers who know or try to get around laws meant to protect Reservists. A good chain of command knows who these employers are as well as are able to come up with ways to work with the Soldier to deconflict.
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CW3 Network Architect
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And what happens, sir, when the commander isn't interested in working with the Soldier to deconflict?
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SFC Adam Miller
SFC Adam Miller
>1 y
The military is their own worse enemy when it comes to this area. It waits till the last minute to give Soldier's orders which makes employers upset as well as Soldier. Commander's and NCO are told to have everyone present but service will not allow them to give true problem Soldiers discipline for attendance issues. Soldiers who are problems are not put out the correct way because the paperwork takes to long. It is easier to dump them into the IRR and then some 79V has to put them back into another unit to make his numbers and repeat the process. Then you have a Soldier with real issues like a family member dealing with cancer and there is no allowance period. I feel for commanders and NCO on this issue because the people at the top REFUSE to truly find ways to resolve this issue because a number on the books is all that matters. Even if that number never shows up.
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1SG Drill Sergeant
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College is a priority. So is drill. Since BA schedules are published well in advance, Soldiers have plenty of warning and should plan accordingly. Unless a midterm or final is involved, college is not an excuse or missing drill. Both my former Commander and XO attended both drill AND law school. If they can do it, so can anyone else.
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MSG Mechanic Trainee
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1sg I disagree with college as a priority, it is an enhancement, your co/xo have been in the world long enough and know how to balance drill and school, that comes with maturity, what we are dealing with are the new generation, no concept of time management, putting things off until the last minute, I managed to get my diploma, attend drills and raise a family, it takes sacrifice, but that's me
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SPC Cavalry Scout
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I think midterms and finals are possible reasons for an early dismissal the last day of drill if nothing important is going on. Either way the teachers are required by law to reschedule for the service member.
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