Posted on Mar 28, 2014
SGT William B.
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In the few short years that I've been able to do and train for this MOS, I've noticed that a lot of the active soldiers, even many of the senior NCOs, had not had the opportunity to attend major MOS schools.&nbsp; When I ask, the reason seems to always come down to "command could not justify sending me for X amount of weeks".&nbsp; Is it really like that on the active side?&nbsp; I ask a lot of my friends from AIT what their daily life on the active side is like, and it usually involves working in the motor pool, pulling CQ, or getting stuck in a S1/S3 function.<br><br>In my really short experience, I've been able to attend nearly every skill-enhancing MOS-specific school I've requested, with the exception of some of the upper tier HT-JCOE schools with smaller class sizes, while I've been in the reserve.&nbsp; The downside is that our one weekend a month is usually dominated by at least four hours of&nbsp;PMCS'ing a fleet of vehicles that we'll never drive and by&nbsp;updating mandatory paperwork, but on the whole, we always seem to be able to make up for it by sending soldiers to the schools that really do enhance a lot of the basic skills we learn in the 10-course.&nbsp; <br><br>I've been racking my brain trying to figure out what the reasoning is, but I can't seem to understand why active 35Ms, who typically deal with more frequent deployment cycles, seem to not get as much love from the ASI producing courses for 35Ms than the reservists.&nbsp; Is this a faulty perception on my end from a really small sampling of the active population?
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Col Regional Director, Whem/Ssa And Congressional Liaison
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SGT Bradley, while I can't speak specifically to the 35M career field or the Army, I can speak to the active vs. Reserve component mindset(s). My personal experience was after switching to the Reserve side as an IMA, I noticed that gaining training and unique opportunities seemed much easier for some reason. Subsequently, in the first few years in the Reserve, I had already exceeded the amount of opportunities that I'd had during my entire enlisted and officer time in the active component. IMHO it comes down to funding, culture, attitude(s), and a healthy or unhealthy stance on troop development... just one person's experience/opinion here of course.
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SGT William B.
SGT William B.
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Thanks sir. On the active side, did you ever feel as though you were being penalized for sending airmen to other schools for training?
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Col Regional Director, Whem/Ssa And Congressional Liaison
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Good question, to answer it most directly, I don't believe that I was ever penalized for sending service members to schools or training. I do believe that funding/budgets often play a major role in the decision-making cycle of leaders on behalf of their units. In the event that the training or education is "centrally funded" (that is to say that the unit does not pay), they may still be responsible to pay for travel and/or per diem; when this is the case, the factors to consider would be how much of a return-on-investment will the unit (or organization as a whole) receive. IMHO it could be any of these financial factors, manpower, mission, or sometimes even just good-old-fashioned human factors. Again, this is my own personal experience and opinions on the matter, what I have noticed is although regulations may slightly differ between services and/or federal gov't, the main intent, general concept, and personnel dynamics remain relatively consistent throughout all of the above. If you have any specific questions better discussed offline, please feel fee to send a DM any time. I hope this is helpful.
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SPC Vincenzo Lettieri
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Heh, I think it's a pretty big problem in the 35M MOS for active duty. I graduated from Huachuca at the end of 2008, and got sent to Ft. Lewis to a new unit. We deployed at the end of 2009 for 12 months, which meant we all had a year for schools/training. I managed to get Reid, Kinesics, and SCAN before deploying, but only by showing up to the classes and telling the trainers I was slotted there, and then informing my NCOs I was in a class. So, really, I shouldn't have even got them.

When I joined, I was also under the impression I would be sent to DLI to learn a language, but then they put a waiver through stating 35Ms did not need to be language qualified to maintain the MOS, and as it wasn't in my contract, I was SOL.

Fast forward to the hand-off to Utah National Guard at the end of our deployment. They had two PFCs who were ASOC qualified, languages, strategic debriefing course, pretty much everything. I never understood why it was like that either. When my CSM was trying to retain me at the end of my enlistment, the most he could offer was the Strat D course. I told him I would re-enlist for SOC, but he said there were no slots. My experience definitely matches up with your perception SGT.
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CW3 Assistant Special Agent In Charge (Asac)
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Something similar might be said for 35L's. 35Ls and 35Ms are unique in the fact that we have advanced schooling for our MOS outside of the mainstream Army schools that are joint and/or civilian-based, that really require proactive leadership (and Soldiers) to get slots for. Unfortunately, because of this, many times getting into those schools depends heavily on your unit. So I would say its not so much a disparity between active and reserve components, but just a difference in units and leadership.
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