Posted on Dec 14, 2013
MSG Brian Breaker
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I spent sometime on active duty, but joined the Active Guard Reserve (AGR) early in my career. I was told that the AGR program is the best kept secret in the Army. If you are AGR what do you think? If you are not AGR what do you know about the program?
Posted in these groups: United_states_ar_seal.svg Army ReserveImages Military Career
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Responses: 41
SFC Stephen Pate
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I think this discussion merits a dose of cynicism:

I left the Regular Army in '03 looking to get a 92Y slot in the KS NG. After hanging out for months after my interview with no response, I tried my luck with the USAR.

I eventually got an AGR slot in '05. Everyone in the RA, I want you to think about that. It was a year and a half before I got picked up. I went into it at a time when the AGR program had shortages and I went into a shortage MOS.

My advice to those in the RA who wish to earn an active retirement: Reenlist. There are no guarantees these days.

My advice for those who really wish to be USAR AGR:
1. Have a plan B with a civilian career.
2. Do not turn down any assignment (even recruiting in North Dakota)
3. Have an MOS with a large AGR presence (92Y, 91B, 42A, 79V, or perhaps SQI 8). Reclass if needed.
4. Find a vacant position, and impress the command that owns it.

Good parts about AGR:
1. You get active duty benefits.
2. You largely avoid the silliness inherent in most active installations
3. You've got a bit more say in assignments than in RA.

Bad parts:
1. There are no guarantees.
2. You serve at the whim of HRC and the command. I have met Soldiers who were not retained on AGR.
3. AGR was intended as a limited tour, not a career path. You were supposed to spend 3 years on active duty, then return to a drilling status. There are some who wish to make that intent reality.
4. No bonuses (at least not any more).
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SFC Training Nco
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6 y
Also if you are willing to work long hours with you can apply to work at one of the NCO Acadamies as a Small Group Instructor. SGIs are intierviewed and Selected by the Comandant.
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CPL(P) Cyber Threat Intelligence Consultant
CPL(P) (Join to see)
6 y
Voted up for this - > "... You largely avoid the silliness inherent in most active installations.."
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PFC Unit Supply Specialist
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7 mo
So I’ve reading up and studying the AGR and I have one of those MOs that needed 92y the biggest question I have is , is it worth it there has been some say that you only serve 3 years and then you return back to drill. Is that true or can you make AGR a career . Becuz I originally wanted to go back active
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SFC Stephen Pate
SFC Stephen Pate
7 mo
PFC (Join to see) - Still possible to do AGR as a career, but I think you might have an easier time going RA.

First off, you need to be at least E4 to apply in the USAR. Also, you'd have a very difficult time with advancement past E-6 as a 92Y. You may need to reclass to 79R or 79V in order to advance further (not always the most desirable of jobs)
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LTC Branch Chief, Deliberate Fires
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I don't know about best kept secret but it is not a bad program that has morphed from its original purpose. A big problem is the lack of understanding of how the army works by some AGRs.  Another is the lack of interaction between a large group of peers for support and guidance. A lot of units are off by themselves without a large post for support.
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CPT Public Affairs Officer
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6 y
Sir,

Those are some great and valid points. I know very few of my peers and those that I do know seem to be missing a large portion of their professional development. I am very fortunate that the BN S3 Plans is also my CO Commander, who was an AGR LT. This has given me a great deal of development that I feel many AGR's are probably missing. I do feel like we could gain some value through a more formalized mentorship program as well as more time as a congregated BN or BDE element for NCOPD/OPD purposes.

One problem that we are running into is that TPU's have much, much more funding for schools and training than AGR's. This has prevented a few of us from attending training that would be valuable for our career, and we have sent TPU Soldiers instead. I wish that we would find better ways to get AGR's career developmental training that is based on their overall career and not based upon their current unit of assignment. There are many Engineer-based courses that could help me out with my career, but they currently do not make sense under my current unit and mission.
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SFC A.M. Drake
SFC A.M. Drake
>1 y
Sir,

The AGR system was setup to maximize the Reserves full time staff with everyday soldiers, I have been in the AGR program for a bot minute, however I am unsure of your statement of the reserve units have a lot more funding than AGR, when it's all funded by OCAR and the CG Memo states as such...Have you reviewed the AGR Manning Policy for FY2014?
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MSG Jacqueline Case
MSG Jacqueline Case
5 y
I entered the AGR program in 1995 as a Recruiter and eventually transitioned to my original MOS, 38B. What folks need to understand is that one of the primary responsibility of an AGR Soldier is taking care of the everyday business of a Reserve unit. The AGR staff is much smaller than that of a RA staff (in most cases), but the responsibilities are the same. The AGR program is not a big mystery in the sky.
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SSG Unit Supply Specialist
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5 mo
I wouldn't say the responsibilities are the same overall. I've been on both sides and the AGR side has far more responsibilities that the AC side of the house. In most cases there are no fulltime clerks so you have little help and in most cases you wear multiple hats. That includes other MOS's as well. If you are supply and your unit has no AGR Motor SGT, guess who's doing that job. You get hit with being the Armorer, Physical Security Officer, unit DTS operator and many other hits. Unit Supply is big for wearing multiple hats. We don't have arms room clerks, NBC clerks, Commo clerks, tool room clerks, food service managers and the list goes on. I've seem a few AC guys jump over and either they go TPU or get out all together and getting E7, yeah take a number and sit for years. Then you have the DoD Civilians to deal with. Some a great but a lot hate the AGR's and I'd bet its because we get better benefits and allowances than their side of the house and they seem to confuse being the commanders representative with having command authority. I always tell them not to hate, drop a packet and join the dark side.
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SSG(P) Squad Leader
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I'm with the AL AGR, and have also spent time on Active Duty. The AGR program is a great way to work towards your 20 years active duty retirement. I must admit that it gave me the opportunity to acquire an additional MOS, and to learn a lot that will help me in the civilian world once I retire. The Active National Guard allows you to work in dual status, when working at the MACOM level I was able to work with active duty personnel that were in our unit, and the dual status with ARNORTH allowed our MACOM to work within our state, and with other states. As a Guardsmen I can honestly say that our training is well-planned and implemented during our scheduled monthly drills, and on the full-time side, well we work just as hard as anyone else working everyday for the military. As of matter of fact we work for our soldiers as well as the military. For those that want an AGR position, just keep applying until you get a position, and remember you don't have to posses the MOS to get an AGR job, once hired you have a timeframe in which you must go to school to become MOSQ.
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MSG Brian Breaker
MSG Brian Breaker
6 y
Good advice SSG JoAnn Thomas. Years ago when I applied they told us not to call we will call you. I called every other week. I was lucky because back then they accepted by name request and I had one singed by the Battalion Commander. You are the best manager of your career.
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SSG Motor Transport Operator
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>1 y
SSG (P) Joann Thomas and MSG Brian Breaker,

I am Active Duty for another 2 yrs and am wanting to go into the AGR in Utah. As of right now that is not my home of record. Is it hard to go from AR to AGR? I was in the Army once before '91-'94, came back in AR in '08. I am looking to go AGR to finish out my yrs (10 to go by the time I ETS). I was a 11B in my first enlistment and am currently a 88M.
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