Posted on Feb 5, 2021
SGT Military Police
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I ETS from AD in the next year. I’m considering my options in the USAR/NG. One position that grabbed my attention was serving as a DS in the reserves. Does anyone have any experience in this, or know whether or not it was be a good decision to benefit a reservist career?
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SFC Senior Brigade Career Counselor
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If you want to be a part time Drill Sergeant it's a great position in the USAR. The positions all start at SSG, so once you pass DS school you'll be promoted. Of course, if you decide you don't like it and leave you will have that promotion rescinded, but you can probably find a 31B2 USAR slot locally if you choose to do that. I know a few people who did the USAR DS program and enjoyed it
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SFC Recruiter
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It’s a great decision!

To clarify the process, you’ll get assigned to a DS unit. If the unit is worth it’s salt, you’ll be vetted physically and begin working on your packet and projecting your school date.

All the slots are SSG or SFC, so you’ll still need to go to the local board and pass ALC to pin SSG.

The issue is getting your PME before DS school. Typically you’ll do either, or, not both in a fiscal year. The requirement WAS to have a DSA date identified within 6 months, attended first phase within the year, and be DS qualified within 18 months of assignment.

They aren’t usually that strict on that because the Reserves can be slow. Real. Slow. But the issues mostly fall within these areas:
1: you are assigned but not physically qualified/able
2: you are physically able but not mentally capable or have outside obligations that interfere with DSA attendance
3: Neither of the first two, but priority in a DS unit is DSA unless you are E4/e5 without BLC

Let me know if you have any further questions. I just came off of 6 years in the USAR DS Program and 4 years of working at the DSA.
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LTC Philip Marlowe
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Edited 2 mo ago
I suppose the questions you should consider asking yourself are: 1) What exactly do you want out of the USAR? 2) Does serving as a Drill Sergeant support your current career field? 3) Does it support your civilian career objectives? 4) Does it prepare you for your future. 5) Have you compared being a USAR Drill Sgt to say, attending College / ROTC / USAR simultaneously to get your commission? 6) Have you compared the 'future value' of being a Drill Sergeant with that of being a Platoon Leader / Executive Officer / Commander (company & field grade)? 7) Have you compared the earnings and potential future retirements generated between staying Enl (and as a DS) with getting your commission and perhaps being a BT XO or future Commander, leading and supervising DSs - even in the USAR? Thoughts for consideration.
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CSM Charles Hayden
CSM Charles Hayden
2 mo
LTC Philip Marlowe What great comments and suggestions! DS or even 1SG positions are only stepping stones. I want to recall Clark Sisson who left the Guard rather than surrender his diamond and expand his skill set in a staff position.
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LTC Philip Marlowe
LTC Philip Marlowe
2 mo
Thank you CSM....
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