Posted on Nov 22, 2014
LTC Instructor
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Or the National Guard? Whether you already left or will sooner or later leave active duty, why did you, or will you, not join the Reserves?

If you did join the Reserves, what led you to that decision and how has your experience been? How has it changed your perspective? What would you advise others to do in a similar situation?
Posted in these groups: Military civilian 600x338 TransitionMilitary discharge 300x201 ETS/EASReserves logo Reserves
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Responses: 7
LTC Chief, Relocation Plans
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I am a Reservist -- currently AGR but most of my career has been a traditional drilling reservist. I've liked the freedom that it offered me to select my assignments as well as my boss. You can transfer most any time if you wanted to, and since you're interviewing with the unit that's taking you, they essentially are interviewing for your service, as well. This has helped me grow and excel, since I chose to follow a fairly traditional AC career path, I could select positions and leaders who would challenge me but also appreciate where I was in my career at that time period.
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LTC Instructor
LTC (Join to see)
7 y
LTC (Join to see), I think many active duty SMs probably don't know about the freedom to move between units in the Reserves, especially for officers. Transferring is more centrally-controlled in the Navy and Coast Guard, I think, but it is still a major selling-point.
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LTC G5 Plans
LTC (Join to see)
7 y
Agree with MAJ Numerick, you have a lot more control over your career in the Reserves. I would also add that it is easier to EXCEL in the Reserves. Why? Due to the simple fact that a large portion of Reservists do not spend the time outside of BA to know their profession (MDMP, the latest updates in doctrine, various PME opportunities, physical fitness, etc). I think an "average" situation awareness of one's career in the active component will translate to an above average or excellent knowledge base in the Reserves. (I am AGR and have always been in the Reserves, btw).
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SSG John Erny
SSG John Erny
7 y
MAJ Peter Stebbing, sir,

I have been on both sides of the fence. When I got in the Nebraska Guards after serving in the 82nd (Airborne) I was blown away by lack of professionalism. The 1sgt introduced him self as Matt! We were going to the range for qual an he said you OK with shootin', My jaw about hit the floor. During AT a lot of guys had a bottle in their ruck.

I got used to it and assimilated some what. We then were assigned and Active army Advisor(s) and things got better a lot better. The NCO Schools were assigned and Active Duty CSM, after that it was as good as any Active School, in fact Ft. Reily sends active soldiers to our School now. This Change took about 8 years, by the time 911 happened we were pretty sharp and a damn fine truck company. The way things are now with AKO handing out the same training to Every One I think it will get even better.

The Party days are gone, the last 3 AT's I went to were dry, even on the MWR day. I have seen Active units (truck Company) from Ft. Carson that were ate up, we were far better trained. I saluted a butter bar from the 4th ID and she gave me half assed salute back and said "how ya doin'" you the guy that fixes computers. I was offended but what can an E-6 say to a 2 LT I guess in some ways there has been a 180 degree shift.
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Capt Flight Nurse
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I joined the Marine Corps in 1994, went to MCRD Parris Island in Jan of '95 and spent my active duty time as an infantry Marine until I was injured and swallowed up by the RIF shortly thereafter. I didn't want out, had no idea what to do, and had no option to stay on even as a reservist.
After using my GI Bill to pay for nursing school (and an 11 year break in service) I decided that I needed to get back to serving my country as I had intended to do so many years ago. I love the Marine Corps, but I knew that my best contributions would now be through healing, not shooting. As a civilian flight nurse I have spent all of my career focused on critical care, trauma, and seriously unstable patient populations... I felt that as a reservist I could continue to get the best training and experience (nursing wise) on the civilian side. Then I can use that training and experience to help move wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines from the point of injury back to their home. I also got the opportunity to learn and share some cutting edge trauma care from Camp Bastion to my civilian counterparts. It's really the best of both worlds for me.
I will say that the jarhead in me does sometimes get frustrated by the difference in military bearing between AD line units and reservist medical air wing folks, haha.
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LTC Instructor
LTC (Join to see)
7 y
That is one of the chief advantages of Reserve duty; people of all different rank and position bring great skills from outside the military. Thanks for doing what you do, Capt (Join to see)!
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Capt Flight Nurse
Capt (Join to see)
7 y
My pleasure... I love my mission, love bringing our people home.
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COL Jason Smallfield, PMP, CFM, CM
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Joining the National Guard or Reserve after serving on active duty is one option out of many that departing individuals should consider. I recommend that departing Soldiers use an MDMP type process to help themselves work through the transition process:
1. Receive mission (decision to depart the active force either through ETS or retirement).
2. Mission analysis (properly analyze their personal and professional situation).
3. COA Development (post military employment and location options).
4. COA Analysis (wargame the COAs based upon personal and professional criteria).
5. COA Comparison (evaluate the COAs bringing spouse and kids into the process).
6. COA Approval (decide on a COA).
7. Order Production (put the meat onto the decided COA so as to make it executable).
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