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Old 03-19-2021, 08:29 AM   #1
BobbyJoe
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Default Enlisting - Army National Guard

As some of you have probably seen from a previous post, I was laid off in October and the job search has been tough. Long story short, Iím thinking of joining the Army National Guard and doing something productive with my time while I continue looking for a job.

If I did enlist Iíd go in as an E4 (corporal) and then straight into Officer Candidate School for 18 months since I have a BA in business. The fact that itís only one weekend each month would allow me to live my normal life and have a civilian job the other 90% of the time. The perks alone seem worth it: student loan repayment, GI bill that transfers to children, decent retirement package, cheap(er) healthcare, only gone for one weekend each month, etc. Iíve also always been fascinated with the military since I was a kid so Iím sure itíd be a good fit.

With all of that said, whatís everyoneís thoughts of a 35yo guy joining? Iím in decent shape (ran 2 marathons last year) so the physical part of it doesnít worry me. Iím punctual, dependable, respectful, can follow orders and scored a 96 on the Army aptitude test (example test of 60 questions) so none of those things would be an issue either. Itís the fact of joining the military so late in my life that has me a little anxious.

Anyone with experience that can share some pros & cons? Figured this would be a good place to seek advice.
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Old 03-19-2021, 08:41 AM   #2
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Try and get into flight school if you score high enough.
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Old 03-19-2021, 08:52 AM   #3
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the military, isn't for everyone.................
But, if you think, it will be something you can do.............
then do it.........
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Old 03-19-2021, 09:29 AM   #4
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Try and get into flight school if you score high enough.
I asked about that and the age cutoff is 33, not sure if they do age waivers for pilots. Might be worth asking for sure, thanks for the idea.
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Old 03-19-2021, 09:32 AM   #5
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If Army is what you want why not the Army reserve?
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Old 03-19-2021, 09:36 AM   #6
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it isnt the same army it was....just 6 months ago
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Old 03-19-2021, 09:39 AM   #7
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As some of you have probably seen from a previous post, I was laid off in October and the job search has been tough. Long story short, Iím thinking of joining the Army National Guard and doing something productive with my time while I continue looking for a job.

If I did enlist Iíd go in as an E4 (corporal) and then straight into Officer Candidate School for 18 months since I have a BA in business. The fact that itís only one weekend each month would allow me to live my normal life and have a civilian job the other 90% of the time. The perks alone seem worth it: student loan repayment, GI bill that transfers to children, decent retirement package, cheap(er) healthcare, only gone for one weekend each month, etc. Iíve also always been fascinated with the military since I was a kid so Iím sure itíd be a good fit.

With all of that said, whatís everyoneís thoughts of a 35yo guy joining? Iím in decent shape (ran 2 marathons last year) so the physical part of it doesnít worry me. Iím punctual, dependable, respectful, can follow orders and scored a 96 on the Army aptitude test (example test of 60 questions) so none of those things would be an issue either. Itís the fact of joining the military so late in my life that has me a little anxious.

Anyone with experience that can share some pros & cons? Figured this would be a good place to seek advice.
Keep in mind that it is one weekend a month but many units often do "3-day weekends". You'll have to report Friday evening on those drill days. Pay is a little better but it's still there looming. Lastly, it's 1 weekend a month a a 2-week summer drill. Depending on your MOS, that 2 weeks could be in the field. Don't forget that part! The recruiter will gloss over that part.
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Old 03-19-2021, 09:49 AM   #8
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Also don't forget you may be assigned to guard the capital for sleepy joe, in that cast the service may be months on end or it may never end.
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Old 03-19-2021, 10:02 AM   #9
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Remember that you are joining a giant machine and the at times makes know sense. other than that have fun with it.
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Old 03-19-2021, 10:12 AM   #10
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If you don't do it will you look back in 10 years and regret it? I bet you will if you don't do it now. Good luck.
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Old 03-19-2021, 10:13 AM   #11
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Yo wouldn’t go in as a Corporal you would go in as a specialist.
Corporal is a leadership position that will be produced off of scale on you TPL Troop Promotion List then you company commander will allow it if he thinks you posses good enough skills for the billet. Since we have started the “leader train leader program” the only people that fill corporal slots are those that are way up on the TPL to be promoted to Sgt. Those of which who have completed their SSD1 both in the online portions and have been sent to school for it in either Mew Mexico, Louisiana, or Ft Hood which slots have been hard to fill.
You don’t have a deployment which will hurt because most of us have so promotions lean towards combat awards and company commanders push for promotions if they ever fall in a tie to whoever has more experience overseas.
If you want a POG job then just go to the Reserves since there aren’t any combat MOS jobs in the Reserves but if you want to fill a combat MOS then go to the Army National Guard we have all the options for Combat MOS.
I did 5 years active duty Marine infantry, 3 Active duty Army Airborne and I’m in the Texas Army National Guard now with an Infantry unit and have deployed twice the Army National guard


If you don’t want to ever leave then don’t join because the 36th ID Texas Army National Guard has actually been deployed more times since Global War On Terror started than any other division. Why this is due to there begins so many slots open to be filled for deployments that the NG can fill without having to meet some big army requirements for testing between deployments. They can just keep sending them. So you join the Guard chances are you will be deploying. Deployments are usually 4 years apart if not sooner per unit. The National Guard is not what it was in the 80’s and 90’s. We are full of experienced soldiers now so we get deployed much more often to use that experience.

If you think you’re in good shape I believe you but attempt the new Combat Physical Fitness Test and see how you fair we aren’t using the old anymore. And you have until the FY 2022 to pass it.

Some units drill every other month so it’s a week every other month. Some units like mine drill more often like every two to three weeks we will have drill again.

There are opportunities to go on Orders especially right now where it would be like a full time job. You could go on riot control orders, border mission, or some other duty put out by Division that needs bodies.

If you are worried some young kid with a higher rank than you and a combat deployment will get up in your junk if you mess up or don’t figure something out as fast as you should then go to another job because that will happen.

I’ve never heard of anyone going straight from bootcamp to AIT to OCS. You’ll have to go to your unit then apply for it and that’s if the unit wants to let you go. They may send some other people first to make sure you’re squared away and won’t get sent right back. I know the OIC at OCS and he will send you packing for a tiny reason. Loads of people want to try OCS but it all comes down to applying then meeting with your commander for an “interview” then if they believe you have what it takes then they will send you. But if they are hurting for lower enlisted they will hang on to you a bit to fill those slots before losing you.


Army Reserves is for support jobs it’s designed that way
Army National guard is combat jobs that’s why active guys when they have to do two years reserve duty at the end of their contract go to the National Guard. Only the National Guard has Combat Jobs

You will not get a GI bull unless you deploy. GI bill is only applicable to those who have served overseas or been on active duty for more than 2 years continually on active duty. National a guard Mday people don’t get it unless they go to a combat deployment or serve an active duty contract. Don’t let your recruiter fill you full of **** I know most of them and they are hurting for numbers bad.
The education pro you shared are wrong so moving past that you won’t get a retirement package unless you are in fact retired 20 years or more.
If you don’t have a deployment you have done no time except reserve or guard time you’re retirement will be fair but your insurance will be about $1,400 a month.

Active duty retirement and guard retirement are way different

If you have deployed and retire then your retirement will be a bit better since your injuries may deem you to receive free insurance and a good retirement check based off time in service, time active, rank and pay grade divided by active time served/ combat deployment time served and it will spot out some number about the same as 75% your monthly pay on active duty.
I am being medically retired from two wounds on my last deployment and I have insurance for my whole family for about $25 a month for TRICARE SELECT and $57 for Tricare Prime. I chose prime because I have kids and go to the doctor more.
I get my full retirement based on time and everything I explained then I get except my Disability pay is higher from the VA so the Army holds my retirement until I’m 62 at that point I’ll get both. I get Special Combat Compensation Pay also which is not reduced

Since I am being medically retired for combat wounds sustained in combat and I was in a combat MOS at the time of injury my kids get their own hazelwood and GI bull and so does my wife.


You however will only rate a Hazlewood exemption and it will not be able to transferred to anyone unless you are 100 percent disabled

I get young soldiers to the unit often who are so excited about all the benefits until they realize they “COULD” theoretically if the stars line up qualify for them and actually “DONT” qualify for them.

If you’re joining just for the benefits I can understand why but if you want to join to do something for your country I hope that’s the case and all I have to say is what took you so long the wars are almost over
If you have any questions hit me up
Your recruiter is lying to you and me being the retention NCO for my unit I can give you better education and a better understanding of everything than the shiny BS they are offering up right now
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Old 03-19-2021, 12:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyJoe View Post
As some of you have probably seen from a previous post, I was laid off in October and the job search has been tough. Long story short, Iím thinking of joining the Army National Guard and doing something productive with my time while I continue looking for a job.

If I did enlist Iíd go in as an E4 (corporal) and then straight into Officer Candidate School for 18 months since I have a BA in business. The fact that itís only one weekend each month would allow me to live my normal life and have a civilian job the other 90% of the time. The perks alone seem worth it: student loan repayment, GI bill that transfers to children, decent retirement package, cheap(er) healthcare, only gone for one weekend each month, etc. Iíve also always been fascinated with the military since I was a kid so Iím sure itíd be a good fit.

With all of that said, whatís everyoneís thoughts of a 35yo guy joining? Iím in decent shape (ran 2 marathons last year) so the physical part of it doesnít worry me. Iím punctual, dependable, respectful, can follow orders and scored a 96 on the Army aptitude test (example test of 60 questions) so none of those things would be an issue either. Itís the fact of joining the military so late in my life that has me a little anxious.

Anyone with experience that can share some pros & cons? Figured this would be a good place to seek advice.
What kind of job are you looking for? Every trade I am aware of seems to be short handed right now.
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Old 03-19-2021, 01:37 PM   #13
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Quanah11, thank you. That was exactly the advice I was looking for. The recruiter was all rainbows and sunshine which even at the time sounded to good to be true. I’d like to join to serve my country but at the same time I want to know the good, the bad and the ugly. Seems when you talk to recruiters it’s all good and none of the bad.
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Old 03-19-2021, 03:29 PM   #14
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OCS isn't a gimme. My class 42 years ago had a 60% plus attrition.

I instructed at the La Military Academy in the late 80s early 90s and attritions were 50% plus. We ran the Phase 1 camp for TX/LA/NM at Camp Beauregard and it seems like most of the attrition was in Phase 1. Things may have changed in the last thirty years due to better pre OCS prep.

Has anyone mentioned the Accelerated OCS option to you (Ft. Rucker). I assume that still exists. And the active duty OCS at Ft. Benning.
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Old 03-19-2021, 03:44 PM   #15
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I went in enlisted with a degree/specialist at 24. A lot of haters out there and folks that made it a point to make my life difficult. I’m not saying it will be that way for you but consider holding out for an OCS spot if you can qualify. The positive side is that I had a CO that supported me/going to grad school (Army paid 75% of it) and I took full advantage of it.

If it was me I would look at something different besides enlisting in the Army. Just my 2 cents...
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Old 03-19-2021, 04:00 PM   #16
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Not with the current administration.
They may not let you have any bullets to shoot back with if you were put in that situation!
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Old 03-19-2021, 04:09 PM   #17
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I was in a similar situation only was 20 at the time. I enlisted as an E1 and spent 18 months as an OH 58 crew chief, then because of my civilian flight experience took direct appointment to WO1 and went to flight school. I enjoyed almost all of it.

Don't let anyone tell you it's only 1 weekend a month and 2 weeks in the summer, especially as an officer. I was at the Guard facility a minimum of 4 days a month and there were occasional 3 weeks summer training events. In Florida they did not activate us for the first gulf war but we did get activated at least once a year for hurricanes, tropical storms, event security etc.

One of your biggest obstacles will be your civilian employer. After 12 years I had to give up the National Guard due to a hostile civilian employer. Ironically one of the biggest defense contractors in the country.

If you can get past those negatives it's a very rewarding place to be.
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Old 03-19-2021, 04:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyJoe View Post
Quanah11, thank you. That was exactly the advice I was looking for. The recruiter was all rainbows and sunshine which even at the time sounded to good to be true. Iíd like to join to serve my country but at the same time I want to know the good, the bad and the ugly. Seems when you talk to recruiters itís all good and none of the bad.
Yepp NG recruiters are on AGR orders as long as they can compete their mission. Thatís why they call recruits mission objectives. If they canít do it they lose their active slot and go back to M Day soldiers.
They will do anything possible to keep that Cush job
Most recruiters canít do much outside of the service and donít want to go active so they stay in that chill spot of eating Popeyes chicken everyday and strutting around high schools or something.
If you really do have any big questions or are wondering about a certain spot youíre hung up on let me know I wonít BS ya man I donít get an extra $400 a month everytime I get someone to join but I will be honest because I hate seeing guys get lied to then find out after they are lashed to a contract that is misery.
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Old 03-19-2021, 04:42 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by grizzman View Post
OCS isn't a gimme. My class 42 years ago had a 60% plus attrition.

I instructed at the La Military Academy in the late 80s early 90s and attritions were 50% plus. We ran the Phase 1 camp for TX/LA/NM at Camp Beauregard and it seems like most of the attrition was in Phase 1. Things may have changed in the last thirty years due to better pre OCS prep.

Has anyone mentioned the Accelerated OCS option to you (Ft. Rucker). I assume that still exists. And the active duty OCS at Ft. Benning.
Camp Beauregard. Thatís a name I have not heard in a while.
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Old 03-19-2021, 05:01 PM   #20
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Camp Beauregard. Thatís a name I have not heard in a while.
Yeah I haven't been there in thirty years. Spent a lot of time at the Bentley.
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Old 03-19-2021, 05:09 PM   #21
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My sister in law was in Army Reserve for 26 years. Got out as a Lt. Colonel. And trust me on this one, there was plenty of times that she missed special events in the lives of her family, and it bothered her. She went to Afghanistan and Iraq. Have no idea what her benefits are.
At 36 I’d pray long and hard about it. I went in the Marine Corp in 1974 never knowing in less than a year I’d be in the final campaign in Vietnam. Lives change quick in the armed services.
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Old 03-19-2021, 06:11 PM   #22
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OP,

My nephew came to me last year wanting to discuss him joining the National Guard. For as mush as I benefited from being in the Guard, I could not with a good heart recommend he join.

Like you his main focus was the financial aspect of joining. What people don't realize is how often the National Guard mobilize. If you're not dealing with a State emergency, you're getting a Federal mission. And with the current POTUS, know going in, its not will you deploy but when. You will see an overseas deployment.

If you are set on serving your country, I'll tell you like I told him. Go check out the Air National Guard. While the to get deployed a lot, your deployments are a lot easier.
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Old 03-19-2021, 06:48 PM   #23
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And you’ll have war mongering democrats keeping you in everlasting conflicts. Many wars and just one life.
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Old 03-19-2021, 07:59 PM   #24
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just make sure you don't have a problem with someone a lot younger than you giving the orders. Being your age that will be the case for a good while.
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Old 03-19-2021, 08:56 PM   #25
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I was in the reserves then national guard from 89-95. Joined at 17. I didn't catch how old you are but I'd recommend just going full time and get the whole effect! Anyone who was an officer will tell you it WAY more than a weekend commitment.
I wish I would have.
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Old 03-19-2021, 09:15 PM   #26
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I'm a Captain in the Army National Guard, I'm 38yo. I'm with an infantry battalion. Shoot me a PM with your contact info and let's have a chat about the good, the bad and the ugly.

Last edited by Jmh05; 03-19-2021 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 03-19-2021, 10:19 PM   #27
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Quote:
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I'm a Captain in the Army National Guard, I'm 38yo. I'm with an infantry battalion. Shoot me a PM with your contact info and let's have a chat about the good, the bad and the ugly.
Flip side, let me know if you want to talk. I did 15 years full time in the Air National Guard- plus another 6 years to finish out a military retirement that should cash in in. What I gained from military service was a very good position with a major telecom co (now retired). It ain't for everyone- just don't sign up for a weapon or a shovel. Crypto, Electronic Switch, Phone guy, E-7, Captians followed my lead.
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Old 03-20-2021, 12:40 AM   #28
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there is no pay difference between branches.

Ellington jrb isnt that bad of a drive from our side of town, and houses them all.
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Old 03-22-2021, 01:16 PM   #29
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So this thread got me thinking again and apparently having a current inhaler prescription is an automatic DQ according to all the recruiters I talked to Friday and today
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Old 03-22-2021, 01:41 PM   #30
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Qanah made a lot of good points. I joined the Army in 2008 (as a SPC) after graduating with a BA in accounting and unable to find a job due to the market crash. I also got the SLRP (loan repayment) but in turn had to turn down the GI bill entirely. My recruiter also told me that once I made it through basic and AIT and got to my unit, they would send me to OCS. That was a load of BS. I put together my own application packet, and it sat on my CO's desk for 4 months until he moved duty stations. It is possible to get OCS in your initial contract if I'm not mistaken. The most important thing to remember is that if it's not in black and white on your contract don't count on it happening! Recruiters lie. That's their job.

I was 24 at the time and was still somewhat immature. One of the most annoying parts for me in basic training was having to rely on 18/19 year old kids to stay in line and learn how to follow orders. If you go in knowing that you're going to have to deal with that, it will probably help.
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Old 03-22-2021, 05:32 PM   #31
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So this thread got me thinking again and apparently having a current inhaler prescription is an automatic DQ according to all the recruiters I talked to Friday and today
DODI 6130.03
Section 5.10, Disqualifying conditions. History of airway hyper responsiveness including asthma, reactive airway disease, exercise-induced bronchospasm or asthmatic bronchitis, after the 13th birthday.
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Old 03-22-2021, 09:24 PM   #32
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I agree with a lot of the above comments. You can contract to go straight to OCS. Pick a branch if you can that will provide some civilian benefit. The Chair Force will give you better accommodations, food and will take care of you. If you want to be around war fighter stuff go Army...As an officer, you'll learn that there are amazing NCO's behind every good officer, but you WILL lead from the front. Before you sign anything, contact some of us so you don't get screwed. I didn't join until later in life and I do not regret one ounce of it. Let us help you do it right.
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Old 03-23-2021, 05:31 AM   #33
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Not putting you down, but if you join the Guard you can be sent to DC to stand around a fence, sleep in a parking garage, etc. Or you can be sent to the next hurricane zone for 2-weeks to fill sand bags.

I would do whatever is needed to fight for my country, but the crap they are sent to do is not what they signed up for.
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Old 03-23-2021, 06:54 AM   #34
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Join up full time army. Knock out 20 years and look back on the adventures you had.
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Old 03-23-2021, 07:33 AM   #35
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Quanah11, thank you for all you've given.
And thanks for being honest with Bobby.

Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
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Old 03-23-2021, 10:43 AM   #36
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I went the route you are currently looking at. Did 8 years in the TX Army National Guard and medically retired as a Captain after a bad day in Afghanistan prevented me from continuing as an Infantry officer. There is a lot of very good advice on here and I suggest contacting those who are currently serving as they can give you good current advice.

My only suggestion would be to apply for a slot at Ft. Benning for OCS. Texas has a great OCS program and a good friend of mine just left command, but if I were unemployed getting through OCS faster and then pushing for follow on orders to the Basic Officer Leadership Course(BOLC) of your branch would be my priority. That makes you a useful officer for you unit and not just a hang around officer candidate or brand new 2LT who can't do a lot because you haven't been to BOLC yet.

Basic training is going to be 3 months start to finish, then OCS will be 3 months, then BOLC will be 3 to 6 months depending on your branch. If you play it right you can be on orders for most of year with a solid income and health care for you and your family. Between schools and while at BOLC you can apply for jobs.
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Old 03-23-2021, 11:01 AM   #37
Quanah11
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Location: Fredericksburg
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Quanah11, thank you for all you've given.
And thanks for being honest with Bobby.

Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
Thank you for the support and
Yes sir hate to see people step into something they were misguided on
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Old 03-23-2021, 12:03 PM   #38
Rutersville
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Originally Posted by Quanah11 View Post
You however will only rate a Hazlewood exemption and it will not be able to transferred to anyone unless you are 100 percent disabled

Slightly Incorrect - Disability is not a determining factor in transferring Hazelewood benefits to one child or splitting them between multiple.

I transferred mine to my daughter and she used them for her BS and MBA.


https://www.tvc.texas.gov/education/hazlewood/#eRMAQNnm

A Veteran must meet all the eligibility requirements as drawn from the Hazlewood Act Statute and 40 Texas Administrative Code ß461:

A Veteran must:

At the time of entry into active duty of the U.S. Armed Forces, (DD Form 214 required) & (40 TAC ß461.40)
designated Texas as Home of Record;
or entered the service in Texas;
or was a Texas resident;
Have received an honorable discharge or separation or a general discharge under honorable conditions as indicated on the Veteranís Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty,
Served at least 181 days of active duty service (excluding training);
Currently reside in Texas; (40 TAC ß461.40) & (40 TAC ß461.70)
Have no federal Veteranís education benefits, or have no federal Veterans education benefits dedicated to the payment of tuition and fees only (such as Chapter 33 or 31; for term or semester enrolled that do not exceed the value of Hazlewood benefits;
Not be in default on a student loan made or guaranteed by the State of Texas;
Enroll in classes for which the college receives tax support (i.e., a course that does not depend solely on student tuition and fees to cover its cost), unless the collegeís governing board has ruled to let Veterans receive the benefit while taking non-funded courses; and
Meet the GPA requirement of the institutionís satisfactory academic progress policy in a degree or certificate program as determined by the institutionís financial aid policy and, as an undergraduate student, not be considered to have attempted an excessive amount of credit hours.

A Child (Legacy Act) must:

Be classified by the institution as a Texas resident; (40 TAC ß461.70)
Be the biological child, stepchild, adopted child, or claimed as a dependent in the current or previous tax year;
Be 25 years old or younger on the first day of the semester or term for which the exemption is claimed (unless granted an extension due to a qualifying illness or debilitating condition); and
Have no federal Veteranís education benefits, or have no federal Veterans education benefits dedicated to the payment of tuition and fees only (such as Chapter 33 or 31; for term or semester enrolled that do not exceed the value of Hazlewood benefits; (40 TAC ß461.70) & (40 TAC ß461.90)
Not be in default on a student loan made or guaranteed by the State of Texas;
Enroll in classes for which the college receives tax support (i.e., a course that does not depend solely on student tuition and fees to cover its cost), unless the collegeís governing board has ruled to let Veterans receive the benefit while taking non-funded courses; and
Meet the GPA requirement of the institutionís satisfactory academic progress policy in a degree or certificate program as determined by the institutionís financial aid policy and, as an undergraduate student, not be considered to have attempted an excessive amount of credit hours.
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Old 03-23-2021, 12:44 PM   #39
Rutersville
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Something else to consider is the politics of the military these days.
It's worse now than it was when I got out in 1990.

I had 104 days left and was simply waiting on the promotion scores to be released before I made a decision to re-enlist or not.

I had already extended my active duty commitment so that I could DROS stateside and see what stateside duty was like, and I really liked the Army life.

Well, the scores came out and I was 22 points over the cut off for E-6.

E-6 in just 4.5 years and only 24 years old!

The way I saw it, I could easily retire as an E-9 and I made up my mind that day I was doing 20 years!

The words coming out of my company commanders mouth 3 days later still echo in my head today.

"I'm sorry Sargent, but the cut off scores have been rescinded by Dept of Army"
"There are too few minorities in your MOS that had the points for promotion"

I calmly told him that if he ever got to Texas to look me up, cause that's were I was headed in 101 days.
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Old 03-23-2021, 01:12 PM   #40
RR 314
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So this thread got me thinking again and apparently having a current inhaler prescription is an automatic DQ according to all the recruiters I talked to Friday and today
Just tell the recruiter you are a transexual who doesn't identify as someone who needs an inhaler. Should sail through.
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