I spend a lot of time reading Linkedin discussions, and this one is from the "Naval Officers" group. The question was why more active duty weren't joining the Reserves when they separated, and they got over 60 responses in a few days.
One of the biggest issues was involuntary mobilizations (a year in the desert). The Navy Reserve now offers a "no mobilizations" guarantee for the first two years of a commitment. Of course Reservists can always choose to go inactive, but that can also stop a career in its tracks.
Many Reservists still struggle to balance family, civilian career, and military careers. No easy answers on that one, unless you happen to pick the "right" employer like civil service or a defense contractor. (An understanding spouse is always the first step!) One officer summarized it as "You're not doing it right until your spouse, your Reserve unit, and your employer are all equally annoyed with you..."
Another chronic complaint from the Navy Reserve is the lack of drilling sites. If you're in a fleet homeport (San Diego, Norfolk) or military area (Washington DC) then drills are plentiful. Not so in places like Cheyenne, Wyoming. The Army National Guard comes off much better for a "one weekend a month, two weeks a year" military career. Of course if you care to live on Oahu then you can find more work than you'll ever need in both services.
The active duty services seem to be very bad at educating their servicemembers on the Reserves & Guard. My advice would be to literally contact a Reserve/NG recruiter, visit their office, and see what they can do for you. It's like joining the military all over again.
The rest of the commentary is here:
Oh, and Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!
Officially Recognized Stretchpert in the Military Family Finances forum
Author of the non-profit book written by military for military: The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement-- now on sale at Impact Publications. For more info see my profile.