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Should you join the Reserves or National Guard?

Last post Sun, Jan 1 2012 9:50 AM by Brandy. 1 replies.
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  • Sun, Jan 1 2012 12:48 AM

    • Nords
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on Sun, Jan 23 2011
    • Oahu
    • Posts 209

    Should you join the Reserves or National Guard?

    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.
  • Sun, Jan 1 2012 9:50 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Should you join the Reserves or National Guard?

    "Many Reservists still struggle to balance family, civilian career, and military careers."

    This is what my brother does. Civilian work is hard, he lives in an area where unemployment is high and he struggles to keep a job. Moving is not an option for him. His wife is active duty and stationed where they are.

    This is something to give a serious consideration to over jumping in because it's "a small paycheck for now". It's a serious life commitment and can influence choices in life.

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager

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