National Deal Week on November, 2024: Thinking about joining the National Guard as an Infantry Officer. Good idea?

National Deal Week 2024. Celebrate Every Day: October 2013 National Deal Week: 27-12/4

Thinking about joining the National Guard as an Infantry Officer. Good idea?

Here is the deal...

1. Your initial commitment will be Basic Training, OCS and BOLC

Basic Training - 10 weeks

OCS you can do in one of 3 ways -

1. Traditional OCS - done in the state; starts with a 2 week Annual Training Period(usually around June of every year) followed by 1 weekend a month for 10 months followed by another 2 week AT period then graduation and commissioning. This is great for people who are just shy of their degree.

2. Federal OCS - 14 straight weeks at Fort Benneing, GA

3. Guard accelerated OCS - 10 straight weeks at Fort McClellan, AL

Since you already have a degree I would highly recommend the accelerated OCS route. Which is probably what your unit will push you to do.

BOLC - aka Infantry Officer basic Course - 22 weeks at Fort Benning, GA

Usually you will attend basic training, return home then go to OCS as they can get you in. Once OCS is done you will return home and go to BOLC as they can get you in. It all has to be done within 24 months.

2. After you return from BOLC you resume your part time status and work for Uncle Sam 39 days a year; 1 weekend a month and 2 weeks in the summer. You will start off as a Rifle Platoon Leader.

3. As an Officer in the Guard expect to put in about 8-12 unpaid hours per month getting ready for drill. All of the paperwork that Officers have to do on active duty? You still have that same stuff in the Guard to get done and most of it gets done on your own time (i.e. evaluation reports, training schedules, training evaluations, maintenance reports, etc, etc) - that is the down side.

All in all it is a great second career and some great experience. Not many other part time jobs offer educational benefits, low cost health insurance and a pension.

"Is it a good idea to just jump into an officer role part-time without any prior military experience"

You mean like 90% of new Officers? It will have no bearing. By the time you are a Platoon Leader you will have had about 44 weeks of training.

email me if you have any more questions

National Guard Vs Air National Guard and a couple other questions?

National Guard Vs Air National Guard and a couple other questions?

Hello Damian,

Sorry, it doesn't work that way.

When you join the Air National Guard or the Air Force Reserves you are going on active duty to Air Force basic training for 9 1/2 weeks. Then, you will go directly to one of the AF technical school bases for 1 month to 12 months to learn your AF job.

You can't be in college at the same time. It won't work.

You are going to have to put off college until the Fall of 2012 if you are serious about joining the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserves.

One doesn't just sign on to the Guard/Reserves and think that nothing is going to happen while you are in college.

If you want to go to AF ROTC you have to take 4 years of AF ROTC at a college or university in Minnesota that offers it. You can't just do 2 years. There are "NO" living conditions for AF ROTC. You are a regular college student and you live where you live. AF ROTC has nothing to do with where you live.

IF you do AF ROTC and get commissioned as a Second Lieutenant you ARE going on Active Duty for 4 years as an AF Officer. You would go to officer orientation at Maxwell AFB, Alabama for 12 weeks. THEN, you move to an officer technical school for a number of months to learn your officer field's job.

Then, you report to an AF base to begin work in your Officer Field. Married or not, we don't care. You will be living in the officer dorms with the others and your wife will wait until you are graduated.

What you hear about "deployments" have no merit - never believe "what you hear."

The President and Department of Defense will deploy those units that they need to assist the active duty forces in combat roles around the world. The AF Reserves and the Air National Guard are two "feet" of a "3" foot TRIAD of our full national defense posture.

With Iraq and Afghanistan winding down there will be less need to deploy Reserve and Guard forces. However, you must watch the World's war posture. Our next engagement will most likely be: Iran and North Korea. These two countries do not seem to want to live in peace with the rest of the world. And, sooner or later, they will make a stupid mistake and attack somebody.

The US has military treaties with most of the free world's countries. Attacking any one of them brings the US military forces into play - no matter how unlikely one might think or "even" think about some country.

That is what "Reserve" forces are for. To augment the active duty forces with the needed skills.

You can count on being "active" for about 2 years or more when your Reserve/Guard units get activated.

You can NOT make deals with the US Air Force. You can not "figure" you will do this or do that for your own "convenience." It is a falsehood to think that "a little service will give me a little boost." We don't care about that. You are either IN or OUT of the service. "Boost" or no boost.

You can not "just serve while you are in school." If you enter the military services you are going to be available for world-wide duty for at least 4 years. And, if you are in college "after you return from active duty for basic training/technical school" and your unit gets activated you are going to LEAVE college and go on active duty.

You can return to college when your unit is release in 18 - 24 months.

So, your BEST bet is this:

Make up your mind and either go to college now - and do AF ROTC for 4 years.


Enlist now and put off college until you finish basic and technical school.

But, remember this: Once you sign on for 4 years - you BELONG to the Air Force.

The NEEDS of the Air Force come before the WANTS of the Individual.

If you can not live with that: then, forget about any kind of military service.

Best wishes,

Larry Smith

Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Ret.)

First Sergeant

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