19th SFG(A)

Cookie_

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I encourage you to check out this thread, specifically the responses from @x SF med and @Steve1839
While they're replying to a poster who was asking about trying to do the "guard bum" thing as a Green Bean, it's still applicable advice.

The only way to be a "bum" is to be excellent at your job, or a liability to the regular operations of your team. I'll give you a guess as to which one your team will think you are when you're brand new.
 

0699

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Sorry, I wasn't clear, the guard bum period and the civilian federal job would be separate. I would plan on trying out the guard bum life for the first year or 18 months after graduating AIT. I want to do this first to contribute to the mission and learn the ropes but also to learn about Army life, the opportunities out there, and if going active is something I would consider later. After that, I would "ratchet down" the Guard life to regular "1 weekend - 2 weeks" levels and return to the federal space. I didn't mean to imply that I could be a guard bum and work a full time civilian job. I know that employers still make life tough and discriminate below the legal threshold, unfortunately.
I'm sure any misunderstanding was on my end. I am well known for poor reading comprehension.

Thank you for not telling us why we're all wrong and you're all right; giving advice here normally ends up with the new guy telling the guys that have been doing it for thirty years why they're wrong and he is right.

It sounds like you've put a lot of thought into this, understand the obstacles in your way, and are ready to deal with them. I wish you luck in your goals.

Please be careful with the idea that you can "ratchet down" to 1 weekend a month, two weeks a year; I saw a lot of NG guys in Iraq who had that plan too.

I have never been in the NG. My experience is from the other side of the fence; watching federal co-workers poorly try to balance military service and federal service. Based on what I've seen, no person can serve two masters and if you do, you end up serving both poorly. Just my observation; not intended to hurt the feelings of anyone that reads this. I'm sure there are exceptions and everyone thinks they are the exception, but your coworkers would probably say different.

Good luck.
 
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AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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Hello both. Thanks for responding. I really appreciate the info on civ-mil balance in the Guard.

Sorry, I wasn't clear, the guard bum period and the civilian federal job would be separate. I would plan on trying out the guard bum life for the first year or 18 months after graduating AIT. I want to do this first to contribute to the mission and learn the ropes but also to learn about Army life, the opportunities out there, and if going active is something I would consider later. After that, I would "ratchet down" the Guard life to regular "1 weekend - 2 weeks" levels and return to the federal space. I didn't mean to imply that I could be a guard bum and work a full time civilian job. I know that employers still make life tough and discriminate below the legal threshold, unfortunately.

My civilian career track is research/analysis oriented, if that helps. I will not be a federal LEO, though my field shares the whole "your work can't really wait a year cause people rely on it" thing.

On clearances, the one I am waiting for is from a DoD organization. I don't know for sure if it would transfer but it seems possible/potentially likely.

As for DLI, I am certified 2+ ILR in a strategic language and continue to study actively. It is true that I have never taken the DLPT, though, so I can't be certain. If I didn't get a passing score, I would have absolutely no qualms attending DLI and would consider it a privilege.

So the bottom line is, while I cannot thrive both as a Guard bum and DoD civilian at the same time, I at least want to give the guard bum thing a shot before I reenter the civilian workforce. I confess all of this assumes a very rudimentary and outsider's understanding of how guard bumming actually works. I don't know for sure if I would be able to pick up orders 10+ months out of the year, but some of the SOT-A threads I've read indicate yes.

Let me know if you have further ideas. Have you found yourself adjusting your level of Guard commitment beyond the 1 weekend 2 weeks level depending on where you are at in civilian life? Or do you need to choose guard bum vs. part timer and stick with it all the way through?
I don't think you're going to like this post, but I'm going to be candid, blunt even.

There is the likelihood that your co-workers will perceive that you are screwing them. Some managers will take dim view of your Guard participation. You need to be ready for this. As a Fed you are probebly in better shape than most, but never for a second rule out office politics.

I'm a former Guard guy. Employers will keep your job, but that doesn't mean there won't be retribution. Some organizations have zero problem with Guard members, others not so much. Every member of the Guard is rolling the dice that their civilian lives will be unaffected by their Guard commitment. I've worked with FAA and DEA bubbas and their experiences were mixed. The Federal system protects you, but a bad manager will not. Your co-workers will have to do your job and theirs when you are gone. Again, some are fine with this and others are not. It will depend on the organization.

I'm not saying "don't go Guard" but I think you need to go into this with your eyes open. Every member of the Guard needs to understand that there are perils in choosing that path. For every success story there are others where you pay a price. I've been on the losing side and it sucks.

Good luck.
 

Ooh-Rah

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I think @Ooh-Rah said it awhile back, military friendly employers absolutely hate hiring part-time military. Your selfless service doesn't help their bottom line
Yep. I posted this in another thread some time ago. It still stands:

I am an employer. It is good PR for employers to celebrate how much they love their "Guard" employees....uh-huh.

Most employers (meaning all if they are being truly honest) f'ing HATE dealing with Guard employees. They are gone at inconvenient times, use "Guard duties" as an excuse for just about everything, and if you get deployed....yes I have to hold a job for you. But I don't have to hold the 'exact same' job for you....I just cannot fuck with your pay.

I say all that to say this....dive headfirst into whatever role you get in the Army. Be the absolute greatest at it and try to find balance with what civilian job you get; just don't expect them to "thank you for your service" every weekend of the month that you are gone.

#Reality.
 

Kraut783

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Most employers (meaning all if they are being truly honest) f'ing HATE dealing with Guard employees. They are gone at inconvenient times, use "Guard duties" as an excuse for just about everything, and if you get deployed....yes I have to hold a job for you. But I don't have to hold the 'exact same' job for you....I just cannot fuck with your pay.

#Reality.
Not just NG, Reserves too....
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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What do you guys think about contracting while NG as SF?
Depends on the unit. I've been out for...well, ever, but know guys who were able to do both. I'm sure several large factors come into play. Even an Air Guard radio troop has to jump through some hoops to contract with us for a year at a time. I can't speak to any details beyond that.
 

Cookie_

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What do you guys think about contracting while NG as SF?
I'm not a contractor, but speaking for guys who are; it's hard as shit. Asserting yourself as good for promotion after a 3-12 month deployment Is hard as hell; imagine the difficulty when that happens every year. (Abouts)
 

SierraDave

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My general impression has been that the best civilian careers to mix with Guard/Reserve bumming are seasonal/freelance gigs that have a lot of built-in flexibility and can be picked up and put down with less long-term consequences. Also, having a spouse with a stable job helps, too. I know a reservist who ski patrols and river guides and fills in her shoulder season with TDY/MPA tours. However she's definitely not making that sweet contractor pay, and she doesn't have the stability of a year-round GS position.
 

busyworks

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Jan 14, 2015
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A little update. Just got back from a security contract in Afghanistan. Was made aware that about 6 months ago the Army came out with a new policy that if you've been out of service for 5 years, you have to go to basic again.

Now I'm scrambling to get in touch with basically anyone to see who still has openings on the support side, and can get me in before Sep 21st.

I definitely got a little out of shape sitting in a gun truck on QRF for 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, with no gym/outdoor PT due to covid. Soooo now I'm scrambling to bust my ass back in shape too.

However I think this is good for me. As you all know, I've been super indecisive, and a huge procrastinator when it came to picking something and just going with it. Now I don't have a choice. 🤣

Contracting is definitely being put on the back burner for now. Thanks again for all the info guys!
 
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busyworks

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Enjoy being a squad leader from day 1! 😆
Dear lord, I hope I can squeeze in somewhere before the 21st. I'm almost 30. Not trying to deal with that b.s. again

Damn contracting money, making me lose my way.

on that note, I swear that 20th, or 19th had support positions near my home state of MI. It was either OH, or IL. I talked to a recruiter, and everything. They didn't have 35P at the time, but he told me to get in touch at a later date. I can't find his info anywhere though. :ROFLMAO:

anyone got an current info on support slot availability for either group? Trying to reach out to all the recruiters I can find info on.
 
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