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Old 04-12-2008, 09:49   #1
bluelineman
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Prior service thinking of going Reserve or Guard

I was in just shy of 8 years. Got out in 1997 as SSGT/E5, active duty AFSC 4J0X2. Anyway, I was thinking of going back in either US Reserve or ANG. We live in Texas and in a few years would like to move to Florida. I think it would probably be easier to do this in the Reserves, since my understanding is that an ANG unit would have to "release" you & the new unit take you in. I will probably try to talk to a recruiter soon. I've already prepped the Mrs. that I would have to go away to school for a few months. We have another kiddo on the way, so I'll probably wait until late this year or early next year to do anything that involves signing on the dotted line, etc.

Do you get oriented to your future unit before going to tech school (and get unforms, ID card, base sticker, etc)? Or do you just show up once you get back from tech school? Do they have a sponsor/rep at the unit or somebody that is your point of contact?

When going to tech school (or any other active time) are spouses/kids given the same medical care as the active duty folks get? What happens if you don't live near a base & they need care? Does it work like having an insurance card?

How hard is it to transfer if you decide to move? In our case, it would be to Florida. My guess is that they would have to have an opening, you might have to cross train. Can you train with another unit if you already move?

I hope these don't seem like stupid questions. I've been out for a while, so I'm kinda out of the loop. I'm looking for more retirement + medical benefits when we're old & grey. Any help or advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2008, 12:20   #2
MrMurphy
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You've been out five years plus, I believe you'd have to do basic training all over again.
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Old 04-12-2008, 13:41   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMurphy View Post
You've been out five years plus, I believe you'd have to do basic training all over again.
Last year when I briefly talked to a recruiter (actually it was email) he said no. Whew!
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Old 04-12-2008, 14:46   #4
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I would definitely double check on that.
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Old 04-12-2008, 19:05   #5
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You don't have to go through basic training again. In the past, they've just had you report to the nearest base to get inprocessed, family into DEERS and get your uniforms. A LOT of things have changed over the last five years. Just, for instance, base stickers are a thing of the past. The PT program is run more like the Army. MPF (old CBPO) inprocessing is pretty much a "do it yourself" thang on-line. Everything is pretty much do it yourself now.

Your family will be covered under tri-care system when you're on active duty status. It runs like any other HMO. Hard part is finding a provider that will take it if you're not near a base. Your dependents should get a card, but all they really need is your SSN. Guard guys, of course, are at the mercy of the state's health care insurance (sans title 10 jobs) when not on active duty. If you go guard, you may want to shop around. Some states have as much as a $800 a month charge for Blue Cross family coverage while others offer it for free or nearly free.
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Old 04-13-2008, 04:14   #6
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Originally Posted by MrMurphy View Post
You've been out five years plus, I believe you'd have to do basic training all over again.
You ARE NOT required to do basic training! Being out for 5 years the only thing that might (might) happen is if you stay in your original career field you might go down 1 skill level if you are a 7 skill level you would be a 5 etc. but that is on a case by case basis.

I can't tell you a lot about the AF reserve but I am retired ANG. With the ANG you can transfer units. People do it all the time. It is just if the unit you want has a slot for that particular rank. When I say slot I mean everything from SSGT on down is not a problem but TSGT and above there are only so many slots. For example you could be a TSGT and transfer to another unit. If your new unit had no TSGt slots you would be in a SSGT slot but keep your TSGT strip. There is a 2 year window that you could be carried as an overage. If you are not placed in a TSGT spot by the end of that 2 years hypothetically you could lose a strip. It's more just formalities than anything. As long as you are not a LOP there will be a TSGT slot open within 2 years and you would not have a problem.

Normally you will have to enlist at the unit you are going to drill at. There might be a way that you could work it to enlist in your unit through another guard unit if you have a special csircumstance but that is between you and your units recruiters. Sometimes they (recruiters and Squadron overhead like to put a face with a name especially prior service).

Generally you have up to a year to complete tech school (if cross training)upon enlisting. You will attend drill and get paid for whatever rank you are. (for a SSGT it should be around $350.00 before taxes for a weekend drill give or take TIS/TIG) Keep in mind if you are cross training there is only so much you can do at your new unit on drill, so be prepaired for a moderate amount of busy body work depending on the sqaudron overhead. Unless you are going into something that you would require the use of firearms, or do maintenance your new Sqaudron will probably let you get a little involved. But remember they try to keep it generic and after you learn the AF way your unit will teach you unit specific way they operate.

Good luck

Last edited by meeko; 04-13-2008 at 04:20..
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:45   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meeko View Post
You ARE NOT required to do basic training! Being out for 5 years the only thing that might (might) happen is if you stay in your original career field you might go down 1 skill level if you are a 7 skill level you would be a 5 etc. but that is on a case by case basis.

As long as you are not a LOP there will be a TSGT slot open within 2 years and you would not have a problem.
I would have to retrain. They do not offer my former job in either the guard or reserve.

What's an LOP? Loss of promotion?

A big thanks for all the replies guys!!!
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:51   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decguns View Post
You don't have to go through basic training again. In the past, they've just had you report to the nearest base to get inprocessed, family into DEERS and get your uniforms. A LOT of things have changed over the last five years.

Guard guys, of course, are at the mercy of the state's health care insurance (sans title 10 jobs) when not on active duty. If you go guard, you may want to shop around. Some states have as much as a $800 a month charge for Blue Cross family coverage while others offer it for free or nearly free.
A LOT of things have changed. WOW! Hard to keep up since I've been out of the loop for so long.

I have medical insurance with my job now, so not a problem with that. If I go active for any reason, I'd use Tri Care for any family medical stuff. In fact, I'll call the kids Peds office to see if they accept the insurance.

Thanks!!
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Old 04-13-2008, 08:14   #9
meeko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluelineman;[B
What's an LOP?[/B] Loss of promotion?
LOP is a Federal prison slang for basiclly a "piece of crap" you know the type of fellow worker that is as clueless as an anvil, the personallity of a rock but yet works hared at getting out of work than if they just 'did the right thing"

Also if you are activated (or while you are at tech school) you will find Tri Care is 100 times better than the old Champus we use to have. I was an Active Guard Reserve (AGR) guy for a while (a full time actve duty spot with my guard unit) since we were guard we had no hospital and had to use local doctors under champus/tri care. i have just a few horror stories on champus. tri care is pretty good. I'm sure you will know the difference since you were in under the Champus time frame.

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Old 04-13-2008, 08:58   #10
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Just sent a message on the "find a recruiter" page on the USAF reserve website.
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Old 04-14-2008, 10:09   #11
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You've been out five years plus, I believe you'd have to do basic training all over again.
Never heard that one. I was out 15 years and didn't have to do basic again.

I did 16 years in the ANG (retired 2006 with 24 total). I pretty much agree with what meeko said. Particularly about upward mobility. I had fully intended to stay until age 60 (mandatory retirement) but pulled the plug at 58 because there was zero chance for promotion and I just got tired of it all.

I got a waiver when I joined, and never had to go to Tech School. And one thing I was able to do at every unit I was in was hook up with the marksmanship team. In my last unit, I was even able to get orders to civilian matches. A couple of days here and there throughout the year was my Annual Training. They even hand receipted me an M9 so I could practice at my local club.
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Old 04-14-2008, 16:56   #12
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meeko and md2lgyk covered it.

If you going in as a SSgt, try to find a unit vacancy (slot) for TSgt. In a lot of ANG units, the lowest vacancy is actually a SSgt vacancy. People grow into their vacancies.

Once you get to be a SSgt in a SSgt slot, however, the only ways to get promoted are to find a different slot and ask to move or get a Deserving Airman promotion (the time in service cut off for Tech is at least 12 years). W/Deserving Airman you can be promoted one grade above the authorized grade for your vacancy. Once you are promoted one over your slot, you can't be promoted again until you find a new slot (because you will be excess).

There are also limits to the number of people they can promote that way.

There are a bunch of people in my unit who will retire as Techs due to the above system (among other reasons). Some make rank by crosstraining repeatedly.

Some don't really care about rank. There are some who care very much about it. But it will decide how big your check is down the road.
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Old 04-15-2008, 10:24   #13
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There are a bunch of people in my unit who will retire as Techs due to the above system (among other reasons).
Ditto. In fact, that's exactly what happened to me. That, and a marked preference for promoting Technicians before Traditional Guardsmen. The last straw was when one was promoted instead of me because ". . . it really should be you but we need another Technician with enough rank to superrvise the shop." Well, I was an E6 supervising the engineering spaces on a nuclear submarine before this Technician was born.
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Old 04-15-2008, 14:44   #14
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That's how it is here, too. Technicians are about the only people on base who seem to get promoted as soon as they're eligible (almost every time).

My shop only has two of us in it and is overlooked most of the time. The First Sergeant stopped in to check on us one weekend and we spoke for about 20 minutes. He made the comment that he would never have made E7 if his packet hadn't been accepted (he came from a different squadron).
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Old 04-15-2008, 22:08   #15
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I'm leaning towards Reserves over the ANG. I think it will make a future move to Florida a little easier. I just got off the phone with a buddy that I was active duty with a while back. He's MSGT in the Reserves, promotable to SMSGT, but would have to wait until someone retires, etc. Anyway, he gave me a lot of good info too.

Thanks guys! If there's anything else you can think of, please let me know. I'll keep you posted on what the recruiter says.
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Old 04-28-2008, 15:03   #16
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I give credit to the ADAF for making the ANG and Reserves part of the total package, meaning they had same line equipment. When I left ADAF, I went back to the ANG predominately because of this. When the ANG guys were fielding equipment no different than the ADAF types, that tells you what the active forces thing of their backup.

Good luck to you. I truly regret leaving after 10 years. But then again, I would have spent a chunk of time away from home on deployment rather that at home getting the crap kicked out of me or sued to the high courts by the junkies and other oxygen thieves. Ah hell, I realized that if I stayed in, I would have logged 20 years in service come this July.

Wow.
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Old 04-28-2008, 22:18   #17
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OK. Talked to the recruiter. I gotta lose about 10# or so, then I can talk to him. He will then send me to the MEPS station to get the medical stuff done. When I get the letter from the Dr, the recruiter will then sit down with me & see what jobs I qualify for & what's available. All of this is before signing any paperwork. It looks like Ft Worth/Carswell (1hr 30 min), Tinker (3 hrs), Barksdale (3 hrs 45 min) & Lackland (5 hrs 15 min) are the closest bases.
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Old 04-29-2008, 02:13   #18
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We have some Guardpeople just showed up for a few months. One is a SrA who had a 12 year break in service. You were right, the USAF (unlike some of the other services) does not require going to basic again.
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Old 04-29-2008, 22:37   #19
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Quote:
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We have some Guardpeople just showed up for a few months. One is a SrA who had a 12 year break in service. You were right, the USAF (unlike some of the other services) does not require going to basic again.



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Old 04-30-2008, 02:26   #20
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My comment was "apparently they see no need to reinstill military discipline, since in the USAF we generally don't have any anyways........"


Nobody was quite brave enough to reply, but there was some head noddings.......
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