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Old 11-24-2008, 09:18   #1
MDbuell
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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thinking of joining the army national guard

I have been looking at the national guard website but am not ready to have a recruiter contact me so I bow down to the knowledge of the army forum. First off I am not ready to have the recruiter contact me because I need to get into much better shape before I am decent enough for basic.

My main question concerns mental health. I am bipolar. I am medicated and have it under control but would this make me unwanted by the military? I would be dissapointed becasue I would be able to join as an officer since I have my degree in criminal justice and would love to serve my country in the MP. Thanks for any help you can give me.

Thought of another question. would i be able to go full time in the guard ie make a career out of it?

Last edited by MDbuell; 11-24-2008 at 09:24..
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Old 11-24-2008, 16:03   #2
pt945
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several things...1 not sure what state you live in but check with some people in the guard to help get you in.... they are in a program called g-rap it is a recruitment program where the person can get $2000 for getting you in... most guys in the guard use the the bonus.

2 remember if the docs at meps or your recruiter do not specifically ask if you are bi-polar do not offer up the information.

3 most officers if i am not mistaken go to ocs to become an officer. i am not sure but i believe they place you where you are needed but do not count on that with out further checking.

4 thank you for wanting to serve our country.

5 check to make sure there are slots in your area, i am in the tn ntl guard and i drive 200+ miles to drill because there were no enlisted slots.

6 call your local units and check on their deployment status.

7 if you are married make sure your family are involved in your decision. the toughest job in the army is an army wife.

8 any more specific questions e-mail me or post them here there is several years of military experience here.
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Old 11-24-2008, 17:13   #3
MDbuell
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i would love to help out another member by giving them a bonus 2g. my concern about disclosing is that i need to take meds twice a day. if i don't take them i will ahve an episode in basic. thank you for the inspirational words
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Old 11-24-2008, 17:21   #4
pt945
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you might check with your dr. and get a 90 day supply of your meds. just carry them with you. i to am bi-polar and take meds to keep myself on an even plane..... i have 13 total years been through SEVERAL physicals and this has never been an issue. it did not keep me from obtaining a clearance to be an mp however i am working in supply right now.

chris
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Old 11-24-2008, 17:28   #5
MDbuell
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damn that sucks about the mp. that is what i wanted to be. i can get a 90 day supply easy. again thanks for the advice
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Old 11-24-2008, 17:31   #6
pt945
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i was am mp for about 3 years just got to old to kick in doors any more i let the younger generation do that now.....
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Old 11-24-2008, 19:22   #7
Fire_Medic
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I just recently joined (Oct) and had my first drill time this weekend in the RSP program. Was tough, but I'm out of shape right now. I haven't done anything like this since I got out of the Fire Academy in 2004. Find a recruiter to talk to, that's the best way to get all your answers. Good luck with the guard.
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Old 11-26-2008, 01:51   #8
Biscuitsjam
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Quote:
First off I am not ready to have the recruiter contact me because I need to get into much better shape before I am decent enough for basic.
Enlisted soldiers only need to be able to do 13 pushups, 17 situps, and a fast walk to start BASIC. If they can't accomplish those pathetic scores, they get sent to a "fat camp" for a few weeks until they can before starting BASIC.

Even if you're in poor condition, you're probably fit enough to start training anyway. You'll make life a whole lot harder on yourself, but...

Quote:
Thought of another question. would i be able to go full time in the guard ie make a career out of it?
Maybe.... There are lots of opportunities to volunteer for deployments doing anything from guarding Anniston Army Depot in Alabama to securing the border in New Mexico to training foreign soldiers in the Republic of Georgia to fighting in Iraq. Deployments can range from 30 days to a year or more. If you have an emergency need for work, the Guard can sometimes help you out this way.

There are also temporary assignments known as "Active Duty Special Work" (ADSW), which usually consists of a few weeks or a few months working for the Guard at a military base in the region. Some soldiers get very skilled at jumping from ADSW to ADSW assignment, although it couldn't be considered reliable employment.

Full-time jobs are available and can either be "technician" or "active guard reserve" (AGR - more benefits, very competitive). Whether these full-time opportunities are available depends on your unit and luck. Deploying units often employ large numbers of temporary technicians for a few months before they ship out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pt945 View Post
several things...1 not sure what state you live in but check with some people in the guard to help get you in.... they are in a program called g-rap it is a recruitment program where the person can get $2000 for getting you in... most guys in the guard use the the bonus.
It doesn't cost you a thing to give somebody G-RAP credit for recruiting you. However, they have to get you put into the system before you talk to a recruiter, I believe. I don't think it matters which state you join since G-RAP is a national program.

Quote:
2 remember if the docs at meps or your recruiter do not specifically ask if you are bi-polar do not offer up the information.
I'm 99% certain that it is on the questionaire, so, yes, you'll be asked. If you lie, you'd probably get away with it. However, if you get caught lieing, it would cause you a world of hurt.

Less severe cases of Bipolar Disorder treatable by medication do not prevent you from serving in the military. However, they'll give you a "2" or "3" PULHES code under area "S" (psychiatric) which will limit which jobs you are eligible for. You need to talk to a recruiter to find out how difficult it would be to obtain a "waiver." Some waivers are very easy to get while others are extremely difficult.

Quote:
3 most officers if i am not mistaken go to ocs to become an officer. i am not sure but i believe they place you where you are needed but do not count on that with out further checking.
College students often do Reserve Officer Training School (ROTC), which consists of military-oriented college classes, with "camp" in the summer. Most other new officers go through Officer Candidate School (OCS), which is usually 14 weeks at an army base. If you choose to enlist first then become a National Guard officer later, you can also do OCS all-at-once over 8-9 weeks or you can go on the weekends over the course of a year.

For National Guard officers, you can usually get the branch (job) you want. All you need to do is get a commander to sponsor you for an open slot within his unit. I don't know the details of how this works, so you'll need to talk to a recruiter to find out more.

For active-duty ROTC officer candidates, the system is fairly complicated, but, basically, each candidate lists his preferences, then the army fills the slots according to their "Order of Merit List" on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you're #1 on the list, you get your first choice. If you're #4369, you may get your second, third, or fourth choice. Certain branches, such as Aviation, Infantry, and Military Intelligence are very competitive, while other branches such as Signal Corps and Ordnance are less so.

If you really want a competitive branch, you can increase your chances by committing to a longer term of service, known as an "Active Duty Service Obligation" (ADSO). There's also something called "branch detailing" even if you don't initially get the branch you want. You'd have to talk to a recruiter to get the details on how it all works (choosing a branch may be different for "college option" candidates, or maybe even for OCS vs ROTC)

Quote:
5 check to make sure there are slots in your area, i am in the tn ntl guard and i drive 200+ miles to drill because there were no enlisted slots.
Yep, it's best if you pick a job that you can do close to home instead of having to drive to the opposite corner of your state.

Quote:
6 call your local units and check on their deployment status.
Excellent advice.

Last edited by Biscuitsjam; 11-26-2008 at 02:14..
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