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Hawkdog23

National Guard to Regular Army

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Hello All,

 

As my first post on this website, I have a somewhat tricky question that I have been unable to find a relatively clear answer to; and figured I would entertain you all with my question here, before I started raising eyebrows at my unit. Can a National Guard 1LT aviator switch to regular army aviation, and how does that process work?

 

I am a recent IERW graduate (April 2016) and since returning to my home state, I have been deeply dissatisfied with my CAB. To be clear, I am not having any personal issues, but from a professional standpoint, this organization is rotting from the inside out, due to a piss poor officer corps. Our prior ARMS inspections will vouch for that.

 

Since returning from flight school in the spring, I have seen absolutely no mentoring for junior WO/CO, no OPD/ counselings/guidance. A dog eat dog attitude, office politics and nepotism are out of control in this particular organization. There is also a vast schism between the AGR full timers who drill mday and part timers like myself. All the full time AGR/ techs, seem to collaborate and horde information/ knowledge for their own benefit, for nothing more than to have a leg up on the strictly M-day guys for the next promo board.

 

This organization is nothing but a tax payer funded flying club, with very little emphasis given to the CTL. I have learned very little about leadership/ planning and how to effectively manage a unit.

 

So basically does anyone have any knowledge on how possible it is to transfer to active duty?

 

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You will have to request to be released by your state, which having just spent all that money sending you through IERW, will more than likely have no interest in. I know my state automatically denies all release requests for aviators until you serve 6 years for them. Your state may be different though.

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A realistic option would be to submit a hardship package which they (the NG) are heavily encourage to accept, but this usually only applies to switching to another guard or reserve unit. A hardship package is basically; you get a job 3+ hours away from the unit, your wife has to move back home to take care of dying grandma, immediate family issues, your work transfers you, etc.

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Regardless of being released, big Army has to be taking folks. They may not be right now.

160th is pretty much always taking applications. Will have to revert to a W.

 

The grass is not always greener either. Active duty is not all sunshine and unlimited flight time.

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Sounds like a guard unit. PM me.

 

I was trying to figure out which Guard unit he was talking about. Then I realized..... he's talking about all of them.

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I was trying to figure out which Guard unit he was talking about. Then I realized..... he's talking about all of them.

Well this is encouraging.

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Regardless of being released, big Army has to be taking folks. They may not be right now.

160th is pretty much always taking applications. Will have to revert to a W.

 

The grass is not always greener either. Active duty is not all sunshine and unlimited flight time.

 

I'd be very surprised if the 160th was interested in a 1LT that graduated from IERW in 2016, unless that 1LT happened to have a scroll on his right shoulder. They are looking for different things out of their line officers and their warrant officers, and I don't think from my personal experience that the LTC running the board will take too kindly to a 1LT who doesn't see a battalion command in his future.

 

....

 

As for my dig at the guard, my last gig on active duty was mobilizing guard and reserve units. I'd already laid the groundwork to go where I wanted to by then, but it did turn out to confirm my initial impression of them. The line companies tend to be more experienced and capable than active duty units, though generally less mission-focused. The units from states that have funding and missions for them, especially the northwest states, tend to be exceptionally good. The states that don't fund them and don't use them have units that aren't as good as the better AD units. The one constant is that their headquarters units are incestuous, nepotistic affairs best avoided at all costs. Of course, I didn't like active duty ones any better.

 

So the takeaway for AD vs NG: it's like the ladyboys in Thailand say, "same same, but different."

 

Anyway, I love being in my NG unit.... as a warrant officer.

Edited by kona4breakfast

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Well this is encouraging.

 

My comment was somewhat tongue in cheek.

 

Active duty has its issues. National Guard has its issues. As for the National Guard, there are bound to be some full time vs part time issues. Full timers might argue that they should get courses first because they serve full time regardless of rank, position, how long they've been there, etc. Weekenders might argue that they should get priority on flights during drill weekend because full timers can fly more easily during the week. There's all kinds of things.

 

As kona said, it's the same, just different.

 

I actually like my Guard unit. I am glad that they are open to someone transitioning from active duty providing input from a different standpoint. That is great and it's obvious they want to improve. I can also see that there will be some difficulty getting slots as full timers look to be first in line. In the end, I can see both sides. I shouldn't be held back in my career progression but they can make another argument that seems justifiable. Should the SP be the most experienced guy, or should it go to a junior IP because he is always there?

 

As a part timer in the Guard I look at it this way. I'm enjoying myself. While I'd like to attend schools and get promotions in a timely manner, it's not my main source of income and unlike active duty, I don't necessarily have to do all kinds of things to get promoted. I don't even have to get promoted and I won't get kicked out. I can just be good at my job and be happy with that.

 

Rant over but we can only control what we can control. Do your best in either an active duty or guard unit. It'll either work out or you'll find somewhere else to go. But while you're there, do a good job regardless of the reward.

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ALL of my comments are tongue in cheek!

 

My state has opportunities open more than most states, and we hire from out of state more often than most, I'd wager. I wanted the OP to PM me so we could chat a bit and I could get a read on him to see if it might be a mutually beneficial thing. If anything else, perhaps I can offer a little guidance.

 

For the OP, if there's a way to the active component, it's here: https://www.hrc.army.mil/content/Call%20to%20Active%20Duty%20Program

 

Frankly, I don't see a way for him unless he speaks Dari or Pashto. However, if you need a more short term break from the unit, check out Tour of Duty: https://mobcop.army.mil/. Most opportunities are paid vacations to exotic locations in Southwest Asia.

 

By the way, I'm assuming that "Hawkdog23" isn't a woman. I am, however assuming he bench presses on Fridays.

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So Guard units vary wildly unit to unit? Having spent 6 years in the SMCR it seemed we were somewhat consistent unit to unit as far as certain attributes went (although the commands would make it or break it). I have noticed some of my guard infantry buddies say that certain units are like a bad comedy movie, which differed from my experience in the Corps. I figured there may be more consistency among aviation given the obvious differences in manpower and required oversight vice a rifle company, but it sounds like this may be an incorrect assumption?

I'm looking at 3 units that are about the same distance from me, though I'm favoring one due to plans to move. I am in touch with junior pilots in two of them, but not the third. Is this the type of thing where a CW2 is going to give me the straightest dope on how a unit is run? Is there any way to glean how things are off the "meet and greet" the recruiters have offered to take me on?

 

Thanks again all for the insight

 

Mike

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Thanks for the replies. I've been busy the past couple of weeks and haven't been able to keep up with this forum. I have looked into the call to active duty program. My next question being---

 

Is my state (Division, TAG ect...) obligated to release me if accepted into the CAD program? Or can they jerk me around like everyone else I have seen who has applied for interstate transfers ? (even though I know ISTs are whole different animal in terms of admin processing)

 

And to Mr Lyman who is jumping to conclusions about my first post..... I absolutely do not need anyone to "teach me leadership or manage a unit"; I know, handle and take care of my platoon, better than those guys have been taken care in their entire careers. My strife comes from the lack of communication and mission critical information being passed down the chain to my desk, and the problem is above my company's level. Plus begging the readiness NCO to get properly paid every month is getting old also...

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Well hell. SOMEONE should be teaching you how to lead and manage a company / troop. That primary person IS the frak'n company commander, but they unfortunately have a way of being obtuse to this... Their example (good or bad) does provide some osmosis of this--but it isn't the same as deliberate ops.

 

Your senior warrant, 1SG, and PSG are also mentoring you (directly or not) for the company command level, but the old man/woman have the primary responsibility.

 

But I digress...back to the original.

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Since returning from flight school in the spring, I have seen absolutely no mentoring for junior WO/CO, no OPD/ counselings/guidance. A dog eat dog attitude, office politics and nepotism are out of control in this particular organization. There is also a vast schism between the AGR full timers who drill mday and part timers like myself. All the full time AGR/ techs, seem to collaborate and horde information/ knowledge for their own benefit, for nothing more than to have a leg up on the strictly M-day guys for the next promo board.

 

This organization is nothing but a tax payer funded flying club, with very little emphasis given to the CTL. I have learned very little about leadership/ planning and how to effectively manage a unit.

 

 

I guess I just JUMPED TO CONCLUSIONS. Not sure how that happened. <_<

 

There are good and bad units, to be sure. I have a small amount of experience (over 20 years) in the military in multiple services, active duty and guard, full time and part time. In my experience, most of the time the new guy complaining would do better to sit back and observe before complaining in public or deciding to jump ship. You may be the exception. Time will tell.

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Threadjack revival ref: CAD MILPER Message #17-052

 

I'm considering putting together a packet for the Call to Active Duty as a contingency plan. HRC wasn't forthcoming with likely assignments and I haven't seen a patch chart in a long time. Anybody want to clue me in where hawk guys (tracked IP) are needed for next FY? You get to put down 3 preferences and after that it's needs of the Army. I'd like to know what those needs might be.

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Threadjack revival ref: CAD MILPER Message #17-052

 

I'm considering putting together a packet for the Call to Active Duty as a contingency plan. HRC wasn't forthcoming with likely assignments and I haven't seen a patch chart in a long time. Anybody want to clue me in where hawk guys (tracked IP) are needed for next FY? You get to put down 3 preferences and after that it's needs of the Army. I'd like to know what those needs might be.

I got $20 on Alaska, Polk, Drum.

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