13 comments

  1. StevePerkins says:

    We see a lot of media coverage about the active military’s recruitment quota troubles, but does anyone know how is the National Guard doing in recruitment these days? For the life of me, I can’t imagine why anyone would enlist (or re-enlist) in the National Guard these days… you’re basically enlisting in the active military, but taking on a “second-class citizen” role within it.

  2. Jace Walden says:

    Steve,

    Guard recruitment (at least in the Georgia Guard) is through the roof. Then again, Georgia does have one of the overall best National Guard’s in the nation.

    Additionally, the Guard Recruiting Assistance program allows guardsmen who are not recruiters to benefit from bringing potential soldiers into the guard.

    For the life of me, I can

  3. Dave says:

    It’s basically pure patriotism. I know in today’s world of pacifism and cowardice, it’s a rare concept, but it’s there in spades.

  4. estherclark says:

    My “little” brother is in the 48th Brigade and none of those guys feel like “second-class citizens”. They chose the National Guard because they love their country and want to serve and defend her and their loved ones.

    I’m proud of them!

  5. Dave says:

    I understand that you weren’t recruiting, Steve. I was just opining as to why folks DID join or re-enlist.

  6. Dave says:

    I was asked to speak at my newphew’s high school civics class while home on leave for Thanksgiving. Many of them were joining the military after they graduated. They were fired up and couldn’t wait to go! Such is the exuberance of youth, I guess, but alot of it had to do with the basic ‘ol fashioned patriotic sense of duty and country. It was moving!

  7. Rogue109 says:

    To follow up on StevePerkins’ question, here are the October recruiting numbers for the Army from last week’s Army Times:

    Active Army:
    4,564 recruits (101% of goal)

    Army Reserve:
    3,297 recruits (104% of goal)

    Army National Guard:
    5,305 recruits (123% of goal)

    Further, the Army National Guard also enjoyed a good retention month, with 2,783 soldiers, or 159% of mission, re-enlisting in October. There are similar numbers for the Active Army and Army Reserve.

  8. Jace Walden says:

    Steve,

    To answer your question, no. It’s not hard to maintain employment. I have found that employers are more willing to hire people because he/she is in the guard or reserve.

  9. StevePerkins says:

    Hmm, that is good to hear… it’s not the assumption I would have made. If that’s true, then I guess the advantages you mentioned over full active duty enlistment make sense.

  10. Bill_k says:

    I have been in the Guard, the Reserves, and active duty. To me, the Guard represents the highest American ideal – to spend most of your time in peaceful pursuits, but be prepared for war.

    However, the Guard is also the most mercurial of the services. Much of what you experience depends on the particular state. Some states such as Florida and Georgia, have strong Guard programs with leaders that are good at getting funds, equipment and attention. Other states give almost no support to their Guard. I was in a unit that still used jeeps and single channel radio 10 years after HUMM-Vs and SINCGARS were fielded. We considered ourselves lucky to acquire enough fuel to go on exercises. The Guard also suffers from a “good-ole boy” network. Promotions quickly become a matter of who – not what – you know.

    The Guard was not originally designed to be deployed overseas. It was mostly for the governor’s use, with the president reserving the right to take them if he needed them. The Guard is the most tied to the local community, so deployments are tougher for them than for full-timers.

    Only in the last few decades has the Guard been tied closely with the active military as “round-out” brigades and other supporting roles. This was welcome by the Guard, as it brought better equipment and training. The downside of this is now clear, though, as soldiers such as the 48th now prepare for yet another deployment, while most of the state doesn’t realize they are gone.

    I would take those recruiting numbers with a grain of salt. The Army has been shifting them downward slightly to show they are making quota. They have raised the maximum age for enlistment. Bonuses are sky-high for badly needed MOSs (skills). Recruiters are now waiving criminal records in some cases.

    There is no question of the patriotism and sacrifice of the soldiers. But there comes a point for everyone when you have to decide how much strain your family and career can take. A close look at any Army or Marine unit today will show the strain, as many mid-level leaders (O-3, O-4, E-6, E-7) are leaving.

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