Enlisting in Army National Guard or Reserves 3 years after graduating college with an engineering degree?

I graduated in 2009 with a bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering. I have been working full time since then in an engineering position at a process automation and controls company.

I've talked to a recruiter but I would like opinions from others on here. I make pretty good money (60k a year) so I wouldn't want to go active duty army or air force and have to quit my job for a major pay cut. Therefore I'm interested in joining the National Guard or Reserves b/c I can still keep my job and be in the military part-time.

Basically, I'm interested in serving my country before it's too late. Also, my job is definately on the boring side and being in the military might spice things up a little. I know everyone says I should join as an officer because of my degree but I'm actually interested in joining enlisted. I feel like being an officer AND having a full time career level civilian job might be too overwhelming anyways. My job is a very white collar desk job and I think an enlisted position (possibly electrician, avionics technician, etc. not exactly sure which MOS I want yet) would allow me to also learn a trade since I don't have much mechanical hands-dirty type ability right now (such as working on cars, houses, etc) and would like some of that experience. If not that reason, the other reason would be to gain experience in a medical/emergency MOS (such as medic, firefighter, etc or something else) that could possibly lead to a career change down the down, because right now I'm not all that satisfied with my career.

My question is do you recommend this route of becoming enlisted? Or officer? I hear most officer jobs are very administrative and I'm interested in doing something more hands-on where I can learn something useful, instead of just being a manager in something I have no real experience in. Should I pick an MOS more related to my full-time job or does it matter? Or is it even worth it altogether considering my current engineering job pays pretty well with very good benefits?

Another concern is if I'm in the reserves or national guard, would I be less skilled at my job than my fellow active duty counterparts? Let say I'm called for deployment and I'm with active duty guys who have been in the service same amount of time as me but have been doing this full-time. Would their skills they gained being active duty put me at a disadvantage being only reserve?

Also, I haven't decided on air or army national guard. I know the air force treats their people better but the army may be a better experience. Also, the air force deploys for shorter periods of time which would better suit working a professional, full time civilian job like I have.


"?" it's a big decision you sh!t brick. So yes it does take a while to decide if this is what I want to do. Don't read it if you don't like it dumb ***

7 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well I come from a family of service members and, even though it's two and a half more years till I can join. I do know a thing or two. Be ready for deployment. Enlisted or Officer? Definitely officer. Better pay, more leadership opportunities etc. Looks way better on a resume. If you're a reservist or guardsman, you won't be trained quite as well, but that won't be too bad. The MOS wouldn't matter as long as its either close to your current job or combat. I'm from a family of army/marines so I'm gonna be a little biased here. I say as getting more out of something. Army. Last one reserve or guard? Reserve. A little more on top of things from what I know. Best of luck!

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  • 5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    Enlisting in Army National Guard or Reserves 3 years after graduating college with an engineering degree?

    I graduated in 2009 with a bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering. I have been working full time since then in an engineering position at a process automation and controls company.

    I've talked to a recruiter but I would like opinions from others on here. I make pretty good money (60k a...

    Source(s): enlisting army national guard reserves 3 years graduating college engineering degree: https://tr.im/LIfTE
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  • 8 years ago

    I served as an active-duty, enlisted Marine journalist, and I would suggest going as an officer. It's not more admin, but it is more leadership based. Officers typically make more money and are more seriously considered for better jobs when they get out. You will also get paid more by the Army.

    As a reservist, to be honest, you probably will be less skilled than active duty, but that's OK. It's not a big deal. You also need to understand that the Guard and reserves are deploying a lot. If you are serious about joining, be prepared to deploy. You may not, but chances are good.

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  • Beth
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    EOD is pretty undermanned, or at least it was, but its an application MOS either way, but I believe you can also do it entry level, I did given that was 5 years ago. Either way, its still a tier 7 or 8 as far as bonus goes, not to bad. I'll be honest the school can be tough, especially being less than an hour from Panama City and like 5 or 10 minutes from the beach, stay focused when you're there. You should not have any problem getting into EOD school, it requires either a 110 or 105 GT score, which most have either way. Also to help you out, especially during school, i hop level, and you work well with numbers. Not so much algebraic, just measurements in general. Only problem with EOD is the attrition rate of students failing from the school, it's one of the highest in the Army. When you are an academic washout from the school, it takes an act of congress to get back in, I've never heard of anyone who failed getting back into the course, just people who had family / spouse problems etc. Good Luck NOTE!: Something I forgot to say, I did EOD as Entry level, and at the end out my BCT at eonard Wood, the 3 or 4 or us that were going for EOD had to do an additional test, wearing full MOP4, and then the BOMB Suit (it sucks cause they only have one suit, so it gets filled with sweat). Had to do a little bit of running, roll a HMMV Tire in a circle, do pushups, jumping jacks, and then pick up and arrange some bolts in each suit (something like that, been a while). It was overall a pretty easy test to be honest, kinda fun, but I do remember having one person fail that and not being able to go to AIT with us - Washouts go to Needs of the Army, keep that in mind, too.

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  • 4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/avM3l

    If you want something "hands-on" how about flying a military helicopter and still be a military officer? Your pay is better (add in flight pay along with base pay), you learn to be a well-organized manager (something that doesn't occur in the civilian world (been there and observed that). For enlisted, why not hands on fixing Army helos? My brother is a SSGT in the Army NG as an avionics tech. I was a Marine Corps aviator and aircraft maintenance officer - lots of hands on time from experience. This would be Army National Guard option. For Air National Guard (the Air Force side of the NG), it will be much harder to be a designated aviator; however, you might qualify as a plane captain, aviation mechanic/avionics tech, aircraft crew member for cargo birds, etc. You could also consider the Reserves for each of the four military Services. Same type of jobs, same once a month weekend schedule, and the two week annual training periods. As a career military officer, my average day at work, rarely in the office, was 10-11 hours. I always was busy considering as I grew in military rank so did the scope and size of the responsibilities. I went from having 80 aircraft maintenance Marines under me as a 1stLt and aviator to having 245 Marines under me as a Major. I can guarantee that oversight responsibilities were full time as were the coordination, training (included field time), deployment prep and execution, and post-deployment setup and execution left little time to even read a paperback book at night! You can become a enlisted PVT (E-2) and be told what to do every day that you show up for your weekend drill with absolutely no responsibility for anyone or anything. As a prior enlisted Marine, I can guarantee you that you will become extremely annoyed with the situation because your current job will result in you considering the NG work to be boring and below you. You will be either mentally (OK) or verbally (not OK) challenging the direction and instructions of the Staff Sergants and above telling you not only what to do, but how to do it. This process is done at the basic level of understanding regardless of how smart you think you are. As comparison in your current job, tell your boss that you would rather be one of the secretaries in the office for two days out of the month and that you are willing to follow exactly the instructions and direction of the lead secretary for those 2 days. Won't last long since your perspective of what needs to be done and how it is to be done will be different than the lead secretary. You will have no right to suggest or demand it be done differently regardless of your background and education. Think about the above. Apply for Officer Candidate School (Army ROTC) or Officer Training School (OTS). A lot of candidates don't make it - you could be one which would justify going enlisted route. If you do make it, you can still turn it down before being sworn in. Up to you. Lastly, you should visit the closest NG or Reserve unit to find out if the MOS you are interested is open on their manning charts. If not, you may be using some of your personal money to fly to the closest NG or Reserve unit that has an opening for your job description (MOS for ANG and Classification for AFNG). Best wishes. Lieutenant Colonel, US Marine Corps-Retired (been at both ends of the stick. Officer is definitely the better end for many, many more reasons than the few I provided here)

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  • 8 years ago

    Most officer jobs at administrative. If you want to be an officer but still have the military experience then join as an infantry officer. Infantry is the only way to go in the army if you want excitement and the true Army experience. I recently switched due to medical reasons from Infantry to Logistics and I don't feel like I'm in the military anymore.

    Source(s): 6 years army
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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    It has been like 3 or 4 weeks now...same question..over, and over, and over

    How long does it take you to make a decision?


    In the past..on several occasions..I have given you SOLID, proven ideas on how to make in informed decision that does not involve coming on here and listening to random strangers...

    Like scheduling to go to a unit, during a drill weekend, and meeting actual officers doing whatever job you are interested in doing...etc, etc

    And that was 2 months ago...yes all you have done so far is talk to a Recruiter...

    Source(s): Me, a US Army Officer, 23 years in the US Army
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