What are the steps if choosing Reserves? How pick Unit?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Fastpitch, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. Fastpitch

    Fastpitch Member

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    Hello.

    My MSIII cadet is pretty set on Reserves, even with a pretty high projected OML based on GPA, language training, campus athletics, APFT, ranking within Battalion, and other stuff. I assume LDAC will go OK this summer. Or maybe National Guard, but we know less about Guard than we do Reserves.

    I've been looking at threads here trying to understand the timing of steps for a cadet to decide or declare Reserves, then pick a Reserves Branch, then how to locate a Reserves unit in that Branch, and how a Reserves unit accepts or passes on a cadet who is trying to get into that unit.

    Is there a tutorial, or some published "How To" describing Reserves branching, sort of like the Accessions briefings posted here over the past couple of years regarding Active Duty?
     
  2. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Your MSIII cadet should really be finding this info out for herself/himself but I will give some insight.

    1. Competitive AD branches are usually competitive in the reserves.
    2. LDAC has reserve booths were cadets can find open TPU slots
    3. Liason officers usually are present in a batt or are at least familiar with the cadre and can help find slots. Older cadets who are going reserves should have their info
    4. Find a slot and you get the branch after receiving a LOA of the unit, after that you can schedule a BOLC date.

    That's basically it, MI, AV and MSC are the most competitive reserve branches I have seen. QM, CM, OD and TC are pretty common, MP and EN less so.
     
  3. The OC Josh

    The OC Josh Member

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    Short answer, it depends on the state and the unit.
    At LDAC, during branching day you can talk to representatives from the Reserves and Guard. The Reserves let you sign up for a slot. Some states let you sign up while others wait until the OML comes out.

    You decide if you request reserves when put in your packet. It's an option to choose. We did it right before we left for summer and then once we got back too.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  4. fxrocks8

    fxrocks8 Member

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    Getting a reserve unit slot is easy. When the time comes, go to your HRA get the printout of vaccanies in your branch available and email the apprpriate accesions person. I'm on the boderline of getting AD, so I went ahead and secured a reserve spot. Emailed them on sunday, got a reserve slot, and even BOLC orders for when to report today!
     
  5. Fastpitch

    Fastpitch Member

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    When you secured your Reserves spot, is that a final decision? What happens if you get AD in the Branch you wanted?
     
  6. Fastpitch

    Fastpitch Member

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    So, when is that time? Is it any time during MSIII year? Just before LDAC? During LDAC? After LDAC?
     
  7. The OC Josh

    The OC Josh Member

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    During branch day at LDAC and after LDAC are the most common.
     
  8. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    I wouldn't wait till LDAC, if she knows she wants reserves start networking now!
     
  9. Fastpitch

    Fastpitch Member

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    that's what I'm asking... how? Does a cadet wanting Reserves go into the Battalion office and get ask for a list of Adjutant General Reserve units (is there such a list?) and start calling them? Does the cadet then apply and formally accept a position in a Reserves Unit even before LDAC?

    I guess I'm trying to understand the step by step process, since I can't find anywhere on this bulletin board where anyone has described it. And for sure my cadet has never had it explained in MSIII classes and is clueless to what the process might be.

    Lastly, if a cadet is assigned to a Reserves unit in, say Boston, where she expects to work after college, but then gets a good job offer in Denver, is it hard to transfer from Reserves Boston to Reserves Denver?
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  10. Fastpitch

    Fastpitch Member

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    I think I should have initially asked -- how does she find out all the details about finding Reserve units and matching up to them without involving the cadre or other cadets just yet? She thinks there is a stigma, deserved or not, around desiring Reserves vs. Active Duty. If she starts taking steps to ask cadets or cadre how to find a Reserves Unit in the town she expects to work after college, she'll lose quite a bit of status with the other cadets who assume a high OML cadet would naturally want to go AD unless something is --- what's the right word? -- un-patriotic about them ... and you don't get that status back with cadets or cadre if later she decides to go AD after all. She's heard plenty of talk amongst the cadets about other cadets (not in front of them of course) who have or will be choosing Reserves, and it wasn't flattering. So she wants to pursue the possible Reserves option discreetly right now. I'm trying to help collect info if I can.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  11. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I can't answer your questions but I have one you might want to ask your daughter. I've no doubt that there are cadets who plan to go Reserves who are discussed in disparaging ways. The question is why? Is it solely because they desire Reserves. Or could it (also) be because they aren't stellar cadets?

    Another question. DO the cadre discuss these cadets in the same way and for the same reasons? Seems to me, her discussing it with cadre should definitely not be an issue. Not saying it isn't, just that it shouldn't.

    Seems to me either last year or the year before the cadet at the top of the OML nationwide went Reserves. There should certainly be no stigma attached to it. I have a nephew and a few friends in the Reserves. They serve honorably and have done so in Iraq. Going Reserves doesn't mean you're not going to a combat zone. Seems like a good argument to shut up the nay-sayers.
     
  12. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    There is nothing wrong with going reserves, although I am a bit biased as a reservist:thumb: Going reserves has landed me an advanced nursing job I wouldn't have gotten by going active for at least 3-4 years. A lot of the cadets I know who went reserves were actually studs that had lucrative job offers in the civilian world. Sure you will have poor preforming cadets get forced branched but I would say that is NOT the majority. AD just isn't for everyone and these current wars are an example that the reserves can step up and perform an AD mission when called. A few of our cadre were guard on AD orders (former AD as well) and they were advocates for cadets going guard/reserves.

    Lots of cadets are ignorant to anything that isn't in their tunnel vision, just shake it off. If someone called me unpatriotic for going reserves, I'd shrug and walk away. I don't care enough to even give the comment thought.
     
  13. sancontoa

    sancontoa Member

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    To add onto what people have already said, she should go to the reserve tent at LDAC during branching day. They give you a piece of paper that says which stations you have to go to, but no one cares if you follow it, so she should head right to the reserve tent. They have personal there who will sit with her and go over all the vacancies in whichever town she wants to go to and can sign her up for a vacancy hold. You even get a backpack if you sign up. The nice thing about that is she can go sign up for a slot and if for whatever reason she decides to go AD and gets it during the accessions board in november, the slot goes back into the system automatically and cadets/cadre will never know about it. I went and signed up for a Adjutant's General slot, as a plan B, and even towards in one of the middle regiments there were so many slots to choose from, AG has a lot of vacancies.

    However if she wants to start looking now she can talk to one of the MS4s who is going reserve and ask about who they are coordinating with (there's usually a recruitment officer who works with those who branch reserves to get them slots) and she can email that person. Or she can talk to SMP cadets at her school and start feeling out different units. If she finds one she likes she can email the commander and ask to come in for an interview or to shadow a drill weekend. I know a couple CDTs (now LTs) who have gotten slots that way.
     
  14. sancontoa

    sancontoa Member

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    To get a reserve unit:
    1) talk to the reserve recruitment officer for her battalion and ask for the vacancy list. Any of the cadre should know who this is, they usually do a few schools so she might not have met him/her.
    2) decide which unit off the list she wants
    3) they will place a vacancy hold for that slot. Some units here want to do an interview which is not really an interview so much as the unit commander meeting the LT and telling them about the unit (this what I have heard)
    Steps 1-3 can be done in about 10 mins at the reserve tent during LDAC
    4) she waits till the november accessions and puts her first choice as reserves, which she will get.
    5) some units do the interview at this point. Either way she will get an email from the unit S1 accepting her and starts setting up her BOLC date
    Too easy.

    Also Adjutant General (AG) doesn't usually have units, they are usually assigned to a unit of a different branch. For example most AG Lts are battalion strength managers or some brand of an S1 and can be attached to any unit in the army. (with the exception of postal battalions but I don't know if the reserves have those) So when she sees the list it will probably be a job, usually an S1 or an assistant S1 and then the unit. If she wants AG and reserves she should probably start thinking about what type of unit she wants, a combat arms one or a non-combat arms one and also what job she wants to start out in because the nice thing about the reserves is you can pick everything. At the tent in LDAC they'll walk her through this but since there's usually a line waiting, so if she knows she wants AG attached to an MP unit in X city, for example, it will make it easier. If you have questions about AG you can PM me.

    It is not hard to change reserve units. In fact if she picks a unit at LDAC and then last quarter of senior year gets a join in another city, she can just call up the recruitment officer and get it switched.
     
  15. Fastpitch

    Fastpitch Member

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    Thanks, that's exactly what I was looking for.. to better understand the timing and specific steps. Thanks for that level of detail.
     
  16. Fastpitch

    Fastpitch Member

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    Ok, thanks, that makes sense. She is also interested in Medical Services, and Military Intelligence. I assume those two Branches *do* have specific units in specific cities? Can I assume there would be at least a couple dozen MS Reserve units spread around the country? Same question for MI. Or would there be just a handful... like one Unit per region of the country, which would make commuting to the Unit for weekend training something of a monthly challenge?

    Thanks.
     
  17. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    MSC is pretty hard to get in the reserves. There are no MSC specific units, but MSC officers fulfill a role in most if not all units especially at the battalion and above. MSC officers can be evac PLs or in staff in the lower echelons as well. Mabry was a a 70B and probably knows the most about the role.

    MI is hard to get as well, so start looking now!

    In my opinion the process to switch reserve units is not difficult but with the NG there are a little more hoops to jump through.
     
  18. The OC Josh

    The OC Josh Member

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    Is there a stigma, sure. Can she decide to break that stigma? Absolutely. As my MSG said, "The Reserves deserve good officers too."

    In my experience, that stigma will decrease as she gets closer to commissioning time. The fact that I already know my branch while my fellow cadets don't is just one perk of USAR/NG.
     

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