Active Duty VS Reserves after graduation

FØB Zero

Enthusiastically American
Jul 30, 2019
Hi! I’m an MS1 ROTC cadet who is contracted with a 4 year scholarship. I have looked into the differences between AD vs Reserves a little bit but would love to have y’all’s input and help explaining it a bit more.
1. What does being in the reserves look like right after commissioning? Like do officers still have to attend BOLUC etc.
2. How competitive are reserve slots vs active duty slots via AROTC?
3. Pros/cons for AD and Reserves? (I am currently making a list).
4. Who would you recommend for reserves over active duty?

I don’t understand why everybody in my batallón either wants to go guard or active duty. No one says their top choice is reserves… but I think it sounds like a great path.


Oct 2, 2020
All officers must attend BOLC at some point. Based off of availability of school slots, you may go fairly soon after commissioning. You have a certain amount of time to do it, otherwise you will not be promotable.

Not sure what sort of pro/con you're looking for between components. Active duty you serve every day. Reserve/Guard you generally do one weekend a month, two weeks per year.

Guard has a state responsibility for disasters, etc and falls under the command of the Governor of your particular state. Reserve is federal. Guard units also has a vast majority of combat arms units whereas the Reserve has none (a single USAR infantry unit exists in Guam I believe?)