That statement is only true if you do get to go active duty after graduating with your 4 yr degree.
As an ECP 2LT you get to choose what NG branch and unit you want to drill with (actually you pick 3 units and the states strength officer evaluates the choices and places you). If you remain in the NG then you get to choose what type of unit you want to continue with and go to that BOLC (it has to be approved by your state). If your state does not have any NG guard infantry units they will not send you to IBOLC.
I know an ECP LT that chose and served in a transportation unit in the state he finished school in. Upon graduation he moved back to his home state and chose to go to AG BOLC.
It's great to have someone like you that can advise on what can sometimes be a confusing program.
I have a question so I can understand better the process.
When you said that a ECP 2LT gets to choose a branch and unit to drill with while they complete their degree, do they actually attend BOLC for that branch before they complete their degree or do they just work within that branch. Do they wear the branch pin for the branch they are working in. When they get their degree can they switch branches and attend the new branch BOLC. At what point do they receive the branch they will have during their service obligation in the NG/Reserves?
There are so many in's and out's with the ECP program that it's hard to understand it all unless you've been through it. Thanks for all your advice you give here.
It takes a warped mind and a lot of questions to begin to understand so here it goes, and you know me it won't be short
I'm gonna start by responding by what our state does, I'm guessing it's across the board but who knows.
By the contract they sign, they must graduate before they go to BOLC, WITH THE EXCEPTION that if the BOLC they are attending is short enough they can attend it during the summer break and their NG unit wants them to go for some reason, say a deployment was coming up and they wanted to get the BOLC out of the way so the ECP officer could deploy immediately after graduation. DS's current commander wanted to send him to EBOLC (20 weeks) immediately and skip a semester of school so he could deploy if needed. NOT HAPPENING.
ECP 2LTs are deployable for domestic assignments only THEY CANNOT DEPLOY OVERSEAS UNTIL ATTENDING BOLC, non-negotiable. If they are deployed domestically it is their responsibility to maintain and continue their education during the deployment (online classes would count in this instance).
Again DS's unit is doing there 3 week AT (yes 3 week not 2 week) starting next week. First week of school. His school has a policy that if you do not attend for 2 weeks you are dropped. His commander will not allow him to miss. Plus they have a 5 day drill in March. The ROTC department that is technically still responsible for him until he graduates okayed the online classes due to his NG commitments. I would not call this typical.
Yes they wear their branch's insignia while drilling but before attending BOLC.
Yes they can drill with one Branch but choose a different BOLC and branch to transfer to after graduating (has to be approved by the state).
National Guard officers get to choose what branch they serve in as long as there is an opening or they can find an opening in a different state and travel at their own expense.
Our state is heavy in engineering, MP, and transportation units but there are some other branches scattered or attached to these main units (infantry, artillery, etc.) DS chose a multi role bridging unit (engineering branch). There was an opening and he was approved by the state strength officer so that is where he went and still is. He will go to EBOLC and continue with some sort of engineering unit (being pushed to go with a sapper unit by superiors).
His first commander (captain) lived in another state and drove 5 hours for drill. He then took a job on the east coast and flew back for about 5 months until another captain came in.
I assume active duty officers can transfer branches if the need arises or a position is available. They would have to attend some sort of class for this?
DS has attended many classes and obtained lots of training and certifications while being an ECP LT but before attending BOLC. Let's just say his ECP and national guard experience has been overall positive to this point. I attribute some of that to him and his skills but also to his unit commanders and even higher that he has met for not pigeon holing him until he attended BOLC.