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Am I still eligible?
Old 01-09-2018, 14:55   #1
FuriousGeorge
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Am I still eligible?

Good evening,

I apologize if I haven't posted this in the correct spot. I served 14 years in the Army NG M-day and AGR, I have 2 MOS's 11B and 92Y, deployed twice (I'm 35). I got out about 4 years ago when my enlistment ended because I lost my son, and I had some personal stuff to deal with.

I'm going to be reenlisting soon and retaking the ASVAB to get that 110+ on the GT score, the last time I took it was when I was in high school. Then I'd like to attend an assessment and selection weekend (I think that's what they're called.) I've been doing the PT, ruck marching, and taking language classes (Russian). What I'm asking is, outside of the things I can control, is this a possibility?
A 35 year old E5 with 14 years being able to start this, or is there some administrative reason that would prohibit me from doing this. I've tried to contact some recruiters and also speak to some other recruiters on the National Guard website as well, but they haven't been able to provide me any answers..

Thank you for your help. I appreciate it.
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Old 01-09-2018, 15:44   #2
HardRoad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FuriousGeorge View Post
A 35 year old E5 with 14 years being able to start this, or is there some administrative reason that would prohibit me from doing this. I've tried to contact some recruiters and also speak to some other recruiters on the National Guard website as well, but they haven't been able to provide me any answers..
The search feature is your friend - use it to find a 20th POC at the unit where you want to end up. They can pass you on to the right recruiter to help you out. The CF Guard recruiters - especially if they don't work in a state with a NG SF unit - usually don't know much about how the SF gig works.

I'm not sure I would have made it through the pipeline at 35, but people do. My last team sergeant was 42 when he graduated. Obviously, the sooner you can do this the more likely you are to get all the way through without breaking yourself.

For what it's worth, my advice is get smart about diet and core and mobility exercise as part of your prep - you're going to have to be a lot more disciplined about keeping injury free than a guy in his 20s would.

Best of luck, and my condolences on the loss of your son.

Last edited by HardRoad; 01-09-2018 at 15:48.
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:28   #3
FuriousGeorge
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HardRoad,

Thanks for the reply and advice, I greatly appreciate it.

I'd be delusional if I didn't think the odds were stacked against me as compared to an 18 - 20 year old. That being said, If I can train properly and focus on the right things as you recommended, I feel that I can participate, achieve the objectives and push myself to excel.

I'll definitely use the search and reach out to someone from the 20th Group and ask for a POC for a knowledgeable recruiter.

Again, Thank you for the advice and insight. Also for the condolences.
Much appreciated...
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Old 01-11-2018, 22:08   #4
ic2d
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FuriousGeorge View Post
A 35 year old E5 with 14 years being able to start this, or is there some administrative reason that would prohibit me from doing this.
Sorry, long post. I couldn't help sharing my (very similar) experiences. I'm 36 and enlisted into the 19th Group a few months ago. They brought me in as an E5 with 10 years TIS (note: IRR time counts). Other than failing a Ch. 5 physical, there should be no administrative roadblocks.

A couple things you might want to consider:

--For breaks in service >3 years, you will be required to attend basic training again. See AR 350-1 Ch. 3 and SMOM 17-037.

--You might also be required to become qualified in a new MOS. I'm not exactly sure how those rules work (e.g. attending reclassification training), but you might be surprised at how few E5 slots are available in your desired state/unit. My options were pretty limited. (For what it's worth, I strongly recommend enlisting into an SF Group, even if you can't get your desired MOS. SF Groups generally have some incentive to send qualified folks to SFAS - an incentive that may not be shared by other units/commanders in your state.)

--Utah is not currently offering 18X/Rep 63 contracts to individuals with prior service. Other states might. Translation: I have no contractual guarantees that I will attend SFAS, and my attendance at an SFRE will have to be scheduled around BCT, MOS training, Airborne, and SFBCC-S (not to mention a full-time job).

--Utah runs SFREs pretty regularly - but not all states do. If you are unable to attend a given SFRE (or if you fail one), it might be a while before you are able to try again.

What's my point? You, like me, are not getting any younger. And depending on your state's rules and policies, your training schedule(s), etc., it may be a while before you're able/eligible to attend SFAS. I waited to enlist for several years while finishing a master's degree. I had my reasons, but now realize that I underestimated the amount of time it will take to go from enlistment to selection. Make a decision, and make it soon.

Last piece of advice - simplify your decision as much as possible. Don't waste time with "what if I don't make it" scenarios. You already know the answer: you'll finish out your enlistment, and when that time comes, you'll decide whether or not to stay in. For me, spending 3 years "stuck" in the NG seemed pretty low risk. YMMV.

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-15-2018, 13:24   #5
FuriousGeorge
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Ic2d,
Thanks for the reply & the info!

I wasn’t aware of the requirement to re-attend basic training. I talked to a recruiter whom I’m friends with, she looked at my paperwork and determined that I would, indeed need to go to the 6 weeks of basic again.

That being said, it doesn’t faze me, I’ll go. Furthermore, my family is on board. My wife was all in when we discussed the length of time training would take in order to be selected, graduate other required training, and become a contributing member of a team. We have a pretty strong relationship.

I’m coming out of New York, so there’s no SF unit here, but there is one in Mass. In NY there are a bunch of 11B20 slots available. I could enlist into one of those for the time being until I can attend an SFRE and get picked up.

I’d go the route you advised of just enlisting straight into an SF group, but I need to retake the ASVAB. (Last time I took it was in 2000-2001 and admittedly when I was younger, I probably didn’t take it seriously.) I’ve taken a bunch of practice tests and am confident of both my GT, and CO scores I get.

I agree with you 100% about making the decision. At this point I put to rest any “what ifs” My only question in my mind is how much I would regret not doing this and not giving it everything I have.

Thanks for the insight and help, I appreciate it !

Last edited by FuriousGeorge; 01-15-2018 at 13:36.
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Old 01-15-2018, 15:43   #6
exsquid
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Do not, under any circumstances, enlist in the NYNG! Depending on your actual location, the 20th Group company in Springfield MA or the 19th Group company in Middletown RI are your closest SF units. You want to enlist in to either MA or RI only after you have met with the unit you want to join and they have provided your recruiter a paragraph and line number. Personally, when I joined the NCNG I was coming over from the USNR. I avoided doing Boot Camp and AIT because the Guard Bureau granted me a MOS based off my prior military experience. My recruiter told me upfront, take any MOS they are willing to grant you, even if it is 88M because I had a 18 series paragraph and line number in my gaining company. I went to SFAS right before my 34th birthday, finished the Q three months shy of 36 and celebrated my 36th birthday in CDQC. Shit sucks when you are old but it is doable. Good luck.

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Old 01-16-2018, 06:58   #7
FuriousGeorge
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exsquid,

Thank you for your info, I appreciate it!
So If I join the unit directly, even as an alternative MOS (not an 18 series), it would be faster?

I know I'm on the upper end of the age spectrum, I'm sure it'll suck, but I think not doing this would suck more.
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:59   #8
HardRoad
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That's correct - at least in my experience, you'll get to the Q faster by joining an SF unit in a support role than you will trying to transfer into an SF unit from an outside.

Plus, to exsquid's point, join the Guard in a state that has the para and line number for the 18-series position that you want. Remember, when you join the Guard, you join a state militia plus the federal reserve. You can IST (inter-state transfer) from one state to another, but it can be a time consuming PITA, and it's a road-bump you can avoid by planning ahead.

Again, though, find a unit (or two) that you're comfortable commuting to, and get in touch with them. They can hook you up with the right recruiter and help you work through a lot of these issues. Do not do anything based on a recruiter's information or promises, unless that recruiter is aligned with an SF unit.
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Old 01-16-2018, 21:52   #9
ccrn
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Age shouldnt stop you if youre serious.

When I first joined (at 41 years of age) nobody, and I mean nobody was interested in me. Over a period of 18 months not one recruiter within three states of me would even speak to me over the phone. I finally drove 18 hours straight to Mobile, AL and demanded an APFT trypout at the line company there. They put me in touch with their recruiter right at the flagpole who I still owe a case of beer to.

I ended up going direct support, which I wont discuss here, but needless to say that involved another 11 hour drive, and refusal to leave until I was given a tryout. I dont know if anyone else here would recommend that you but I read two things on this board that never left me. Not in Iraq. Not in Afghanistan.

- "There are no obstacles, only opportunities for excellence."

- "Dont leave or get in the duece and a half unless they duct tape your *ss and throw you in."

At one point I trained at the SOT-D (landnav) and was offered a chance to come drill with them for a few months. Unfortunately I was MOBing at that time and had made a previous promise to my team sergeant to not leave our team. Honor. Point is, I was several years older than you. So its not impossible. But the guys over there are going to have to see MORE than a 35 year old with stars in his eyes. I think to be 18CMF (or support them directly) you have to be called. Thats my opinion having supported them for 6 years in the field and in combat.

If you love strenuous exercise, MMA, running, and crossfit, you might have a chance. I had to maintain a 20-40 mile per week base to keep my run under 15:00 and my 5 mile under 40 minutes which is a must even for support to go to any schools.

Another tip: you dont have to enlist in your native state. And I dont recommend it. If you want to be in a specific unit, go join it in their state. I didnt live in any of the states whos units I was in. If 18x is your dream the best thing to do is enlist directly into the unit if they still do that, or go support and put in for selection that way. Its much, much easier. No conventional unit is going to want to pay for your reenlistment and training, only to send you off to selection. And its not fair to them.

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Old Yesterday, 22:33   #10
exsquid
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The beauty and craziness of the NG for any unit and any MOS is that they need bodies to fill slots. It is the norm in regular NG units for guys to not possess the required MOS for the paragraph & line number held. Personally, I was in an 18B slot, despite not being an 18 Series, from the time I started SFIP until the day I came off Terminal Leave from the Q. Talk with the unit you want to join. They will tell you which Recruiter you should use or tell you exactly what you need to tell your Recruiter.

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