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LEO job vs Gitmo deployment


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  • LEO job vs Gitmo deployment

    Brief background: 28 years old, National Guard officer(been in for 9 years total), bachelors in Criminal Justice/Psychology. About 7 months ago I was hired as a Jail Deputy and I'm learning a lot. My plan was to work for a couple years gaining experience in the jail while taking advantage of all the overtime we're offered to erase my debt and then either transfer over to patrol for my county or, more likely, go work patrol for a major metro department. However, I was recently made aware of an opportunity for me to go with another unit to Guantanamo Bay on deployment at the end of the year for a year.

    Personally, I'm really interested in it, but I don't know if it's going to be particularly impressive on my resume for potential departments(especially considering I've already worked detainee operations overseas in Iraq for a year) in addition to it stalling my LEO aspirations for a year. I figure I'm at the point where it's poop or get off the pot on the LEO career considering my age, so I'm leaning towards not going so I can focus on testing for departments around this time next year, but I figure I'd see if anyone has any insight and if a deployment like that would help enough later on in getting my LEO career started to make up having to hold off for an extra year. Thanks for your advice!

  • #2
    It will not help get your career started at all and, as you noted, it will put you a year behind. That said, you are plenty young enough to go if you want to. Only you know how much you want it, if you will make considerably more money on active duty, etc. My concern would be leaving a new job with less than a year on and being gone for a year.


    • #3
      1.) 28 is not that old, depending on what state you're in the max age can be anywhere between 35 and 40 years old. Also, since you're already a (presumably) sworn leo, does that affect your age requirement for other departments? 2.) You mention paying off debt as a priority, as an E-5 I was taking home twice what I am now, as a leo, plus you would get free food and living quarters. Some agencies will even continue to pay you while you're deployed, something to look in to. Either way, your position is protected by USERRA so your seniority and pay raises will continue to accumulate. 3.) If you still have VA education benefits left over and aren't yet maxed out then having another activation can help you raise them, which can help you pursue additional educational goals as well as pay you more money. 4.) If you plan on making the reserves a career then this will increase your retirement points while decreasing your minimum retirement age (for receiving pension payments). 5.) If you plan on staying in the guard or end up staying in correction then this certainly wouldn't look bad on a resume, if you plan on going federal there is a good chance of working with some 1811's over there. 6.) While it may be a risk to put your testing on hold for other le agencies, what if you don't get hired anywhere in that time period anyway? You would have missed out on some decent pay in a tropical climate. Getting hired in le is a marathon, not a sprint. You may never get hired somewhere else, let alone within the next couple years, are you sure you want to give up an opportunity to make money, increase benefits, network with other le professionals, and make your resume more attractive just because you might be able to get hired on to some local le agency? When it comes down to it, it depends entirely on your motivation level. You're an officer so you can't expect to go over there and just go through the motions (but I'm not sure how the Army does it, maybe you can just skate the entire time, lol). So if it's not something you really want to do then let someone who hasn't deployed yet do it. Hopefully this helps, but as a final word I wouldn't turn down something I want to do for something that may help me get where I want to be someday but that isn't that enjoyable at the moment, especially if I'll be able to pick up where I left off when I return.
      Last edited by 3531Marine; 02-02-2015, 09:18 AM.
      Those who have struggled with failure more appreciate success; than those who succeed but never themselves test.


      • #4
        For what it's worth, one of my investigators was in the Army Reserves and had to pull a year in Gitmo. He was VERY glad to get back. I don't think he wanted to ever go back. (He's retired now so that's not an option anymore.)

        Thank you for your service, but I don't think a year in Gitmo will help your career chances.
        Officer Jay McGuire, Minneapolis Park Police EOW 5/14/2009 age 11
        Among Texas' finest
        Deputy Andy Taylor, Llano County SO EOW 5/9/2005
        Senior Deputy Jessica Laura Hollis, Travis County SO EOW 9/18/2014
        Darren H. Goforth, Harris County SO EOW 8/28/2015


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