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Very cool Florida National Guard program, check it out!

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  • Very cool Florida National Guard program, check it out!

    Howdy,

    Not exactly sure where this should go, but I figured since this is the Florida thread I would post it here.

    I am prior service Army and I have been looking for ways to go back into the military as an Officer. I looked into the Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and couldn't find any programs that didn't seem like a bear to get into. I stumbled upon the Army National Guard's 18 month State OCS program about a week ago. For those of you like me who had never heard of this program i will give you guys a quick rundown.

    Let me first mention that if you are concerned about getting deployed during your training, don't be. The NG has a policy in place that doesn't allow people in OCS training, or who aren't Job-specific qualified to get deployed. Now, if you are prior service and have served in Southwest Asia you also have a two year stabilization period in which you can't get deployed. I was skeptical at first about this, but the recruiter printed a copy of it out for me and let me have it.

    If you have served before you most likely will not have to redo basic training. If you are like me you will enlist as an O9S, which is basically an enlistment solely for the purpose of becoming an Officer.

    The program starts in March and from March to June/July you will drill as an Officer Candidate for two days out of the month. In June or July you will then attend a two week long Officer candidate school and after completion you will return home and continue the two day a month OCS training until June/July of the next year. That June or July you will once again go to the two week training and then after that you will be commissioned an Officer in the Florida Army National Guard.

    I am wanting to branch Military Intelligence, and my recruiter is telling me that he is going to put me into an MI unit prior to going to OCS so I can basically be guaranteed the MI slot.

    Now, you may be asking yourself, what are the qualifications to get this, well, they aren't too horribly bad.

    This page http://www.1800goguard.com/training/ocs.php has information on the requirements and it also has a little more info on the program. If you need more info the website has a page to request more on your own.

    I just wanted to post this so those who wanted to serve in the military initially or again would know of this option. I have been looking into ways to go back in for the past two years and none of them seem as good as this one.
    "Our citizenship in the United States is our national character...Our great title is AMERICANS." - Thomas Paine

    "The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone." - Harriet Beecher Stowe

  • #2
    I am a graduate of Georgias Army National Guard's 18 month OCS program. Florida OCS is our sister unit. We usually train at phase I and phase III together. We swap TAC officers once a year too. They are tough I wont lie, but they are a good group. They are part of Region C which includes GA, FL, PR, NC and SC

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    • #3
      Good luck to you with your endeavor, you will enjoy all of your wonderful times at Camp Blanding. I will warn you that OCS is hard. Half of the class quiting before graduation is not unheard of. It is worth it, you know already know how rewarding it is to serve, it is even more rewarding to lead. If you have any questions about the Guard, being an Officer, or OCS send me a PM, or just ask here.

      Comment


      • #4
        Good article on OCS in case you are interested.

        http://www.gxonline.com/past_issues/...aintenance.pdf

        Comment


        • #5
          Noneyet and Alpha, can you guys give me some more info on your experiences?

          What has been the best part, hardest part, easiest part? What would you have done more of if you could have? What would you have prepared for more prior to OCS?

          What hints, tips, suggestions can you give me?

          I have yet to sign the contract yet, my wife is interest in the program too, so i want to wait to make sure she can get in too. If not, i probably will do it anyways, but i just want to make sure I have all my ducks in a row before I sign the dotted line.
          "Our citizenship in the United States is our national character...Our great title is AMERICANS." - Thomas Paine

          "The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone." - Harriet Beecher Stowe

          Comment


          • #6
            For me, the hardest part of OCS was going to OCS once a month for 18 months. Active duty guys like to rag on the Guard calling us part time soldiers ands weekend warriors, but if youthink aboutit National Guard OCS is harder then active duty OCS.

            In active duty OCS, you are ther eeveryday. You have to be there. You have no choice. You have an NCO that wakes you up every morning to do PT. In Guard OCS, its all volunteer. Many a times I have been driving to OCS drill fully knowing that I am about to get messed with the entire weekend. I could have easily turned my car around and ent home and quit. It took discipline to drive on. In active duty OCS you have an NCO that wakes you up every morning to do PT. In guard OCS, we have to meet the same standard so that means we have to do PT during the month on our own. Nobody tomake us. We have to discipline ourselves to get up and run and keep in shape. That can be tough. Active duty OCS guys do the army and thats all. We have to do the army plus a civilian job.

            So, you tell me who has it tougher.

            The other tough part of OCS is just cooridnating things with other candidates throughout the month. You my be the Platoon leader and your Platoon Sergeant may live at the other end of the state and you two have to coordinate the up comming months training as well as dissemnate it to the class.

            Again, that was tough for me. Others may have other opinions. Hope this helps.

            Comment


            • #7
              hmmm

              The promises of the military are a beautiful thing. I know they have rules about deployment in the NG that are entirely different then AD. Just keep in mind all rules in the military can change at a drop of a hat. Being prior service you should know that.
              As far as the Florida NG's M.I. units, they're mostly Counter-Intel and Interrogators. Those schools are long, and you'll be in Arizona for atleast a year. I know officers don't go through the same courses as the enlisted, but you still need to go through the Intelligence Officer's basic course.

              Good luck to you and your endevour. I almost signed up with the Florida NG when I first got out too, but my B.S. meter started to go off and I said no thank you.
              “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

              "You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him."

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for all the help guys.

                Alpha, I definately can understand having to make that drive to go to something where people are going to be yelling at you. For me it'll be a 2 1/2 hour drive, but hopefully if my wife joins also we will be there to motivate each other. And, since i'll only be a few months out of the Police Academy I should be in good shape for whatever they throw at me (excluding the road marches).

                Justhomp, I also definately am aware of the Army's needs over my own. I know i'm pretty much non-deployable, but that all depends on if the Army REALLY needs me or not. If the U.S. gets attacked you can be damn sure we are probably gonna go, but if that happens it won't matter where you are anyways, cuz your goin!
                "Our citizenship in the United States is our national character...Our great title is AMERICANS." - Thomas Paine

                "The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone." - Harriet Beecher Stowe

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by alpha1906 View Post
                  For me, the hardest part of OCS was going to OCS once a month for 18 months. Active duty guys like to rag on the Guard calling us part time soldiers ands weekend warriors, but if youthink aboutit National Guard OCS is harder then active duty OCS.

                  In active duty OCS, you are ther eeveryday. You have to be there. You have no choice. You have an NCO that wakes you up every morning to do PT. In Guard OCS, its all volunteer. Many a times I have been driving to OCS drill fully knowing that I am about to get messed with the entire weekend. I could have easily turned my car around and ent home and quit. It took discipline to drive on. In active duty OCS you have an NCO that wakes you up every morning to do PT. In guard OCS, we have to meet the same standard so that means we have to do PT during the month on our own. Nobody tomake us. We have to discipline ourselves to get up and run and keep in shape. That can be tough. Active duty OCS guys do the army and thats all. We have to do the army plus a civilian job.

                  So, you tell me who has it tougher.

                  The other tough part of OCS is just cooridnating things with other candidates throughout the month. You my be the Platoon leader and your Platoon Sergeant may live at the other end of the state and you two have to coordinate the up comming months training as well as dissemnate it to the class.

                  Again, that was tough for me. Others may have other opinions. Hope this helps.
                  I am the OCS Project officer for my unit (dont know why I was ROTC) and this is what everybody that goes tells me, thats why so many people quit. As far as preparing: run, run, run, PT, PT, PT, learn to love things sucking again, and then run some more.

                  You cannot be deployed until l you are finished with OBC and that does not even start untill you finish OCS, so you have a good 2.5 yrs before you get deployed.

                  Check for the sign on bonus, i think it is up to $8,000 for 6 years +2 IRR. Good Luck

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thankfully my wife wants to do it with me, so hopefully we can motivate each other.

                    If I join now i'll have to wait till next March to go, but since I have a two year stabilization I should be okay in regards to a deployment.
                    "Our citizenship in the United States is our national character...Our great title is AMERICANS." - Thomas Paine

                    "The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone." - Harriet Beecher Stowe

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LCPLPunk View Post
                      Thankfully my wife wants to do it with me, so hopefully we can motivate each other.

                      If I join now i'll have to wait till next March to go, but since I have a two year stabilization I should be okay in regards to a deployment.
                      That may make things harder actually. Think about it. You come home stressed about drill. Who is ther eto confort you? Your wife will be stressed out too. I am not knocking you, but dont think that will make it easier.


                      I completed OCS in 2000. Went to Infantry Officer Basic two weeks later. graduated Dec 2000. two weeks prior to my graduation, the unit that had been assigned to but not yet drilled with got called up for a Bosnia rotation. My Battalion Commander wrote to my Officer basic Course and requested I graduate early to join my "new" unit at FT Stewart. I never attened my graduation. I litereally drove from Ft Benning (OBC) to Ft Stewart. I did get to go home on leave a few days later to get things in order. And I was a Guardsman at the time. So, please dont think that inthis day and age there is much of a difference between the National Guard and the active duty. There are differences, but they are narrowing every year.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for all the info guys. I still definately want to become an Officer, but I think I may try to go for the full OCS so i'll be done alot quicker. I don't want to be one of those guys that drops out of the State OCS and has to go enlisted.

                        AND

                        I don't want any chance of getting mobilized before I finish the Police Academy and FTO.
                        "Our citizenship in the United States is our national character...Our great title is AMERICANS." - Thomas Paine

                        "The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone." - Harriet Beecher Stowe

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LCPLPunk View Post
                          Thanks for all the info guys. I still definately want to become an Officer, but I think I may try to go for the full OCS so i'll be done alot quicker. I don't want to be one of those guys that drops out of the State OCS and has to go enlisted.

                          AND

                          I don't want any chance of getting mobilized before I finish the Police Academy and FTO.
                          No, no. I think youmisunderstood. I didnt drop out of OCS. I graudated fromOCS, got commissioned and was in the procesof graduating from OBC(Officer Basic Course. Thats different from OCS) I did graduate, i just wasnt able to attend the ceremony. I am currently on the Captain'slist and in a Captainslot, just waiting to put thepaperwork in.

                          Once you are in OCS, you cannot be pulled out to enlist. You are in effect assigned to the OCS unit as a solider, and the OCS unit is a non deployable unit. So there is no chance of you being called out of OCS to enlist.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Didn't misunderstand, i know you weren't taken out of OCS.

                            I know I can't be pulled out for mobilizations, but i'm just very worried that hurricanes will hit this year and my unit will be called up to go to something. If I get hired by the Sheriff they will be paying for the Academy and paying me at the same time. If I get called up in the middle it could be very detrimental to my career. :P

                            I'm also worried about the 1 in 3 graduating OCS statistic. I know i'm not worried about voluntarily dropping, but if I get injured or somthing off the wall happens I don't want any chance of having to go back enlisted. Now if you know that this isn't the case, lemme know!
                            "Our citizenship in the United States is our national character...Our great title is AMERICANS." - Thomas Paine

                            "The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone." - Harriet Beecher Stowe

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You are trying to do a lot at one time. Go to the Police Academy, go to National Guard OCS, and now you want to get a Masters degree. part of being aleader is makind sound decisions. its your life and only you know how much you ca ndo . Personally I could not and would not attempt to go through the police acaemy and OCS at the same time. They are both stressful and demanding environments,one would suffer. But thats just me

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