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Is The Reserve a Good Fit For Me ?
Last Post 24 Jan 2017 04:01 PM by CPORJM. 4 Replies.
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survivormanUser is Offline
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survivorman

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22 Jan 2017 11:53 PM
    Hello, 

    First of all thank you for any advice,

    I am a recent college graduate receiving dual B.S. degrees in criminology and psychology, and I currently work as full-time law enforcement in my community. I have always wanted to serve in the military and expanding my knowledge of my field and training to me is something that can always be beneficial. 

    I was looking into joining the USCG as reserve enlisted so that I can still work my regular job and serve. With what my understanding is of being in the reserves that is possible? With my current education and experience I was interested in ME and it seems from what I can find that being an BM would be applicable to me as well. I currently reside in MI and I know there are stations near me. Are these jobs typically available to reservists in my area? 

    obviously, my next step would be to talk to a recruiter in my area. But, I would like to hear from those with some experience first.  

    Thank You,

    Surviviorman
    survivormanUser is Offline
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    survivorman

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    23 Jan 2017 12:45 AM
    In addition, what are the chances of me doing DEPOT rather than Basic and A school ? I have 140+ credit hours and will have 1 year LEO experience. And I am 24, not sure what exactly is relevant.

    Thanks
    CPORJMUser is Offline
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    CPORJM

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    23 Jan 2017 10:15 AM
    I've been in the Reserves for 17 years, so I can provide you some input. To answer your first question, yes. You can work your normal job and still serve in the Reserves, to have your regular life, but be available as operational needs or national events dicatate. That's the whole point of the Reserve program.

    Also know that the Reserve program recruits to fill specific jobs, or billets (to use the correct terminology). If there are no open billets nearby in the ratings you want, then either you don't enlist or you agree to go to a unit that has that billet, but it's beyond the Reasonable Commuting Distance (100 miles/round trip). If you agree to go beyond the RCD, that travel is on your dime. I don't recommend this for junior enlisted members, as this will eat up your monthly pay in a snap. What I've seen historically is that someone is all motivated to join and accepts a unit that's 200 miles from their home. After making that commute once a month for about a year, they become burned out pretty quick on that commute.

    As for DEPOT, you would qualify based on your educational background, but it's not likely you'll get an A School waiver.   The other thing that may be a hiccup is your age.  You need to be a minimum of 27 for the DEPOT program as a Reservist. You *MAY* be able to get an age waiver.  A School waivers are based on relevant civilian professional experience. This would be expecially true if you go BM. Unless you have a significant background in small boat operations, you won't get a waiver. As for ME, I'm guessing you'll not get a waiver either, as I don't see one year LE experience as being significant.

    As you mentioned, your next step would be to get in touch with a recruiter. Once you do that, you'll have a better idea of your options.

    Let me know if you have any further questions

    Regards
    "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."-Jonathan Swift
    survivormanUser is Offline
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    survivorman

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    24 Jan 2017 12:26 AM
    CPORJM,

    Thank you for your response. I was hoping you would find my post. I was researching the forum and found that you had been really knowledgeable with your own LEO experience and years in the service. If I do not get an age waiver for DEPOT would you suggest I just wait until I am 27 and then do DEPOT and A-School ? I mean, the only difference is 3 verse 8 weeks of training correct, or is there another advantage to that I am unaware of? If memory of reading your posts is accurate I believe you said you were a BM before you became a ME correct? Is that the route you would suggest for someone in my position (given that BM is an open position in my area). 

    I know I had read also that you had deployed for 12 months at one time, I completely understand that I can be deployed and I am happy to go where my country needs me; I was just curious if BM is a billet that commonly deploys when compared to others, I know I have heard that some billets are called upon more often then others. Like I said, I have no problem with it, I just want to know what I am getting myself into if I choose BM. 

    Lastly, from what I have read you have to give a little to get a little with the recruiters with what I want. I realize this is speculating, but if I wanted the billet of ME and I wanted DEPOT but I would be willing to go to any of the three stations near me (furthest is 154 miles), is that a reasonable request or am I expecting too much of an "ideal" situation?


    Thanks Again CPORJM, 

    Stay Safe  
    CPORJMUser is Offline
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    CPORJM

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    24 Jan 2017 04:01 PM
    Greetings... The major differences between DEPOT and the standard Boot Camp are the length of time (3 weeks vs. 8 weeks), the intensity, and the environment. In DEPOT, you're with a more mature, experienced group. You'll have people that are professionals in their civilian careers, as well as a number of prior service folks. In Boot Camp, you'd be with a bunch of kids barely out of high school. The other thing to consider is the military leave policy at your current law enforcement agency. Do they give you enough time to attend Boot Camp vs. DEPOT? Most agencies I know of only provide two weeks. I'm fortunate in that my agency provides 30 days full paid military leave, followed up by unlimited Special Military Pay (they make up the difference between my LE salary and CG salary).

    I was not a BM. My original rating was PS (Port Security Specialist), which was the predecessor to the ME rating. Since 2005, I've been in the IV (Criminal Investigator) rating. This rating is for those personnel assigned to Coast Guard Investigative Service detachments.

    As far as deployments, understand there are deployments and there are activations. An activation is where you're ordered to active duty and you report to your unit of assignment. In other words, the CG is now your full time job. A deployment is where you're ordered to active duty, and report someplace else. I've done both. As for your chances of this happening in the ratings you're considering, it all depends on CG needs and/or national/international events. I'd say as an ME, your chances are somewhat greater, however.

    If it was up to me, I'd shoot for an age waiver for DEPOT. If that doesn't come through, wait the three years and reapply. I don't think as a police officer, you need the total Boot Camp experience. Since you've been through a police academy, you've had that exposure.

    Think long and hard about taking that billet that's 154 miles from your home. Remember that's 300 miles round trip that you'll be making once a month. It may sound great now, but will it four years from now?

    That's my $ .02...Let me know if I can be of further assistance

    Regards
    "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."-Jonathan Swift
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