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Ask Military Martha- National Guard Questions

HI Military Martha!
I hope you can help me out, I’m a nervous wife and I’ve got some questions about the National Guard. My husband is thinking of joining but I feel really in the dark about almost everything in the National Guard. Where would he be sent for training? How likely is he to be deployed? How long will he be gone at a time? Will I be able to contact him? Does it matter how long his contract is? (he said he would be doing a three years active duty contract with 4 years on reserve…i think, I really don’t know, Im so lost) HELP ME! Thanks 🙂
Sincerely,
Kayla

 

Dear Kayla-

Well shoot fire and save the matches!  First of all if your hubby has joined welcome to the Military!  I’m so far behind in my correspondence you’d think I got molasses in my britches! But let’s sit down here and see if we can answer some of your questions darlin’- cause as Churchill said- “Ain’t nothin’ to fear but fear itself”, or somethin’ like that!

Where would he be sent for training?

In the Army ya’ll they call their jobs MOS- or Military Occupation Specialties.  To answer this question I’d have to know what your honey’s MOS is and then I can tell ya more than likely where he’d be headed.  I can tell ya it’s gonna be a long few months though- he’ll go through Basic training where he’ll learn to be a soldier (or whatever other service he’s joined) and then they’ll likely send him off to his MOS training in a different part of the country.  I can promise you he’ll come out tougher than a two dollar steak but he’ll be better for it!

How likely is he to be deployed?

Well here’s where I’m gonna shame the Devil and tell ya the God’s honest truth, we’re at war darlin’… which means it’s highly likely he will be deployed at some point.  Now there are factors to consider- his MOS, his unit’s designation and whether he’s in military schools or training that may delay when he goes, but to think he ain’t never gonna go… well that just ain’t realistic.  I’d love ta tell ya you can make a silk purse outta a sow’s ear, but that just ain’t true.  Soldiers go to war, that’s why they’re soldiers.

How long will he be gone at a time?

I know I keep sayin’ depends on… but it does depend on a lot of factors.  Knowin’ that he’s gonna go and acceptin’ that as inevitable is half the battle.  Army soldiers are gone for a year, sometimes a little longer.  Air Force, Marines and Navy have shorter deployments- so again… depends on his service and MOS.  One thing ya can count on is that you’ll miss him to pieces and if yer lucky it will give ya’ll a chance to strengthen yer bonds of marriage!  I don’t have to be a bad thing!

Will I be able to contact him?

The way the Army works- and I keep sayin’ Army cause that’s what I know… you won’t be able to contact him for the first several weeks of Basic training.  They gotta tear him down so they can rebuild him into a lean, mean, fighting machine!  Once he gets through Basic and heads to AIT- Advance Individual Training, he’ll be allowed regular phone calls and this is a great time to practice writing those love letters!  When he gets deployed, communication home can be as rare as an honest politician or as frequent as finding rabbits in the carrot patch.  Again it all depends on if he gets posted to a place with computers, phones and regular service.  When SGM Martha was deployed this last time I was lucky if I got a phone call once a month and an email once or twice the whole deployment.  But before that when he was in Iraq he could call everyday and email once a week, but you won’t be able to call him when you wanna.  That’s just a fact of life!

Does it matter how long is contract is?

His contract will be whatever he and the recruiter decide he wants to serve.  When I was in I was “active” for 6 years and “inactive” for 2- my contract was for a total of 8 years.  Active was the one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer commitment, Inactive means that I was no longer actively involved by doing the one weekend a month, but could be called back to service for a deployment for 2 years after my contract ended.  I do not know what his contract would involve… but you can ask him or his recruiter if it’s not clear to you.  National Guard soldiers typically only have to be in uniform for one weekend a month for the duration of their service, and they do a two week training every year.  I usually plan a girls’ weekend when he’s at drill and take a trip home to Missouri to see my family when he’s at his two week training.  So it ain’t too bad- let’s face it an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

 

All good questions Kayla- remember there’s strength in numbers, so make friends of your fellow National Guard Wives and keep readin’ the HUN!  Hope this answers some of our concerns- but the most important thing is to talk to your husband- he’ll have more answers about the specifics of what ya’ll be facing!  Good luck and Godspeed!

 

Military Martha

Military Martha

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1 thought on “Ask Military Martha- National Guard Questions”

  1. Hi Martha, first I want to say your blog is awesome…I am the spouse of a Pennyslvania Army National Guardsman who has worked AGR for Recruiting and Retention for almost 9 years and he has been in for 13. I wanted to offer you my assistance should there be any questions regarding Recruiting. I presently run a Facebook page under Pennsylvania Army National Guard – Philadelphia. I am always looking for discussions to participate in and my husband does interstate transfers, active duty contracts and he is the go-to-guy for prior services, etc so I can help to keep everyone up-to-date with information.

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