Ex Signals now National Guard Plumber

Funnily enough there was a Glaswegian at my plumber training who had moved to America after getting married to a yank through online video games so that was surprising, he hadn’t been in back home though. Being British is one of the hardest nationalities to be when it comes to emigrating to the US. The usual type of Brit that comes to America is one of those edumacated types so I can’t see a reason/need/want to join the armed forces. I just keep doing it because I’m slightly thick.
What about ex regulars, is it something that happens much? In my first TA unit I think at least a quarter of us were ex regs.
 
What about ex regulars, is it something that happens much? In my first TA unit I think at least a quarter of us were ex regs.

Not uncommon, especially from those who had a number of years in already, decided to get out of the active Army, but still wanted to make 20 years in service so as to gain eligibility for retirement benefits, or those who have found good civilian career opportunities but didn't want to completely separate from the enjoyment of the Army and sense of service. I'd say it's less than a quarter, but it's certainly nowhere near a remarkable thing.

The usual type of Brit that comes to America is one of those edumacated types so I can’t see a reason/need/want to join the armed forces. I just keep doing it because I’m slightly thick.

In fairness, there are some extremely good financial benefits to joining the military as a reservist, even if you're educated and in a well-paying civilian job. The biggest is the VA loan. With house prices going through the roof, a mortgage which is backed by the government will normally provide a lower interest rate, and you will not have to front a typical 20% down payment. In fact, for a VA loan, you may not need to front any down payment at all. And, of course, the post-9/11 GI bill can be transferred to your kid so that he/she doesn't need to take out as big a college loan. (Watch out for state level benefits as well, such as Texas' Hazelwood Act).

The healthcare benefits are of much less use to a reservist until retirement, unless you're just looking at the cash as a source to pay the premiums of whatever health care plan you're on on the civilian side. Retirement itself has gotten very complicated. I'm on the old "High-20", which works just off retirement points and bases from the base pay of an active duty soldier of the same rank and time in service. So at 21 years complete, if I were to retire tomorrow, my pension which I would start drawing at age about 59 would be about 20% of the base pay of an active duty LTC, because that's how many 'points' I have accumulated over the years including schools, deployments etc. It's nowhere enough to live on on its own, but it's free money for life to be added to your other savings or benefits. In my case, at current pay scales, just over $2,000/mo.

As a more recent recruit, you are probably on the TSP, sortof the Army's version of a 401k plan, where you specifically divert some of your pay into savings, and the government will match that saving by putting a percentage of its own into the savings account as well. This is one of those ones where the more you put in sooner (at least to the limit of the match), the more benefit you'll see at retirement.
 
There used to be a small stipend that the Army Reserve paid to unit commanders for just such reasons, because commanding an Army Reserve unit means a lot of detail work has to be done "off the clock" to ensure a successful Battle Assembly. As far as I know though, this small amount was discontinued after FY 89. My friend the Captain, still grumbles about this loss to this day. I don't know what the Guard does because that is State run and the States have a funny way of doing business; they even have their own regulations concerning certain subjects.
Of course there's no additional pay from the States, don't be silly. We haven't the budget for it.
There is something in theory called "RMAs" , "Readiness Management Assembly", which is a unit of pay in addition for folks who are doing additional work outside of hours, but they are very stingily allocated by the States to the Units, and we usually end up giving them to junior enlisted who are doing things which require taking time off work to get done as they can less easily afford to take the hit.
 
Thanks to the OP for creating an interesting, informative thread and also to our American posters for their input. Fascinating stuff.
To the OP; as an ex Scaley, to another ex Scaley, I salute you and wish you all the very best in your new career.
Certa Cito!
 
When I joined the TA I was exempt recruit training as I had been out of the regulars for less than four years. Is there anything similar for the Guard?
 
Of course there's no additional pay from the States, don't be silly. We haven't the budget for it.
There is something in theory called "RMAs" , "Readiness Management Assembly", which is a unit of pay in addition for folks who are doing additional work outside of hours, but they are very stingily allocated by the States to the Units, and we usually end up giving them to junior enlisted who are doing things which require taking time off work to get done as they can less easily afford to take the hit.
I haven't thought about RMAs for ages, but yes, they are still around (or was when I retired in 1999). Usually held by higher headquarters and passed out grudgingly and parsimoniously in 4 hour blocks. AR 140-185 covers how many RMAs an individual Army Reserve soldier can receive in a fiscal year (12 max?)
 
When I joined the TA I was exempt recruit training as I had been out of the regulars for less than four years. Is there anything similar for the Guard?
Yes. Similarly for folks who do a break in service and decide to go back into the Army. If you're less than five years break, you can just put on the uniform and go back in. Anything outside of that, you can do a prior-service refresher course, which also gets you back up to speed.

However, that wasn't always the case. At least back in 2019, a ten-year-break required going back through.
 
Yes. Similarly for folks who do a break in service and decide to go back into the Army. If you're less than five years break, you can just put on the uniform and go back in. Anything outside of that, you can do a prior-service refresher course, which also gets you back up to speed.

However, that wasn't always the case. At least back in 2019, a ten-year-break required going back through.

It is now two years, or was when I left, anything more than that and recruit training has to be done again. How long is the refresher course, what is the course content?
 
According to this, if you did a 'ground combat' basic (US Army, USMC, or certain specific courses in the Navy or Air Force), you don't need to do Basic or the Prior Service Integration Course under any circumstances, but a five-year-break or more requires the refresher course.

https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_pubs/DR_a/pdf/web/ARN19498_AD2019-31_Web_Final.pdf

Prior Service Integration Course is from what I can tell, it's a six-week course instead of regular Basic's 9 or 10. The Army Refresher Course apparently is 5 weeks. However, it seems rare and folks get chucked into the PSIC anyway if there are sufficient trainees to run a platoon. Another option is that, at commander's discretion, the troop is inserted into a Basic Training platoon after Red phase (the 'instill discipline, this is how you march' phase) and skip the first three weeks or so.
 
I'm pretty sure all the ex regulars, certainly the ones I saw, completed the entire course regardless of prior cap badge, op tours etc. Most of them just got on with it, it was simply a means to an end. A few whinged, but not many. Up until a few years ago, ex regulars were being offered enlistment 'bonuses' (bribes) to join. Ten grand after competing, I think, three years. Other recruits were also getting bonuses after completing each phase of training. Even that couldn't get enough people through the door, hence the dross that is currently filling the ranks.
 
I'm pretty sure all the ex regulars, certainly the ones I saw, completed the entire course regardless of prior cap badge, op tours etc. Most of them just got on with it, it was simply a means to an end. A few whinged, but not many. Up until a few years ago, ex regulars were being offered enlistment 'bonuses' (bribes) to join. Ten grand after competing, I think, three years. Other recruits were also getting bonuses after completing each phase of training. Even that couldn't get enough people through the door, hence the dross that is currently filling the ranks.
When I got out I had to go and do a TA look at life day (buckshee couple of days at home) and was told I would only need to do phase two as it was a different capbadge that was my closest unit.
 
Thanks to the OP for creating an interesting, informative thread and also to our American posters for their input. Fascinating stuff.
To the OP; as an ex Scaley, to another ex Scaley, I salute you and wish you all the very best in your new career.
Certa Cito!
Appreciate it. I would usually input some horrible , screaming, corps saying here but I’ll save it to prevent everyone from vomiting over their keyboard.
 
Yes. Similarly for folks who do a break in service and decide to go back into the Army. If you're less than five years break, you can just put on the uniform and go back in. Anything outside of that, you can do a prior-service refresher course, which also gets you back up to speed.

However, that wasn't always the case. At least back in 2019, a ten-year-break required going back through.

When I went to Sill for basic in 81 the 3rd Plt Drill (the only infantry Drill) took a one look at one of our recruits who was older and rushed over and hugged him.

they had been in the same fireteam of the 101st in the A Shau Valley and An Khe back in 68-69. Interesting first Class A inspection when the pvt. has a combat patch and valor awards and the inspecting Bn Cdr has none. IIRC he was the only one allowed a mustache in our Battery of trainees.

Basic from then on for him was a gentleman's course.
 
When I got out I had to go and do a TA look at life day (buckshee couple of days at home) and was told I would only need to do phase two as it was a different capbadge that was my closest unit.
Phase two as in trade training? AIUI, someone who goes from Corps to Infantry might be exempt recruit training but should do CIC at Catterick. Everyone has to do selection, not that one, though, regardless of previous service. Again, that was certainly the case when I was still doing a bit.
 
Phase two as in trade training? AIUI, someone who goes from Corps to Infantry might be exempt recruit training but should do CIC at Catterick. Everyone has to do selection, not that one, though, regardless of previous service. Again, that was certainly the case when I was still doing a bit.
Yes trade training, although the unit wasn’t infantry. Somebody else can charge around thetford/sennybridge/otterburn at the weekend for fun but it wasn’t going to be me.
 
When I got out I had to go and do a TA look at life day (buckshee couple of days at home) and was told I would only need to do phase two as it was a different capbadge that was my closest unit.

The TA unit (Yeomanry, naturally, as was the RSIGS way) I looked at didn't have any RTGs (nor even DTGs) just Wombats. No way was I dropping down to relay or rebro so I bimbled off.
 
Enjoyed reading the initial post,apologies haven’t read all five pages.
So you’re a Brit, who married an American, meaning you qualified to join the US military? I didn’t realise you could join that way.
How many days do you do in the National Guard? Is it good pay in comparison to hear? What’s the retirement age?
Was sat in my Puma at Srebrenica back in 2003-ish, US soldier wandered over and asked if he could have a look at the helicopter, in a broad Essex accent. He’d gone over on a sports scholarship, married a local girl, fancied the army, but gone guard first as it thought it might have been an easier way in, had only been in a few months when his unit got pinged for Bos.

We’d grown up less than 5 miles away from each other.
 
One thing I will add to this thread.

I was terribly disappointed in the naming conventions for platoons etc.

At Harrogate I remember the company and platoons being named after battle honours. As a crow you were encouraged to read up on them, asked questions on them. Company orders had a VC recipient on the front every day and their citation. In the US the names are generic with no meaning. At phase 1 it was echo ‘emperors’ and at phase 2 it was delta ‘dawgs’. This might seem nit picky but I remember enjoying learning about the battle honours etc and I was interested to learn more whilst I was at the American basic training but there was literally non of that.
 

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