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View Full Version : Can I join the National Guard and stay out of Iraq?


Rigamarole
09-04-2006, 12:46 AM
My feeling of course is no, but I want some informed opinions before I completely brush off the idea.

I'm strongly interested in (and have an aptitude for) linguistics, and have tinkered with the idea of joining up with the NG for the benefits (namely, tuition assistance) in the capacity of a translator/interpreter. I don't know any Arabic/Farsi but my understanding is that they will pay to train me.

I generally admire the way the military runs its operations - the structure, discipline, & efficiency - these are things I like. But I refuse to go to Iraq. Is there a way I can be guaranteed to stay here while I participate? Does being enrolled in college secure this or will they pull you out and ship you off anyway?

Thanks,
Rigamarole

cerberus
09-04-2006, 12:47 AM
Once you've been enlisted, they can assign you as they see fit during your commitment period.

madmonk28
09-04-2006, 04:18 AM
While it is not an absolute certainty that you would go to Iraq, you very well might be sent there and if you study Arabic language you would really increase the chances. As cerberus said, they will deploy you as they see fit and there is very little you could do about it.

It would be ill-advised to join the national guard during a time of war in Iraq while refusing to go to Iraq. You are setting yourself up for a nasty legal confrontation at the minimum. It's a volunteer military so joining and then refusing to go seems to be a worse choice than just not joining in the first place.

Nava
09-04-2006, 04:36 AM
If you want to be in linguistics, but not Irak, I'd advise learning Chinese or Japanese or... well, basically, not learning those languages that are necessary in Irak.

But, like cerberus said, it's not the kind of place where you can say "oh, but that isn't what I wanted to do when I joined!" If there's a much larger shortage for Arabic than Japanese, you may still be told "Arabic for you".

ElvisL1ves
09-04-2006, 08:20 AM
Can't find a cite quickly, but I've seen news stories to the effect that Guard troops have a higher chance of being deployed to Iraq than Regular Army troops.

FormerMarineGuy
09-04-2006, 08:47 AM
If you are interested in some aspects of the military and want to serve your country, have you considered possibly getting a job as a civilian employee (non-CIA type job)? Doing so gives you more control of what you do, and you also get to put your skills in use, help the military, etc.

Chefguy
09-04-2006, 09:59 AM
At this point nearly everybody is being sent there, and there is an active back-door draft going on for those who have separated from the service. Reserve units are being called up to feed the Beast and it would seem that it's only a matter of time before the Boy Scouts should be looking to their heels. If you don't want to go to war, stay OUT of the military. Once in, you have little choice.

flurb
09-04-2006, 01:36 PM
So . . . you're proposing that the National Guard invest thousands of dollars in subsidizing your education and training you as a translator in Arabic or Farsi, on the condition that they not send you to the place where those skills are most desperately needed.

Sounds like a GREAT deal for them!

Lee from Texas
09-04-2006, 02:03 PM
No. Don't do it. There are better ways to pay for your education. Like going into debt. You can always get out of debt. You'll never get out of a coffin.

Some will call me an asshole for saying this but I'm getting out after more than ten years. I'm tired of being told what to do by incompetent dumbasses. Yeah, you'll find that anywhere, but a civilian boss's incompetence will never cost me my life. If I feel like it might, I can tell him or her to go to hell and not go to prison for it.

Don't think that having a special skill means you will only deploy to use that skill. EVERYONE is getting deployed in infantry roles. I'm an M1 tank crewman. I've been deployed 3 times and never in a tank. I know that tanker is not as specialized as linguist, but you get the idea. BTW the battalion that relieved us in Afghanistan was made up of clerks and band members.

You can't spend it if you're dead.

FormerMarineGuy
09-04-2006, 02:35 PM
No. Don't do it. There are better ways to pay for your education. Like going into debt. You can always get out of debt. You'll never get out of a coffin.

Some will call me an asshole for saying this but I'm getting out after more than ten years. I'm tired of being told what to do by incompetent dumbasses. Yeah, you'll find that anywhere, but a civilian boss's incompetence will never cost me my life. If I feel like it might, I can tell him or her to go to hell and not go to prison for it.

Don't think that having a special skill means you will only deploy to use that skill. EVERYONE is getting deployed in infantry roles. I'm an M1 tank crewman. I've been deployed 3 times and never in a tank. I know that tanker is not as specialized as linguist, but you get the idea. BTW the battalion that relieved us in Afghanistan was made up of clerks and band members.

You can't spend it if you're dead.

Wow Lee, bad experience?

Not everyone enlists for the college education. But either way, I am glad to see you got out safe.

ouryL
09-04-2006, 02:41 PM
If you want to be in linguistics, but not Irak, I'd advise learning Chinese or Japanese or... well, basically, not learning those languages that are necessary in Irak.

But, like cerberus said, it's not the kind of place where you can say "oh, but that isn't what I wanted to do when I joined!" If there's a much larger shortage for Arabic than Japanese, you may still be told "Arabic for you".

Study Korean!! ;)

Lee from Texas
09-04-2006, 04:32 PM
Wow Lee, bad experience? .........

.

I could go on for days.

Every night after we pulled 12 hours of guard duty in a tower in Afghanistan, we'd go back to the barracks and talk about what a bunch of dickheads we worked for. We always came to the same conclusion; the camraderie is great but not worth all the bullshit. We were also QRF. That sucked too. We once got sent on a security mission for a US VIP. When we arrived, someone from the Secret Service said "what are you guys doing here? We didn't request you". It was our dumbass commander trying to get us (himself) some glory. That idiot got injured on leave and couldn't come back for a few months. His idiot stand-in decided to send a bunch of guys to other locations. He wanted them to get into a firefight because it's beneficial to an officer's career to lead men in combat. Guess what happened at one of those bases when they showed up? That's right, the people there said "What are you doing here? We didn't request you". They had trouble feeding our guys and there weren't enough beds. Some of our guys were sleeping outside in bomb shelters.

I talked to guys who are getting out after 15 years. I could go on for days.......

Bear_Nenno
09-04-2006, 07:31 PM
There's no way to tell if you're going to deploy or not. It's a dice roll. You could enlist as an infantryman and volunteer to deploy--even send emails to your branch headquarters requesting a combat tour. And you may still never deploy.
There's no way to be sure, either way.

Danalan
09-04-2006, 07:46 PM
My son joined before the current debacle. He's learned Korean, and is an interrogation specialist. He hasn't deployed overseas, yet, and his unit is not looking to do so. If he wanted to go, he could -- apparently the interrogation skill set trumps the language you learned. In other words, an Eastern language doesn't keep you out of the war. It's basically a crap shoot because the people in charge are either morons or hamstrung, or both.

If you don't want people shooting at you, don't join the military. Particularly during a war.

black rabbit
09-04-2006, 08:51 PM
I've got a cousin who joined the Navy, figuring they'd train him to fix choppers and put him on a boat, where he'd see the world, &c.

They trained him to fix copters, allright, but then they stuck him at Balad AFB for a year.

newcrasher
09-04-2006, 10:44 PM
Of course no one ever expects the Spanish Inquisition...

Mississippienne
09-04-2006, 10:58 PM
With all due respect, Rigamarole, it does not sound like you are at all a good candidate for the National Guard. Some other ideas to fund your education:

- Apply for lots and lots of scholarships
- Join Americorps *NCCC (http://www.americorps.org). No one shoots at you, it's only a 9-month commitment, and you get almost $5,000 in college money. And if you don't like it, they fly you home.
- Bust your ass working full-time for a couple of years and save up your money to go back to school.

Airman Doors, USAF
09-05-2006, 11:27 AM
At this point nearly everybody is being sent there, and there is an active back-door draft going on for those who have separated from the service.

This is not true, as has been demonstrated time and again here. Since it's still being passed around as truth, I'll debunk it again.

When you sign up, it says explicitly on your enlistment contract that you have such and such commitment of active duty service or such and such commitment of Reserve/Guard service, and then it tells you that you have a specified period of time in the IRR when you are eligible for recall. Until that time is done you are not finished with your commitment. It is not a "backdoor draft" because it is part of your obligation, one that you agree to when you sign up. In the case of officers, they serve at the pleasure of the President and as such are liable to recall at any time unless they resign their commission (which has ancillary penalties such as the surrender of retirement benefits and such).


Reserve units are being called up to feed the Beast and it would seem that it's only a matter of time before the Boy Scouts should be looking to their heels. If you don't want to go to war, stay OUT of the military. Once in, you have little choice.

The rhetoric above notwithstanding, I would also recommend that you do not join the military. It doesn't sound like you're willing to do certain things in fulfillment of your obligation, and as others have said once you're in you sacrifice the ability to choose as a condition of your training.