Army Career's Guide

Active Reserve

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or Reserves

Active Duty
or Reserves

The United States Military
consists of 5 separate
branches – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Like the other branches, the US Army is split
between active duty
personnel and its reserve component.
In addition to these,
the Army and the Air
Force also boast National
Guard units as well.

Servicemen and women
who are active duty
are full-time personnel who fulfill the traditional role of constantly training and maintaining their combat readiness. These
soldiers fulfill
a huge variety of missions
and are the first ones expected to respond to emergencies and crises all
over the globe.

Army Reserve units are comprised
of part-time personnel.
These individuals generally
keep their civilian
jobs while maintaining
their military skills.
National Guard units
are very much like this
as well, but serve their
states as well as their
nation. In times of local emergencies, state governors may call up their National Guard units to respond. Several units
in the National Guard
predate the creation
of the United States, thus beginning a proud tradition of service.

There are some obvious
differences between
the National Guard and
active duty personnel.
Reservists and Guardsmen train one weekend per month and form for an annual two-week exercise.
While they receive pay for these training events, they
do not have access to
base facilities or services
that active duty personnel
enjoy, and often drive
several hours uncompensated
for their training exercises.

There can be some competition and rivalry between active duty and Reserve/Guard soldiers. However, in situations where
both Guardsmen and active
duty personnel train
together, these issues
are often balanced out
once both sides realize
the benefits that the
other can offer. Active
Duty personnel often
find that vastly divergent
backgrounds of the Guardsmen
offer a world of experience
in a given field, or
just simple familiarity
with their home region.
Guardsmen find that
the full-time active
duty individuals are
able to offer help with
equipment or mission
strategies that benefit
the Guardsmen because
of the significant amount
of time the active duty
personnel spend on these
tasks as “full-timers.”

Very often, former active
duty personnel find
that after separation
from the service, they
might miss the disclipline
of military life, or
find that they want
to continue training
for a particular skill,
and joining the reserves
is the perfect way to
balance continuing education
and training while still
fully participating
in their civilian lives.

Find out more about
the US Military at

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