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Thread: OCS: Active Duty VS Reserve

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    Default OCS: Active Duty VS Reserve


    I am currently about to submit my OCS packet for active duty, having reserved (somewhat) a slot for 02Jan for OCS. My husband just left for Afghanistan a week ago. After researching multiple websites, it has come to my attention that training, including BCT all the way through OBC (BOLC III) may be anywhere from 9 months to 15 months. I saw that there could be up to four months of down time while waiting on a slot for BOLC II after OCS. Understanding that even after my husband returns from deployment, he is unable to accompany me even during my down time(s) waiting on slots. My question is, are there any training differences between the active duty component and the reserve component for OCS? Something was mentioned about being able to complete OCS and then not having to go to any other BOLC phases until I go active duty? I am somewhat confused with this, so if anyone has any 100% correct answers, and not guesses, it would be greatly appreciated. I really would rather not spend two years away from my husband, especially not-even-a-month-old newly weds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmyByrd08 View Post
    I am currently about to submit my OCS packet for active duty, having reserved (somewhat) a slot for 02Jan for OCS. My husband just left for Afghanistan a week ago. After researching multiple websites, it has come to my attention that training, including BCT all the way through OBC (BOLC III) may be anywhere from 9 months to 15 months. I saw that there could be up to four months of down time while waiting on a slot for BOLC II after OCS. Understanding that even after my husband returns from deployment, he is unable to accompany me even during my down time(s) waiting on slots. My question is, are there any training differences between the active duty component and the reserve component for OCS? Something was mentioned about being able to complete OCS and then not having to go to any other BOLC phases until I go active duty? I am somewhat confused with this, so if anyone has any 100% correct answers, and not guesses, it would be greatly appreciated. I really would rather not spend two years away from my husband, especially not-even-a-month-old newly weds.
    There is no BOLC I, II or III anymore. It is now broken into 2 phases BOLC-A and BOLC-B. BOLC-A is your commissioning source, so for you it would be OCS. BOLC-B is your branch training. There is still some downtime between BOLC-A/OCS and BOLC-B though. However since you will be spending that downtime at your BOLC-B site you should be PCS'd to your BOLC-B meaning you can take your family with you. How much downtime you have will also depend on what time of year you commission. If you commission in the Spring or Summer, you will probably be waiting a while to start BOLC-B. I say that because you have all the ROTC and West Point Graduates coming in not to mention OCS, which has a class that graduates every 3 weeks.

    I would expect that the down time between commissioning and BOLC-B will get shorter and shorter over the next year. Right now the Army is playing a little bit of catch up. I've met a couple of LTs down here at Gordon who graduated last year and because the Army moved from BOLC II/III to BOLC-B they have been waiting here at Gordon the BOLC-B classes to begin. I would expect it to take at least a year for you to complete all your training and that's assuming you don't get hurt or recycled. I started Basic back in early November and now I am waiting down here at Gordon for my class date to begin Signal BOLC and I am due to graduate in December. So it will have taken me roughly 13 months to complete all my training.

    The differences between Active Duty and Reserves. If you are Active Duty once you graduate from OCS and take any leave you may have or want to take you will proceed right to your BOLC-B site. There you will wait for your class date, while you wait you will do whats called "snowbirding". Basically you are placed in an administrative type job somewhere on post while you wait to class up. The most common position is probably being the XO for an AIT company.

    In the Reserves you will go home and continue to drill with your unit. Most likely you will not have a BOLC-B date for 6+ months. You will also attend BOLC-B TDY and return. So your family will not be moving with you.

    I'll say this, if you are planning on trying to go Active from the Reserves at any point. Go ahead and join Active Duty. It can be a difficult and lengthy process to switch from the Reserves to Active Duty. There are a couple of threads about it here on the forums.

    Is your husband enlisted or an officer? Is he Active or Reserves? Just curious. Since you will be Dual Military make sure you enroll in the Army Couples Program.


    I just finished OCS, so if you have any more questions let me know.

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    Wouldn't it be considered TDY for BOLC-B, seeing as it will not be my first duty station? So with that being said, my husband won't PCS there, right? I think that is what is throwing me off the most.... So if he can actually PCS with me to BOLC-B, the the only time spent solo (if I went Active Duty) is during BCT (9weeks) and OCS (12 weeks), correct?

    He is an AD E-5.

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    Negative on the solo time. The Army will try but does not have to keep you stationed at the same post. Also your career will even be more complicated since he is an enlisted soldier. The Army still have the "Fratrenization Policy" eventually one of you may be asked to depart.

    In this specific case your husband may want to seek advice from a JAG Officer prior to you making a final decision.
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    Yeah, sometimes I wish they weren't so anal about that whole policy. It's understandable, but at the same time, it is very frustrating. That is why we married. Once he returned from Afghanistan, there wouldn't be a possibility, from my understanding, because of the Frat Policy. I suppose we figured if we did it now, we would be "safe". A bit of a hasty marriage, I will add, but we were uncertainty what would happen if we tried after my commissioning and his deployment return. Let's cross our fingers it works. Divorce is a nasty process. Especially in the military. Been on both sides of the tracks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmyByrd08 View Post
    Wouldn't it be considered TDY for BOLC-B, seeing as it will not be my first duty station? So with that being said, my husband won't PCS there, right? I think that is what is throwing me off the most.... So if he can actually PCS with me to BOLC-B, the the only time spent solo (if I went Active Duty) is during BCT (9weeks) and OCS (12 weeks), correct?

    He is an AD E-5.
    Since you husband is in the Army, the Army wont send your husband to BOLC-B with you, so you will be separated. I would plan on being apart for the better part of a year.

    BOLC-B is a PCS move as long as you are there for 20 weeks or more, which most likely you will be. Ditto on what Dibble said. The Army will try and keep you two stationed together, but at the end of the day it comes down to needs of the Army.

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    Since he is AD, there is no possibility of him PCS'ing to BOLC-B with me regardless of how long I am there? This is why I am questioning Reserves vs. Active Duty. Being apart for up to two years straight will not work.

    C'est la vie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmyByrd08 View Post
    Since he is AD, there is no possibility of him PCS'ing to BOLC-B with me regardless of how long I am there? This is why I am questioning Reserves vs. Active Duty. Being apart for up to two years straight will not work.

    C'est la vie.
    I'm not going to say it's impossible, but I will say it is highly highly unlikely.

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    Well, I appreciate everyone's input on this thread. I definitely have some thinking to do. If any new information comes up, please keep me in the loop because at this point, I almost feel like I have to choose one over the other. Ugh.

    Thanks guys. You're the best.

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    Army Guard has plenty of options.. just saying..
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