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Thread: PS joining the reserves as a 68W. What to expect?

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    Thumbs up PS joining the reserves as a 68W. What to expect?

    Hey everyone. Just signed up and wanted to get some info on some questions I've had. A little history about me first:
    -8 years prior Navy loading bombs on jets
    -Separated as an E-4 (every Sailor needs to go to Captains Mast at least once in their career.....and the Marines really really look down on shops having fun or "hazing" as they called it)
    -Currently in school getting my associates in Respiratory Therapy
    -I don't want to do 68V if I can help it. As much as I love RT I want to expand my medical knowledge and background and don't want to give breathing tx for the next 40 years of my life

    Now that that's over with here are my questions. Army won't send me to BCT until after my graduation (which is good) and 68W is a job that "will train" so they won't have to send me to AIT. For any 68W's out there, what is it like? I hate saying it this way but what is a "typical" day in the life of a medic? And if any of you are reserve, what are you drill weekends like?

    Thanks a ton in advance

    -Shipwreck

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    Moderator MSG Glenn's Avatar
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    As far as I know there aren't any 68Ws on site. Some have enlisted a while back but we haven't heard from them since they shipped. I can't help much because I was Airborne Infantry in the Army, UDT/SEAL in the Navy, a good distance removed from Medic. All of the "Docs" I knew seemed to like their job & were all capable in performing it. Fortunately I had little personal need of their services, lol.

    What I can tell you, & you probably know this from your Navy service, but each person can tell a different story doing the exact same job. It seems each unit has its own personality & that can change with commanders, other officers & NCOs. Jobs can change midstream depending on what mission the unit is tasked to - combat different from wartime garrison different from peacetime garrison.

    Have you seen Recruiter yet & started the enlistment process?

    Good luck in your pursuit & keep us updated.
    Last edited by MSG Glenn; 11-21-2013 at 02:55 PM.
    Proud Dad of a US Army Airborne Ranger SFC
    Retired US Army 1SG/MSG, Airborne Infantry, G-3, Instructor
    Former USN - Submarines, USS Chopper (SS 342) & Navy Diver, UDT 21
    I was a Soldier. I am a Soldier. I will always be a Soldier.

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    MSG,

    Thanks for the response, but more importantly thank you for what you did (especially in the SEALs.....I'm a huge SEAL advocate). Its a shame that people have come and gone as they have. Oh well hopefully someone with some knowledge will see this and come forth.

    As to your question, I have started the entry process but just need to get a few more pieces of paper together. Namely my VA disability letter. Hopefully within a couple months I should be off to MEPS and finalizing all my paperwork. But I will definitely keep you posted. Thanks again.

    -Shipwreck

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    Moderator MSG Glenn's Avatar
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    I don't know what sort of shape you're in but I can advise that you get to the point where you can pass the Army's PT test (APFT) at your age group before shipping to BCT. It'll be much easier that way. I think you'll find the Army basic harder than Navy boot camp but certainly not really hard. I was fortunate that I didn't have to go to BCT but I was an Instructor (not a Drill SGT) & some of the young guys had a hard time of it. I was 38 when I entered the Army after being out of the Navy for 14 years & once I was given the honor of leading the morning run. Once of the DSs told me to slow it down a bit, lol. Too may 18 year olds were dropping out.

    Make it so morning PT is the highlight of your day & you'll be able to skate right through.

    I spent my last few years as an Active Army Advisor to a Reserve Division & our typical day started out with formation (muster). Then usually PT. From there the Reservists would go back to their unit & (I'm not sure what happens here, lol). But nevertheless they would carry out their training schedule. Sometimes it was weapons & equipment maintenance. Then there were mandatory classes - first aid, commo, rifle marksmanship , etc. - classes in tasks all Soldiers are required to know, politically correct classes like equal opportunity, Sgt's time spent with your first line supervisors, briefings by higher HQ, MOS training & on & on. At least once a year the APFT will be conducted but many times that'll be at Annual Training. At least once a year you'll have weapons qualification, normally at a location other than the Reserve Center at a rifle range either civilian or military. There will be times when the weekend will be so busy you'll wonder where it went. Other times it'll go so slow that it seems it never ends.

    My main job was checking unit training schedules & evaluating training during normal non-drill working days & I'd make suggestions. I conducted meetings at night just before the weekend drill for Operations Sgts , Training NCOs & First Sgts. That's when I would pass on info from their leadership & the Commanding General as to what they expected to be accomplished near & short term. I also taught classes in leadership & sometimes I conducted classes when nobody who knew anything was available. I was an official Army Instructor & was assigned to a training division so I also taught classes in Army Instruction. My most important job was to evaluate training to insure it met Army standards. Those same standards had to be met for Active Army, Reserve & National Guard so everyone was on the same page. We had many Reservists that had management & technical skills as a civilian but there was the right way, the wrong way & the Army way.

    My son is a former Army Ranger with 5 combat deployments under the belt. He opted to stay in the Reserves & is a SFC (E7) & an Instructor in a unit that evolved from the same unit I had advised. The division I was in is no longer in existence but his unit does the same things my unit did. Their mission now is ROTC training at their annual training & sometimes they go to Infantry BCT & instruct there. When I was assigned to that division I was amazed & thought the Army really goofed this time - it was a mile from my home! My son is a Police Officer as his civilian job.
    Last edited by MSG Glenn; 11-22-2013 at 07:28 AM.
    Proud Dad of a US Army Airborne Ranger SFC
    Retired US Army 1SG/MSG, Airborne Infantry, G-3, Instructor
    Former USN - Submarines, USS Chopper (SS 342) & Navy Diver, UDT 21
    I was a Soldier. I am a Soldier. I will always be a Soldier.

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    Short Timer CWO Sharkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSG Glenn View Post
    I don't know what sort of shape you're in but I can advise that you get to the point where you can pass the Army's PT test (APFT) at your age group before shipping to BCT. It'll be much easier that way. I think you'll find the Army basic harder than Navy boot camp but certainly not really hard. I was fortunate that I didn't have to go to BCT but I was an Instructor (not a Drill SGT) & some of the young guys had a hard time of it. I was 38 when I entered the Army after being out of the Navy for 14 years & once I was given the honor of leading the morning run. Once of the DSs told me to slow it down a bit, lol. Too may 18 year olds were dropping out.

    Make it so morning PT is the highlight of your day & you'll be able to skate right through.

    I spent my last few years as an Active Army Advisor to a Reserve Division & our typical day started out with formation (muster). Then usually PT. From there the Reservists would go back to their unit & (I'm not sure what happens here, lol). But nevertheless they would carry out their training schedule. Sometimes it was weapons & equipment maintenance. Then there were mandatory classes - first aid, commo, rifle marksmanship , etc. - classes in tasks all Soldiers are required to know, politically correct classes like equal opportunity, Sgt's time spent with your first line supervisors, briefings by higher HQ, MOS training & on & on. At least once a year the APFT will be conducted but many times that'll be at Annual Training. At least once a year you'll have weapons qualification, normally at a location other than the Reserve Center at a rifle range either civilian or military. There will be times when the weekend will be so busy you'll wonder where it went. Other times it'll go so slow that it seems it never ends.

    My main job was checking unit training schedules & evaluating training during normal non-drill working days & I'd make suggestions. I conducted meetings at night just before the weekend drill for Operations Sgts , Training NCOs & First Sgts. That's when I would pass on info from their leadership & the Commanding General as to what they expected to be accomplished near & short term. I also taught classes in leadership & sometimes I conducted classes when nobody who knew anything was available. I was an official Army Instructor & was assigned to a training division so I also taught classes in Army Instruction. My most important job was to evaluate training to insure it met Army standards. Those same standards had to be met for Active Army, Reserve & National Guard so everyone was on the same page. We had many Reservists that had management & technical skills as a civilian but there was the right way, the wrong way & the Army way.

    My son is a former Army Ranger with 5 combat deployments under the belt. He opted to stay in the Reserves & is a SFC (E7) & an Instructor in a unit that evolved from the same unit I had advised. The division I was in is no longer in existence but his unit does the same things my unit did. Their mission now is ROTC training at their annual training & sometimes they go to Infantry BCT & instruct there. When I was assigned to that division I was amazed & thought the Army really goofed this time - it was a mile from my home! My son is a Police Officer as his civilian job.
    Top, my 7 year break in service kills me and hearing about your 14 absence makes me feel a little better but it seems so long to finish up and I am 75 percent done lol
    Iraq/Afghanistan Veteran (OIF V & OEF X & XIII)
    101st Airborne Division & 4th Infantry Division combat vet
    Serving overseas

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    I'm in pretty decent shape (I need to lose a few inches around the waist before they send me to MEPS) but I do plenty of exercise. I bike to and from school 7 miles each way and a couple times a month to the VA (12 miles each way). Starting Sunday I am going to begin swimming again and doing as much cardio/calisthenics as possible. The good thing is I don't graduate with my AS until next Oct. so I have around a year before they will send me to BCT. Plenty of time to get into better shape.

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    Moderator MSG Glenn's Avatar
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    Roger that, Chief! I was never accused of making snap decisions, lol. It didn't help when I worked next door to an Army Recruiting Station & had coffee with the Sgts each morning & sometimes throughout the day. They kept kidding me to join & I finally told them that I would if I could get a guarantee of Airborne Infantry. After they picked themselves off the floor & wiped their eyes from tears of laughter they realized I was serious & I challenged them to a PT test, lol. I won, lol. At that time I even smoked a few cigarettes a day.

    Shipwreck - you sound like you're in good shape but watch that weight & keep at it.
    Proud Dad of a US Army Airborne Ranger SFC
    Retired US Army 1SG/MSG, Airborne Infantry, G-3, Instructor
    Former USN - Submarines, USS Chopper (SS 342) & Navy Diver, UDT 21
    I was a Soldier. I am a Soldier. I will always be a Soldier.

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