I'm an old-timer, deployed in 1990!
Originally Posted by Life Long Learning
I might predate you? 1980-2008
Originally Posted by Bruce
New York has two state militias; The New York Guard and the New York Naval Militia.
The latter tries to actively recruit current reservists. You can join as a veteran but I don't believe you can enlist without prior military experience. When I was still a drilling reservist I served a three year term with the NYNM concurrently. I would say it is more accurately described as New York's version of the USCG Auxiliary. You get some uniforms, they have some patrol craft and they do, mostly, the same sort of work. The key difference is that the USCG Aux has a presence on most of the larger lakes in NYS and the NYNM is only really focused on the waters around NYC and the St. Lawrence.
What I liked:
I actually got to go on the water in a small craft. For a Personnelman that's kind of neat.
I liked that I had the option to continue my service after I met my reserve obligation without fear of deployment
What I didn't like:
The uniforms were identical to the U.S. Navy uniforms but with modified name tapes. That meant I needed to have two sets of uniforms which was an expensive hassle.
As a drilling reservist it meant I lost TWO weekends a month (roughly) but only one of those was paid/counted toward retirement
I briefly explored the USCG Aux. However, I found it was filled with a lot of people who were only there for the uniform. Lots of military wannabes. Civil Air Patrol has the same problem (worse because they actually use ranks which feeds into the delusion). NYNM was pretty solid with lots of current and former reservists. There were a few uniform hogs in there but nothing like USCG Aux.
The New York Guard, on the other hand, wears a heavily modified Army uniform. Basic Training and OCS can be done as a single block of time (as one would do in the military) or spread over many weekends. When you water down basic training like that you're pretty much asking for low standards among your ranks. Former military is well represented because you can join into your 50's. But the military wannabes are strong there. For years they were lobbying the New York Assembly to designate their "MP" units as certified Peace Officers. That didn't happen. In fact, last I checked, their MP units were disbanded. I believe they share facilities with the National Guard units but they get the surplus equipment that the NG was finished with.
Their claims to "training" are pretty week since the only thing they presently offer is "radio training" and Hazardous Response training. Yay?
I'm sure that both made sense at a certain point in history . But I feel like it is a waste of money that largely serves to feed the vanity of its members. Obviously, the members disagree.
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One of the guys at the office tried to join the Texas State Guard. It's not clear if he failed to pass the fitness requirements as he's medically discharged former Army. He reports them as a club that gets to meet on base except when they deploy to help out on floods and other natural disasters.
A penpal friend who lives in Minnesota is a retired IT guy. He volunteers for the Red Cross. A couple of times per year he gets on a plane and spends a month somewhere in the world running the computers and sleeping on a cot in response to some weather disaster. He's been to a lot of the Americas at this point. He has never mentioned benefits just that he likes staying involved.
BS/L 1993 Excelsior College
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