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  1. #17
    Bruce is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Life Long Learning View Post
    Article 15's for not maintaining physical fitness was not the norm in 2004-2008 in Afghanistan. The fattest man I ever saw in uniform was a Georgia Lawyer in the IRR who deployed to the big "A." He was grossly overweight but did combat patrols with British Gurkhas. He was a great asset and very bright. The second fattest man in uniform was a Regular Army NCO at NTC that I ever saw in three decades in the infantry.
    I'm an old-timer, deployed in 1990!
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  2. #18
    Life Long Learning is offline Registered User
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    I might predate you? 1980-2008

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce View Post
    I'm an old-timer, deployed in 1990!

  3. #19
    decimon is offline Registered User
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    Bah! Mere pups.

  4. #20
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    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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  5. #21
    dfreybur is offline Registered User
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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.
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  7. #22
    sube is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neuhaus View Post
    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.
    I'm a member of the USCG Aux and have been for many years. I've enjoyed my time in the organization. There are uniform hogs here and there, but not nearly as many as there were when I first joined and it's easy enough to avoid them by focusing more on directly augmenting the USCG. I'm there to assist the USCG which has major funding issues and needs the help, especially in our area, and I don't care about whatever uniform I'm wearing. Frankly, I'd be happy if they stopped requiring the Aux to wear uniforms. Too expensive to buy and upkeep and since I was never in the military, I feel strange wearing them.

  8. #23
    BruceP is offline Registered User
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    I am retired military and an SDF member. I have found that SDF's can be anything from a very valuable resource for the state to a total waste of time. The difference is in the leadership of the SDF and the confidence of the State TAG (The Adjutant General - who is the Commander of the National Guard) in their SDF. If the TAG has low confidence in his/her SDF, the missions that they are allowed to participate in are minimal (i.e. traffic control, parking and other support at community events). If the SDF is well led, trained and organized, and has the confidence of the TAG their missions can be very cost-effective and beneficial to the citizens of the state when their needs are the greatest.

    There are many highly trained and qualified troops in our SDF. Many are professionals in civilian life, first responders, teachers , clergy, physicians, nurses, attorneys, etc. There are many prior service veterans and quite a few non-prior service... the key point here is that we are all volunteers, giving up our own time to serve. So yes... there are wanna-be's... there are the too old to serve elsewhere... there are also those with health issues... although I have seen increasing emphasis placed on appearance (weight proportional to height) and physical fitness. The key thing is that together we form a critical volunteer resource for the citizens of our great states to use when we are needed most.
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  9. #24
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceP View Post
    I am retired military and an SDF member. I have found that SDF's can be anything from a very valuable resource for the state to a total waste of time. The difference is in the leadership of the SDF and the confidence of the State TAG (The Adjutant General - who is the Commander of the National Guard) in their SDF. If the TAG has low confidence in his/her SDF, the missions that they are allowed to participate in are minimal (i.e. traffic control, parking and other support at community events). If the SDF is well led, trained and organized, and has the confidence of the TAG their missions can be very cost-effective and beneficial to the citizens of the state when their needs are the greatest.

    There are many highly trained and qualified troops in our SDF. Many are professionals in civilian life, first responders, teachers, clergy, physicians, nurses, attorneys, etc. There are many prior service veterans and quite a few non-prior service... the key point here is that we are all volunteers, giving up our own time to serve. So yes... there are wanna-be's... there are the too old to serve elsewhere... there are also those with health issues... although I have seen increasing emphasis placed on appearance (weight proportional to height) and physical fitness. The key thing is that together we form a critical volunteer resource for the citizens of our great states to use when we are needed most.
    I've heard that some SDFs do very little. I heard that California and Texas are the most active. Texas utilizes its Medical Brigade every year to provide healthcare to the Rio Grande Valley, which has a lack of healthcare access. Texas also started enforcing its weight standards in 2016. IIRC, Texas has estimated that the State Guard has saved taxpayer millions with their emergency response operations .

    I've also heard good things about the air component of the Puerto Rico State Guard.
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  10. #25
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by sube View Post
    I'm a member of the USCG Aux and have been for many years. I've enjoyed my time in the organization. There are uniform hogs here and there, but not nearly as many as there were when I first joined and it's easy enough to avoid them by focusing more on directly augmenting the USCG. I'm there to assist the USCG which has major funding issues and needs the help, especially in our area, and I don't care about whatever uniform I'm wearing. Frankly, I'd be happy if they stopped requiring the Aux to wear uniforms. Too expensive to buy and upkeep and since I was never in the military, I feel strange wearing them.
    Let me also clarify that in areas near large bodies of water, where the USCG Aux actually does stuff, it's been a more solid presence.

    But the flotilla I met with was in a very rural and very landlocked area. They were all recreational boaters who got together periodically to parade around in uniforms and have "events." If the USCG shut them down then they likely would have all lived on as a boating club.

    So that's a "that flotilla sucked" rather than a "USCG Aux sucks."
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  11. #26
    BruceP is offline Registered User
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    The bottom line for SDF's... it's all about capabilities (physical fitness, training and availability), professionalism (military appearance and bearing), and leadership (from the commanding general on down). If those elements are present in the SDF the State (The Adjutant General, and in turn, the Governor) should trust the SDF enough to let them take on more important missions... otherwise they will probably never be allowed to do anything more than be "human traffic cones."
    Bruce Pawlak
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  12. #27
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    So, I found out that state employees in Texas can get military leave for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and Civil Air Patrol, but military leave is also given for urban search and rescue, such as the FEMA-authorized groups in several states. Additionally, military leave is given for the Texas State Guard, but that was to be expected. What surprised me is that those who have been honorably discharged from the Texas State Guard and United States Public Health Service qualify for veterans' preference for state jobs in Texas. I don't know why the NOAA Corps doesn't qualify. Some state jobs also give preference to current members of the U.S. Military and Texas State Guard.
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  13. #28
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    I don't know why the NOAA Corps doesn't qualify.
    I hear some folks in Texas aren't into some of the science that might be found in a typical NOAA facility...

    Though I imagine it was likely just oversight as many folks seem to overlook poor NOAA when it comes to counting the uniformed services.

    Some state jobs also give preference to current members of the U.S. Military and Texas State Guard.
    I decided to look up New York's. Interestingly, they limit the preference to "Armed Services" rather than "Uniformed Services" and therefore limit the preference to the military branches, their reserve components and the National Guard. No preference for New York Guard or Naval Militia but state employees get release time for training (which I think you also can get if you are a volunteer firefighter).

    Also, I was talking to a recruiter from the State Guard recently (long story) and was told that while training and drills are unpaid if you are called up for service by the governor you get paid. They base pay for your rank off of the DFAS schedule. And apparently those call ups are somewhat frequent.
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