Recently, Part-Time Commander posted an article about why you should go AGR (or at least give a list of PROs in support of it). As you can remember, SSG Smith gave some great insight as our AGR Training NCO. However, I must be fair and present the opposite perspective. In this article I will present 5 Reasons Not to Go AGR. Enjoy!
#5. Extremely Overworked. Many of the AGR staffers I talk to express their frustration with being pulled 1000 different ways by 100 different people. For example, our Readiness NCO answers to our Company Commander, Battalion Staff Officers and ultimately our Battalion Commander. While that is expected, it is also a bit much for some men. Now, our Readiness NCO is one exceptional Soldier…but I do not see many NCOs ever being able to fill his boots.
#4. Limited Career Progression. AGR locks you into a certain position. Once you are AGR, it is often difficult to progress career wise within your unit and within the AGR structure. Personally, I know an E-5 training NCO for a detachment who is at the top of the E-6 list and should be promoted. He would make one excellent VC (Vehicle Commander) within his line unit, but because of his AGR position, he is unable to do so. To some, that is important. To others, not so much. I suppose that’s up for you to decide.
#3. Limited Mobility. Coupled with the limitations for career progression is the limitation on physical mobility. For example, an AGR position that is secured in one state may not be available in another state. Suppose the difference between you advancing career wise meant leaving your state. If you make that move, there’s no guarantee that you would be granted an AGR job in that state…which could be extremely problematic if you do not have a civilian job. Also, what if your spouse moves for their job? Same restrictions…
#2. Compensation. Now, this one may or may not jive with you. For me, I would never go AGR because my civilian job pays too much. Granted, a 1LT with 8 years does pretty well (especially with BAH, etc.) but it just does not add up to the money I make as an engineer. However, this may be different for most people. Another perspective is the money vs. the hours. For example, I know our AGR staff often stays extremely late and come in very early. When you break down your pay per hour, it may not seem so attractive. Some people are paid by the hour, including overtime, and would never sacrifice that.
#1. Keep Drill Separate from Civilian Life. Now, even though I do a boatload of work outside of drill, the last thing I want to do after a drill weekend is walk right back into the Armory on Monday. I enjoy my M-Day job, going to schools from time to time, being on TDY, but for me I would just rather keep it at this (at least at this point in my life…that could always change). I think a lot of Soldiers feel that way. They enjoy their civilian lives and jobs and would just rather not deal with it on a full-time basis…
What are your thoughts about not going AGR? Leave a comment and let us know.