Today, I want to offer a debate about a subject that is near and dear to my heart. That subject is the Career Specialist in the Army National Guard. Visit any National Guard unit and you will find several Specialists who have been in the military for 10 to 20 years. Some of these Soldiers are good Soldiers and some aren’t.
The point of this article is to debate the question “should there be such thing as a Career Specialist in the Army National Guard?” My immediate answer to that is HECK NO. Let me begin by telling you that there is no such thing as Career Specialist in the Active Duty Army. Soldiers have certain time frames to make certain ranks or they are separated from the Army. Not so, in the ARNG.
Let’s begin the debate by talking about the pros and cons of having Career Specialists in a unit (as I see it):
- Soldier has lots of experience
- Soldier has probably been with unit a long period of time
- Soldier might be real good at doing their job
- Soldier has proven time and time again they cannot get promoted
- Soldier does not want a leadership position
- Soldier has more than likely failed APFT or HT/WT on several occasions
- Soldier is holding up slot for new Soldiers to be assigned
As I see it, there’s no such thing as neutral in a military career. You are either advancing your career or going backwards. While I do believe that some “Career Specialists” might be good soldiers, I think they also prove that they don’t have it cut out for NCO leadership positions (for whatever reason).
Therefore, I believe the ARNG should adopt a similar program to the Active Duty and have certain time frames for getting promoted. People who fail to meet the standard should be separated.
What are your thoughts? If possible, leave a comment below to answer any of the following questions or share your thoughts.
- What is your experience with Career Specialists in the ARNG?
- How do you feel about the current ARNG Policy with Career Specialists?
- What do you think the ARNG should do about it?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Former Army Major (resigned)
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