Five Ways to Get Fired Fast in the National Guard

In today’s post, I want to talk about five ways to get fired fast in the National Guard.  I’m sure these tips apply to the Army Reserves and Active Duty as well.  As a quick disclaimer, these are things you SHOULD NOT do.  If you do any of the things mentioned below, there’s a good chance you will be fired from your duty position, and rightfully so.  This applies to Generals, all the way down to the lowest ranking Privates.  Please make a note of these and add them to your “not to do list.”

# 1 Messing Up Pay

This is one area the National Guard does not mess around with.  Whether you are a Readiness NCO, Company Commander or work in the Finance Office, you don’t want to mess around with the Army’s money.  Even if you make an honest mistake you can be in hot water.  Do yourself a favor and triple check any document BEFORE you sign it, especially it is pay related.

# 2 Losing Army Property

When you lose Army property, you normally end up paying for it.  But in addition to that, you can also get fired from your job for dereliction of duty.  If you are signed for property, be proactive.  Do your inventories and make sure that everything is sub-hand receipted down to the end user.

# 3 Equal Opportunity Violation or Allegation

In the event you are charged with an EO Violation or Allegation, whether you are innocent or not, you will probably be fired from your job.  The higher your rank, the more likely, and the quicker it will happen.  My advice is to treat everyone right, regardless of their skin color, race, or religion.  Treat everyone with respect and this should never be an issue.

# 4 Sexual Harassment/Assault Allegation

If you are accused of sexual harassment, you will more than likely be fired from your job, before the investigation even starts.  Even if you are innocent, you are pretty much screwed.  I always tell people not to date people they work with and not to have any kind of office romance.  And of course, if you are married, you shouldn’t be flirting or messing around to begin with.  Never put yourself in any kind of position where you could get in trouble, or accused of something.

# 5 Expressing Your Political Views

The National Guard is a political beast.  As Officers, Soldiers and NCOs we swear to defend the Constitution.  At no time at work, in uniform (or on Facebook) should you express your political views.  If you don’t like the current people in charge (Governor, Congress, President, etc.) that’s fine.  But don’t get caught making public statements about your political views, especially while in uniform.  This will backfire and get you in a boat load of trouble.  It’s okay to have political views, just keep them to yourself.

Final Thoughts

In summary, these are five ways to get fired fast in the National Guard.  Most of these things should be common sense.  The real key to not getting fired is to (1) be good at your job, (2) do the right thing at all times, and (3) treat others the way you want to be treated.  Realize that as a Officer, NCO or Soldier you are held to a higher standard than your civilian counterparts.  So be a professional at all times.

What are your thoughts? What things have you seen people get fired for in the National Guard? Leave a comment and let me know.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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9 thoughts on “Five Ways to Get Fired Fast in the National Guard”

  1. I’ve never known anyone who has been fired from the National Guard, but I can see how any of these would be cause for a quick boot from one’s position. I have to say that I was initially surprised to see that comments made over Facebook could have potentially damaging effects, but having known people who have gotten fired from their job at Starbucks for calling in sick to work then posting updates from the bar that same evening, I can see how failing to maintain integrity could have seriously repercussions.

  2. Chuck,
    If you don’t mind I’d like to add one to the list: Attitude/Tone.
    Individuals with poor attitudes/tone often become individuals that frequently identify problems, whine, and fail to provide solutions. These individuals are not looked upon favorably by leaders. Leaders are looking for individuals who solve issues not identify/create them.

    I encourage Soldiers/Leaders be to proactive problem Solvers. Find positive solution sets. A wise SGM once shared with me: With the right attitude and tone you can win almost any argument. With a poor attitude/tone you can’t sell the right idea or solution to anyone.
    The easy way to make this work is to remain calm, be unemotional in your delivery/response, and always be professional.
    The true measure of who we are is found in how we deal with adversity anyone can perform when things are going well.


    1. I couldn’t agree more TOP… In my opinion, unless you have a solution in mind, then you DON’T have a problem. Too many leaders are quick to blame others for their lack of planning and execution and I agree, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth… Great point, but I don’t think enough people get “fired” for this though…

  3. Scott Enderle

    Sad that the 1st amendment rights that one is sworn to uphold are suspended for Officers in uniform. Wasn't that way in my day.

      1. I think I violate that one daily. I am a thick-skinned, hard nosed conservative and many things easily irritate me. Fortunately, I have never received any flak for things I have posted on my FB, but lately I have been a bit more diligent in what I post…

        1. Just because we are thick skinned doesn’t mean our boss or superiors will be. In today’s “touchy feely” Army you really do have to watch your 6. Something that was acceptable even a few years ago might not be today.


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