Today, I want to share the top 5 mistakes that Army AGR Soldiers make. Although I was never an AGR Soldier myself, I spent a lot of time on ADOS/ADSW and I spent six years as an ARNG Officer, so I got a lot of exposure to what AGR Soldiers were doing right and what they were doing wrong. While most of them were good Soldiers with good intentions, many of them make some common mistakes that should be avoided. I would like to share those common mistakes below and offer some advice on how to avoid those mistakes.
# 5 Only Having One MOS
Only having one MOS is a big mistake in the AGR world. Whether you are an officer or NCO, certain branches and MOS’s have very limited upward mobility. Every state has a different force structure, that favors certain MOS’s and branches. It would be in your best interest to have two or three different MOS’s, so you are eligible for different jobs. Try to get a combat arms MOS and then another MOS in either combat support or combat service support. This is one of the easiest things you can do to excel your career and get promoted faster.
# 4 Ignoring Their M-Day Chain of Command And Only Listening to Their AGR Boss
This one drives me crazy. In most cases, the AGR takes day to day commands from their AGR Supervisor on a day to day basis, however, it’s normally the M-Day Soldier that serves as their rater. While it’s important to listen to your AGR Boss, never forget who you really work for: your rater. If my AGR Soldier would have ever said that they can’t do something I told them to do because their AGR boss gave them different guidance, we would have sat down and had a heart to heart talk and signed some counseling forms.
# 3 Staying in One Job Way to Long
I’ve met AGR Soldiers in the SAME job for five or more years. For career progression purposes, that is an idiotic move. You need a variety of experiences in different jobs and different units if you want to advance your career. Even if you love your job and have a great boss, try not to stay in the same AGR job for more than two years. Sometimes this will be tough to do, but manage your own career wisely and know when it’s time to leave a job. It’s much better to have a new job every two to three years that it is to have one job for a long period of time.
# 2 Staying in One Unit too Long
If you’re serving in a unit you love, that’s a great thing. That being said, you need to bounce around different units and meet new people and get different experiences. You need to network. The AGR Soldier who spends time with several different units has a HUGE advantage over an AGR Soldier who has only served in one unit.
# 1 Thinking the M-Day Soldiers Work for YOU
This is without a doubt the single most common and worst mistake that AGR Soldiers make. Many of them think the M-Day Soldiers work for them and are there to serve them. That is completely wrong. The entire purpose of the AGR Program is to have a workforce that supports the part-time Soldier and keeps the unit running smoothly outside of drill weekend. Starting today, get your priorities right and realize that it’s your job to serve the people in your unit, not the other way around. Your job is to make life easier for the Citizen Soldier. It’s not their job to make your life easier.
In summary, these are the top five mistakes that Army AGR Soldiers make. While I realize that most AGR Soldiers are good Soldiers who try to do the right thing, there is always room for improvement. As an AGR Soldier, you have a unique mission that is very different from the Active Duty world and very different from the part-time Soldiers that you serve. My best advice is to follow the advice listed in this article and make sure you have your priorities in order.
What are your thoughts? What are the top mistakes that Army AGR Soldiers make, as you see it? Leave a comment and let us know.