One of my website visitors recently asked me “What should I do now that deployments are slowing down in the Army National Guard and Army Reserves?” I thought that was a great question, so I wanted to share a few helpful tips. Listed below, I want to share seven helpful ideas you should consider and think about now that deployments are slowing down in the ARNG and USAR.
1. Get Current on Your Military Education: One of the first things you should do is get current on your military education. Complete any required OES/NCOES Schools that you need to so you are eligible for promotion to the next rank. You should also see if there are any relevant correspondence courses, distance learning courses or professional development courses that will sharpen your skills.
2. Finish Your Degree: If you are an Officer, consider pursuing your Master’s Degree. This is a great way to separate yourself from your peers. For NCOs, I’d suggest finishing out your two-year, four-year or Master’s Degree, whatever pertains to you. In both examples, this will make you more valuable to the Army and will help with your promotion to the next rank.
3. Get Some Diversified Army Experience: This would be a great time to get a second MOS or additional Officer Branch. Or, you could get an additional ASI or Career Field. Consider pursuing a new MOS or branch that excites you and gives you a better chance for getting promoted. You might also want to look for a new Army job doing something you’ve never done before, such as recruiting, instructor, TAC, etc.
4. Decide What You Really Want in Your Career: I’ve always found that after a deployment is a good time to reflect. If you know you won’t be deploying again anytime soon, you might want to re-look at some of your career goals and decide what you want to achieve in your military career. It might be a good time to consider OCS, WOCS, changing career fields, etc.
5. Retire, Resign or Leave the Military: For a select group of people, now is the time to get out, resign or retire. If you joined the Army to deploy, and you successfully did that, maybe you’re ready to move on to bigger and better things. If you’re eligible for retirement, check out your options to see what is best for you and your family. Another option might be to transfer to a TDA unit or the IRR/ING for a temporary break.
6. Focus on Your Civilian Career: One of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to focus on your civilian career. If you know you aren’t going to deploy again soon, you should make your civilian career your top priority. Pursue new opportunities in your current career if you enjoy what you are doing, or maybe even start a new civilian career altogether.
7. Enjoy Life: My final tip is simply to enjoy life. Spend time with friends and family. Pursue new hobbies and things that interest you. Spend time with your spouse and kids and the people who are important to you. Most importantly, enjoy you! Spend some time learning more about who you are, what you want in life and what makes you happy. Travel, take a road trip, go on vacations, or do something on your bucket list.
These are seven things you can do to excel in your military career, now that the OPTEMPO and deployments within the ARNG and USAR are really slowing down. I hope you found the information helpful. What are your thoughts? What advice do you have for Officers and NCOs in the ARNG and USAR now that the Army is doing a draw-down? Leave a comment and let us know.