Jamie decided about a year ago that he wanted to continue serving in the military via the Army Reserve, and he started getting the ball rolling with everything this past January. His last official day as an active duty officer was May 23rd, and then he immediately transitioned to the Reserves on the 24th.
(For health insurance reasons, it was necessary that there wasn’t a break in service.)
It took me a hot minute to get on board with the idea of him doing the Army Reserve because I was ready to cut ties with the military altogether. Jamie knew that I was on the fence about him joining the Reserve, but I don’t think he knew that I actually wasn’t on the fence at all; I’d already hopped onto one side and didn’t want him to do it at all. I feared that the things we strongly struggled with in the military would follow us, so I was ready for Jamie to put this chapter of our lives behind us. I knew that that wasn’t my decision though; Who was I to say that he cannot continue to serve our country (a true passion for him) while also providing our family additional income? (When I’m thinking clearly -lol-, I know that my role is to support him, so I zipped my lips.)
I continued to stay pretty tight-lipped while Jamie gathered information about the Reserve, and making a long story short, I jumped on board with him pretty quickly once he got his ducks in a row.
Back in uniform 😋 and off to his first day in the Reserves! He switched branches so that he could drill in the same town we’re living in, which is so nice! He’ll be home to grill out with friends tonight. 🙌🏻 We’re hopeful that this is going to be a fab (albeit quite DIFFERENT) experience for him. This is the LAST piece of the “transition out of active duty” puzzle for us, so it feels good to see him in uniform and off to do his thing. 🇺🇸 #armyreserves #ETS
All About the Army Reserve
Reserve vs. National Guard
From Jamie: “The biggest reason I selected the Reserve over the National Guard is quite simply what you can be called to duty to support. Since a State’s National Guard is under the command of the governor, a Guard unit can be called on to support any State emergency. For example, if a hurricane hits Mobile and a Guard unit gets mobilized, then one required to go support. Guard supports State emergencies (riots, natural disasters, etc.) in additional to being deployed overseas. As a reservist, I can only be called for Federal missions (back filling as unit who is deployed or being called to deployed overseas (most of the time that’s done on an individual Soldier basis).
There’s also a greater chance of promotion in the Reserve since there’s a bigger pool of people and more “slots.” A State Guard only has a limited number of Military Intelligence majors slots, so if they’re full, then I can’t move up (the Guard has a huge problem with this).”
Jamie’s branch as an active duty soldier was Military Intelligence, so ideally he would have liked to find a Reserve Intelligence spot nearby. The closest one was several hours away, which wasn’t appealing to him. He decided to apply for a Human Resources job that is here in our city, and it’s going well so far! He recently discovered that there’s a Military Intelligence job up for grabs, so he’s likely going to switch to that unit so that he can apply his experience and training to that position instead of training and learning about Human Resources. We’ll see.
He’ll be expected to go to drill one weekend per month, and then drill for 2-3 weeks sometime each spring or summer. His current unit did their summer extended drill time in May, so we lucked out with missing it this year. We already know that his training next year falls during Sadie’s birthday, but you know what… that’s just the way the cookie crumbles and we’re cool with it.
You mean besides still getting to gawk at how handsome he continues to look in his uniform (never gets old)? There’s a few. 🙂
- Most military discounts are extended to Reservists and their families, which is unexpected and nice!
- The health insurance is the biggest thing that won me over regarding Jamie serving in the Reserve. Our Tricare health insurance is very similar to Tricare Standard (where you pay deductibles and catastrophic caps up until $300 or $1,000), but now we have to pay a monthly premium as well. I believe it’s $220. Jamie has a wonderful new job that offers fantastic health insurance, but we would have been paying way more monthly than we will through Tricare.
We aren’t including the Reserve paycheck in our monthly budget because it’s going to fluctuate so much each month. (Thank you to my friend Noel for this great advice right off the bat!) For example, this month (August) he will be paid for three days, but next month he won’t be paid for any since they have an “off” month for some reason.
No complaints here! Obviously it’s only been three months, but we are feeling optimistic. I’ve said before that we are both strong believers in that “you don’t get somethin’ for nothin'” and to do honest, hard work for the things you have or want. Do I like when he’s gone one weekend per month, therefore missing whatever we have on tap? No way! Am I bummed that he may deploy again one day? You better believe it. But that one quick weekend per month (and a big question mark regarding a deployment that may or may not ever happen) provides a lot for our family, so we will 100% take it.
Jamie is also very much feeling like he has the best of both worlds right now. He is able to put on a uniform and talk military stuff, shoot at the range, etc. while also working a civilian job he loves. It may sound like I’m sugar coating things by sharing a review that’s nothing but positive, but right now, we think this whole gig is pretty great.
Jamie and I found out most of our information about ETSing and the Reserves through talking with our peers, so we (especially Jamie) are passionate about paying it forward and providing true transparency for others who are ETSing out of the military. If you have questions or comments, shoot them this way!
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to two little girls (ages 5 and 2) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo