Active Duty to ANG

Good evening!

I have a few questions that I hope the community could help me with. I apologize in advance if my questions are too specific, and I will add that I know the unit I plan on applying with will be my best bet for some of these. Also, I have not made contact with a recruiter yet, but plan to once I learn more about ANG. Instead of wasting their time, I'd rather ask here first! I've been active duty for almost 7 years now, and am adamantly looking into both cross-training as well as palace chase into the ANG. I am from Southern California, and would ultimately make contact with the 129th if I decided to palace chase. My questions...

Are there many fulltime guard opportunities as a Pararescueman in the ANG (apart from unit, in general, are there many)?

If not, what do you do when you aren't on your rotation? Do many attend school fulltime and benefit from their GI Bill? What jobs have you known guard PJ's to work?

How difficult was the transition from active duty to ANG/Reserves when it comes to income and maintaining your lifestyle? I understand that becoming a Pararescueman is not about money, but it does make the world go round. Granted, I have no intention on driving around in a Tesla, living outside of my means, but I know that San Jose/Santa Clara is a very expensive place to live. Apart from being smart, is it a struggle to find decent work to accommodate the change in pay?

(If there are any Pararescuemen from the 129th) Do you live in the immediate area of Santa Clara? Are you able to live further away?

During the pipeline, did your pay mirror active duty? BAH, family sep, etc. We own a home, and I'd like to gauge whether or not we could keep that home 😬.

I am getting older, and while I mean not to focus on other things outside of becoming a PJ, I do have a family. As much as I would like to make all of our decisions, my wife enjoys the idea of living in California again. She also has a career to begin, so if we are able to work around each others goals then we will absolutely do so. That is why I believe the ANG may be an appropriate choice for the both of us. She's followed me around for the last 7 year, putting her goals to the side occasionally, so finding out what I can about the guard and still being able to pursue my own goals is what I'd like to do! Sorry if all that was too personal, but I figured the question would come about "Why do you want to go ANG if you're looking into retraining also?".

If there is anything else that I may have not thought of, please share!
 

Yukon

Moderator
Staff member
Operator
The transition experience to AIr National Guard is unique to each person.

As Palace Chase and cross training are two separate personnel actions I suggest becoming intimately familiar with the Palace Chase program first.

The cross training opportunity as well as the traditional vs Reserve/Guard active duty opportunities are unique to each unit and getting reliable useful info requires communicating with that unit.

If the unit hires you on to entry classify (cross train in your case) you will be on full time active status while going through the training pipeline, but this is not the same as being in a Reserve/Guard active duty manpower position.

Each unit has its picking order needs and opstempo/perstempo connected to these positions as they deploy often (frequently) in support of ACC/AFSOC and other National Command Authority mission taskings. Even the traditional Guard position PJs are with training requirements alone have a perstempo higher than most in the guard.

As far as civilian employment, with what employer PJs have been hired includes just about every type of job there is. But getting this employment requires the employer having a job vacancy and the individual's qualification for the job. That job (civilian employer/boss/supervisor) must also be willing to support guard duty obligations which may conflict with you being there doing what they hired you to do.
 

Yukon

Moderator
Staff member
Operator
Reference question of "Are there many fulltime guard opportunities as a Pararescueman in the ANG (apart from unit, in general, are there many)?

The program is called ANGI 36-101 AIR NATIONAL GUARD ACTIVE GUARD RESERVE (AGR) PROGRAM. Its basically the same program policy for the AF Reserves.

Key point is military service status is under Title 10 U.S.C.. This simply means for all intents and purposed serving in a full time active duty status.

Secondary point is the original and continuing purpose is to identify and assign personnel to Key Staff Assignments, not enlisted occupation specialty specific. Since 2011 the program has been expanded to backfill or piggyback operational capability into supporting regular (active duty) operations, contingencies, crisis response and into scheduled deployment rotations to ease burden on small in number active duty units.

Air Guard RQS and STS units have a unit operations requirement that pushes requirement to being connected to specific enlisted occupation specialties and by default CRO/STO when it is providing a needed operational capability (some what connected to need to create the Special Warfare Career Field). Consequently the Guard and Reserve Guardian Angel RQSs (PJs) and STS have some ratio of Traditional Guard and Active Guard Reserve duty positions on the unit manning document. Generally units put those awarded 5-skill level or higher into the Active Guard Reserve duty positions. Considering the training time and experience needed to get the five level it is unlikely somebody who just got the 3-skill level PJ AFSC (or CCT or SR) would be put into such a duty status.

Lacking access to each units manning documents at the Guard RQS units it is reasonably safe to estimate 1/4 and perhaps 1/3 of the PJ positions in any Air Guard RQS unit are fulltime. Again getting reliable useful information requires contacting the specific unit.
 
I understand. Just as in anything else, skill levels do make determinations. I wonder then if obtaining a 5 level in the guard requires more time than an active duty PJ? From my own experience in another AFSC, it took nearly 9 months, but I am active duty and had every day to work on tasks. I can only image PJ's have twice as much information to master. Again I know that thought is well ahead of my current status and my focus needs to be reeled in, but it does give me something to think about. Thank you for the guidance!
 

Yukon

Moderator
Staff member
Operator
Technically the uggrade training time required should be the same. The difficulty is Pararescue has no CDCs, unless something has changed I'm unaware of, and much of the upgrade to skill level requires demonstrating to a task evaluator both knowledge competency and task performance competency. Again this is something to ask the Guard unit you are attempting to get picked up as an entry level hire.
 

SW

Administrator
Staff member
Operator
Guard and Reserve units are generally quick about getting their guys upgraded. Their full-time 7-levels are able to setup training for the part timers and really get after the CFETP line-items. Still, it is a long process for both AD and Guard/Reserve.
-SW
 
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