Totally missed this. I'm a 3L and have been National Guard the whole time. Works fine.
I'm even halfway across the country from my unit and fly home most months. The tuition reimbursement for me ($36k/yr) is totally worth it.
If your leadership isn't will to work with you to reassign a two-week training so you can attend OCI, you just have shitty leadership. I missed 3 weeks of my internship last year for training, but it was not a big deal. The employer understood.
I was almost deployed. It might have been shitty timing, but it's not like there's ever a good time in your life to be deployed.
It's totally doable, but to each his own.
Thanks for responding! You're the first person I've spoken to who has said it's doable.
How much time on a weekly basis have you had to commit to it? And has it ever impeded you taking an opportunity somewhere, eg, summer associate at a firm? I know you said you had to miss 3 weeks of an internship.
Sure. For the units I have been in, it really is 1 weekend a month/2 weeks per year. Specifically, it's 48 MUTAs + one set of 14 days of active orders. This comes out to an average of one weekend a month, but in practice a few of those MUTAs will get tacked on to your AT to make it longer and you'll do a few MUTA 6s during the year and skip drill one month.
To put this in perspective, I transferred units in the fall and the new unit had me skip 2 MUTAs because I had completed extra MUTAs at the first unit and would be over for the year. This year I lucked out even more because my unit was on a deployment schedule and got pulled off, so they let some soldiers choose not to receive active orders since the funding was coming for a different pot (but that one isn't normal).
I know there are
units where they are not this straightforward. For example my cousin is somehow doing MUTA 8s every month, and I have no idea why or how. I'm in intel and have been in both an intel company and a division HQ. Neither would ever consider doing something asinine like that.
Re your weekly basis question: I'm an E5, so weekly is trivial. I check in with my guys. That's probably different if you're an O3. I have no intention of commissioning. Monthly is drill. If drill conflicts with something (finals, OCI, whatever), leadership in both units have been supportive of me splitting with the local RSP or something similar. Once again, that might be unit-type particular, since intel leaders tend to strongly value civilian education and fully support me going to law school. Maybe in an infantry unit they would be less supportive.
It's never impeded me taking an opportunity anywhere. The legal field is almost best for this, because most places you would work have someone on the hiring team who knows employment law and won't let them make stupid and potentially illegal decisions about whether to hire you based on your military commitments. It would have sucked if I had gotten annual training orders during my SA firm job since I would have missed out on some $$$, but there's only like a 25% chance of that happening.
This term it is affecting how I put together my class schedule, because my annual training is scheduled for the two weeks in between the end of classes and the beginning of finals. Thus, I just dropped a class that has a final that is known to be very tough and was scheduled for the day after I got back. I probably could have gotten the school to reschedule it for me, but it was simpler to just take a class that doesn't have a final. Overall this timing for AT is actually wonderful for me because it means I won't have to worry about missing work next year.