Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Big Green Machine

After a monumental paperwork hurdle and several needless bureaucratic delays, I have finally transferred over to the unit at Devens that I've been trying to get to since I touched ground back in February.  In a way, it doesn't change much -- instead of driving to Reading one weekend a month, I'll drive to Devens.

However, getting over to that unit, which will offer me far better career options in my MOS, required a "component switch."  I am no longer MA ARNG, and I am now USAR.

In plain English, I'm now a Reservist.

Lots of people ask about the difference between the Guard and Reserve...what it basically boils down to is a legal distinction.  Guardsmen on State Duty fall under Title 32 (State), whereas Reservists fall under Title 10 (Federal).  Because of posse comitatus, Title 10 folks can't be used for domestic law enforcement.  They are not a tool of the Governor.

Title 32 guys and girls, however, are one of the Governor's best assets in a time of crisis (or Marathon, party convention, or even a threat of hurricane).  Title 10ers can't be touched for those things, but they are just an extension of the Big Army.  So my chain of command no longer runs through Governor Patrick's office, which means that in theory, if the Big Green Machine needed someone with my particular rank to fill a particular billet, they could grab me without someone reaching in to say, "Uh-uh."  [Guardsmen can only be mobilized by unit, except in very unusual circumstances].  However, I will point out that a) optempo is decreasing, b) most such tours are filled voluntarily (take a look at the economy), and c) I have a two-year dwell guarantee now anyway.

The unit I'm going to sends people on short tours all the time in and out of such exotic locales as Devens itself; Arlington, VA; Tampa, FL; Doha, Qatar; Kabul, Afghanistan; and Kandahar, Afghanistan.  [Among many other possible places].   It's less unit-based and more flexible to the instead of having an annual 'summer camp' in which everyone convoys down to Bourne, we each just have to find ANY 14-day block in the year when we can do something.  There's even a 'flex-drill' option in which someone so motivated can do the entire year's worth of commitment in one single chunk.

See the appeal for someone trying to get into the consulting fast lane while still staying militant?

First drill is August 4/5 and no, I can't wait...instead of working with for MPs and Artillery guys, I'm going to be with my own tribe.  Seriously.  My unit Commander holds my same MOS.  There's also a clear path to field grade promotion...oak leaf may be coming in 2-3 years.

And I'm extremely lucky that when the unit NCO called me yesterday to say, "Do you know any commissioned officers who can swear you in?" there happened to be a retired O-6 fighter pilot and NDU instructor just a phone call away who was willing and able.

I'm honored that Cliff Krieger will be linking up with the CENTCOM folks and me today to make it official...and Cliff, I will be in my 'Saturday best' (ACUs!) 

1 comment:

C R Krieger said...

I showed at the appointed time—as I am retired and a few pounds heavier, my uniform was "lounge suit"—and met up with Greg, the Mayor and the Sergeant from HQ.

I had printed off the oath of office, mindful of the Chief Justice's stumble swearing in the President a few years ago.

Things went quickly and smoothly.

Congrats to Greg.


Clifford R Krieger, Colonel, USAF (Ret), psc