DH wants to join Naval Reserve — The Bump
Military Families

DH wants to join Naval Reserve

Hi ladies, I figured if anyone could help me sort this in my head, YOU all could. I've never been on this board before, so first let me say a big thank you to all of you and your SOs for serving our country.

My Dh is considering joining the Reserve...he is 35 so he has to do it now pretty much, and with us waiting at least another year to have another baby, it seems like as good a time as any. I gave him the go ahead, bc I know he wants to serve in some way.

Not sure if I have any questions per se, just wanted to say hi and hopefully get some good insight into your lives and how you work things, etc.

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Re: DH wants to join Naval Reserve

  • Is there a specific reason why he wants to do this at a late age?  Does he want to go enlisted or be an officer?  What job does he want to do? 

    I talked to DH about his unbiased opinion on the subject.  These are some things he thought your H should consider before proceeding.

    1. There are a limited number of seats in most fields (active or reserve).  He could be taking a seat from a younger individual looking for a career.  Now that younger person will not be able to start his/her career when they wanted to and they must sit around and wait for another seat to open up.

    2. As a 35 year old entering the military you will be treated your rank, not your age.  You will be treated the same way the rest of the 18 year old new recruits are being treated.  Someone will always be riding you and chances are  that someone will be younger than you.  Also, at 35 you can be in great shape but you are competing against 18-20 year olds.

    3. Your H is looking to do his part.  That is admirable and much appreciated, but he is going to be a 35 year old reservist.  He will MAYBE be able to serve 2 enlistments.  Not to be mean, but, a 35 year old reservist with a max 6 year career won't be able to accomplish much service wise. 

    4.  Your H will only make $700-$1000 per month while completing his training on active duty, what kind of pay cut is that for him?  He will have to leave his job for anywhere from 8-18 months.  Because he would be doing that voluntarily, he can be fired from his job.

    This is just for your consideration.  Some info from someone who has been in for 6 years and counseled his own sailors on career moves and also advised many others on their interest in joining the military.  I know this wasn't exactly the info you came for but this is something that my H has seen slip through the cracks and set someone up for failure.

    As a wife, you need to understand that during his training, you will not be able to join him.  Do you want to spend that time away from him?  Also, he could be gone for 18 months.  If that is the school he goes to that will throw off your family plans.

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  • imageSammy0709:

    Is there a specific reason why he wants to do this at a late age?  Does he want to go enlisted or be an officer?  What job does he want to do? 

    I talked to DH about his unbiased opinion on the subject.  These are some things he thought your H should consider before proceeding.

    1. There are a limited number of seats in most fields (active or reserve).  He could be taking a seat from a younger individual looking for a career.  Now that younger person will not be able to start his/her career when they wanted to and they must sit around and wait for another seat to open up.

    2. As a 35 year old entering the military you will be treated your rank, not your age.  You will be treated the same way the rest of the 18 year old new recruits are being treated.  Someone will always be riding you and chances are  that someone will be younger than you.  Also, at 35 you can be in great shape but you are competing against 18-20 year olds.

    3. Your H is looking to do his part.  That is admirable and much appreciated, but he is going to be a 35 year old reservist.  He will MAYBE be able to serve 2 enlistments.  Not to be mean, but, a 35 year old reservist with a max 6 year career won't be able to accomplish much service wise. 

    4.  Your H will only make $700-$1000 per month while completing his training on active duty, what kind of pay cut is that for him?  He will have to leave his job for anywhere from 8-18 months.  Because he would be doing that voluntarily, he can be fired from his job.

    This is just for your consideration.  Some info from someone who has been in for 6 years and counseled his own sailors on career moves and also advised many others on their interest in joining the military.  I know this wasn't exactly the info you came for but this is something that my H has seen slip through the cracks and set someone up for failure.

    As a wife, you need to understand that during his training, you will not be able to join him.  Do you want to spend that time away from him?  Also, he could be gone for 18 months.  If that is the school he goes to that will throw off your family plans.

    TBH, this response reeks of "we don't want you because you're old" to me. Maybe I'm reading your tone all wrong, but that's what I get out of it. I'm sure the OP's H is perfectly aware of the fact that a lot of the other SM's will be younger than he is. And I'm not sure how your H's opinion is unbaised since he is a service member.

    To the OP, I have no advice, because I'm not in the military, nor is my SO. But I just wanted to tell you that *my* unbaised opinion is to tell your H not to let his age get in the way of joining if that's what he wants to do.

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  • OP - I can kind of see PP's point but I think the way she went around it was completely rude and wrong.  But she does indeed have a point. 

    Is he looking Naval Reserves because of his age? I think the cut off the Army is 32(could be wrong).  Does he have any prior service? Is he looking at officer or enlisted. TBH, it's not all that uncommon to see older service members at lower ranks. Especially since so many joined when they were laid off in the crappy economy.  And he can still get plenty of time in(more than 6 years). They won't force him out until 62(I think).  If he really truly wants to serve I said good for him.  It's better late than never right? And as someone who had the desire to serve, I can tell you that if it's really in his heart that he wants to do it, he'll regret it if he never does.  

    And him only making $700-1000 a month on active duty is crap too. Here's a link to the proposed pay charts for 2011. https://www.navycs.com/2011-military-pay-chart.html.  Keep in mind that if he is only doing it one weekend a month(I'm guessing that's how navy reserves works too) he will only get paid base pay, once a month. If he's not looking for a career, more just wants to serve and do it while he's at home and it's just extra money, then great! But it's definitely not much to live off of.

     Also bear in mind, there will be time away. Schools, TDY's, deployments, etc. The recruitment process may not be all that easy either since so many branches are so full right now. He has to be prepared to wait and he honestly should look into what all branches have to offer. 

    HTH. GL with the process. 

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  • I'm not aware of how I was being rude.  I was being matter of fact.  Yes the base pay is $1,475 but I'm saying after taxes and them taking out money for uniforms, haircuts, etc. he will be getting $700-$1000 per month.  Also, I was not trying to say don't join.  I was trying to say that those are things that should be considered when joining that recruiters may not be mentioning.  Wanting to do your part is commendable and I do believe I said that in my original post.  Don't mistake my matter of factness for rudeness.

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  • I have no Navy experience and no Reserve experience, but I say go for it!  If you want to serve, make it happen.  He's still within the age range to join and as BEB said, there are a lot of older SM's at lower ranks these days.  

    I was pretty shocked at the original response you got too.  While there are things to consider there, YOU should worry about YOU, period.  Talk to a recruiter (if you guys haven't already), they will give you all the info you need to know.  MN on the nest has a good FAQs site linked in some of the girl's siggy's.

    Welcome and good luck!   

  • imageSammy0709:

    I'm not aware of how I was being rude.  I was being matter of fact.  Yes the base pay is $1,475 but I'm saying after taxes and them taking out money for uniforms, haircuts, etc. he will be getting $700-$1000 per month.  Also, I was not trying to say don't join.  I was trying to say that those are things that should be considered when joining that recruiters may not be mentioning.  Wanting to do your part is commendable and I do believe I said that in my original post.  Don't mistake my matter of factness for rudeness.

    You're "matter of factness" comes off as holier than though rudeness.  There are ways to be honest without being crass. 

    And furthermore, your "facts" aren't exactly correct. How do you figure he can only do two enlistments, six years maximum and he won't do great things in that time of service? 


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  • When I read the original response from Sammy0709 I did not take it as being rude or "holier than though". I think she is just trying to let the OP know what to be thinking of. I am very thankful to anyone who is serving or who wants to serve. My DH is active duty Marine so I know how hard this life style can be. A lot of branches these days (including the reserves) are cutting back on their manpower and there is a chance that the OP's H doesn't get in due to his age. Most military branches are going to enlist an 18 year old who has a chance of staying in for 20 years versus a 35 year old who probably won't be in longer than 6. I'm not trying to be rude or say the military doesn't want you, but these are all things to consider, including what Sammy0709 wrote.

    OP, if I were you I would be making a list of everything to ask the recruiter. Has your DH talked to a recruiter yet?

  • My hubby is in the USMC Reserves. Some days I'm glad he joined the reserves, some days I wish he never did. It gives us access to a lot of military benefits and an extra little paycheck each month (usually around $150 for drill weekends). He gets to live at home and keep another full time job. The downsides of course are the months of training time he'll be away as well as the drills every month, not to mention the possibility of deployment.

    As for the age thing, it may or may not be difficult for him to join. Last year when DH was on recruiter's assistance, he was told they only wanted males straight out of high school and women. I don't know how it is with other branches, but the Marines are super impacted. Especially military police like my hubby. There are so many MPs that he can't even get promoted. Kinda sucks, but the way I look at it is the more MPs, the less they need mine :)

    Wish you the best of luck!

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