Old Man (30 years old) in California considering joining NG as Officer; would appreciate any insight into how feasible it is to remain in state and juggle a civilian family life with being a soldier from current or former Guardsmen

Good afternoon and thanks for clicking on my post!

As stated in the title, I'd appreciate if anyone on this reddit would be kind enough to share any insight that they may have on what it is like to be a member of the National Guard while also focusing on a civilian career.

I'm an old guy, 30 years old as of this year, and I've been contemplating serving in the military since I was a teen but for one reason or another in my life, it just hasn't been feasible. I've recently completed my postgraduate degree and thought that now would be the time to finally join before I get any older, considering that I also kind of hate my career and would be happy doing something more worthwhile.

Not to disparage the National Guard, but I first sought out active duty service with the Army as a potential new career path. However, not only was my student loan debt too high for a security clearance (thus barring me from any job I actually wanted), but I also came to realize that my army dreams ship may have already sailed as my folks aren't getting any healthier or younger and as an only son, I feel guilty leaving them behind.

So now I'm looking at the National Guard, since I would still love to serve in any capacity, even if limited. However, while my local recruiter was very optimistic about my chances of remaining home and supporting domestic endeavors (such as helping combat our monthly wildfires), I thought I'd ask around for other insight on how realistic it is to remain in your home state as part of the National Guard.

As mentioned, my parents are my top priority and I can't leave Southern California for too long. OCS here takes place in a city a few hours north of me a couple of weekends a month so that gives me the freedom to focus on work and help out at home.

However, after Basic/OCS, how likely has it been for you guys to stay in your home states? Have you been able to focus on your careers and families or is your commitment to the Guard too much of a burden? I've been reading stories here about Guardsmen who are deployed abroad often, even when their recruiters assured them it was unlikely and they'd be able to stay in state for most of the time. If you were deployed, what happened to your jobs and families?

Thank you all for your time and input! I look forward to your replies.


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