Thursday, September 13, 2012

MISO Billets and the Army National Guard

Searching for the right slot is always a challenge for MISO (PSYOP) personnel. Anyone intent on moving up in rank has to balance a number of factors when looking for their next slot. Geographic location, rank and MOS are high on the list. I was pleased to receive the 4th QTR FY 12 issue of the MISO Advocate published by the Joint MISO Proponent Office at USSOCOM.

I was intrigued by the article “72 MISO Billets at NGB Maneuver Units” written by long time PSYOPer Phil Krigbaum. Just as the line between AC and RC is fuzzy, the line between USAR and NG can be even somewhat more mysterious.

During my 27 year career I came into contact with a few NG units because the USAR unit I belonged to was “Capstoned” to the NG Unit. I still fondly recall one weekend with the Dixie Brigade of the Alabama National Guard in Tuscalosa, AL. The Captstone designation  meant while we never trained together or perhaps even known very much about each other, we were destined to go to war together if ‘the balloon’ ever went up.

Just as the AC perhaps looked askance at the RC, my view of the NG was not entirely neutral. Fast forward to April of this month when I became involved with the DOD Employer Support to Guard and Reserve (ESGR) program and was immersed into the Guard world.

For better or worse, we (those serving) are all in the same boat.

The article indicates that the NG assignments are for a 2-3 year duration. The type of unit varies. SF Brigade, Brigate Combat Team, Infantry Division MP Brigade, and Fires Brigade seem to be the most common. Pay grades ranged from 04/05 and the range of NCO paygrades: E6, E7 and E9.
Locations were just as varied – Los Alamitos, CA; Rosemont, MN; Columbus, GA; Fort Belvoir, VA, Camp Douglas, WI and some interesting ones like Cheyenne, WY; Tupelo, MS and Boise, ID.
If were still serving and could apply for one of these slots I would. It’s not quite the glamour associated with a joint billet like Naval Special Warfare Group or an Air Force Cyber unit, but it could prove to be a great learning opportunity, and perhaps, just perhaps an alternative way to complete one’s service before retirement.

There are some ‘issues’ that exist when an Officer or NCO transfers from one component to the other and you need to carefully assess the possibilities. Perhaps there would be a way to try a slot by drilling with the NG but processing the paperwork as if you made up a USAR drill.
As always, y’all are closer to this than I am and comments are more than welcome.

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