Should I stay or should I go?
January 24, 2012 1:44 PM Subscribe
Should I leave the National Guard after 18 years, or should I finish up the last two so that I can retire at 20?
posted by KillaSeal to Work & Money (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have 18 years of service (about 1/2 of that is active duty). I'm a traditional guardsman, so it's basically just the one weekend a month, two weeks a year thing. The job I've been doing for the last 6 years is special duty, and I'm almost done with it (which means I would mostly likely return to my previous career field), but because of what I perceive to be discrimination issues against me by my leadership, I've grown to hate going to drill. I hate it so much that, when I get to the week before drill, I can't sleep, and I feel anxious, on edge, and irritable (this has been for about the last 12 months.) I could go and file a formal complaint, but since everyone here is part of the "good ol' boy" system, and I'm not (I am not from the state that I joined the Guard in, and I estimate about 95% percent of the members are) I've decided not to. Also, I don't really feel that I have the solid proof that I would need in a case like this, involving senior (0-6) leadership; it's more like circumstantial evidence. So now, my enlistment expires next month, and I can walk away scot-free, no questions asked, after exactly 18 years of service; two good years short of what I need to retire from the National Guard. As far as current benefits, I don't use the commissary/BX that much, and while I use dental insurance, I could easily get it through my civilian employer. As far as retirement, my retirement check would be about $321, which I would not start to collect until I'm 60 (I'm 36 right now). EVERYONE I've posed this question to says that I should just stay, just tough it out, it's only one weekend a month, etc., etc. But it's gotten to the point where it affects my physical and mental health. I feel legitimate anger and rage, every drill weekend, and I don't want to feel like this. Financially, I might miss the small drill paycheck a little bit, and cheaper comissary goods, but I have a good civilian job, so I've already adjusted for that slight income loss. I think that my health and well being are worth it, but I would like to know if anyone else has had an similiar experiences, or if you have any advice. Thanks in advance.