I need some advice and I’m willing to bet that only the folks on this app, in this specific bowl can help.

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I’m in the National Guard, currently deployed. Will have 17 years total service at the end of it.

I’m enlisted and the promotions have been slow for a number of reasons. I’m far from what I would call a respectable rank and will likely get one promotion before retirement at year 20.

Ive been approached on this deployment about a direct commission. Early in my career I would have been thrilled receive the opportunity to retire as an officer but it would require that I serve an additional 10 years in that capacity.

It will likely double my retirement pay but I’m not sure I care as I’m very close to the two comma club now and I expect it to climb for the next two decades when I plan to call it quits.

Am I a fool for staying a mid level NCO vs being an officer?

I would only do this if you went active duty. I’m an O4 (started E1) and juggling officer responsibilities with a high paying civilian career (and a family) is exhausting and it’s just not worth it. If you absolutely love the Army and want to continue that path but on the officer side, I would say go for it if you can get yourself on active duty. If you at least like your civilian job, put 90% of your time, effort and attention towards growing your civilian career, and retire at whatever rank you are now. I’m specifically not pursuing LTC because it’s just not worth the added stress and time away from family for a little pay pump 25 years from now.

For context, I went ROTC after my first deployment, and I was sitting at 5 years of total service, when I started down the officer career path.

Just my two cents.


I agree, not worth it. Seems like you set yourself up with a nice nest egg and still have the retirement pay. Another 7 years of drill is a long time for a relatively small benefit.

Do the math on the national guard retirement. Definitely not worth it. The nice thing will be getting the insurance and 10% off at Home Depot :)

Most part-timers are not in the military for the money. If you don’t find serving in the military fulfilling anymore or don’t have any desire to mentor/ make a difference in other Soldiers’ life as a commissioned officer, then I’d say it’s time to hang up the uniform and retire. Most people think attending drill is just about collecting a paycheck, but it’s not and it’s sad people think that way.

D1, not the paycheck, but the healthcare from what I hear.


Not worth it, my man. The expected return of your net worth as well as your progression without disruption with your full time job vastly outweighs staying in. The big future cost is health care, which will you get for free regardless retired enlisted or officer.

What is goal? Will take the jump help get there? What are the reasons you feel the need to explore this option?

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