One Weekend a Month, Two Weeks a Year Is a Lie

So you love your country/needed college money and enlisting full time in the military was just too much. Lucky for you, your local National Guard recruiter had a great opportunity for you. You could serve your country and still live the life of a civilian. “Only one weekend a month, two weeks a year,” he said.

Now you’re in and you realized that it was mostly bullshit. Congratulations. You’re a citizen soldier. The regular Army thinks you’re lame and your civilian boss doesn’t understand what orders are and you need to cover that Saturday shift. So let’s walk through exactly what your recruiter didn’t tell you.

ReservesOne weekend a month, two weeks a year is a lie

If you haven’t figured it out already, your recruiter wasn’t your friend. Sure he might have given you a backpack and told you about how awesome it is to shoot shit, but you’re a number. Get used to it. That’s the military way. The most egregious lie told to new recruits is the actual amount of time you’ll be doing something for the military. Not only are you going to drill and AT but you’re going to be the ones to be called up if there is a natural disaster in your state. Or even outside of your state. When Hurricane Katrina hit, it wasn’t just Active Army and the Louisiana National Guard that was there. Reserve units that weren’t based in Louisiana also had the joy of patrolling the streets. Not to mention the global war on terror. Reserve units played a key part in securing two separate countries for over a decade.

And then there’s the paperwork. Oh you’re an E-5 or above? Have fun doing those NCOERs at your home instead of when the military is paying you. Do you have to put a class together? Yeah, that shit isn’t going to get done on one of your weekends. The military will take your time away and not give a single fuck. But if you want to be effective, that’s what you need to do.

Seriously, don’t complain about it

It’s not that you shouldn’t complain. That’s what friends are for. It’d be a good idea not to complain to leadership though. Mostly because it will fall on deaf ears because everyone does more than their fair share, as “fair” is no longer in anyone’s vocabulary. The reason why you shouldn’t whine about it, is that signing on the dotted line means you’re now a part of something greater than yourself.

While there is a special place in Dante’s Inferno for recruiters, you’re stuck now. You’re in the suck. You might as well embrace it. Hoo-ah.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Mark Wasson

Mark Wasson

Mark spent 7 years in the Minnesota National Guard as a combat medic. When's he's not busy losing friends, he's drinking with his dog. Befriend him on Facebook or follow him on a Twitter that he doesn't use.
Mark Wasson
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6 thoughts on “One Weekend a Month, Two Weeks a Year Is a Lie

  1. Mr Wesson, has several things right. If you want to be an E-5 and up, yes you have to take work home with you because that is what leaders do. Just like any other job in the civilIan world. My wife is a store manager and guess what she has to do at night….write Evals. If your a manager of any store you take work home. I’m active duty and guess….I take work home. This guy is complaining because instead of doing what a leader needs to do he wanted to be paid as one but act like a private…no responsibility. Bad mouthing the Guard is his way of saying I sucked as a Soldier and I’m going to blame someone else. He feels that if he writes about it long enough his failures as a Soldier will be over looked but as always real Soldiers see right though the guy that get promoted because of everyone else, not the fact that he was probably a wall flower at drill, didn’t make the sacrifice, and was just pure lazy. Have fun in the civilian world Mr. Wesson and don’t plan on making it as a writer because you may have to work more then weekend a month. I will go with this this, “blame doesn’t empower you. It keeps you stuck in a place you don’t want to be because you don’t want to make the temporary, but painful decision, to be responsible for the outcome of your own life’s decisions and inability to succeed through the sacrifice of Leading man…..your quitter so live with that.”

  2. Awesome article!! Totally thought it would be about bashing the reserves and how dumb they are and yadda yah but it was a legit opinion piece that was authentically written by none other than a reservist (a medic at that which is extra kudos in my book being a prior reserve grunt). Happy to have read this

  3. Most horrid is annual trainings that are three weeks (two weeks should be set in stone max) and three day drills for weapons qualification that start at 4am Friday and end 10pm Sunday.

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