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6 Things You Should Know About my Active Guard and Reserve Family

About 5 years ago, this month, we were packing up for our first PCS in the Army Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) program. My husband had been in the Reserves for several years at that point and was itching to go active duty. Well, the problem was going active duty from the reserves was easier said than done, so we decided AGR would be a good way to get his foot in the active duty door.

Being an AGR family means your soldier is a reserve or National Guard soldier who is active duty. Now, being active duty as a reserve soldier doesn’t automatically mean an overseas deployment. While most reserve soldiers have civilian jobs to pay the bills, AGR soldiers work full-time for the Army (or other branch) on top of drilling with the rest of the soldiers at that particular unit. AGR soldiers, along with civilian and Department of Defense employees are the people that keep things functioning on a day-to-day basis at reserve units throughout the country.

Though, we are still fairly new to the AGR lifestyle—only having PCSed 3 times—I have learned a few things along the way I wish active duty families knew about us:

It’s not all butterflies and rainbows. We were at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, an active duty Army post, for our last tour. Living on an active duty post, most assume you are regular Army and not a reserve soldier. When it came out that we were AGR, we received comments like, “You’ve got the dream gig! Coming in and leaving when you feel like it and taking as long as you want for lunch!”, “Must be nice not to have to wear your uniform every day,” or “I bet it’s nice not having to move around so much.”

These statements could not be farther from the truth. My husband leaves for work at 0715 and usually does not return home until about 1800. Even then, he brings his work computer home and continues working after the kids are in bed. He typically works through his lunch breaks and the only day he doesn’t wear his uniform is the Monday after a Battle Assembly weekend (a.k.a. drill). And as for the moving around comment…

We move around just as often, if not more frequently, than our active duty counterparts. A typical AGR tour is around 3 years. A deployment could make that longer. Some might even get lucky and have their tour extended (but from my understanding, that’s pretty rare). If your soldier is an officer, you’re looking at a PCS every 2 years, and sometimes more frequently. The need for full-time soldiers fluctuates in the reserves, whereas all regular army units are full-time.

We will more than likely NEVER be stationed at amazing overseas locations, like Germany or Japan. As much as we want it and as amazing as it would be, Germany will likely never happen for us. There are a few AGR positions overseas, but not many.

When we PCS, we typically do not move from post to post. When you live on post, everyone knows you’re affiliated with the military. Even when you go off-post into the community, people ask what you or your spouse does for a living and you say he’s in the Army, they don’t give it a second thought. As an AGR family, it’s never that simple. I’ve gotten responses like, “Are you sure he’s active duty?”, and “Here? Is there a military installation here?” I’ve gotten the “Are you sure he’s active duty?” question so many times I want to scream every time I hear it!

AGR soldiers promote slower than if they were on active duty. I will never understand it, but that’s the way it is. You have amazing officers who are a year and a half behind others who have the same date of rank, simply because they decided not to go active duty.

Resources, though abundant, are not as easy to find. Moving to a large Army post, I was impressed by all of the resources I came across on a daily basis. From MWR events to the lending closet. From ACS to the FRG. Fun runs, spouse groups, the fitness and childcare centers on post, child and youth activities and classes. The list goes on and on! When you’re a military family moving into a community that’s mostly civilian you have to do A LOT more research to find resources applicable to you because the military community just isn’t as visible.

In my opinion, AGR soldiers and their families are stuck in a sort of gray zone. I sometimes feel like the people of Whoville in Horton Hears a Who yelling, “WE ARE HERE! WE ARE HERE! WE ARE HERE!” We aren’t quite active duty and we aren’t quite reserves. We experience the best and worst of both worlds. Everyone has their own opinion of whether being AGR is worth it, but just like any other job, somebody has to do it.

Is your family part of the Active Guard and Reserves? What would you add to the list?

Posted by Andrea Bitterman, military spouse and NMFA Volunteer


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Active Guard Reserve

Active Guard Reserve (AGR) refers to a United States Army and United States Air Force federal military program which places Army National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers and Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve airmen on federal active duty status under Title 10 U.S.C., or full-time National Guard duty under Title 32 U.S.C. 502(f) for a period of 180 consecutive days or greater in order to provide full-time support to National Guard and Reserve organizations for the purpose of leading, organizing, administering, recruiting, instructing, or training the Reserve Components according to Subsection 101(d)(6).[1]


Since September 11, 2001, substantial numbers of AGRs have been placed on active duty for direct support of the Active Component (also known as the Regular Component) of the armed forces in order to fill critical shortfall requirements for which no qualified Active Component fill is available. Most often, these are general officers and field grade officers in the commissioned officer ranks and senior non-commissioned officers in the enlisted ranks, typically assigned to the Joint Staff, the Army Staff, the Air Staff, or the combatant commands.

Soldiers and Airmen in such status are commonly referred to as AGRs. Although they continue to be members of the Reserve Components, they are in a different federal status than traditional part-time Army Reserve Component or Air Reserve Component members (including full-time Army Reserve Technician and Air Reserve Technician Program members) called to active duty for training, special work, operational support to the Active Component, or mobilized for contingency operations.

Certain units with critical stateside missions, such as the National Guard Bureau, the 1st Air Force, the Eastern Air Defense Sector, Western Air Defense Sector, and the 176th Air Defense Squadron, have been converted from regular active duty personnel to "all AGR" in order to provide more consistent manning.[2]

Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, and Coast Guard Reserve counterparts[edit]

The sea services (i.e., United States Navy, United States Marine Corps, and United States Coast Guard) do not have an AGR program per se, but do have cadres of full-time active duty personnel in support of the respective Reserve Components and integrated with the Active Component.

U.S. Navy ReserveFull-Time Support (FTS) officers and sailors, formerly known as Training and Administration of the Reserves (TAR), U.S. Marine CorpsActive Reserve (AR), and U.S. Coast GuardReserve Program Administrators (RPAs) are technically included in the definition of AGR. But whereas Army and Air Force Reserve Component personnel can enter the AGR program at any point in their careers, entry into the sea service programs is typically limited to E-5 and below for enlisted personnel and O-4 with less than three years time in grade and below for commissioned officers.[3]

Approximately 95% of Navy FTS, Marine Corps AR and Coast Guard RPA officers and enlisted personnel enter these programs directly from the Active Component. Unlike the Army and Air Force AGR programs, the FTS, AR and RPA career tracks are considered permanent active duty career programs, with no opportunity for senior enlisted or senior officers to enter later in their careers from "traditional" part-time Reserve status at the E-7/E-8/E-9, O-5/O-6, or General Officer/Flag Officer levels. Senior officers in FTS, AR and RPA are also subject to continuation boards at the O-5 and O-6 level and may be subject to an earlier mandated retirement date than their Regular Navy, Regular Marine Corps or Regular Coast Guard counterparts of the same pay grade in the Active Component or their Traditional Reserve/Selected Reserve counterparts in the Reserve Component, including the latter when recalled back to active duty.

Since September 11, 2001, "traditional" Reserve officers of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard above the rank of O-4 and senior enlisted at E-6 and above have been recalled to active duty for successive back-to-back or near back-to-back active duty periods under mobilization, special work or operational support orders, filling shortfalls for two, three, four, or more years for which no qualified Active Component or FTS officer or senior enlisted is available, or individuals in the Reserve Component with specific talents and/or experience for whom the Active Component senior leadership (typically at the flag officer / general officer level) has made a "by name" request. However, career tenure (other than for Reserve retirement) and an active duty retirement, while occasionally achieved by these personnel, are not guaranteed.

Navy Reserve Canvasser/Recruiters are also included in the AGR definition, but may be accessed at the E-7/8/9, W-2/3/4/5, O-4 with more than 3 years time in grade, and O-5 pay grades. Unlike FTS, Canvasser/Recruiter is not considered a career program, so career tenure protections and an active duty retirement are not guaranteed.


See also[edit]

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ON BOARD2W1X1, 2A3X5, 2A3X8E6
E6Syracuse20 OctA21-393ADirector Of Inspections
O4Scotia20 OctA21-394AFirst Sergeant
E7Rome21 OctA21-398AAirlift/special Mission Aircraft
E6Westhampton25 OctA21-399AMobility Pilot - Wing Plans
O5Newburgh25 OctJB21-086Recruiting and Retention NCO
CAT 200FE4
E6Long Island / New York City26 OctJB21-087Recruiting and Retention NCO
CAT 200FE4
E6Hudson Valley, Capital District, And Northern NY26 OctJB21-088Recruiting and Retention NCO
CAT 200FE4
E6Western AnD CEntral NY26 OctJB22-004Unit Administrator
CAT 225QE5
E6Yonkers27 OctA21-400ANCOic, Personnel Programs
E7Rome28 OctA21-401AAirplane Flt Instructor RPa Pilot-mq-9 Pilot
O4Syracuse29 OctA21-402AAirplane Flt Instructor RPa Pilot-mq-9 Pilot
O4Syracuse29 OctA21-403AAirplane Flt Instructor RPa Pilot-mq-9 Pilot
O4Syracuse29 OctA21-385ASpc Mission Aviator
E7Westhampton01 NovA21-387ASpc Mission Aviator
E6Westhampton01 NovA21-388ASpecial Warfare
O4Westhampton01 NovJB22-006Supply Sergeant
CAT 292YE5
E6Farmingdale01 NovA22-002ASecurity Forces Chief Enlisted Manager
E9Rome02 NovA22-021AContracting Specialist
E7Niagara Falls02 NovA22-026APersonnel NCO
E8Latham02 NovJB22-001Property Book NCO
CAT 292YE4
E5Binghamton03 NovJB22-002Training NCO
CAT 212BE5
E6Lockport03 NovA22-004AAerospace Propulsion
E7Scotia04 NovJB22-003Supply NCO
CAT 292YE5
E6Buffalo04 NovA22-006AMobility AF Intg Ins
E5Scotia04 NovJB22-007Admin/training NCO
CAT 213BE5
E6Cortlandt05 NovJB22-008Supply NCO
CAT 292YE5
E6New York City05 NovA22-009AC2 Battle Mgt Oprs
E5Rome08 NovA22-010AAircraft Maintenance
E7Westhampton Beach12 NovA22-011AAcft Armament Sys
E5Westhampton Beach12 NovA22-012AAircraft Maintenance
E6Westhampton Beach12 NovA22-013AAircraft Maintenance
E5Westhampton Beach12 NovA22-022AAircraft Mechanic
E6Westhampton Beach12 NovJB22-005Supply Sergeant
CAT 292YE5
E6Cortlandt Manor13 NovA22-014ASof/pr Intg Com
E6Westhampton Beach15 NovA22-015ASof/pr Intg Com
E7Westhampton Beach15 NovA22-016ASof/pr Elec Warfare
E7Westhampton Beach15 NovA22-017ASof/pr Intg Ins
E5Westhampton Beach15 NovA22-018AAir Battle Manager
O4Bolling Ab, DC15 NovA22-019ACyber Transport Systems
E6Bolling AFB, DC15 NovA23-023ASecurity Forces Craftsman
E7Scotia19 NovA22-024ASecurity Forces Journeyman
E5Scotia19 NovA22-025ASecurity Forces Craftsman
E6Scotia19 NovA22-020ASpecial Mission Aviator
E8Westhampton Beach03 DecADOS21-012Aeromedical Physician Assistant
O3RochesterNoneADOS21-016Physician Assistant
O3Camp Smith Training SiteNoneA22-008ARf Transmissions
E6Fort DrumNoneADOS22-001Drug Testing Coordinator
E6LathamNoneADOS22-002Assistant Drug Testing Coordinator

Army agr

Active Guard Reserve (AGR) Job Opportunities

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Closing Date

21-131Cyber Systems SuperintendentE-83D190225 SS, JBLM, McChord Field16 Nov 2121-134Cyber Transport System CrftE-73D172225 SS, JBLM, McChord Field29 Oct 2121-135Client Systems JymnE-53D151225 SS, JBLM, McChord Field29 Oct 2121-136Cyber Transport Systems JymnE-53D152225 SS, JBLM, McChord Field30 Sep 2221-138Aircraft Pneudraulic Sys MechanicE-72A675141 MXS, Fairchild AFB2 Nov 2122-001C2 Battle Mngt Ops JymnE-51C551225 ADS, JBLM, McChord Field30 Sep 2222-003Logistics Mngt SuperintendentE-82S091225 SS, JBLM, McChord Field9 Nov 2122-004Air Battle ManagerO-413B3C225 ADS, JBLM, McChord Field18 Nov 21
U.S. Army Reserves Full Time Job Opportunities - AGR vs ADOS


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