Could use some advice. National Guardsman here looking for career in law enforcement
Okay gentlemen I could use some feedback about pursuing a law enforcement career. Right now I'm a PFC in the Guard, about two years in. The Chaplain in my battalion is pressuring me to go officer and join the ROTC program since I am in community college and will be set to transfer to a university next year or spring 2014. He has set me up with a lieutenant in our unit who has contacts with the ROTC program of the college I want to get into and they want me to start sending them paperwork to get me enrolled in ROTC as soon as possible. I'm hoping this works out for me.
I'm pursuing an Accounting degree because it may give me an edge in federal law enforcement job applications and also I could get disqualified from law enforcement for several reasons from potential injuries to background issues. I don't want to put all my eggs in law enforcement even though that is my main career goal.
Anyway I was wondering how it would impact my law enforcement career to go Active Duty Army or National Guard. I was thinking of staying in the Guard and then pursuing law enforcement positions as soon as I commission and get my degree. Then perhaps if I couldn't get a law enforcement job straight away, find a civilian job and continue looking for law enforcement positions after building some work experience.
If I go Active Duty, I guess I would serve for 3-4 years and get out and start looking for law enforcement positions. Plus I would probably have some type of veteran's preference points with my active duty time.
I'm not sure which path would be the best though. I mean if I take the Guard route, I may get lucky and find a position without having to go active duty first, that way I could still serve and also get my foot in the door of law enforcement as soon as possible.
On the flip side, going active duty would get me veteran's preference points and could possibly be worth a lot when I get out. By the way, my dream agencies would probably be NCIS, AFOSI, Diplomatic Security, and possibly Department of Homeland Security. I would be looking for 1811 positions. I have a certain affinity for the military for some reason and would love to be a FLEO with either military involvement or a position that would send me overseas, though I definitely wouldn't mind local law enforcement either.
Anyways I'm just trying to figure out what path would best benefit my career goals and would love to hear any feedback, opinions, or information from some of you guys.
Remember, the more bouncing around you do in different retirement systems, the harder it is to accrue time, which may not seem like a big deal when you're 21 but WILL be a big deal when you're 55.
Guys get all excited about being an officer. I've never understood it. Find a guard or reserve MOS that you like and that may be relevant to your future civilian career. Focus more on the career field and less on being an officer. Most agencies will value relevant training & experience more than the fact you got commissioned. (Of course, that varies from agency to agency)
To repeat just joe, your possible 'background issues' will probably knock you from law enforcement on any level (local, state or federal). Also, it will possibly knock you from becoming an officer depending on what MOS/AFSC you're trying to get into. You'd have to check with the gaining unit's recruiter to see the qualifications.
I've been an officer for over 4 years now after spending 13 years enlisted (all Air National Guard) and I love what I do (Intelligence). I've deployed more than when I was enlisted and again, depending on your military job, you more than likely will deploy to a remote tour (I've done three so far).
I spent almost 15 years in state law enforcement before finally switching over to the feds, so you can still pursue your civilian career and be a part of the Guard. It all depends on what you choose to do and IF you qualify for it. You apear to have the drive, which is good. Hopefully everything else lines up good for you...