I just finished my first drill this weekend and I want to share with Nurse corp reserve folks here who have questions about certain stuff. Read more below:
(Please feel free to add more info. Sharing is caring
BOLC - if you are a reservist, you only go for 25 days, unlike Active duty folks who go for longer. It's divided into 2 phases: BOLC phase 1 and phase 2. Phase 1 is done online and must be completed first before you can secure a BOLC phase 2 date. There are certain dates that are available throughout the year so the sooner you finish phase 1, the better. If you haven't been able to take BOLC after 3 years from your commission date, they will let you go. Don't wait until 3 years are almost over to get your phase 2 BOLC date.
Info about Phase 2: you will be sent to Camp Bullis in San Antonio, TX.
Your MOS determines who will be your career manager. They are a good resource. Use them.
You must have all your uniforms complete with you when you go. You must be ready as soon as possible esp with your uniforms because you don't want to scramble last minute for stuff. Plus, shopping online is cheaper.
If you are an officer, (we nurses are anyway lol) you pay for everything. Stuff can get very expensive.
At the end of BOLC, they will offer a small uniform stipend. I believe its $400 if im not mistaken (pls correct me if im wrong) Take that money even if it's barely anything compared to the money you spend/will spend for uniforms.
Have a battle buddy/battle buddies: this is very important to have your fellow peers to help ya out. if theyre prior enlisted or have been in the military for a long time, theyre a GREAT RESOURCE for ya for everything and anything military from salutes, formations, etc.
Follow what they tell you.
If your platoon tells you something, listen to them and do it. They are teaching and helping you out
Your platoon sergeant and platoon officer are great resources for you. they are your link between yourself and the commander of your unit and other happenings related to you relayed to them from the commander
Make at least 6 copies of everything, put them in a file storage box, and store them in your trunk.
Always have a pair of PT (physical training) uniform in your car trunk in case of emergency,
Also, keep one ACU (army combat uniform) ready in your car trunk just in case.
Always have your own stash of copy paper. Paper is a very high commodity and runs out fast.
Buy your own mobile printer so you can print anywhere! I've seen many army reservists in my unit with this.
Did I mention buy all your uniforms as soon as you get commissioned?
Make sure before you go to your first drill or BOLC (whichever comes first) that these are setup:
-Mypay (direct deposit) - so you can get paid on time
-AKO - your military email. all commmunication between your unit, and all things army wil be sent to your email. you need your AKO to do everything from your training, etc. Not having an AKO is equivalent to being lost. NO AKO = BAD BAD BAD...your AKO should be setup by your recruiter. if they dont, you will suffer. I learned this the hard way too.
-CAC card (your military ID) - make sure your name is spelled correctly. make sure that all security certificates needed for you to access AKO is installed in your computer and on your CAC card. If you own a Mac, you gotta pay the CAC reader software. If you have windows, you have it easier.
Research about ranks, needed paperwork.
Have all your paperwork related to the army with you and have at least 6 copies of it because each department you go to will need it to process you.
When you go to your first drill, your recruiter should be going with you to help you with your inprocess to your unit (mine didn't)
If you live more than a certain number of miles from your assigned unit, you can request LIK (Lodging in Kind) where the army puts you in a hotel and pays for it.
If you live far from your unit and find your fellow peers live in your area, carpool.
If your unit's supply office runs out of stuff (for ex. CAC reader, they will make you buy it.)
You will be spending everything out of pocket as an officer, so prepare to have your wallet bleed.
That's all I can think of for now. I'll post more once I get more info.