From 1960 – 1963 I was in the Army Signal Corps…I was 21 years old when I separated. So, why did I join the Infantry in 1982 at age 40?
In 1982 Michigan led the nation in unemployment with 14.5%. The peak of the recession was in November and December 1982, when the nationwide unemployment rate was 10.8%, highest since The Great Depression. You couldn’t buy a job in 1982…sound familiar.
So, out of desperation I found out that the Michigan Army National Guard had full time Title 32 positions so I figured some money was better than no money.
Of course Ihad no idea of what I was getting myself into when the recruiter said, “We willput you in the tow section.” I thought I would be driving a tow truck. I had noidea what he meant.
The TOW (Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire command-link guided)Missile System consists of a tripod, traversing unit, missile guidance set,launch tube, optical sight, battery assembly and any of five missile variations. The TOW missile system also includes a thermal sight that providesa capability for operations at night, in reduced visibility, and in acountermeasure environment. TOW missiles are all-up rounds encased in adisposable container.
The TOW system is mounted on various platforms including the BradleyFighting Vehicle, the improved TOW vehicle, The M151 Commonly referred to as a "jeep" or "quarter-ton", the Humvee and the AH-1FCobra helicopter. In addition, it can be operated in a dismounted ground mode.The TOW is guided to its target merely by the gunner keeping the cross-hairs onthe target.
Corrective information is sent to the missile by two thin wiresthat deploy in flight. Mission:Defeat threat armored vehicles and urban enclosed threats at extended ranges inall expected battlefield conditions.
But during my period of service 820617 – 831119 and having been interviewed by what seemed like every National Guard Unit in Michigan I was never successful in getting employed.
Some Army National Guard personnel are on Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) status. This means these soldiers have volunteered to go on active duty providing full-time support to National Guard, Reserve and Active Component organizations for the purpose of organizing, administering, recruiting, instructing or training the Reserve Component.
The Reserve Component (RC) has two primary programs, Title 10 and Title 32. Title 10 positions are generally federal level jobs, while Title 32 jobs are at the state level. AGR soldiers serve full-time and enjoy the same benefits and entitlements as Active Component soldier, including paid leave, full educational benefits, medical care for themselves and their immediate family, and the opportunity for immediate retirement after 20 years of Active Federal Service. Title 10 soldiers are stationed worldwide.