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All Branch Topic (ABT) ARNG: Getting out before MDSSP obligation is up.

anonymousekateer

New Member
Jun 3, 2020
1
0
1
  1. Attending Physician
Does anyone know of any experiences or resources available for people interested in exiting the ARNG despite some time remaining on an MDSSP obligation? I've regretted signing all that paperwork and taking the oath for years, but it's getting to the point that it's going to kill my marriage or possibly my spouse, bad enough that I've had to short notice no show at least two IDT weekends in the past year, even without a deployment on the horizon.

The paperwork I signed doesn't really go into detail, just says I may have to repay the percentage of the obligation that remains or to perform active duty for up to two years, at the discretion of the Secretary of the Army.

So other than sucking it up and watching my marriage burn and my life go up in smoke, what else can I do? I'd happily buy my way out. I would not happily do AD for two years - a fee worse than the initial charge.

Related, I still have a state tuition reimbursement program obligation. That paperwork says literally nothing about what happens down the line if you don't repay the obligation.

I'm hoping there are good resources other than chain of command / state surgeon / state benefits manager person. I don't know that any of them will go out of their way to help, but perhaps an anonymousekateer person on the internet has something helpful to say.

In before "suck it up, buttercup." Appreciate any help. Many beers or whatever you prefer in return.
 
D

deleted480308

I would consider seeing a marriage counselor if the one weekend a month is the thing you think is breaking your marriage. There are probably other things that also need addressing

separate from that, have you considered asking to be reassigned from a line unit to a medical pool? If you are a battalion surgeon you just might have more push from command than if you are in a med company with 7 doctors who just show up and do physicals

after that, go talk to the behavioral health folks if you have a good one. They might be able to get you some assistance in figuring out the contract realities to help you make informed decisions

be safe, reach out if you feel overwhelmed
 

notdeadyet

Still in California
15+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2004
11,777
1,996
426
  1. Attending Physician
I’d recommend looking to transfer from one unit to another, if the current one isn’t to your liking. If you’re with a high tempo ARNG unit (MPs, etc.), you can spend a lot of time in the field and on short notice, which can be REALLY rough. But after you put time in with a unit like that, they’ll usually be willing to switch docs around a bit. The Guard doesn’t want to burn you out (or shouldn’t).

Another consideration is switching to the Reserve. From colleagues I know on that side of the fence, most of their schedules are thought out more in advance. You can also get assigned to full hospital units where they operate in a culture more like you’re accustomed to as opposed to a line unit.

I realize that this may be a grass-is-greener view of the Reserve’s culture, but as I was given 2 hours notice to report to a “civil unrest” mission this week, it sure feels legit.
 
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TheEarDoc

Audiologist
10+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2010
716
201
266
The dirty south
  1. Non-Student
I’d recommend looking to transfer from one unit to another, if the current one isn’t to your liking. If you’re with a high tempo ARNG unit (MPs, etc.), you can spend a lot of time in the field and on short notice, which can be REALLY rough. But after you put time in with a unit like that, they’ll usually be willing to switch docs around a bit. The Guard doesn’t want to burn you out (or shouldn’t).

Another consideration is switching to the Reserve. From colleagues I know on that side of the fence, most of their schedules are thought out more in advance. You can also get assigned to full hospital units where they operate in a culture more like you’re accustomed to as opposed to a line unit.

I realize that this may be a grass-is-greener view of the Reserve’s culture, but as I was given 2 hours notice to report to a “civil unrest” mission this week, it sure feels legit.

A lot can be said about the reserves vs. guard. At least in the reserves you serve one master. In the guard the governor or the president can call you up.

At least from my side of things there has been some decent pre-planning for trainings, mobs, etc.. in the Reserves
 

armytrainingsir

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jun 15, 2017
316
214
116
  1. Attending Physician
I am afraid your stress level would go up and not down if trying to exit early by writing a check.

Agree with the above suggestions:

Marriage counselor ASAP, if nothing else.

Talk to your command and/or chaplain about marriage, stress, and your current commitments; see if adjustments can be made.

Explore switching units or jobs.

Explore jumping over to the reserve side.

JAG visit to look at legal options

Good luck.
 

notdeadyet

Still in California
15+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2004
11,777
1,996
426
  1. Attending Physician
A lot can be said about the reserves vs. guard. At least in the reserves you serve one master. In the guard the governor or the president can call you up.

At least from my side of things there has been some decent pre-planning for trainings, mobs, etc.. in the Reserves

Yep. The “two masters” thing is very much a double-edged sword. Many of us joined the National Guard specifically for the state mission (more local service to the community, disaster response, etc.), but that doesn’t stop me from complaining when call-ups interfere with other plans.
 
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