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The Army Reserve is directly subordinate to Federal authority and may be activated by Presidential authority, while the National Guard is subordinate to State authority and must be "Federalized" prior to general activation. Being subordinate to State authority, the National Guard is also subject to activation by the state Governor in order to deal with local issues such as civil disorder and natural disasters. The capabilities and missions of the two forces also differ, with the Army Reserve composed of mostly service/support forces (maintainence, transport, logistics, etc.) and the Guard composed of combat/combat support units (engineers, armor, some infantry, aviation, etc.). My experience was in the Reserve, and I found that Guard units were generally better equipped and funded (largely by the State rather than by leftover Federal funds). Example: My Reserve unit didn't see kevlar helmets until the early '90s, years after all Guard units I knew of had them. We also never saw M16A2's, but had leftover Vietnam-era A1's. Our pilots (aviation maintainence unit) were issued .38 revolvers instead of Berettas! Better funding in the Guard also means increased opportunity to participate in advanced military schooling as well as more interesting training opportunities........Basic and MOS training is the same for all, Active, Guard, or Reserve (the drill sergeants generally have their fun with Guard and Reserve trainees, however). Enjoy your first trip to the CS (tear gas) chamber as well as the front leaning rest position!

Stu
 
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