Transitioning From Active Duty: Army Reserve
Serving my country is very important to me because my mother served and I saw it as a civil duty. I deployed to Iraq in 2010. As I was getting closer to my ETS I was contemplating what was I going to do next. There are a lot of opportunities in the Army reserve that I did not know existed. My reserve component career counselor guided me throughout the process with allowing me to let her know what my needs were. My career counselor was my partner in transitioning to the Army reserve. I saw my counselor at the mandatory meeting and I kind of wish I would’ve seen her earlier. The discussion with my wife initially didn’t go over too well because she was at the point of if you’re going to get out you should just get out. But, after speaking with the career counselor and explaining to my wife the benefits as far as being closer to home, being stabilized for at least 2 years, she was sold on the idea of me joining the reserve.
What I like about the Army reserve is along with getting trained in other MOS’s it still gives you the flexibility of going to school where you can get tuition assistance. By trade I’m a computer tech specialist. The Army reserve gives me a chance to work with computers, radios and all of that technology stuff that I love. I couldn’t get the training that I’m getting in the Army reserve in the civilian sector. Currently as an Army reserve soldier my job is to teach 25 uniform level 10 soldiers. For my civilian job I’m actually a contractor for the US Army. I work as a field software engineer supporting units when they go off for field training exercises. Every weekend that we serve is different. There are different taskings, there’s different requirements. So each weekend that we go each month there’s something new.
I want to become an officer. That’s always been my dream. The Army reserve right now has given me a chance to go before a board to be direct commissioned as opposed to going through the OCS process. When I put my uniform on every month it’s that sense of pride of knowing that you represent something more than yourself.
My name is Antwan Smalls, I’m a 25 Uniform Signal Support Specialist and I’m a proud Sergeant in the US Army Reserve.