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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How much does it pay?
Ohio Military Reserve (OHMR) personnel are not compensated for their training time, drills, or travel expenses. If called to State Active Duty by the Governor and Adjutant General, soldiers would then be compensated at the same rate as the Ohio National Guard based upon their grade (rank) and time in service.
If there's no pay, then what's in it for me?
Everyone has a different motivation for joining the military. For some, it fulfills a need to serve their country, state, or community. For others, military service may be a family tradition or perhaps an opportunity to fulfill a lifelong goal that they could not when they were younger. For prior service personnel, it provides the camaraderie they've come to miss since their discharge. Regardless of the reason, we all have the same focus and mission. It's about job satisfaction, not money.
Does the OHMR provide any equipment or uniforms?
Even though we are a state agency, the OHMR has limited resources to issue uniforms and gear, partially due the type of uniform we wear. Consequently, the majority of any materials needed are purchased by the soldier (uniforms, field gear, etc). All purchases related to OHMR activities are tax deductable. However, each soldier is issued a military ID card, dogs tags, training materials, and their first set of uniform patches.
Am I reimbursed for travel expenses?
Not at this time. The vast majority of our expenses are out-of-pocket. However, all purchases related to OHMR activities are tax deductable.
Are there any benefits to serving in the OHMR?
Unlike federal service soldiers, the OHMR does not receive any of the traditional benefits such as health insurance and retirement pay. However, we do receive military discounts at almost all businesses that offer them.

Soldiers also have access to professional advisors and counselors from personnel in our various departments covering issues that include finance, law, medicine, and technology.

Another benefit to service is professional development. All of the training we offer and the protocols we follow can have a profound effect on employment opportunities. Military service looks very good on a resume and most employers recognize the value of individuals with a military background.

In addition, because much of our academic training is performed online through FEMA, the certifications received for various course work can sometimes fulfill certain civilian job training requirements, as well as offering college credit for different courses.

Am I required to own/purchase a formal Class A/B uniform?
No. At a minimum, each soldier is required to have a class C utility uniform (woodland camouflage). The class A and B uniforms are used for more formal activities and are the only style of uniform upon which a soldier can wear their awards, ribbons, and decorations. The main difference between the class A and class B uniform is that the class A includes a formal jacket and requires a tie. All purchases related to OHMR activities are tax deductable.
What if we aren't activated or deployed? Do we actually do anything else?
Absolutely. Being deployable requires constant training, both in the classroom and in the field. We also participate in large-scale Field Training Exercises (FTX) in order to sharpen our skills.

In addition, the OHMR performs several community services, including color guards for parades and special events, honor guards for military funerals and Memorial Day events, recruiting booths at festivals and air shows, and an assortment of helpful community tasks at the local level.

How long do I have to serve?
For those joining the enlisted ranks, the minimum term of service is three years. For those persons with prior military service, the minimum term is only one year. After fulfilling the initial term of service, a soldier can reenlist under what is known as Indefinite status, meaning that they can stay until they reach mandatory retirement age or they can request an Honorable discharge at any time.

For commissioned officers, it's a little different. They are voluntarily appointed to a military position whose authority is derived from a higher power or office. They can remain on the job until terminated and they can resign their position at any time for any reason (much like voluntary employment).

What are the minimum requirements to join?
The eligibility requirements and disqualifying conditions can be found here. In addition, there are physical standards one must meet before they can be considered for service.

More information can be found in the OHMR Regulations 601-1, 601-2, and 40-1.

What are the disqualifying conditions for service?
The most common disqualifying factors for service are: felony criminal conviction, failure to meet physical standards, medical problems, and prior service Dishonorable Discharge. The eligibility requirements and disqualifying conditions can be found here.
Do I have to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test?
No, the OHMR does not require any pre-enlistment testing and does not require a high school diploma/GED.
I'm only 17 year old. Can I still join?
Yes, however we would require the completion of a consent form by a parent or legal guardian.
I am almost 60 years old. I am over 60 years old. Can I still join?
If you are still less than 60 years of age without prior military service, then yes you can join. If you are over 60 years of age, you would only be eligible if you had prior military service. The OHMR extends the maximum age requirement by one year for each year of prior service experience. Either way, the manditory retirement age is 67.
I am not a resident of Ohio but I still want to serve. Can I join?
Yes, however we would require the completion of a non-resident waiver form. It acknowledges your availability for duty and the potiential for limited benefits in either Ohio or your home state.
If I join, what will my starting rank be?
As an enlisted soldier with no special skill sets and no prior service, your starting rank would be PVT (E-1). However, there are other factors which may cause your starting rank to be higher. The Civilian Acquired Skills Program (CASP) can make a persons starting rank as high as SPC (E-4) based upon certain professional skill sets, education, and service-related experience.

If you have prior military service, then your rank at discharge would carry over to the OHMR. For field-grade officers and senior NCOs this may depend on an available duty slot for that grade.

What if I am prior military service?
Your minimum term of enlistment would be only one year and your prior service rank could carry over.
Can I join the OHMR if I'm currently serving in the Armed Forces (active, reserve, guard)?
The United States Armed Forces and the Ohio Military Reserve, federal and state regulations prohibit this. A person can only belong to a single military entity at any given time.

This does not affect persons currently serving with US Air Force Auxiliary (Civil Air Patrol), US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Veterans Service Organizations, and other auxiliary or law enforcment entities.

Do I have to attend basic training?
All soldiers, including future officers, must attend Basic Entry Level Training (BELT). This is essential in order to learn the fundamentals of being a soldier.

If you have prior military service with the United States Army (active, guard, reserve) or the United States Marine Corps (active, reserve), then you are exempt from this requirement. However, if your prior service is with the US Air Force, US Navy, or US Coast Guard, then you must attend BELT.

When do I have to attend BELT?
Basic Entry Level Training is a one week course, offered twice per year: fall (one full week at annual training) and winter (divided between three monthly drills). When you join, within six months you will receive orders to attend basic training. Until then, you will train with your home unit in preparation for BELT.
What kind of training will I receive?
Basic Entry Level Training (BELT) provides classroom and hands-on education on soldier fundamentals. Subjects include military history, customs and courtesies, drill and ceremony, uniforms standards, core values, and teamwork... just to name a few.
Will we be trained in the use of, or be permitted to carry, firearms?
At this time, the mission of Ohio Military Reserve does not call for the use of firearms. Consequently, we are not issued, nor do we train with firearms.

NOTE: Personally-owned, non-issued firearms are forbidden on military bases, even unloaded and secured in a vehicle.

Will I be sent overseas or outside of the country?
No. Because the OHMR is a state-only agency, we do not deploy outside of the state or county.
Where will I be stationed?
The OHMR operates out of Ohio National Guard armories throughout the state. We have units and facilities in each quadrant of the state. If you are assigned to a line unit (company level) then you will operate out of one of these facilities. If you are assigned to either Brigade Headquarters or the Medical Detachment, then your home station will be in Columbus.
Why does the OHMR still wear the woodland camouflage uniforms?
As per the orders of the Adjutant General of the State of Ohio, the OHMR is required to where wear a class C utility uniform that is distinctive in appearance from our federal service counterparts (Ohio National Guard).
Does the OHMR do calisthenics or physical fitness training?
In addition to the required annual physical fitness test, line units traditionally begin each drill with some form of physical training (PT). This can be as formal as guided exercises (in garrison or in the field) or a simple as a team sport. Either way, the goal is the get the heart pumping and the blood flowing with some sort of cardio activity.
What Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) or duty positions are available?
At this time, the OHMR has only one official specialty qualification: Military Security Specialist (MSS). This is a stripped-down version of the Military Police (31B) specialty. Because our mission has evolved into primarily a disaster response and civil support role, the need for formal police skills has been phased out in favor of a field operational security profile.

However, there are numerous unofficial specialties for which we maintain duty positions: administrative clerks, medics, trainers, recruiters, logistics and supply admins, computer technicians, food service, etc.


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