Originally Posted by mb1685
I understand and agree. That's definitely my primary focus and I'm trying to take it one step at a time. I'm just wondering if going Active Duty might be a safer financial bet than Guard/Reserve for someone with a family and a ton of debt. I know I can't predict everything but being armed with some knowledge about what the typical lifestyle and job options are like is definitely helpful. I'm sure I'll be asked about it in my interview too so I figure it would be a good idea to have at least a few rough gameplans rather than telling them I haven't thought about it and will just wing it.
I agree with the earlier advice. You will basically have 2 - 3 years of active duty orders if you are selected. By then you are a 1st lieutenant with some options.
As far as the debt - it depends. Do you want that lucrative 300K wide-body Captain job someday? Going active duty puts you at least 12 years - more likely 13-14 years from now (by the time paperwork, processing, etc occurs) - until you can separate and fly for an airline. Yes, you will have stable, even good income for those years but the opportunity cost may not be worth it.
I haven't known any ANG pilots in the heavy world who have had a difficult time making ends meet as a guard bum. The key is to cut spending in the beginning. By the time you're a Captain, you can make a pretty good living - even as a bum.
To answer your original question, I have successfully balanced flying in the guard and a teaching career. It's a combination that is unique as I have every summer available to deploy or grab a set of long-term orders. During the school year, I typically fly 3 or 4 nights a month, pull alert duty once or twice, and serve in other capacities 1 or 2 days. I'm busy and tired, but I get it done.