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IMA Jobs.. anybody have info

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I think I've reached the end... or close to it.  I'm beginning to explore IMA spots. Anybody have info with this?  I'm currently a tanker reservist.  Thanks!

 

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Depends on your question. Left AD for a TR ANG job, transitioned to an AFRES IMA gig a few months ago. Honestly, I prefer it a lot more to the ANG. It's working within an AD unit but at least I get paid on time now.

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Understand there are multiple categories of IMA you will need to get smart on.  Importantly, a "Category E" IMA (often seen for academy liaison positions and the like) are for POINTS ONLY.  Category E IMA positions do not pay other than points.

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Are all paid IMA jobs full-time for X months?  Is IMA the wrong term for a true weekend a month warrior?  If it is, what do you call a reservist that does no more than ~48 periods/year unless activated?

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Bump.

I'm currently looking at IMA positions in the DC area, and would like to get any insight from people who have BTDT. I have 5.5 years until I hit 20 years, and the IMA route looks like a good option now.

Cheers,

A-O

Edited by awesome-o

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Can anyone currently in an IMA psn answer this?  I understand an IMA job is performed all at once, entire 6 weeks at one time, then you are done for the year.  Are there any IMA jobs (not points only) that you are able to perform more, or even split up the 6 weeks?  Summer is a peak time to make $$ in the airlines so would hate for my 6 weeks to be over that time.  Or for instance right now I am on disability for an ACL injury, would love to be able to go in and supplement my disability payment if that is an option if I am in this position again (hope not, surgery sucks!)  thx

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You don't have to do all of your time all in one swoop.  Depending on the unit and travel costs, you can break it up.  There is an IMA guidebook somewhere with some more details, but they will usually only pay travel ONE time for your use of annual tour.  And of course, just as a Traditional Reservist, you are on your own for any IDT training travel costs.  

 

So, just like a TR, you have the equivalent of one weekend per month, or 24 days (48 periods) per year to burn plus your annual tour of 12 days (this is for Category A IMA, Category B is 12 days/24 periods).  So, in short, you are on the hook for 36 days per year, which can be done all at once or broken up, depending on the unit and your supervisor/scheduler.  The big catch is that if you break it up into more little chunks, you will wind up paying more for transportation out of pocket if distance is an issue.  Also, if you do all of your days in one chunk, you better be damn sure you have done all of your annual requirements while there (PT test, physical, training, CBTs, etc), because you will be SOL if you have to take a PT test 6 months down the road and you don't have any IDT or AT days left.  

 

And of course, since IMA jobs are usually tied to active duty units, there is usually no such thing as "drill weekends," which means most of your days will be done Mon-Fri.  Most supervisors will let you burn a single period or two over the weekend for admin/CBT stuff, just to keep your lodging paid for by the IMA detachment.  But a week of working your IMA job will likely only be 5 1/2 days of pay as opposed to 7 days of pay.  Unless of course, you are in some exercise or in an office that works 7 days per week, then ignore my last sentence.    

 

IMAs, just like TRs, can whore themselves out and take on additional maydays in the form or RPA, MPA, or whatever days.  Obviously you will deconflict with your IMA unit if you are going to take a longer MPA/RPA tour, as a lot of IMA jobs want you there for a specific exercise or time frame in order to maximize your usefulness and experience.

 

On May 3, 2016 at 6:27 PM, nunya said:

Are all paid IMA jobs full-time for X months?  Is IMA the wrong term for a true weekend a month warrior?  If it is, what do you call a reservist that does no more than ~48 periods/year unless activated?

nunya, I think I answered all of your questions, but just to summarize: no IMA jobs are really paid "full time" for any months.  At best, you are paid "mostly full time" for 36 days if you shoot your entire wad of military days in one fell swoop.  Of course, if you did an additional volunteer active duty tour, then you would be paid active duty for that amount of time.  IMAs are typically not weekend warriors, TRs are the weekend warriors (unless you are like I was and did drill makeups during the week in order to preserve your weekends).  Both IMAs and TRs are Reservists, and both are on the hook for 48 periods, plus Annual Tour each fiscal year in order to get a "good year."

 

You will want to make all requests for IDT and active duty days well in advance - at least a month.  And most people complain that working through the Detachment as opposed to their own unit orderly room can be a pain.  This article might be worth a read:

http://www.theboohers.org/my-start-as-an-ima-in-the-air-force/

   

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On May 5, 2016 at 7:09 PM, awesome-o said:

Bump.

I'm currently looking at IMA positions in the DC area, and would like to get any insight from people who have BTDT. I have 5.5 years until I hit 20 years, and the IMA route looks like a good option now.

Cheers,

A-O

So, are you looking to do 5.5 more years of active time to get a retirement?  The IMA program itself is not going to get you that, but it will definitely open doors to other active duty gigs where you might be able to do a few months or a year or so of an active duty tour.  But your IMA "bucket" of money only has enough money to pay for the stuff I was talking about in the above post.  You might be better suited trying to find a full time AGR slot for 3 years and see if you can do that twice if they renew the slot.  Cobbling together 5 years of MPA or RPA maydays might a challenge, but I know there are definitely lots of days out there depending on what you want to do and where you want to go.  

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Awesome JS.  Thanks.  I had been talking to TACC IMAers and they were all on long term MPA (?) days, but now I realize they're different.  In so many ways.  

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I went from a traditional ANG position to an IMA position. It was a challenge for a number of reasons already mentioned above. IMA positions vary widely and your "mileage" will too. If someone would have asked me about it while I was in my first IMA position, I would have said no way. My current IMA gig is great and it's going to be tough to leave the flexibility if/when I go. 

Bottom line, IMA can be great but, you have to do your homework on the front end. Find another IMA, ask them about the process. If you're interested in a particular position, find out what your active duty brethren expect of you.  

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For the airline bubbas, is the IMA better or worse on the schedule than a TR gig?  I like the fact my unit pays for my travel to drill, I qualify for TRS, have great furlough protection, and all I do is fly, but six days a month can be a lot sometimes.  Is an IMA job really that much better?  It seems like it's a case of "grass is greener," when it reality it may not be.  Especially since travel and lodging could come out of my own pocket, and I may end up working just as much?  Thoughts?  Just weighing my options.  Thanks.

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On 5/6/2016 at 10:29 PM, JS said:

So, are you looking to do 5.5 more years of active time to get a retirement?  The IMA program itself is not going to get you that, but it will definitely open doors to other active duty gigs where you might be able to do a few months or a year or so of an active duty tour.  But your IMA "bucket" of money only has enough money to pay for the stuff I was talking about in the above post.  You might be better suited trying to find a full time AGR slot for 3 years and see if you can do that twice if they renew the slot.  Cobbling together 5 years of MPA or RPA maydays might a challenge, but I know there are definitely lots of days out there depending on what you want to do and where you want to go.  

I'm just looking at 5.5 total more years of service as a traditional (DSG). If I can get enough points for a "good year" (~50 points) until I hit the 20 year mark that'd be fine by me. I'm a Guard Baby, so I'm not gunning for an AD retirement.

I strongly prefer to stay in the DC area, and if I could have flexibility on when I perform my UTA's or IDT's that would be awesome. This may be a pipe dream, but I'm trying to see what's out there.

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12 hours ago, awesome-o said:

I'm just looking at 5.5 total more years of service as a traditional (DSG). If I can get enough points for a "good year" (~50 points) until I hit the 20 year mark that'd be fine by me. I'm a Guard Baby, so I'm not gunning for an AD retirement.

I strongly prefer to stay in the DC area, and if I could have flexibility on when I perform my UTA's or IDT's that would be awesome. This may be a pipe dream, but I'm trying to see what's out there.

I would start networking for some sort of IMA job at the puzzle palace.  They usually have a few advertised on the website, but word of mouth will get you a lot farther than that.  I am not an expert on Washington DC IMA jobs, but I would be willing to bet my monthly paycheck that there are more part time, flexible IMA jobs up there at any given moment than you can count on all of your fingers and toes.  You will probably just have to network and dig for them, because they won't all be listed on the website.  

But I would be willing to bet that a lot of gigs will give you a ton more flexibility with your days versus a regular reserve unit with set drill weekends, etc.  You won't have any problem getting a good year since they already program you for 50+ points per year, so the money and military status time is already there in the IMA job for you to get your last 5 good years.  

Again, as others have said, your experience may vary, as each job and active duty supervisor can be totally different with regards to flexibility, etc.   

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Thanks for the input JS! I've been on the reserve vacancy finder on the portal looking at different opportunities. The IMA program seems like a great option to get to 20 and not have to deal with as many hassles of flying currencies, mandatory weekend fun, ancillary duties, 4-6 month AEFs, etc.

I'll continue to reach out and network, I just wanted to see if anyone had any direct experience going from rated to IMA to get their 20. 

Cheers,

A-O

Edited by awesome-o

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On 5/9/2016 at 0:03 AM, warning said:

I went from a traditional ANG position to an IMA position. It was a challenge for a number of reasons already mentioned above. IMA positions vary widely and your "mileage" will too. If someone would have asked me about it while I was in my first IMA position, I would have said no way. My current IMA gig is great and it's going to be tough to leave the flexibility if/when I go. 

Bottom line, IMA can be great but, you have to do your homework on the front end. Find another IMA, ask them about the process. If you're interested in a particular position, find out what your active duty brethren expect of you.  

What is your current gig if i may ask?  as far as flexibility, are you able to just go in when you want?  I currently drill in Reno, live in Phx and am based in SLC.  You can see the problem.  When I come to reno I have to crash at a friends house, I have to get some kind of transportation, it is a hassle getting drill excusals (everyone is "mandatory") and the currencies are ridiculous.  i honestly should have gone back to being a UPT instructor. Im looking for IMA jobs at Luke as I live 15 min from it but until that golden egg gets laid im scratching my head.

On 5/9/2016 at 9:24 AM, ChkHandleDn said:

For the airline bubbas, is the IMA better or worse on the schedule than a TR gig?  I like the fact my unit pays for my travel to drill, I qualify for TRS, have great furlough protection, and all I do is fly, but six days a month can be a lot sometimes.  Is an IMA job really that much better?  It seems like it's a case of "grass is greener," when it reality it may not be.  Especially since travel and lodging could come out of my own pocket, and I may end up working just as much?  Thoughts?  Just weighing my options.  Thanks.

im curious of this as well.  would nice to be able to find a local IMA gig and work on or around some holidays or a kids bday if its a possiblity and be able to be home that night.

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Does anyone know if you can do an IMA gig in say an overseas ASOS and the civil air patrol thing as well that is points only?  

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Sorry I'm a little late responding with useful info, but I was an IMA for the last year (long story), and I think it's one of the best deals around. You get all the perks of being a reservist while generally working less (most IMA positions I've seen are cat B, with only 24 IDT's versus 48 for traditional), and never having to give up your weekend. There are a few considerations though. First, there are no longer any flying IMA positions. It requires AFRC/A3 approval to fly now. Since you belong to an active duty unit, who generally don't work weekends, you have to work your days during the week. I see this as a positive because you don't lose your weekend, but it could be an issue with some jobs. I was a civil service employee, so I got a boatload of paid days for military leave, then I could use regular leave or unpaid leave if I needed. Plus I worked both jobs on the same base (actually across the street from each other!), so there was no travel involved.

Some units will let you do some or all of your IDT's via telework. I know one guy living overseas but is an IMA stateside and does as much as he can remotely and then knocks out the rest when able. Then there's the jobs where you can knock it out all at once. There was a nav job posted for awhile in Germany where they wanted you to do all your days at once each year. The advantage for you is that since the IDT's are in conjunction with AT, all travel is paid for. Free trip to Europe each year!

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