Being on active duty is not easy and it really sucks at times.In the past two weeks, I've actually begun to give that considerably more serious thought. The answer usually is that there are enough reservists on the Hill that I know it's possible to do both jobs well. Service is important to me and picking between the two forms of it is not an easy choice when the option exists to do both.
That said, I've been very frustrated recently and, you're right, four years isn't that long and I can stay in the reserves afterwards. The counterpoint is that four years is a while to be away from the career that I've built so far.
That being said- it will put you light years ahead of your peers in the reserves. DCOs are extremely far behind their active duty counterparts (through no fault of their own, just the nature of the position)
You will qualify in your designator within 18 months and gain a ton of experience.
Going to a JIOC or Fleet command as a Junior Intelligence Officer will really train you up and teach you. There’s a constant fire from leadership that needs to be put out and managed in those jobs but that’s where you learn.
I did it and am grateful for the experience. I see far too many O-4s and some O-5s in the 1835 designator that really only know management, FITREPS, and office work but don’t know or understand complex Naval intelligence operations.
Keep in mind Navy intel is focused on support to sea going forces for the most part.
PM me if you got any questions.