Before you join the National Guard, you should learn as much as possible about this military branch. Although a popular choice among those interested in serving their country, it is far from the only option.
The National Guard is a branch of the military that serves the federal and state governments, at home and in other parts of the world. Along with the ability to go into combat, Guard Soldiers are highly trained to handle a variety of emergencies raging from natural disasters to terrorist attacks and much more.
How long will I stay in the National Guard?
When you enlist in the National Guard you are promising to serve for a minimum of eight years. However, you have the ability to serve for three or six years and then spend the rest of your time in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). Although you will not be a full-time soldier as part of the IRR, you can still be called upon in the event that additional forces are needed.
Am I eligible to become part of the National Guard?
If you are between the age of 17 and 35, there is a very good chance that you qualify to join the National Guard. Of course, there are guidelines in place to ensure that every member of the Guard meets the height, weight, age, education, and fitness requirements.
Along with other requirements, you must be a United States citizen or legal permanent alien.
Can I talk to somebody before joining?
Not only can you speak with a local National Guard representative, but this is an opportunity that you don?t want to pass by. During your meeting, you can discuss the many details above, including eligibility requirements and enlistment period, as well as anything else that is on your mind.
Do I have to go into combat?
For some people this is a ?make or break? question. They are interested in serving their country, but unsure if going into battle is right for them. Although not common, members of the National Guard could be sent into battle to defend their country ? domestically and overseas. If this does happen you will be trained physically and mentally for anything that could come your way.
What are my career options?
As you consider joining the National Guard and continue to speak with your main point of contact, you will learn more about the many career options including: Infantry; Armor and Field Artillery; Aviation; Medical; Military Policy; Transportation; Logistics Support; Mechanic and Maintenance; Signal and Military Intelligence; Engineer; Administrative; Interpreter; and Special Forces.
Within these career categories there are more than 150 jobs.
These five questions, among others, can help you decide if joining the National Guard is the right decision.