Enlisting in the National Guard is not nearly as difficult as it sounds. Even though this is a big step in your life, the Guard has made it simple to join. Of course, there are steps that you must take if you want to become a part of this branch of the military.
Before you do anything, you have to ask yourself one very important question: am I really ready to join the National Guard? This is not a decision that you should take lightly. Anybody who is joining the military needs to know what they are getting into. This is a great life that can put you on the track to long term career success. But remember, the National Guard is not the right choice for everybody.
Steps to Enlist in the National Guard
1. Contact a National Guard recruiter in your area. This is the first step in the process. Even if you are unsure of whether or not you want to enlist, this is something you should do. Your recruiter can provide more information on the National Guard, including benefits of joining and what to expect.
There is no obligation. In other words, just because you meet with a National Guard recruiter does not mean you are necessarily joining. In fact, thousands of people every year explore this option and then decide to move in another direction.
2. Take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test. You do not want to do this until you and your recruiter agree that joining the National Guard is the right decision.
What is the point of this test? It is meant to measure your knowledge in eight distinct areas including: science, math, electronics, word knowledge, shop skills, and mechanics. While this may not sound important, the results of this test will help you choose the National Guard that best suits your strengths.
Succeeding in the National Guard starts with taking this test and choosing a career path that you will enjoy.
3. Enlist. Once you get all the minor points out of the way, it is time to actually enlist in the National Guard. This is an exciting time in your life- enjoy it!
During the enlistment process you will do all of the following: schedule a physical exam with a National Guard doctor; settle on a date to ship out for Basic Combat Training; confirm your career field and job specialty; approve any and all bonuses and benefits that you are set to receive; and most importantly, take your Oath of Enlistment.
4. Recruit Sustainment Program. The day that you leave for Basic Combat Training depends on the school you are attending for your career, as well as the job specialty you have chosen. For this reason, you may ship within a couple of weeks or within a couple of months. Until you leave for Basic Combat Training, you are required to attend Recruit Sustainment Program ? this is only one weekend per month. In short, this program helps you learn the structure and rules of the National Guard. It will definitely help prepare you for training and beyond.
5. Leave for Basic Combat Training. Your dream finally becomes a reality when you ship out for training. Although Basic Combat Training lasts 10 weeks and can be grueling at times, when everything is said and done you will be a better person for it. From there, you will move onto Advanced Individual Training in which you learn the finer skills involved with your chosen career and job specialty.
Can I Enlist Today?
Even though the process of enlisting in the National Guard is very simple, there is no guarantee that you will qualify. There are several requirements that you must meet. For example, you must be a United States citizen between the age of 17 and 35. Along with this, the Guard requires you to meet certain medical, physical fitness, and moral requirements.
What about education requirements? The majority of states require that National Guard enlistees have a high school diploma or are currently working towards graduation. As noted above, this is something that your recruiter can help you with. There are special programs, such as the Split Training Option and GED Plus Program, which are designed for people in high school or in need of a GED to qualify.
By following these steps you will be on the right path to enlisting in the National Guard.