Joining The National Guard
Interested In Serving In The National Guard? Find Out More About This Reservist Branch And If It’s Right For You
The National Guard is comprised of nearly half a million soldiers and airmen who serve their country as military reserves. Two things about National Guard jobs that set it apart from other branches of the armed forces: The National Guard is the only military sector that enlists members as reservists only and the National Guard is a division of both the Air Force and the Army.
Here are some interesting facts about joining the National Guard that you may not have known:
- The Army National Guard has fought in every war in American history
- The National Guard has been protecting the United States for over 375 years
- The National Guard responds to civil disturbances, riots, and natural disasters
- Number of U.S. Presidents have served in the early colonial and state militias: 18
- Number of U.S. Presidents who have served in the National Guard: 2
Six Questions And Answers About The National Guard: Further Your Education, Career, And Future TODAY!
If you’re considering a National Guard career as a reserve member of the armed forces, there are a few things you should know about the National Guard before enlisting. Although members of the National Guard are committed to reserve duty, there are a few key differences between the National Guard and the Army or Air Force Reserves.
The National Guard is comprised of brigade combat teams that receive support from combat and combat service units, while the Reserves are responsible for combat and combat service support only. Another major difference is the jurisdiction of the National Guard. While the Reserves are federally funded, the National Guard is funded by the state in which it operates, with a fraction of its funding coming from the federal level.
If you believe that a National Guard career is the best choice for you, read on to find answers to the sic most commonly asked questions about the National Guard to guide you as you make this life-changing decision.
1. How long can I commit to the National Guard?
Joining any branch of the armed forces requires years of service, and you have to be ready to commit to the predetermined amount of time required by the National Guard. Typically, those who enlist sign three, six, or eight-year contracts. If you choose to sign a three or six-year contract you will still be considered a part of the National Guard for eight years total, but you will spend the remainder of your contract in the Individual Ready Reserve. This means that you will not train with your unit after your years of service, but you will be required to report for duty in the event of an emergency.
2. Will I have time to complete my training each year?
Joining the National Guard requires you to attend a ten-week basic training at the beginning of your contract, followed by advanced training that can last anywhere from six to fifty-two weeks. The amount of time you spend at advanced training is determined by your occupation within the National Guard. After the initial training periods, each member of the National Guard will be required to report to a local training base training one weekend a month, as well as a two-week training period at one of the various National Guard locations throughout the country.
3. Am I considering a career in the National Guard?
There are many National Guard jobs, and if you’re looking to make a lifelong commitment to the armed forces, this is a great way to ensure the success of your future. The National Guard offers training courses in a variety of industries including everything from aviation to logistics, artillery, and beyond. You can choose to receive on-the-job training for basic employment, or you can take advantage of the many opportunities this branch of the armed forces offers to develop your skills, knowledge, and experience.
4. Can joining the armed forces help me receive an education?
One thing about the National Guard that may interest you is the educational opportunities offered to many members of this branch of the military. Depending on your career goals, the National Guard will reimburse tuition costs and other expenses incurred through student loans in amounts of up to $50,000. For those who choose to pursue careers outside of the armed forces, there are many ROTC programs available to help offset the costs associated with enrolling in a college or university. Retired members can also benefit from education programs by researching veteran college options.
5. Does the National Guard offer benefits?
Joining the National Guard offers some very lucrative benefits for those who enlist. Just some of the many benefits you’ll be entitled to during your time of service include:
- Military pay for every day you serve
- Financial assistance for education
- Earn bonuses for specialized jobs
- Free flights throughout the United States
- Low-cost health, dental, and life insurance plans
- Retirement plans and membership at a military credit union
6. How much military pay do reserves make?
Every day you serve in the armed forces earns you military pay. The amount you are entitled to varies depending on the number of days you attend training or are called to duty during a time of crisis. New members of the National Guard will earn no less than $91 a day for each weekend they spend training, $632 during their annual training period, and $1,300 for each month they are called into active duty. However, this is just the beginning – Experienced members of the National Guard can earn pay increases that equal 13 times that amount! The amount of military pay you earn is based upon merit: years of service, experience, employment positions, and ranking all factor into the amount you will be paid for your time in the National Guard.
Looking for career opportunities and information about the National Guard? Click here to view our National Guard jobs page to see what kind of employment opportunities are available to those who enlist in the armed forces. You can also view more information on continuing education, benefits, and more.