The Army National Guard And The Air National Guard
Not all branches of service have a National Guard component. The Army and Air Force do. The history and evolution of the Army Guard, as mentioned above, traces back to the beginnings of America itself.
The Air National Guard was brought into service thanks to a reorganization of U.S. military forces after World War Two the nation was no longer on a full-time hot war footing and needed to restructure in order to keep up with changing times.
The National Security Act of 1947 established both the United States Air Force and the Air National Guard, which was added as a reserve component of USAF. Today the Air Force has both a Reserve and a National Guard option, the same as the U.S. Army.
Some of the earliest Air National Guard units were mobilized to support the Korean War in 1950. It would be the first in a long line of support for active duty forces across a variety of missions and causes in both in peacetime and in wartime.
How Much Does The National Guard Pay
If youre wondering how much you can make as a member of the National Guard, then the average salary is $48,477.
Commanders and other top-tier National Guard members make an annual salary of $97,500.
Those in the 75th percentile make an average salary of $56,000.
Part-timers, which make up the 25th percentile, make an average salary of $25,000.
Keep in mind that part-timers also work second jobs in their civilian life.
Their final income could easily double or triple that amount.
We can also break those salaries into weekly amounts.
The average weekly pay overall is $932.
Top earners make an average weekly pay of $1,875.
Those in the 75th percentile make an average weekly pay of $1,085.
Finally, the lowest percentile, the 25th, makes an average weekly pay of $480.
You can increase the amount that you earn by taking on more service hours.
You can also try to get into a higher-paying job.
Those with special skills, like certain trade skills, receive higher pay than those with standard or general skills.
If you decide to make a career out of the National Guard, then you can also earn more as you work your way up the ranks.
A commander and drill sergeant, for example, will make far more than a standard guardsman.
What Do The Army Reserves Do
The Army Reserves is comprised of mostly part-time soldiers who complete the training and requirements specified by their MOS, while still holding a civilian job or attending school.
Reserves members work one weekend a month, completing drills, and two weeks a year for training.
Members generally attend drill near their home and receive benefits and pay from the Army.
They can be called upon to full-time reserves where they can be deployed or stationed in the U.S., depending on the needs of the Army.
Personnel in the Army Reserves can work in the majority of career fields that are open to enlisted members.
Job categories include administration, intelligence, and combat support, arts and media, legal and law enforcement, combat, mechanics, computers and technology, medical and emergency, construction and engineering, and transportation and aviation.
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Your Commitment: 1 Weekend A Month Two Weeks A Year
The service commitment for the Guard and Reserves is often referred to as a one weekend a month, two weeks a year.
This is more or less your commitment when you join the Guard or Reserves. But you may find that your requirements may vary by unit. If you are prior service you may be able to join for as short a time period as 1 year. Or you can join for up to 6 years, or longer, depending on your contract.
Most Guard and Reserve units drill the first full weekend of the month and have a two-week Active Training period each year in which the entire unit drills. Some Guard units have a little more flexibility. For example, my unit has two 3 day drill weekends during the year, and we take one month off in the summer. This is a little more friendly for vacation time.
Individual Mobilized Augmentees in Reserves: The Reserves also have IMA slots in which members are able to backfill active duty slots on an as-needed, volunteer basis. IMAs typically dont have the traditional one weekend a month, two weeks a year schedule. The benefit is a little more flexibility, and the ability to write your own ticket.
Youll hear more about this in the podcast, where Rob discusses some of the benefits of having an IMA slot.
Why Join The Army National Guard
Pay for your Education and Lead Soldiers Part Time in the Army National Guard!
- The US Army Cadet Command will pay full tuition and fees or a $10,000 room and board flat rate each academic year for an enlisted Soldier in the Army National Guard to contract with a ROTC Program while in College and work towards a Commission as an Officer.
- These scholarships can be up to four years in length and Contracted Cadets are non-deployable while in College.
- Most states offer state tuition assistance for in-state institutions for members of the ARNG and can be combined with scholarship benefits.
- Get paid to serve one weekend each month and two weeks in the summer for approximately $6,400 a year.
- Monthly ROTC Stipend during the Fall and Spring Semesters $420 a month.
- Train to be a Commissioned Officer in over 16 competitive fields and serve part-time in the ARNG after Graduation.
- Learn and develop marketable leadership skills sought by Industry Leaders and Employers.
- Simultaneously start your Civilian and Military Career right after College.
What Are The Qualifications I Must Meet To Join The Massachusetts National Guard
The National Guard has physical, academic and legal qualifications. You must be in good health and have no major physical handicaps. The minimum age to join the National Guard is 17. Persons under age 18 must obtain the consent of a parent or legal guardian. You must be either currently in high school or have a high school diploma or GED. You must also obtain a minimum qualifying score on the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery exam . Soon after you contact a recruiter, they will administer this test to see if you are qualified. Your ASVAB score will also determine which jobs you are qualified for. Finally, you must have no major criminal convictions. This information is only a basic outline of the qualifications. Before enlisting you will receive a detailed medical examination and background check. Your recruiter will provide you with more exact information and make recommendations regarding your qualification status.
Career Options In The Guard And Reserves
More often than not, you have more career flexibility in the Guard and Reserves than you do in the active duty military. I was able to change career fields when I joined the Air National Guard. Its also not uncommon for Guard and Reserve members to work in multiple career fields during their careers. Availability is dependent upon your base mission and the needs of your unit.
My recommendation is to contact the recruiter at your local unit to ask which jobs are available, and what kind of promotion opportunity is there.
You may also find that you are able to fill a billet with promotion potential. Some units will allow you to serve in a billet either one pay grade above or below your current pay grade. But other units may allow you to fill a billet two grades above your current pay grade. This gives you an immediate opportunity for career advancement, provided you meet the time in grade requirements and other qualifications for promotion.
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List Of The Cons Of The National Guard
1. It is a commitment which you generally cannot quit. There is a time commitment associated with the National Guard. You are permitted to enlist for as few as 3 years, though this requires an additional commitment to the Individual Ready Reserve. Individuals in the IRR dont train with a specific unit. They can, however, be called up to a unit if there is an emergency situation. The total enlistment period is for 8 years, when all IRR time is included.
2. It could require you to go into combat. The National Guard is under a dual mission, serving state and federal needs simultaneously. Guard members could be mobilized to protect the interests of the United States in active combat. Overseas deployments are possible, especially during times of war. The Guard will train soldiers to ensure they are prepared and ready, both physically and mentally, should that situation occur.
3. It may require a lengthy deployment. The Governor of a state can deploy the National Guard, just as the President is authorized to do so as well. For active-duty missions on the state level, most deployments are between 15-60 days to handle an emergency situation. If the deployment occurs on the federal level, then the time commitment may be as long as 12 months. In the Guard, soldiers can also choose to volunteer for an active duty assignment, such as the Border Patrol, and the length of that deployment type is highly variable.
Special And Incentive Pay
In addition to basic pay or IDT pay, many National Guard and reserve members are eligible for additional special pays for a wide variety of special skills or duties. A member who meets the eligibility requirements for an incentive or special pay is entitled to this pay in addition to basic pay or IDT pay . Some examples of these incentive or special pays include pay for duty associated with aviation, diving, hazardous duty, hostile fire and imminent danger, air weapons control, sea duty, submarine duty and health care professions. Your finance office can provide more information.
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Should You Join The Guard Or Reserves
Ill start this off by saying this podcast and article arent trying to recruit you. Im excited about the Guard and Reserves because I recently joined the Guard. But Im also excited because I had many misconceptions about the Guard and Reserves. And to be honest, I think many active duty members do. Our goal is to help you look at the option of joining the Guard or Reserves in a different light. I was someone who dismissed the Guard and Reserves without a second thought primarily because I was burned out from active duty. Today, Im grateful I gave the idea a second chance.
Lets discuss some of the benefits, pros & cons, and misconceptions about serving in the Guard and Reserves.
Training Time And Proficiency
The National Guard training is of high quality and is continuous and ongoing.
However, many believe that despite ongoing training, the training is not enough to allow a service member to reach a high level of proficiency in their field.
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You Can’t Beat The Benefits
If you can find better perks for part-time work, I’d love to know where. From huge signing bonuses to heaps of tuition money for college, plus some pretty awesome retirement benefits, it truly can help you get on the right path financially.
Through the GI Bill and tuition assistance, you can easily get your college degree without spending a dime of your own money. Already have your degree? Then just pass along the benefits to your kids.
And how many jobs nowadays give bonuses of up to $20,000 cash just for signing up, plus a retirement benefits package if you stay for 20 years? Not bad at all.
Khakimullin Aleksandr / shutterstock.com
Military Nursing As An Adjunct Career The Reserve Nurse
Nearly 10,000 nurses serve in the U.S. Military Reserve orNational Guard each year. Of these nurses, the vast majority of them have thrivingcivilian nursing careers as well. Balancing the day-to-day civilian job and familyactivities with the expectations of weekend drills and exercises as acommissioned officer in the U.S. military requires dedication, logistics,support, and skill.
These citizen-soldiers, sailors and airmen join the military for many reasons career goals, retirement benefits, leadership training, and military professionalism. Many reservists served in active duty as either a nurse, medic, or corpsman before joining the reserve to pursue life and education while keeping a foot in the military world.
The Nurse Corps has five Reserve components and, althoughsimilar, each branch has its own commitment requirements:
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Joining The Air National Guard As A New Recruit
In general, the requirements to join the Air National Guard without prior military service will include the following:
- Be between the ages of 17 and 39
- Be a legal resident of the USA
- Have a high school diploma or equivalency
- Pass a medical screening
Those who are still in high school and interested in National Guard service must be seniors in most cases.
Commissary Exchange And Morale Welfare And Recreation Commissary
The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment.
The Guard/Reserve On-site Sales Program provides the commissary benefit to Guard and reserve members and their families that live in areas that are not close to an existing commissary store. Military installation exchanges provide quality merchandise and services to its customers at competitively low prices. Income generated is used as working capital to maintain and improve exchange sites as well as support Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs. Authorized personnel include uniformed or retired uniformed personnel, either on active duty or serving in any category of the Reserve Component. A military ID card is required for all exchange services.
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Air National Guard Time Commitments
The Air National Guard official site declares, at the time of this writing, that ANG service is part-time, generally consisting of one weekend a month and a few weeks a year, at a minimum.
Guard units are called in for support in times of need by the Governor of the state. Other considerations may apply, especially in times where the Governor of the state requires activation of Army Guard units for natural disasters or other pressing needs.
Using The Rotc Program To Pay For College
ROTC is a scholarship program in which you take elective courses in addition to the coursework required of your major. Candidates are awarded merit-based scholarships on a four-, three-, and two-year basis. These scholarships pay for tuition, room, and board.
In addition to the scholarship, you can also receive a monthly living stipend of up to $420 per month.
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Opportunity To Earn Gi Bill Benefits
If you ever become deployed while youre part of the National Guard, then you can qualify for G.I. Bill Benefits
These are the same benefits that active soldiers qualify for.
The G.I. bill covers the price of tuition for several different colleges, universities, and even training programs.
Each specific program under the G.I. bill has specific requirements.
You may need to serve in the National Guard for a specific amount of time or be part of a specific kind of deployment.
Depending on the program that you qualify for, youll receive a certain amount of money that covers your tuition.
The G.I. bill also allows you to pass your benefits on to other family members.
If you didnt use up the full amount for your tuition, then you can use the rest to cover your childs tuition.
This can be a great way to invest in your childs future.
The G.I. bill sometimes offers better benefits than the standard benefits that come with the National Guard.
As such, deployment can be worth it.
Loan Repayment Program Requirements
- Soldier must decline enrollment in the Montgomery GI Bill in writing
- Soldier must have Loan Repayment Program guaranteed in writing in the enlistment contract
- Soldier must have no prior military service
- Soldier must have a high school diploma and a qualifying score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery
- Soldier must enlist in one of the critical Military Occupational Specialties that are required under the Loan Repayment Program.
- Loans must be made, insured, or guaranteed prior to entry on active duty
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Joining The National Guard Faqs
What are my responsibilities as an Army National Guardsman?
The Army National Guard has a unique dual mission. Guardsmens domestic duty is to serve at a state level to protect communities. Besides, the Guards federal mission is to support active-duty military forces in handling threats abroad and disasters.
How long do you have to be in the National Guard?
The full National Guard service term is eight years. However, we offer several active service options within that time frame. For example, your child can commit to just three active years then enter IRR for the remainder of their term.
Can I quit the National Guard?
The process may require some medical documents. Getting out of the Army for depression may be possible through a medical or disability discharge. According to the Army Times, in case youre pregnant while in the Guard, you also have the option of leaving the service under honorable circumstances after your base physician verifies the condition.
Does the National Guard go to war?
The National Guard is composed of the Army National Guard and the Air Force Air National Guard. In times of war, Guard members can be mobilized and deployed to defend the country both domestically and overseas.
Do you come home after National Guard basic training?
Soldiers are not permitted to return home after basic training and must instead attend school instruction to finish their Guardsmen training. So, be prepared for it!
Interested in Joining the National Guard?