We have compiled a list of common questions. If you have additional questions, please contact us!
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How is the Army National Guard different from other military divisions? +
Our mission makes us different. Unlike the other Armed Forces branches, we have a dual mission, meaning we answer to both state and federal governments. So Guard Soldiers can be deployed by either the governor of their resident state or the president of the United States, depending on where they are needed most.
Could I be sent into combat? +
Yes. Because of the National Guard’s dual state-federal mission, Guard members can be mobilized to protect and defend America in battle domestically or overseas. Should this happen, you’ll be trained, ready and prepared to go, mentally and physically.
What qualifications must I meet to enlist? +
Age, height, weight, physical fitness and education are the primary factors. We are strict about applicants meeting them, but in some cases, we can help you get there if you fall short.
How much money will I make? +
Your total income is a combination of several things: monthly paycheck, enlistment bonuses, cash incentives, benefits such as medical and retirement, education funding and other benefits. Click on these links to get a read on your bottom line.
How will this help me in my civilian life? +
We’ll train you for an exciting, competitive career. You’ll make great money now, plus accumulate benefits for your future. You’ll develop skills that will help you in every aspect of your life, including leadership, the spirit of teamwork, confidence, courage and the seven Army Values.
Can I go to college and be in the National Guard at the same time? +
Absolutely. Your Guard service is only part time—just one weekend per month, and one two-week period each year. Not only can you attend college full time while you serve, you can even have another part-time job, if you choose to. The Guard leaves you plenty of time for the rest of your life, while providing the financial means to enjoy that life.
How is the National Guard different from other military divisions? +
It’s our dual mission that makes us different. Unlike the other Armed Forces branches, we’re under the jurisdiction of both state and federal governments, so Guard Soldiers can be deployed by either the governor of their resident state, or the president of the United States, depending on where they are needed most.
What qualifications do I have to meet to join? +
Height, weight, physical fitness, age and education level are the main factors in your eligibility.
Will being in the National Guard help me get into a better college? +
Possibly. Our financial assistance packages and Education Support Center help prepare you for college—from providing funds to prepping you for entrance exams—so that when you’re ready to apply, you’re organized, your head’s in the right space and the funding is in the bank. With that kind of support behind you, everything in life gets better—including your education options.
Can you help me apply to colleges? +
Definitely. Our Education Support Center is a full-service education assistance station, offering not only one-on-one help with the administrative aspects of applying, but also degree planning, distance learning options and much more.
FAQs for those with Prior Service
As a prior service recruit, what will my rank be when I enlist in the Guard? +
Most likely, you’ll enlist in the Guard at the rank you held when you left your prior military service. If you’re unsure of this grade, it’s the one listed on your DD214 or NGB22.
How will my prior service benefit me in the National Guard? +
In two major ways: getting promotions and activating retirement benefits. Whatever military division you served in previously, your accrued time carries over into the Guard toward your overall military career. In addition, by joining the Guard, you continue earning points toward activating your retirement benefits. Your Montgomery G.I. Bill will also be extended upon enlistment
Will I need to attend Basic Training? +
If you were with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corp, U.S. Air Force or their Reserve Components and didn’t complete six or eight weeks of U.S. Army Basic Training or USMC Boot camp, you will need to attend a Basic Combat Training. Your recruiter can explain this in detail
Will I receive a re-enlistment bonus? +
Probably. Generally, prior service recruits are eligible for a bonus of $15,000 for a six-year commitment, and $7,500 for a three-year enlistment.
How likely is that I’ll be deployed? +
We can’t answer this definitively, but in recent years, the number of federal deployments of the National Guard has increased due to growing crises in regions like Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq. Because the Guard has a dual state-federal mission, members can be mobilized in-state, out-of-state or overseas in support of combat operations. If you’re deployed while serving in the Guard, you’ll be ready.
What will my rank be? +
Your rank will be based on your level of training and your education degree. Physicians generally enter at a minimum grade of Captain (O-3).
What are the categories of medical professionals? +
There are four: Dental, Nursing, Medical Specialists and Medical Service.
What are the requirements to qualify for an officer appointment in the medical corps? +
There are several. You must meet prescribed medical and moral standards. You must be a U.S. citizen. You need to have graduated from an accredited U.S. school of medicine or osteopathy, or have a certificate from the Education Council of Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). There are several others.
What are some of the most exciting job titles in the National Guard medical field? +
The MOS’s (Military Occupational Specialty) in medicine are virtually all exciting, and all prepare you for a great career in the growing field of healthcare in civilian life. Here are just a few job titles: Nuclear Medical Science Officer. Environmental Scientist. Medevac Pilot. Clinical Psychologist.
What is a Physician Assistant? +
The Physician Assistant is part of the Medical Service Corps. In this position you’ll work side-by-side with Guard physicians as the primary medical officer of your state medical command, infantry, battalion, armored cavalry squadron or other combat arms or support units.
Can my child be deployed? +
Yes. The Army National Guard has a dual state-federal mission, which means we answer both to the state governor and to the U.S. president. In times of need, National Guard members can be mobilized for overseas service. When they go, they’re fully trained and 100% ready.
How do I know if my child can handle Basic Training? +
New National Guard recruits must meet certain physical qualifications—height, weight, fitness level—to enlist in the Guard in the first place. Basic Training is designed for civilians who’ve met those standards. So if your child is accepted into the Guard, it means we’re sure they’ll handle it very well.
What is Basic Training like? +
Basic Training is a nine-week course designed to turn civilians into Soldiers. It’s challenging and rigorous, but develops personal qualities and skills your child will benefit from for the rest of their life. They’ll learn discipline and leadership, develop courage and confidence and grow strong physically and mentally. Learn more about Basic Training here.
How much money can my child make in the Guard? +
There are several components to income in the Guard, including a monthly paycheck, cash incentives, education funding, retirement benefits, a possible enlistment bonus and much more. It all adds up to a healthy sum for such a minimal time investment.
How do I know if my child is mature enough to enlist? +
After exploring the many aspects of life in the National Guard, your child’s opinion and your own assessment of their readiness are often a good indicator. But if you’d like additional opinions, feel free to discuss it with a recruiter. No matter what stage of emotional development your child is in when they enter the Guard, they will soon be stronger, more confident and more capable during their time with us.
Which religions are represented by chaplains in the National Guard? +
All religions and belief systems are welcome in the Guard. To serve as a Guard chaplain, your faith group must have a federally recognized endorsing agency that can issue an ecclesiastical endorsement for you. Typically, you will work with Soldiers from your own faith.
What training will I need for chaplaincy in the National Guard? +
Chaplains attend Chaplain Officer Basic Leadership Course, a three-month program at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. This course teaches you to apply your civilian chaplain skills to the Army environment, prepares you physically and mentally to be an officer in the Guard, and covers the complexities of the First Amendment, freedom of expression, counseling, mentoring and leadership. This course can be completed in one block or several phases over a 24-month period
Can I join the Guard while I’m still in the seminary? +
Yes. You don’t have to wait till graduation to join the Army National Guard chaplaincy. Training to be a Chaplain in the Guard while simultaneously training for the civilian ministry lets you earn a substantial paycheck while greatly adding to your education and experience.
What are the commissioning prerequisites for chaplain candidacy? +
You must be a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalized, pass a physical exam, and be between 21 and 42 years old. There are several educational requirements as well—be sure to look over the complete list of requirements for Army National Guard chaplain candidates.
What rank will I be? +
This depends on your work experience and education level. Chaplains are officers in the Army National Guard and generally begin their career progression at the grade of 1LT (First Lieutenant). Advanced appointment as a CPT (Captain) may be possible under certain circumstances.
What branch of service will I be in? +
The branch you’re with will be determined by two matters: your own preference and the unit you’re assigned to.
What will my salary be? +
Depending on their rank, officers typically make between $2,000 and $7,000 per month. Not bad for part-time work!
How long will my enlistment commitment be? +
Is there an age limit for officers? +
You must be at least 18 and not more than 30 years old to become an officer in the Army National Guard. Waivers may be authorized—speak to a recruiter for details.
Do I need a degree to be an officer? +
No. But you do need to have 60 semester hours from an accredited college or university prior to enlistment or Officer Candidate School enrollment. To commission to 2LT you must have a total of 90 semester hours from an accredited college or university.
Warrant Officer FAQs
How are Warrant Officers different from Commissioned Officers? +
Warrant Officers (WOs) are a unique group. They are, in fact, Commissioned Officers, but they’re also considered to be in a class by themselves due to their highly specialized technical expertise in specific areas. Put another way: Commissioned Officers are generalists, WOs are specialists.
What benefits do Warrant Officers receive? +
The benefits for Warrant Officers are stellar. In addition to your monthly paycheck, there’s the Officer Accession Bonus (click here for current dollar amount), financing for higher education, tax-free shopping and recreation privileges at the bases, free travel on military aircraft when space is available, low-cost life insurance, retirement benefits and much more
What is the likelihood that I’ll be deployed? +
There’s no precise answer to this. However, the possibility that Guard members will be called to Active Duty has increased in recent years due to growing crises—Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and other regions. If you are deployed while serving in the Guard, you’ll be ready and able.
Where will I serve? +
This depends on your area of expertise, and where your skills are most needed. Warrant Officers serve in all areas of the Army, from tactical levels to command operations. They also enjoy positions on the Army Staff at the Pentagon, Department of Defense, Joint Organizations and other military divisions in Washington. As a Warrant Officer in the Army National Guard, you’ll discover open doors everywher
How do I become an Aviator? +
If a career in aviation is your goal, becoming a Warrant Officer is first-class ticket. Warrant Officers fly highly advanced aircraft like the UH-60 Black Hawk or the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior . Along with other requisite training, you’ll attend the Warrant Officer Flight Training (WOFT) program
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