The Air National Guard was made an official component of the U.S. Air Force in 1947, following the great aerial battles of World War II. Like the Air Force Reserve, the Air National Guard is made up of Citizen-Airmen who train part time, close to home, until called upon for duty. These professionals serve both the federal and state governments – assisting their communities and helping the U.S. Air Force guard America’s skies.
Today the Air National Guard is an essential component of the U.S. Air Force. Currently, this Force is made up of 95,031 Air National Guard personnel. There are more than 140 Air National Guard units throughout the U.S. and its territories with varying service options for a Guardsman to choose from.
Before Serving in the Air National Guard
To join the Air National Guard, you must be between 18 and 39 years old, or 17 with parental consent. While exceptions are sometimes made for candidates with GEDs or other high school equivalents, high school diplomas are preferred. As in most Service branches, the ASVAB test is used to match recruits with jobs.
As with full-time Air Force recruits, Air National Guard members spend 8.5 weeks in Basic Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. During this time, trainees develop the discipline, confidence and skills to grow into Airmen.
Air National Guard Benefits
The Air National Guard offers many of the same benefits as the active-duty Air Force. With more than 140 Air Guard units across the United States and its territories, members of the Air National Guard have the flexibility to train near home and maintain a civilian career until needed, along with access to the same professional training as full-time servicemembers. They also receive a paycheck for all time spent drilling and deployed, benefits and tuition assistance.
Air National Guard Careers
While many commercial pilots begin their careers in the Air Force, an in-flight job is just one facet of training a servicemember might receive in the Air National Guard. The Air National Guard offers nearly 200 career specialties, from telecommunications to ordnance disposal. All members of the Air National Guard develop valuable skills and character that civilian employers find very desirable.