Today's Military:

Army National Guard

Like the Army Reserve, the Army National Guard is made up of Citizen-Soldiers who train part time, close to home, until needed. Since 1636, each state has had its own militia. These became the foundation of today’s Guard units (this was mandated by the Constitution in 1787). The Guard mobilizes to protect U.S. domestic interests in times of conflict or natural disaster and may be deployed internationally alongside full-time troops when the situation demands. Today’s National Guard consists of approximately 367,658 troops from all U.S. states and territories.

Before Serving in the Army National Guard

To enlist in the Army National Guard, you must be between 18 and 39 years old, or 17 with parental consent. You must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien. A high school diploma is preferred, but a high school equivalent such as the GED may also be accepted. You must also pass the ASVAB test and a physical fitness exam.

All National Guard members must complete 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training, the same boot camp attended by full-time Army Soldiers.

See more entrance requirements

Army National Guard Benefits

Members of the Army National Guard are fairly compensated for all hours spent training, drilling or deployed. The Guard allows members to train close to home while maintaining civilian careers. This provides valuable experience that benefits individuals at home and while serving.

Compensation info

Army National Guard Careers

Army National Guard training can provide you with valuable on-the-job training. Add qualities like dedication and responsibility to this training, and you have a compelling mix of traits that employers look for. Whether a servicemember’s job in the Guard mirrors or complements his or her civilian career, time spent serving is a valuable asset.

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Post-military careers

  • Military training and jobs have little relation to the civilian world.
  • 91 percent of military jobs have direct civilian counterparts.
See other Myths vs. Realities

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