Service Branches

Air National Guard

Like the Air Force Reserve, the Air National Guard is comprised of citizen Airmen who train part time, close to home, until called upon for duty. These professionals serve both federal and state governments — assisting their communities and helping the Air Force guard America's skies.

There are more than 89 Air National Guard flying units throughout the U.S. and its territories, with varying service options for a Guardsman to choose from.

Learn more: Air National Guard

Serving in the Air National Guard

Service members share their views on the Air National Guard.

Length 0:48 View Transcript


Staff Sgt. Saul Mendoza: I take pride in putting on a uniform every morning because it stands for something — and I honestly don’t see myself doing anything else.

Airman 1st Class Carlos Puga: I wanted to do something that would make an impact in my life and set me up for success.

Senior Airman Jonathan Massey: We all play a role that helps accomplish the bigger mission.

Staff Sgt. Saul Mendoza: Now that I’m older, going to school, I understand how important it is. So I’m giving it everything I got. Because — and that’s also something I got from the Air Force: You’re there, you’re going to do it, why not do it your best?

Airman 1st Class Carlos Puga: The Air Guard really doesn’t interfere much with my studies. I think one of the great things that you learn, even in training, is time management. And I think that has really helped me as far as creating that balance. I tried other things, but it seems like the Military has probably the best way to position you. Even if you don’t know what you want to do in life, at least you’ll have a solid foundation that will always make you stand out above most of your peers.

Senior Airman Jonathan Massey: Hands down, the Military is the best decision I ever made.

Before Serving in the Air National Guard

To join the Air National Guard, you must be between 18 and 39 years old (17 with parental consent). While exceptions are sometimes made for candidates with GEDs or other high school equivalents, high school diplomas are preferred. The ASVAB test is used to match recruits with jobs.

As with full-time Air Force recruits, Air National Guard members spend eight and a half 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

Staff Sergeant Olivia Briggs on duty Air National Guard
Staff Sergeant | Olivia Briggs Air National Guard

Air National Guard Careers

The Air National Guard offers more than 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. 

Air National Guard Benefits

The Air National Guard offers many of the same benefits as the active-duty Air Force. Members of the Air National Guard maintain a civilian career when they are not training or called to serve. They have the flexibility to train near home, with access to the same professional training as full-time service members. They receive a paycheck for all time spent drilling and deployed, as well as benefits and tuition assistance.

Types of Military Service

The U.S. Military consists of six active-duty Service branches and their respective Guard and Reserve components. Together, they offer a broad variety of ways to serve.