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Military Services:  National Guard Enlisted
Photo: National Guard.


Enlisted Soldiers are the strength of the Army National Guard. While officers create the plans, enlisted Soldiers provide the muscle and manpower to see them through.

The Army National Guard takes average men and women and molds them into something special. As a Soldier, you’ll learn about structure, discipline, service and commitment. You’ll become stronger—both physically and mentally—and be better equipped to take care of yourself and others in just about any situation.

Over the course of several weeks, you’ll make the transition from citizen to Citizen-Soldier, and your life will never be quite the same.

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Applicants must be between the ages of 17 and 42 if they have never served in the military, American citizens or registered aliens, and in good health and physical condition. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED, currently be in high school and expect to graduate, or be willing to earn their GED through the Army National Guard GED program. To determine what careers you are best suited for, applicants must take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). The ASVAB is offered at most high schools and at military enlistment processing sites.

There are a number of different enlistment options when joining the Army National Guard that gives applicants the opportunity to jump right into active duty or participate in the Army National Guard while continuing their education. Enlistment programs and options vary from time to time. Local Recruiters always have the latest information and are ready to answer inquiries without obligation.

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Basic Training

Basic training is a rigorous 10-week orientation for men and women entering the National Guard. Basic training transforms new enlistees from civilians into Soldiers. During basic training, new Soldiers gain the discipline, spirit, pride, knowledge, and physical conditioning necessary to perform Army duties.

Upon reporting for basic training, new Soldiers are assigned to a training company and are issued uniforms and equipment. They are introduced to their training leaders, otherwise known as drill sergeants. Drill sergeants are experienced noncommissioned officers who direct Soldiers’ training to ensure that they are successful.

Guard Basic training is broken into three phases, red, white, and blue phase; Red Phase, or Patriot Phase (weeks 1-3), is geared toward reinforcing the principles of discipline and teamwork. White Phases (also known as Rifleman or Gunfighter Phase; weeks 4-5) focuses on developing combat skills with special emphasis on weapons and physical fitness training. Blue Phase, or Warrior Phase (weeks 6-9), will build your individual tactical training, increase your leadership skills and self-discipline, and improve your understanding of teamwork. The final week of Basic Combat Training, Graduation, is about Soldiers and their families.

Basic training is conducted on a demanding schedule, but each Soldier progresses at the rate he or she can handle best. Soldiers attend a variety of classes and field instruction that include military training, weapons familiarization, physical conditioning, and military drills. All training emphasizes teamwork and therefore includes classes in human relations. These classes help trainees from different backgrounds learn to work closely together. Only limited personal time is available during basic training, but there is plenty of time for receiving and answering mail, for personal care, and for attending religious services.

Advanced Individual Training (AIT)

After you complete basic training, the next step is Advanced Individual Training (AIT), where you’ll learn your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) —your Army National Guard job. During those 2-12 months, you’ll get intensive field instruction and hands-on experience at your job, and learn the skills that will transform you into a great Soldier and teammate. AIT takes place at different Army military training sites across the U.S., and your location will depend on the job you choose.

The Guard offers skills training in a wide range of career fields that include aviation, administration, engineering, music, health care, transportation, journalism, and combat specialty occupations, to name a few.

Advanced Individual Training students generally attend traditional classes very similar to those in a high school or college. These classes are supplemented with demonstrations by highly qualified instructors and by practical exercises that use “hands-on” training, equipment, or procedures in a way that prepares students for their jobs. Many Soldiers also receive on-the-job training, learning job skills by working at a job with other Soldiers under the guidance of qualified instructors.

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Army National Guard Soldiers may qualify for an advance in grade—move up a rank—if they have certain skills that have been acquired through civilian experience or education, under the Civilian Acquired Skills Program (CASP) Bonus program. A recruiter will be able to help determine if a new recruit meets the requirements for this program.

An advance in grade may also be available for Soldiers who refer new recruits through the Stripes for Buddies program. Soldiers serving 2 or 3 years in high school JROTC may be eligible for advancement. Soldiers participating in the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) for College, ROTC, or those who complete college credit hours may be eligible. A recruiter will be able to help determine if a Solider meets the requirements.

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Civilian education is encouraged among Army National Guard personnel as a means to improve both the Soldier’s work performance and preparedness for life in a technical and competitive society.

Army National Guard personnel are also eligible to participate in a variety of educational assistance programs. Programs such as the 100% Tuition Assistance, Montgomery GI Bill, The Post 9/11 GI Bill, Army National Guard Kicker, ROTC Scholarships, and The Student Loan Repayment Program can help Soldiers finance their post-secondary education.

The Dedicated Army National Guard scholarship (DEDNG) and the Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty contract (GRFD) scholarships cover full tuition for Soldiers participating in the Simultaneous Membership Program. Contact your local recruiter for the most recent information and visit the website for more information.

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