If you’re considering joining the National Guard, you may be wondering what the benefits are. There are many benefits of being one of the national guard members from healthcare to education assistance, there are plenty of reasons to join.
For further information related to benefits and pay scales, visit US Army Basic.
Other than enjoying military benefits, joining the national guard members can also benefit you in personal and professional growth, helping the civilian world, and physical fitness.
What Is The National Guard?
The National Guard is a military service force composed of citizens who have been specially trained to support the armed forces in times of war or natural disaster. These soldiers come from every state in the nation and serve both as traditional members of the military, as well as reservists who can be called upon when needed.
The National Guard has a long and proud history, having been in existence for centuries. It was originally established by the British Parliament in 1645, though it was later disbanded during Oliver Cromwell’s reign. Following its destruction, several individual militias came together to form the group once again, and it remained active throughout much of Europe’s tumultuous history. Today, this elite fighting force is vital to both national defense and local readiness efforts.
Every state and territory in the United States has a National Guard, which is a state-based military organization. There are 54 different National Guard organizations in total.
There are two major types of national guards:
Army National Guard
It is a branch of the United States military that is made up of part-time soldiers who are enlisted to serve on a voluntary basis. As members of this branch, national guard soldiers are expected to complete their regular responsibilities alongside their service in the Guard, including maintaining employment or attending school.
Air National Guard
The Air National Guard is a branch of the military that focuses on providing air support and defense for the United States. This includes ensuring the safety of domestic airspace, providing backup to help protect troops overseas, and monitoring civilian air traffic and emergencies. While much of the Air National Guard’s activities take place in the air, the organization also participates in ground-based missions such as disaster relief and humanitarian aid.
The Air National Guard is composed of dedicated men and women who serve their country with honor and skill, working tirelessly to keep our country safe from all threats both at home and abroad.
What Does The National Guard Do?
There are a number of responsibilities that fall under the purview of the national guard.
Protecting The Country
First, members of the national guard are responsible for protecting their country and its citizens from external threats. This might involve carrying out military missions abroad or defending against terrorist attacks at home.
The reserve members of the national guardsmen also act as first responders in times of crisis or disaster. Whether it’s responding to natural disasters like hurricanes or wildfires or helping out with more man-made catastrophes like chemical spills or acts of terrorism, the national guard is always on call to help those in need.
Local Community Assistance
Third, members of the national guard serve an essential role in local communities as well. They often provide assistance and support through community outreach programs, and they also may be called upon to provide emergency services in the event of accidents or other emergencies.
Civil Unrest Protection
Finally, national guardsmen may be called upon to police or protect civilians during times of civil unrest or war, providing front-line support during dangerous and volatile situations. So they basically are not only for the national platform but also do a civilian job to protect people. While these are just a few examples of how national guardsmen carry out their duties, they show how critical these brave men and women are to our nation and its safety and security.
Qualifications To Join The National Guard
- To work as a guard or reserve for national security, you must be an American citizen or nationalized.
- You must be an American citizen or a resident alien to enlist.
- Although age limits vary by branch of military service, you must generally be aged between 17 and 35 and have no previous service (NPS).
- The Guard experimented with raising the age to 42 but reverted to the lower age in 2011. Note: Seventeen-year-olds need parental consent. Or between the ages of 17 and 59 for those with prior service (PS) and are able to complete 20 years of creditable service for retirement by age 60.
- The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test should be taken and passed.
- Pass a medical test for the armed forces.
- Members of the armed forces on active duty must be available for initial active duty training.
- Must consent to take part in a 12-week minimum initial active duty training tour.
After the eligibility is met the members have to go through basic training and only the national guard bureau will allow them to be a part of this prestigious team.
What’s The ASVAB?
The ASVAB, or the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, is a standardized test designed to measure the aptitude of potential military recruits. The exam consists of multiple sections
- practical skills
- reading comprehension
- mathematical reasoning
- mechanical comprehension
Additionally, it also includes a series of subtests that assess basic knowledge in topics such as vocabulary and general science. The ASVAB is scored on a scale from 1-99, with 99 indicating the highest possible level of aptitude.
The primary purpose of the ASVAB is to help determine which military careers are best suited to an individual’s particular abilities. To that end, each test section measures various cognitive abilities that are critical for success in certain fields.
For example, those with strong scores in arithmetic or math reasoning may be well-suited to pursue a career in combat engineering or architecture, while those with high scores in paragraph comprehension may be suited for careers in intelligence analysis or cryptology.
Typically, higher scores are associated with more prestigious fields like piloting or engineering officer positions.
Overall, the ASVAB provides important information about an individual’s current skill set and can help them decide which career path they would like to pursue after completing their mandatory service in their chosen branch of the military. Whether you’re seeking active duty or want to pursue a civilian career after completing your service obligation, the ASVAB can help you make well-informed decisions about your future goals and aspirations.
Benefits Of the National Guard
Here are the benefits National Guards enjoy:
Eligibility For VA Home Loans
The National Guard offers a VA home loan program to eligible borrowers. This loan provides financing for the purchase or refinances of a primary residence. The loan is available at favorable interest rates and terms, and there is no down payment required.
The National Guard offers a bonus for those who enlist and serve in certain high-demand career fields. This bonus may be used to repay outstanding student loans, help with a down payment on a home, or for any other financial needs. This bonus is paid in addition to any other bonuses that the recruit may be eligible for.
Military Retirement Plan
The National Guard offers a military retirement plan to eligible members. This plan provides a monthly pension payment for life, starting at age 60. The pension is based on the member’s years of service and highest rank attained.
Access To Military Clothing Stores
The National Guard offers access to military clothing stores. These stores offer a wide variety of clothing and gear at discounted prices. They also offer uniform items like boots, fatigues, and tactical vests that can be used for training exercises or in actual combat situations.
Additionally, by joining the National Guard, you will have access to specialized weapons and vehicles designed specifically for use in a military context. Whether you are looking to improve your military skills or simply want access to top-quality equipment, the National Guard is an excellent option.
Official Library Service
The National Guard offers official library services to eligible members. This service provides access to a wide variety of books, periodicals, and other materials.
The National Guard offers life insurance to eligible members. This insurance pays a benefit in the event of the member’s death. The benefit is tax-free and can be used to cover funeral expenses, pay off debts, or provide financial security for the member’s family.
The National Guard offers education benefits to eligible members. These benefits can be used to cover the cost of tuition, books, and other educational expenses.
Great Networking Opportunities
The National Guard offers great networking opportunities. Members can network with other Guard members, as well as with active-duty military personnel and veterans. This networking can lead to new career opportunities and friendships.
The National Guard offers healthcare benefits to eligible members. These benefits can be used to cover the cost of medical care, prescription drugs, and mental health services.
The National Guard offers dental coverage to eligible members. This coverage can be used to cover the cost of routine dental care, as well as major dental work such as braces.
The National Guard offers vision coverage to eligible members. This coverage can be used to cover the cost of routine eye exams, as well as eyeglasses and contact lenses.
Free Legal Services
The National Guard offers free legal services to eligible members. These services can be used to get advice on a variety of legal matters, such as wills, divorce, and child custody.
Discounts On Travel And Lodging
The National Guard offers discounts on travel and lodging to eligible members. These discounts can be used to save money on vacation travel, business travel, and even hotel stays.
Discounts On Auto Insurance
The National Guard offers discounts on auto insurance to eligible members. These discounts can be used to save money on your car insurance premiums.
Now that we’ve gone over some of the basics of what the National Guard is and does, let’s talk about the benefits of joining. The National Guard offers a variety of monetary, educational, healthcare, housing, and other benefits to its members. If you are interested in serving your country and communities but don’t want to commit to a full-time military career, the National Guard could be a perfect fit for you. For more information on eligibility requirements and how to join, visit US Army Basic or contact us today.