What Is Information to Learn Before Joining the National Guard?


Quick Answer

Essential information to learn before signing up with the National Guard includes the requirements for becoming a guardsman, which Guard career may be the best fit, the amount of training required for the anticipated career, how to become an officer and how to best use available education assistance. These questions can help potential guardsmen understand the National Guard and determine their place and goals before beginning the recruitment process.

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Full Answer

Understanding the requirements for entering the National Guard allows a potential recruit to avoid the disappointment of disqualification. Guardsmen have specific physical, moral and medical requirements, and interested candidates should discuss these with recruiters to ensure compliance. New entrants must fall between 17 and 35 years of age and be active as a junior in high school or possess a high-school diploma or GED. The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery can help recruits determine which careers they have the aptitude to attain but knowing which options appeal can help them create a viable plan for the future.

Basic combat training for all guardsmen requires 10 weeks of dedicated time, but advanced individual training requirements vary greatly by job. Armed with an idea of which jobs may work best for a specific recruit, a recruiter can provide specific career training estimates. Those interested in officer training can learn more about ROTC and the process through their schools or recruiters, and recruits looking to make use of the National Guard’s tuition assistance program should broach the topic upfront before joining the Guard to ensure they qualify and understand the related commitments.

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