When a person joins the National Guard, he receives financial compensation for time served and in training, financial assistance to obtain a college degree, free on-the-job training, access to affordable health care and life insurance, assistance with mortgage loans through the veterans' assistance program and retirement benefits if time served exceeds 20 years. National Guard members also make bonds that last a lifetime and earn a sense of pride.
An additional benefit to joining the National Guard is that members are only required to devote one weekend each month and two weeks throughout the year to serve as part of the National Guard, versus full-time active duty. These weekend drills teach life-saving skills that can improve a soldier's resume for employment.
If a member of the National Guard is deployed for a special assignment, he is paid for training and time served. Specific pay and cost of benefits for a National Guard member is determined by the soldier's rank in the service, assigned job while on duty and level of education. If a member of the National Guard opts to take advantage of financial assistance to earn a college degree, he has the opportunity to advance in rank and pay.