As you may have noticed, service in the National Guard is not your ordinary job. Because of the uniqueness of military service, we do have strict guidelines. Listed below are some of the basic qualifications to become a member of the National Guard.
If you have never served in the armed forces:
- Must be a US citizen or legal resident alien.
- Must be a high school graduate or have a GED.
- Be between the ages of 17 and 34 (must enlist before their 35th birthday).
- Be able to meet the medical and moral requirements.
- If you have served in the armed forces:
- Have an honorable discharge from your branch of service.
- Meet the medical, moral and height/weight standards.
- Re-take the ASVAB if it has been ten years since your last testing.
- Complete Basic Combat Training if you have NOT completed U.S. Army or U.S. Marine Corps Basic Training, or are prior U.S. Air Force special operations, U.S. Air Force security police, or U.S. Navy special operations.
- Must be able to qualify for retirement (after all prior service has been counted) by age 60.
If, after meeting with a National Guard recruiter, it looks like you meet the requirements to join the National Guard, the recruiter will set a date and time for you to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test. The test measures your aptitude in eight different areas such as math, reading, science and electronics. The results of the test are used to determine your overall qualification to join the National Guard as well as to qualify for certain Military Occupational Specialties (MOS).
Once you’ve received a passing score on the ASVAB and you’ve determined that you want to become a Soldier in the National Guard, you’re ready to enlist. Your recruiter will set a date for you to Enlist. All enlistment processing takes place at the nearest Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). At MEPS, you’ll:
- Take a physical examination
- Lock in your ship date for Basic Combat Training (BCT)
- Confirm the job that you’ve selected
- Approve any benefits and bonuses
- Take your Oath of Enlistment
Once you’ve taken the Oath of Enlistment, you have become a proud Soldier in the Army National Guard! You’ll then attend the Guard’s Recruit Sustainment Program (RSP), where we’ll teach you the basics of being a Soldier and get you mentally and physically ready for the rigors of Basic Training.