True soldiers of hope do not do what they do for glory, fame, or to be superior over others, they do what they do because of the love in their heart and soul and for the greater good of mankind. Any real soldier can tell you this awe inspiring statement, as it is a reflection of their motivation, the element which compels them to push on and do what they are called on to do. More so, this motivation retains to members of the Army National Guard, citizen-soldiers who can, at any instance, put all aspects of their lives on hold in order to serve for the greater good of their country.
And while it is true that people who join the National Guard gain access to substantial military and educational benefits, as well as excellent training applicable to both military and civilian careers, nothing can compare to the undefinable pride of being apart of something bigger. When you join the Guard you are offered different plans for your years of duty. The usual plan is a 6×2; the six by 2 plan is 6 years and 2 years on inactive duty. If something were to come up you could be called upon on your two years off. Being in you are in the reserves and not the active duty.
You will not be deployed unless in times of war or need of soldiers and you can also not be deployed in high school. When in college you can join ROTC and if you contract with them you cannot be deployed, but you must wait till your sophomore year. When in ROTC you can choose to become a commissioned officer after college and will be commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant. Joining take more than just wanting to you should research thoroughly before you decide too. You need to have the willingness to serve as a member on a team and be willing to sacrifice for your Country.
Other skills you will obtain are leadership, management, physical and mental strengths. During Basic Training you’ll experience many new things and challenges. You’ll learn new skill sets and more confidence than you’ve ever had in your life. Upon leaving Basic Training you have one more place to accomplish which is AIT. After this step you will be a fully functional member of the National Guard. Your Basic Training is 9 weeks long, and you will be given a location to go depending on you MOS.
When you take the ASVAB to join the National Guard or any other military branch you must score a certain score. In the Army in which the National Guard falls under you will have make a 50. Along with that you will have a choice of you MOS depending on your score. There are over 150 different MOS’s (Military Occupational Specialty) and can help you with your job out in civilian life. If you like the military lifestyle you can continue with the National Guard and even can get a reenlistment bonus or you could go active duty.
When you get commissioned to a 2nd lieutenant you must become active duty and will not longer be considered in the National Guard, you will be considered active duty. When that happens you could be deployed to another country where you’re needed or you could be stationed at a military base where you will live in the housing sections at base. After Basic Training you will come back with more than just knowledge, you will have access to fly for free on military transportation within and between the United States and other places whenever there is space available.
You and your family can purchase low cost health care from Tri-care. Life insurance plans up to $400,000 can be purchased for low payments. You may be eligible for Veteran Affairs (VA) home loans with little or no down payment. You may be deployed on short notice. If you must leave your job to serve your country, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) allows for you to return to your job in the position you were in when you get back. While you’re at Basic you’ll receive your military id card also known as you’re Common Access Card (CAC).
With your CAC card you can get into military bases where the Post Exchange (PX) is tax free but can only be gained access by military people with CAC cards. The benefits are a main reason why some people join, but others are motivated for the title and thought of being a part of being something bigger. You will be challenged but you will overcome it and succeed to be a better person. As soon as you join and are enlisted by the oath you will start to go to drill once a month for a weekend. While you’re at drill you will learn skills you will need at Basic Training and take your practice PT tests.
While you’re here the practice PT test are rather easy coming from a personal experience. Every time you take one you will get better and better and constantly push yourself to heights further unexplored. Also at drill you will be taught Drill and Ceremony which is how to march and positions. Your sergeants and Recruiters will be right along the way helping you and correcting your mistakes you make. During this time after your drill you will receive a check in the mail 2 weeks later with you pay for that drill.
Depending on your rank in the army depends on your pay; the higher the rank, the higher the pay. This thus is a large incentive to get promoted fast so you can get a better pay check. When you join there are several ways to get promoted up to a Private First Class. You can have a Associates Degree and be promoted all the way up to a specialist which is an E-4. If you have taken 4 years of JROTC then you will be promoted up to an E-3 or if you refer a friend or family member to your recruiter they will enlist them and promote you to a Private First Class.
This process is called striped for buddies and many people do this when they join with a friend or family member the 2 will also be able to go to basic training together if everything goes right. If you pass your full PT test at drill one weekend you can also be promoted to a PV2. There are many other ways to get promoted like having 6 months in after basic training you will also be moved up in rank for that. Participating in class and hands on is also another way. Being in the National Guard is a choice you can make, but it will soon evolve into a lifestyle.
Your years will go by fast, but you’ll never forget all the things you’ve learned. The benefits, education, and privileges are all main reasons people join. The hardest part is over once you finish up your training and then you can focus on your career. Everyone has seen someone in a uniform whether in a store or at an event, do you have what it takes to wear it? A soldier doesn’t fight because he hates the enemy in front of him, he fights because he loves what he left behind.
Courtney from Study Moose