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National Guard

Like the Army Reserve, the Army National Guard is made up of Citizen-Soldiers who train part time, close to home, until needed. Since 1636, each state has had its own militia. These became the foundation of today’s Guard units (this was mandated by the Constitution in 1787). The Guard mobilizes to protect U.S. domestic interests in times of conflict or natural disaster and may be deployed internationally alongside full-time troops when the situation demands. Today’s National Guard consists of approximately 367,658 troops from all U.S. states and territories.

Before Serving in the Army National Guard


To enlist in the Army National Guard, you must be between 18 and 39 years old, or 17 with parental consent. You must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien. A high school diploma is preferred, but a high school equivalent such as the GED may also be accepted. You must also pass the ASVAB test and a physical fitness exam.
All National Guard members must complete 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training, the same boot camp attended by full-time Army Soldiers.

Review Military Entrance Requirements


While the Service branches have similar entrance requirements, each has its own admission standards based on the amount and type of recruits needed. The requirements listed here apply to the U.S. Military as a whole. For more specifics, it’s best to 

Age Requirements


Each branch of the Service has different requirements. Minimum entrance-age requirements are 17 with parental consent or 18 without parental consent.
Review a chart of age requirements
Keep in mind almost all male U.S. citizens, and male aliens living in the U.S., who are 18 through 25, are required to register with Selective Service.
Learn more about the Selective Service System

Physical Requirements


Because of the varying physical demands on service members in each branch, physical requirements vary greatly. These differences can vary even within each branch of the Service. Generally speaking, potential service members should be in good physical condition, of appropriate weight and able to pass a standard physical screening prior to entry. For more specific information, please fill out the form and a recruiter will be in-touch with you to answer your questions.

Success in any branch of the Military depends on a good education, and a high school diploma is most desirable. Candidates with a GED (General Education Development certificate) can enlist, but some Services may limit opportunities. It is very difficult to be considered a serious candidate without either a high school diploma or accepted alternative credential. In any case, staying in school is important for entering the Military.

Citizenship Requirements


U.S. citizens or Permanent Resident Aliens (people who have an INS I-151/I-551 “Green Card”) may join the U.S. Military. For more information about citizenship, visit the U.S. Immigration and Nationalization (INS) website.
Properly documented non-citizens may enlist. However, opportunities may be limited. For more specific information, please fill out the form and a recruiter will be in-touch with you to answer your questions.  for more advice on a specific situation.
For enlistment purposes, the United States includes Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Marianas Islands, American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau.

Army National Guard Benefits


Members of the Army National Guard are fairly compensated for all hours spent training, drilling or deployed. The Guard allows members to train close to home while maintaining civilian careers. This provides valuable experience that benefits individuals at home and while serving.
Compensation info

Army National Guard Careers


Army National Guard training can provide you with valuable on-the-job training. Add qualities like dedication and responsibility to this training, and you have a compelling mix of traits that employers look for. Whether a service member’s job in the Guard mirrors or complements his or her civilian career, time spent serving is a valuable asset.