The Air National Guard (ANG) or simply the “Air Guard”, is part of the state National Guard and has more than 140 units in the United States, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. Members of the Air National Guard can be called in for active duty by territorial commanding generals or state governors to respond to natural disasters or domestic emergencies.
The Air Guard is often called in to assist when hurricanes, earthquakes, floods or fires threaten your state. The Governor of your state can send the Air Guard out with critical supplies or to provide support to communities in need. At times, the Air National Guard of the United States can be called for federal active duty during war or national emergency by the President. If the President calls for the Air National Guard, you will assist in overseas humanitarian aid, or help strengthen our homeland defense efforts.
Joining the Air National Guard
The Air Guard allows people to serve close to their home, on a part-time basis. Not only does the Air National Guard help people begin military careers and gain technical experience – but it looks fantastic on a resume and the skills you learn transfer easily into civilian careers. You can pursue a college degree or work fulltime in the civilian career of your choice while serving the Air Guard on a part-time basis.
Commitment to the Air Guard
Most people in the Air Guard serve their community and country with the intention of committing part time. You will work or train in the Air Guard one weekend a month, and for two weeks each year for at least six years. When you get started with the Air National Guard, you will spend 8 and a half weeks at the Lackland Air Force Base in Texas for Basic Military Training; and then attend the Technical School to train for the career you choose. Your time at the Tech Schools will vary from six weeks to fifty weeks or more – depending on what career path you choose.
Once your initial Basic Military Training and Tech School has been completed, you will serve your one weekend per month and two weeks each year in an Air Guard unit close to your home.
Eligibility for Joining the Air National Guard
Like all branches of the military, you must meet eligibility requirements to join the Air Guard. You must be between the ages of 18 and 40 years old to join the Air Guard. If you have parental consent, you can join when you are 17 years old. You need to have a high school diploma, or in some cases, a GED will be accepted. You will need to pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and a physical exam. Your Air Guard recruiter will review the results of your written test and physical test to help you review positions you would be successful with. There are more than 180 different career paths available to members of the Air National Guard. When you select a career, you will then schedule to enlist in the Air Guard and join. Until the moment of your swearing-in, you are not obligated to commit.
If you meet the eligibility requirements and want to join, fill out this form to talk to a recruiter.
Benefits of the Air Guard
The benefits of the Air Guard are many, and include financial benefits, medical benefits, retirement benefits, education benefits and vacation benefits. You’ll receive a regular monthly paycheck as a member of the Air National Guard, and can obtain money for education through the Montgomery G.I. Bill. In some cases, you can get tuition assistance up to 100%, and some Air Guard units offer repayments on student loans. The Montgomery G.I Bill for Selected Reserve makes it possible for over $10,000 toward school in addition to other educational benefits and your paycheck, if you attend school full time during your time in the National Guard or Reserves.
Members of the Air National guard can attend university courses through the Community College of the Air Force. These are two-year degree programs that combine general education course work from civilian colleges with Air Force technical training.
Air Guard members also receive affordable health and life insurance, and are part of the military retirement plan. Additionally, when you go on vacation you have access to free flights when space is available on military planes. You will have access to the recreational facilities located on military bases, and you and your family can enjoy the gym, library, tennis courts, and shopping at Military Exchanges all over the country.
An Air Guard recruiter can go over all of the benefits available to you in your state, including possible signing bonuses for some career paths. You will not find this level of benefits for any other part time job in America!