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Frequently Asked Questions

What is GRAP, GRAP-O, and ESAR?

GRAP, GRAP-O and ESAR are no longer active programs.

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What is the Freedom Salute Campaign?

The Freedom Salute Campaign is designed to publicly recognize soldiers the have been called to duty for support of Operations NOBLE EAGLE, ENDURING FREEDOM AND IRAQI FREEDOM.  Over 100,000 soldiers have been recognized through freedom salute.  Click hereExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. for more information.

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Frequently asked questions

How is the Army National Guard different from other military divisions?

Our mission makes us different. Unlike the other Armed Forces branches, we have a dual mission, meaning we answer to both state and federal governments. So Guard Soldiers can be deployed by either the Governor of their resident state or the President of the United States.

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What qualifications must I meet to enlist?

Age, height, weight, physical fitness and education are the primary factors. We are strict about applicants meeting them, but in some cases, we can help you get there if you fall short. To find out if you measure up to National Guard standards, click hereExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain..

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How will this help me in my civilian life?

We'll train you for an exciting, competitive career. You'll make great money now, plus accumulate benefits for your future. You'll develop skills that will help you in every aspect of your life, including leadership, the spirit of teamwork, confidence, courage and the seven Army Values.

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What kind of job will I do in the Guard?

That's up to you. When you enlist, you'll choose a job known as an MOS (Military Occupational Specialty)External Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. from more than 200 options in over two dozen specialty areas. Aviation, Military Police (MP) and Public Affairs are just a few of the fields we offer. Click hereExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. to view a complete list of MOS'sExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. and their descriptions.

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What is Basic Training like?

It's hard. It's Intense. It's Demanding. You'll love it! Basic TrainingExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. is a nine-week intensive course of exercises and drills designed to toughen you up inside and out. The time is broken down into three phases of three weeks each, designed to take you from an ordinary civilian to Citizen-Soldier. Read more about it hereExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain..

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Where will I serve?

Technically, it could be anywhere. Most likely, you'll train at the armory nearest your hometown, and if called to action, will remain in-state. However, in cases of catastrophic conditions, such as in Hurricane Katrina, you could be sent to another state to help. It's also possible you'll be deployed in support of combat operations, such as to the Middle East to assist in the War on Terrorism.

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Can I go to college and be in the National Guard at the same time?

Absolutely!  Your Guard service is only part time—just one weekend per month, and one two-week period each year. Not only can you attend college full time while you serve, you can even have another part-time job, if you choose to. The Guard leaves you plenty of time for the rest of your life, while providing the financial means to enjoy that life.

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As a prior service recruit, what will my rank be when I enlist in the Guard?

Mostly likely, you'll enlist in the Guard at the rank you held when you left your prior military service. If you're unsure of this grade, it's the one listed on your DD214 or NGB22.

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How will my prior service benefit me in the National Guard?

In two major ways: getting promotions and activating retirement benefits. Whatever military division you served in previously, your accrued time carries over into the Guard toward your overall military career. In addition, by joining the Guard, you continue earning points toward activating your retirement benefits. Your Montgomery G.I. Bill will also be extended upon enlistment.

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Will I need to attend Basic Training?

If you were with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corp, U.S. Air Force or their Reserve Components and didn’t complete six or eight weeks of U.S. Army Basic Training or USMC Boot camp, you will need to attend a Warrior Training Course. Your recruiter can explain this in detail.

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Will I receive a re-enlistment bonus?

Probably.  To get the best idea of how much you can get as a re-enlistment bonus contact your local recruiter.

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Am I too old to join?

It depends on your objective in enlisting. If your goal is to accrue time toward retirement benefits, you must be able to complete 20 combined years of service by the age 60. So if, for example, you have twelve years of service already, you need to be no older than 52 to join and receive your retirement. If retirement benefits are not your objective in joining, your maximum age will depend on your specific service history. No two situations are alike. Please speak to a recruiterExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. to discuss how your age affects your enlistment.

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What benefits does the National Guard offer?

Along with your monthly paycheck, we offer financing and administrative support for your higher education, retirement benefitsExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain., cash incentivesExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain., special bonusesExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain., an Education Support CenterExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. to help with school administrative matters, free space-available travel on military aircraft, a possible enlistment bonus and much more. Click hereExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. for details.

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Last Updated 3/15/2012
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