For new Air Guard members, the commitment involves working one weekend a month and a few weeks a year at a minimum for a period of 6 years. Basic Military Training begins with 8 1/2 weeks at Lackland AFB, TX followed by Technical School for the career field you have chosen. Tech schools will range in length from 6 weeks to over 50 weeks, depending on your career choice.
One of the primary benefits of joining the Air Guard is being part of your Hometown Air Force. Ordinarily, you would join the unit closest to where you live, and after the initial training you would return to begin working one weekend a month and a few weeks a year from that location. On occasion – typically during the annual training periods (two to three weeks a year) – units try to travel to varied locations to complete a more comprehensive training program. When this occurs, all of our members are provided transportation to and from that location as well as room and board.
If you are interested in joining the Air Guard having never served before, you must be between the ages of 17 and 39. You will be required to pass a written examination called the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) as well as an Entrance Physical Examination. Additionally, you can only have limited law violations and must pass a background check. All of this is performed as part of the screening process before you can actually join the Air Guard.
Once you are determined eligible to join, you begin the job selection process, in which you and your recruiter will begin to discuss your areas of interest. Using the results from the ASVAB test and physical, the local recruiter reviews positions of interest available within your local unit. Once a job is selected, you will be scheduled to enlist.
The current posture for the Air Guard is to support the needs of the Air Force on an as-needed basis, so there is always the possibility of being tasked for deployment. Every effort is made to use volunteers first, and in some cases you may be tasked to deploy when volunteers are not available to meet the mission’s requirements.