Are you thinking about joining the National Guard? Do you feel that this could be the life changing event you have been dreaming of?
Some people look into joining the National Guard but never move forward. Other people don’t do anything before they join – they just know that this is right for them.
If you are on the fence it makes good sense to learn as much as you can about joining the National Guard. Most importantly, you need to know why so many people are joining this branch of the military.
Below are 10 of the best reasons to join the National Guard:
1. Career fields. Just because you join the National Guard does not mean you are going to be fighting the enemy, day after day. In fact, there are many careers that have nothing to do with fighting.
Here is a list of the National Guard careers to consider: infantry, armor and field artillery, aviation, medical, military police, transportation, logistics support, mechanic and maintenance, Special Forces, engineer, administrative, interpreter, and signal and military intelligence.
As you can see, the National Guard career fields are very similar to those in the civilian world. If you want to be a mechanic, for example, you can join the Guard to fulfill your dream.
2. A variety of jobs within each career field. Saying that you want to follow an engineering career path in the National Guard is a great idea – but this is just the start. You have to consider which specialty is right for you.
Sticking with the above example, here are some of the engineering jobs that you can choose from: bridge crewmember, diver, plumber, power line distribution specialist, technical engineer, interior electrician, geospatial engineer, and general engineering supervisor.
Every career field has multiple job specialties. Your recruiter can explain more about available jobs, including responsibilities.
3. Your time in the National Guard will prepare you for a better job in the future. You may not stay a member of the Guard your entire life. In this case, you have to think about what you will do upon leaving. What type of civilian job are you going to get?
The skills that you learn in your field will pay off in the long run. As you apply for civilian jobs, you will find that employers are impressed with your experience. Your National Guard job will prepare you for a variety of positions in the future.
4. Your personal skills will improve. There is no denying that the National Guard knows how to train people to succeed within their career field. Along with this, you are going to take your personal skills to the next level. For instance, you will quickly find that you are developing top of the line leadership skills. Along with this, your communication skills will improve at the same time.
Although this may not sound like a big benefit, as you search for a job after the National Guard all of these skills will come in handy.
5. Make lifelong friends. Many people believe that the National Guard is all business all the time. While you need to be 100 percent serious about serving and protecting your country, this does not mean you have to leave all fun behind.
You will make friends in the National Guard that you will stay in touch with for the rest of your life. Even after your service is done and you have moved on, there is no greater feeling than continuing your bond with fellow members.
6. Advanced Individual Training. Every new member of the National Guard is required to go through 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training. But that is just the start. You will really get into things when you move onto Advanced Individual Training. This is when you focus more on your career and job specialty, and less on the basics of being a good soldier.
How long does this training last? Don’t look at this as a bad thing. The duration of your training is based on your job specialty. The more in-depth the position the longer you will train. For example, engineering jobs come along with Advanced Individual Training of 6 to 36 weeks.
If you have questions about training, including how long it lasts, it is important to speak with a recruiter.
7. Easy to focus on what you love. Let’s be honest: the job market in the United States is not as good as it could be. In turn, many people are finding it difficult to locate a job that they enjoy. While some are lucky enough to find a job, most are not getting involved with the field they love.
When you join the National Guard you never have to worry about this. If you want to get involved with engineering, so be it. If you want to get involved with the medical field that is fine as well. In short, you do not have to worry so much about the job market. Instead, your main concern should be choosing a career field and job that you are comfortable with.
8. You will get paid. You should not join the National Guard for the money, but you do need to know that you will make something. Just like anything else, some Guard jobs pay more than others. This is based largely on your experience, job specialty, and rank.
If money is on your mind, speak with your recruiter about how much you can earn. Depending on your state, you may receive a cash bonus for becoming an officer or following a particular career path.
9. Joining is simple. Are you under the impression that you have to jump through hoops to become a member of the National Guard? This is a common misconception. Simply put, you can join the Guard as long as you meet certain requirements, such as the proper height and weight.
Speaking with a local recruiter can help ease your mind. In addition to discussing requirements, you can get more information on how to join and which steps you need to take.
In short, the National Guard has made it simple for all interested members to join.
10. You have the chance to serve and protect your country. This may be the last benefit on this list, but it is not one that you want to overlook. Does it get any better than the ability to serve your country?
Just like all branches of the military, you are doing your part in keeping the United States safe. There is no guarantee that you will be sent into combat, but the time could come.
Now do you see why so many people join the National Guard every year? With approximately 500,000 people serving in this capacity, it is easy to see that the benefits run deep.