The Army National Guard is one of the three components of the US Army, the other two being Active Army (also referred to as the Regular Army) and the Army Reserves. The Army National Guard has been an integral part of the US Army for over 360 years.
The National Guard is a key factor in the provision of safety and security for US citizens and US assets both domestically and overseas. Wherever they are needed, the National Guard will be there. We are especially familiar with them as they help neighbors here at home with natural disaster relief and other such emergency situations. But the National Guard missions are unique as the individuals that serve in the Guard.
Army National Guard Mission – State & Federal
The Army National Guard comprises of state guard forces. They are not a part of the Regular Army, though they may be recalled at any time to assist them. Mobilization of such members of the Army is possible at many levels – from the entire unit, to part of a unit, to individual servicemembers within the unit. Some mobilizations are mandatory, while others may be voluntary.
The federal mission is that of the main Army. If National Guard members are mobilized to active duty status, they will fall under the command of the main Army, and their mission will be that of the general defense of the United States. The President has the powers of activating the army to participate in federal roles like combating the terrorism in Middle East, peace operations in throughout the world, disaster relief, medical support, and more.
The state missions of Army National Guard include local or state emergencies such as storms, earthquakes, civil disturbances, fires, and providing security for major events, such as important visitors, delegations, the Olympics, large sporting events, etc. The National Guard needs to always be prepared with well-maintained and trained units promptly available with adequate equipment during national emergencies or wars. The Governor through the state Adjutant General commands such army missions.
Most often, National Guardsmen fulfill their commitment to serve near their own homes and regions, but are frequently deployed for assistance during emergencies or natural disasters almost anywhere in the country. While serving on missions during war time, they may be deployed almost anywhere in the world. The National Guard is known for their flexibility and ability to meet a challenge in a timely and efficient manner.
Who Serves in the Army National Guard?
The Army National Guard consists of traditional Guardsmen – civilians who serve their country on part time basis, which is usually a weekend each month and two weeks during the summer. During their training periods, members of the National Guard are considered to be in the military. The rest of the time, they are in an inactive status, and can be recalled by the state Governor, or by the President.
Service commitments for the National Guard are anywhere from three to six years, and guardsmen are eligible for a variety or health and educational benefits. While activated, Guard Members receive the same benefits as their active duty counterparts. While in a Traditional Guard status, the pay and benefits are different, but still very valuable. Some of the state benefits include educational programs, life insurance, health insurance, flexible training schedule, competitive pay scales, and much more.
- National Guard Pay Scale
- National Guard Health Care Benefits
- National Guard Education Benefits
- National Guard Life Insurance Benefits