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Tour of Duty
Our History & Mission
The National Guard is a unique and essential element of the U.S. military. Founded in 1636 as a citizen force organized to protect families and towns from hostile attacks, today's National Guard Soldiers hold civilian jobs or attend college while maintaining their military training part time, always ready to defend the American way of life in the event of an emergency.|
National Guard Soldiers serve both community and country. Our versatility enables us to respond to domestic emergencies, overseas combat missions, counterdrug efforts, reconstruction missions and more. The Guard always responds with speed, strength and efficiency, helping to defend American freedom and ideals.
Why Join the Army National Guard?
Pay for your Education and Lead Soldiers Part Time in the Army National Guard!
- The US Army Cadet Command (USACC) will pay full tuition and fees or a $10,000 room and board flat rate each academic year for an enlisted Soldier in the Army National Guard (ARNG) to contract with a ROTC Program while in College and work towards a Commission as an Officer.
- These scholarships can be up to four years in length and Contracted Cadets are non-deployable while in College.
State Tuition Assistance
- Most states offer state tuition assistance for in-state institutions for members of the ARNG and can be combined with scholarship benefits.
Pay & Benefits
- Get paid to serve one weekend each month and two weeks in the summer for approximately $6,400 a year.
- Monthly ROTC Stipend during the Fall and Spring Semesters $300 a month.
- Train to be a Commissioned Officer in over 16 competitive fields and serve part-time in the ARNG after Graduation.
- Learn and develop marketable leadership skills sought by Industry Leaders and Employers.
- Simultaneously start your Civilian and Military Career right after College.
What is the Army National Guard like in my State?
Click the states on the map below to learn more about what each offers and contact information.
Always verify tuition benefits with State Education Offices.
ScholarshipsGuaranteed Reserve Forces Duty (GRFD) Scholarship Program
The GRFD scholarship program is designed for Cadets who are interested in obtaining a commission as an officer in the Army National Guard (ARNG) or US Army Reserve (USAR) with a guarantee for a Reserve Component (RC) assignment. GRFD scholarships offer either full tuition and mandatory fees or a room and board flat rate of $10,000 per year, and cover up to 2 years/4 semesters of benefits. GRFD scholarship awardees also receive an annual book allowance and a monthly stipend based on their academic year. GRFD Cadets must participate in the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) while attending college which means they will also receive pay for attending a drill one weekend per month as well as a two week annual training in a local ARNG or USAR unit. In return for these scholarship benefits, a GRFD Cadet will serve as a Commissioned Officer in either the ARNG or USAR in a drilling status for 8 years after Graduation.
In addition to these scholarship benefits, GRFD Cadets that are military occupational skill-qualified (MOSQ) can collect Selected Reserve-Montgomery GI Bill (SR-MGIB) and SMP Kicker benefits in conjunction with this scholarship. Since GRFD Cadets also participate in the SMP, Cadets serving in the ARNG may use available State Tuition Assistance (STA), if offered by their State, to cover tuition and fees and combine this with the GRFD scholarship for room and board expenses.
Dedicated GRFD (DED-GRFD) Scholarship Program
The DED-GRFD scholarship program guarantees that Cadets who commission as Army officers will serve in their specified Reserve Component at the time they accept the scholarship; either ARNG or USAR. Dedicated GRFD scholarships offer either full tuition and mandatory fees or a room and board flat rate of $10,000 per year, and cover up to 3 years/6 semesters of benefits. DED-GRFD scholarship awardees also receive an annual book allowance and a monthly stipend based on their academic year. DED-GRFD Cadets must participate in the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) with their Dedicated Reserve Component while attending college which means they will also receive pay for attending a drill one weekend per month as well as a two week annual training in a local ARNG or USAR unit. In return for these scholarship benefits, a DED-GRFD Cadet will serve as a Commissioned Officer in either the ARNG or USAR in a drilling status for 8 years after Graduation.
Cadets receiving DED-GRFD scholarships CANNOT combine SR-MGIB (Chapter 1606 or 1607) benefits with their scholarship, including the SMP Kicker. DED-GRFD scholarship Cadets CAN combine an Active Duty GI Bill (Chapter 30) or Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) with their scholarship because these are benefits earned while in an Active Duty status.
Minuteman Scholarship Program
Minuteman scholarships can be either 2-year GRFD scholarships or DED-GRFD scholarships up to 4 years in length and guarantee that Cadets who commission as Army officers will serve in either ARNG or USAR. Minuteman scholarships require a nomination letter as part of the scholarship packet and offer either full tuition and mandatory fees or a room and board flat rate of $10,000 per year, and cover up to 4 years/8 semesters of benefits. Minuteman scholarship awardees also receive an annual book allowance and a monthly stipend based on their academic year. Minuteman Scholarship Cadets must participate in the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) while attending college which means they will also receive pay for attending a drill one weekend per month as well as a two week annual training in a local ARNG or USAR unit. In return for these scholarship benefits, a Minuteman Cadet will serve as a Commissioned Officer in either the ARNG or USAR in a drilling status for 8 years after Graduation.
Minuteman Scholarship Cadets can be nominated from any State Adjutant General (TAG), any Civilian Aid to the Secretary of the Army (CASA), a Mission Support Command (MSC), or an Army Reserve Ambassador in lengths of 2YRs up to 4YRs for a scholarship. These scholarships are limited each year and need a nomination memo with a handwritten signature from the nomination source. Deadlines for the Minuteman scholarships are 01 September for fall starts and 01 December for spring starts each year.
Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP)
The SMP gives eligible enlisted members of the ARNG and USAR an opportunity to maintain status in their Reserve Component while simultaneously attending college and participating as a contracted Cadet in the ROTC Program working towards a Commission as an Officer. The SMP offers on-the-job training, reinforces the role of the Commissioned Officer in the Army, and gives ROTC Cadets the experience of working with Soldiers and Noncommissioned Officers in a Reserve Component Unit. All GRFD Cadets must participate in the SMP.
ROTC Cadets participating in the SMP will attend one weekend training event each month as well as a two-week annual training with their Reserve Component Unit. SMP Cadets may also take advantage of any Education incentives offered by their respective Reserve Component including, but not limited to, Selected Reserve-Montgomery GI Bill, Student Loan Repayment Program, and/or Tuition Assistance.
Early Commissioning Program
Recipients of the Early Commissioning Program (ECP) scholarships will receive financial assistance for 2-years at one of our 4 sponsoring Military Junior Colleges (MJC) in their pursuit of an Associate degree from the MJC and a commission in the U.S. Army.
These Soldiers will continue on at a 4-year ROTC program school of their choice to complete a baccalaureate degree without any other ROTC benefits except for Educational Assistance Program (EAP) within 36 months. The EAP will pay either full tuition and fees or flat rate of $10,000 for room and board for up to 24 months. Acceptance of EAP will add one Additional Military Service Obligation (ADSO) for each year or partial year EAP is used. Upon commission, the MJC lieutenants will be required to select and join a unit in one of the Reserve Components in a drilling status, attending battle assemblies and annual training while working on their 4-year baccalaureate degree. These scholarships are also known as the "Ike Skelton Scholarship".
Education BenefitsFederal Tuition Assistance
The Tuition Assistance (TA) program provides financial assistance for voluntary off-duty education programs in support of a Soldier's professional and personal self-development goals. TA is available for courses that are offered in the classroom or by distance learning and is part of an approved academic degree or certificate program. The courses must be offered by schools that are registered in GoArmyEd, are accredited by accrediting agencies that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and are signatories to the current Department of Defense Memorandum of Understanding (DOD MOU).
The Department of Defense (DoD) has directed a uniform per semester hour cap of $250 for tuition assistance (TA) and an annual ceiling of $4,500. The Services are authorized to establish Service specific eligibility criteria to manage TA funds. The Army will pay 100 percent of tuition costs up to the DoD semester hour cap of $250 per semester hour cap for up to 16 semester hours of TA funded courses per fiscal year. School fee charges of any type are no longer eligible for funding with TA.
State Tuition Assistance
State Tuition Assistance may cover up to the total cost of tuition at In-State Institutions and is available to ARNG Soldiers in most States; these additional benefits can be combined with GRFD Scholarships. To learn more about State Tuition Assistance in your State, contact your State Education Benefits Office.
The term GI Bill refers to any Department of Veterans Affairs education benefit earned by members of Active Duty, Selected Reserve and National Guard Armed Forces and their families. The benefit is designed to help servicemembers and eligible veterans cover the costs associated with getting an education or training. The GI Bill has several programs and each is administrated differently -- depending on a person's eligibility and duty status.
Student Loan Repayment Program
The Loan Repayment Program (LRP) is a special incentive that the Army offers to highly qualified applicants entering the Army. Under the LRP, the Army will repay part of a Soldier's qualifying student loans. Only specified Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs) qualify for the LRP. Check with your State Officer Strength Manager to see if your state offers this benefit.
- Simultaneous Civilian and Military Career Opportunities
- Leadership Training & Skills
- Opportunities for full time employment including Active Guard/Reserve (AGR), Active Duty for Operational Support (ADOS), and Federal/State Technician positions
- Drill Pay
- Tricare Reserve Select
- Thrift Savings Plan 401k
- Retirement Calculator
Gold Bar Recruiting
- Full-time opportunity for recently Commissioned Officers
- Experience in Recruiting, Retention, and Scholarship Management
- Active Duty 2LT Pay (Military Pay Charts)
- TRICARE Prime while on Active Duty (Tricare Prime)
- Title 10 time counts towards earning Post-9/11 GI Bill (Post 9/11 GI Bill Percentages)
- Thrift Savings Plan 401k (TSP)
- Active Duty time counts towards Retirement Points (Retirement Formula)
ARNG Officer Branches
AccessionsCadets accessing into the Army National Guard (ARNG) must work with their preferred State to find a vacancy in their desired Branch and obtain a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) for a Unit from the State Officer Strength Manager (OSM). This process can take up to 30-45 days.
Once a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) is issued, the Cadet can then work with the Basic Officer Leader Course (BOLC) Manager for their selected branch to obtain a training date.
ARNG ROTC FAQs
QHow will my unit and branch be chosen?
ABLUF: Letter of Acceptance (LOA) determines the unit and branch. Your unit and branch will be determined through arrangements with the state Officer Strength Manager (OSM) and the LOA that you receive. Although the National Guard does offer much more flexibility in regards to choosing your branch, the states do have the option of conducting an Order of Merit List to determine the branch in which you serve.
QHow can I find a state that has my desired branch?
AFind Officer Strength Manager (OSM) contact information for each state by scrolling the map above. If your state does not have slots for your desired branch, it may benefit you to contact the OSM for states surrounding the area you want to live. You do not have to live in the set that you drill in.
QCan I move locations or states?
AYes. There are no restrictions to where you live as long as your obligations to attend drill aren't affected. If you decide to move to another state and wish to transfer to a local unit in that state, you must find an accepting unit and complete an Inter-State Transfer (IST) packet. The IST will be completed through your unit and the receiving state's OSM.
QHow will promotions compare to active duty?
APromotions are executed similarly to active duty with the exception that promotions are dependent on vacancies and therefore can be limited based on the branch and organizational structure of the state that you serve in.
QHow does the pay compare to active duty?
ANational Guard pay should be seen as supplementary income to your Civilian job if you serve in a M-Day status. You will receive great pay for Inactive Duty Training once a month and Active Duty pay for Annual Training.
QCan I still be deployed?
AContracted ROTC Cadets are non-deployable while in college. If you are not contracted in ROTC and are a member of the Army National Guard, then you would be deployable with the unit that you are serving in.
QDo I have to drill while in college?
AIf you are enlisted in the Army National Guard or contract into ROTC with the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP), it is a requirement that you actively drill with your Unit. You may also qualify for additional State-offered Educational Benefits as a participating member in the Army National Guard; contact your State Army National Guard Education office to learn more.
QWhat full time employment opportunities does the Guard offer?
AActive Guard Reserve (AGR) is the equivalent to active duty, where you would work full-time for the Army National Guard. You would receive the same pay and benefits as active duty. Keep in mind that these positions are limited and highly competitive.
There are also temporary full-time Active Duty Operational Support (ADOS) positions available with the Army National Guard. These are active duty orders in support of required operations for the Reserve Component. There are orders available all over the world and those positions and descriptions can be found through Tour of Duty (ToD) on the MOBCOP website, https://mobcop.army.mil/MobcopPortal/UI/Login.aspx.
Another full-time opportunity for the Army National Guard is a military technician. A military technician (dual status) is a Federal civilian employee who— is employed under section 3101 of title 5 or section 709(b) of title 32; is required as a condition of that employment to maintain membership in the Selected Reserve; and is assigned to a civilian position as a technician in the organizing, administering, instructing, or training of the Selected Reserve or in the maintenance and repair of supplies or equipment issued to the Selected Reserve or the armed forces. In addition to duel status technician veterans receive a preference for other General Service positions within the U.S. Government. These positions can be found on the USAJobs website, www.usajobs.gov.
QWhat are the availability of military schools for the Army National Guard?
ACommon training requirements for rank, position, or area of concern will be funded as needed. Additional schools such as Airborne, Air Assault, and Ranger are available but are based on slots allocated to each state. The more competitive you are with your peers, the more opportunities you will have for additional schooling.
QIs Cyber branch an option?
AThere are Cyber Officer positions available in most states, but they are usually CPT/03 slots such that you will not branch into Cyber when you first Commission. In most cases, these Cyber slots are competitive and draw primarily from Signal Officers and Military Intelligence Officers whom also have an IT background or credentials of some kind.