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Frequently Asked Questions

 

ASVAB Test

I understand I have to take a test prior to enlisting. What is the test and where do I take it?

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a multiple-choice test that helps you better understand your strengths and is one of the things that helps identify which jobs (Military Occupational Specialties) are best for you. Most major bookstores carry ASVAB tutorial books that you can purchase.

 

Benefits/VA Benefits

I served in the National Guard for 10 years but did not retire. What benefits am I entitled to?
If you were not medically retired from the service and did not serve in a combat/war zone, you will have to contact the Department of Veterans Affairs to see if you are entitled to any benefits.


What Veterans Administration benefits am I entitled to as a former member of the National Guard?
Benefits for former National Guard members have many variables that must be individually addressed before benefits can be assessed. Contact the Department of Veterans Affairs directly for information about any benefits you may be entitled to.


My spouse served in the National Guard and is deceased. What benefits am I entitled to as the spouse?
It depends on whether your spouse retired from the Guard. If so, contact your nearest military installation for information about claiming your benefits. If not, you may be entitled to some benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs.


If I'm a traditional reservist on active duty and I'm killed, will my family receive the same benefits as an active duty family?
The family of a traditional reservist who dies while on active duty is entitled to many of the same benefits as an active duty family, including ID cards, medical services, commissary, exchange and morale, welfare and recreation activities. Eligibility for other privileges are covered in item #2. Privileges for children are until age 21 or the eve of 23rd birthday if enrolled fulltime in an accredited institution of higher learning. Spouse is eligible unless he/she remarries. If spouse, remarries and subsequently divorces he/she will get back all privileges except medical.

The member's family may also be eligible for the Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP) this plan differs from active duty SBP because it is based on completion of satisfactory years of service that qualify the member for retired pay at age 60.

Family is also entitled to:

  • Death Gratuity
  • Unpaid Pay and Allowances
  • Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) if family is occupying government housing on the date the member dies
  • Service member's Group Life Insurance (SGLI),
  • RCSBP a monthly annuity paid to surviving spouse or, in some cases, eligible children of Reserve Component members who have completed the satisfactory years of service that qualify the member for retired pay at age 60.
  • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, (DIC) VA may authorize payment for surviving spouses who have not remarried, unmarried children under 18, disabled children, children between the ages of 18 and 23 if attending a VA-approved school, and low-income parents of service members who die from a disease or injury incurred or aggravated while on active duty or active duty for training or a an injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty while on inactive duty for training, or a disability compensable by the Veteran's Affairs.
  • There are other benefits (eligibility will have to be determined) listed in Public Laws, Titles 5, 10, 12, 37, 38, and 42 such as Educational Assistance, Social Security payments, VA Guaranteed Loans, Government Employment etc.

I'm a traditional reservist. If I'm injured while on active duty, what benefits am I and my family entitled to receive?
If injured, begin by processing a Line of Duty (LOD) determination. The type of injury will determine benefits, further processing, etc.

 

Careers in the Guard/Recruiting/Recruitment

I am interested in more information about the Army/Air National Guard, but don't want to be contacted by a recruiter yet. Where can I obtain information about joining the National Guard?
Both the Army Guard and Air Guard have comprehensive Web sites with information.

Note: Browsing these Web sites in no way obligates you to join the National Guard. Also, you will only be contacted by a recruiter if you request it.


Where can I find an Army/Air Guard recruiter in my state?
Visit either the Army Guard Website or the Air Guard Website to find a recruiter in your state.


Does the Guard have full-time positions, or are they all part-time?
In addition to serving as little as one weekend a month and two weeks a year, all states have full-time positions available for Guard members in certain career fields. Check out the Army Guard and the Air Guard Jobs Web sites to find full-time jobs in your state.

 

ChalleNGe Program/STARBASE/Youth Programs

I would like more information about the ChalleNGe Program/STARBASE.
The ChalleNGe Program and the STARBASE Program have separate Web sites with more program information.


How can I find a point of contact for the ChalleNGe Program in my state?
You can find a list of participating states and points of contact at the National Guard Challenge Program's Web site.


What is the difference between the ChalleNGE Program and STARBASE?
ChalleNGe, a preventive -- rather than remedial -- youth-at-risk program, targets unemployed drug-free and law-free high-school dropouts, 16 to 18 years of age. Core components of the program are citizenship, academic excellence (GED/high school diploma attainment), life-coping skills, community service, health and hygiene, skills training, leadership/followership, and physical training. The five-month residential phase is followed by a year-long mentoring relationship with a specially trained member from each youth's community.

STARBASE, a program for youth ages 6 through 18, is aimed at improving math and science skills. The program starts at the elementary school level in order to attract and prepare students at an early age for careers in engineering and other science-related fields of study. The program principally exposes at-risk children and their teachers to real world applications of math and science through experiential learning, simulations, and experiments in aviation and space-related fields. The program also addresses drug use prevention, health, self esteem and life skills within a math- and science-based program.

 

Clothing/Equipment

Are Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) personnel authorized a clothing allowance?
AGR officers upon the initial tour are entitled to uniform allowance; enlisted AGR personnel are not because it is ANG policy to provide "in-kind" issue through unit supply.

 

Complaint/IG Complaint

I'd like to speak to someone in the Inspector General's office about a FRAUD, WASTE, & ABUSE complaint.
The National Guard Bureau Office of the Inspector General has a web presence within the National Guard Bureau Web site. Depending on the type of complaint you are filing, there are different points of contact within that office.


Do you have a good phone number/email address/physical address for the IG's office?
Contact the National Guard Bureau IG at:
NGB/IG
111 S. George Mason Drive
Arlington VA 22204
(703) 607-2539

 

Contracting

I own a small company and am interested in doing business with the National Guard. Where do I send information about my company?

Contact the National Guard Bureau Small Business office:

NGB-ZC-SADBU
111 S. George Mason Drive
Arlington, VA 22204
Phone: (703) 607-1023
E-mail: NGBSADBU@ngb.ang.af.mil

 

Differences in the Guard and Reserve

How is the National Guard different from the Reserves?

Although the National Guard is a part of this nation's reserve forces, there are a few differences between the Army or Air Force Reserve and the Guard. The National Guard is by far the oldest component of any of the uniformed services. It traces its roots to the colonial militia, and claims a "birthday" of 1636. By comparison, the U.S. Army was founded in 1775 (its first units all came out of the colonial militia) and the U.S. Air Force was created in 1947. More importantly, the National Guard maintains a unique "dual status" - both State and Federal - that no other service or component has. This dual status is rooted in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, which states that "Congress shall have the power ... To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress."

The National Guard serves both the state and nation in times of need, and soldiers and airmen in the Guard swear an oath to protect and defend not just the Constitution of the United States, but also of the State in which they serve. In peacetime, the Guard is commanded by the governors of the respective States and Territories (the District of Columbia National Guard is commanded directly by the President). We assist civil leaders during natural disasters, state emergencies and civil unrest. Civil laws, particularly the Posse Comitatus act of 1878, limit the use of Federal troops (to include Federal Reserve components like the Army Reserve and the Air Force Reserve) to enforce the law. The National Guard, when acting in its capacity as State troops, does not fall under these restrictions and thus can augment civil authorities in maintaining law and order.

Guard members also enjoy educational benefits that are unique in each state. Both National Guard and Reserve members are eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill, but in many states, members of the National Guard are offered reduced/free tuition at state supported colleges or university. (This benefit varies from state to state, so contact your local National Guard recruiter for information about benefits in your state.)

 

National Defense Service Medal

Do I qualify for the National Defense Service Medal?

If you were on orders, either Title 10 or Title 32 in support of Operation Noble Eagle, and/or performing military duty in defense of one of our nation's airports, the criteria states that you are, in fact, eligible for the NDSM. The criteria are slightly different for Army and Air.

Downloads: Army Criteria, Air Force Criteria

 

Records

I'm no longer a member of the Guard. How can I get copies of my service/medical/disability/awards records?

Once you leave the Guard you may get copies of your records by contacting the Military Personnel Office of the Guard headquarters in the state where you were last a Guardsman.

 

Rights

What is the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)?
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) was enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton on October 13, 1994. Congress amended the law in 1996, 1998, and 2000. USERRA is codified in Title 38, United States Code, Sections 4301-4333 (38 U.S.C. 4301-4333).


I employ a member of the Guard. What are my rights as an employer?
The National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve FAQ can answer your question.


I've been called to active duty for six months and my employer has told me I will be fired if I leave. What are my rights?
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), enacted October 1994 and significantly updated October 1996 and 1998, provides protection and rights of reinstatement to employees who participate in the National Guard and Reserve. To find out what your rights are, go to the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve's FAQ website or, you can contact ESGR Ombudsmen Services through your local ESGR Committee or the National ESGR Headquarters, or the toll-free number, (800) 336-4590 (ask for Ombudsmen Services).

 

Veteran's Benefits

VA officials estimate most of America's 25 million veterans qualify for at least some VA benefits, but many are unaware of their entitlements. This handbook (1.3 MB .pdf) includes a listing of toll-free numbers, World Wide Web information resources, and VA facilities.

Most veterans are eligible for healthcare and burial benefits. Many are also eligible for home loan guarantees, educational assistance, vocational rehabilitation, life insurance, and compensation for service-connected disabilities.

This guide explains how to access many of these benefits online. For instance, it provides a Web address and instructions for enrolling via the Internet into the VA healthcare system. The book describes in detail the priority for care and services available. Separate sections describe specialized services available to Gulf War veterans and those exposed to Agent Orange or radiation.

The Montgomery GI Bill and other education benefits are explained in depth. Burial benefits and employment service are also covered, as are rate charts for the various forms of compensation VA provides.

The book can be purchased through the Government Printing Office for $5 for U.S.-based customers and $6.25 for those overseas by calling toll-free (866) 512-1800. By providing it online at http://www.va.gov/opa/feature/ , the VA hopes to make the information available to more veterans.


I'm a traditional reservist who is injured while on Active Duty, what benefits am I and my family entitled to receive?
The family of a traditional reservist who dies while on active duty is entitled to many of the same benefits as an active duty family, including ID cards, medical services, commissary, exchange and morale, welfare and recreation activities. Eligibility for other privileges are covered in item #2. Privileges for children are until age 21 or the eve of 23rd birthday if enrolled fulltime in an accredited institution of higher learning. Spouse is eligible unless he/she remarries. If spouse, remarries and subsequently divorces he/she will get back all privileges except medical.

The member's family may also be eligible for the Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP) this plan differs from active duty SBP because it is based on completion of satisfactory years of service that qualify the member for retired pay at age 60.

Family is also entitled to:

  • Death Gratuity
  • Unpaid Pay and Allowances
  • Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) if family is occupying government housing on the date the member dies
  • Service member's Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
  • RCSBP a monthly annuity paid to surviving spouse or, in some cases, eligible children of Reserve Component members who have completed the satisfactory years of service that qualify the member for retired pay at age 60.
  • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, (DIC) VA may authorize payment for surviving spouses who have not remarried, unmarried children under 18, disabled children, children between the ages of 18 and 23 if attending a VA-approved school, and low-income parents of service members who die from a disease or injury incurred or aggravated while on active duty or active duty for training or a an injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty while on inactive duty for training, or a disability compensable by the Veteran's Affairs.
  • There are other benefits (eligibility will have to be determined) listed in Public Laws, Titles 5, 10, 12, 37, 38, and 42 such as Educational Assistance, Social Security payments, VA Guaranteed Loans, Government Employment etc.


If I get injured while on active duty, but I'm a traditional reservist, to what benefits am I and my family entitled?

If injured, begin by processing a Line of Duty (LOD) determination. The type of injury will determine benefits, further processing, etc. Please send email regarding only our Web site to our webmaster. Never, ever send your social security number. For other questions view our Staff Contact List for an appropriate contact.