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Thinking about joining the National Guard.

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  • Thinking about joining the National Guard.


    I was thinking about joining the guard after graduating college but somethings have came up money wise and I will come up short to complete my last year of school so I was just wondering if it would be a good idea to join up before my last year. I know it would be and the plus side I would get a good start. But With school starting in late august I'm almost sure that I would probably have to take off a semester in order to complete basic training and such. I was just looking for some input from those who have been through this or known anyone who has been through this. I also would like to know if I talked to a recruiter in VA and did everything needed to be done to enlist through him down here could I possibly asked to be stationed somewhere in PA since thats where I attend school so it would be easier to get to drill and what not when im mostly in pa for most of the year.

    Thank you all for your input

  • #2
    Re: Thinking about joining the National Guard.

    Before I address your questions, I want to comment on your reasons for enlisting. Keep in mind that being a Soldier is more than getting your tuition paid for. It will require, on average, a 6 year commitment and may force you to make even more sacrifices in your civilian life than what you've brought up here. If this is something you've already considered, then great! It's just important that you are informed of what you're committing to.

    Concerning your timing, when you choose to enlist is entirely a personal preference. Being June already, there's no way you could get all your training done before August (providing you even get a slot right away), so I would anticipate having to take some time off of school regardless. It can take up to a year to ship out for training, depending on what job specialty (MOS) you choose. This will be another thing you'll want to keep in mind when making your decision. Ultimately, when you talk to your recruiter, you can let them know your preferences.

    As far as where you "enlist", this really isn't as important as the unit you will drill at. Primarily, this is based on the MOS you have. If you'd like to find a unit near your college, I would recommend using the unit finder application on the National Guard website: When you talk to your recruiter, let them know where your home of record will be so that they can give you your options accordingly.

    Lastly, if you'd like to connect to a recruiter here online, I would recommend filling out the Pre-Qualification form. You'll have to fill it out anyways when you begin the enlistment process, so it's a good idea to get it out of the way on your own. Once you finish both parts, a recruiter will contact you within 10 business days and schedule a meeting time! Here's a direct link:

    Hopefully this helps! There's a lot more that can be said about enlisting, so be sure to look around the forums for more input.