Has anyone ever asked you why you joined the Army National Guard, or if you think it would be a good idea for them to join? Perhaps you know someone whom you believe would make a great Guard Soldier. Would you know how to approach them about joining?
As a Soldier of the Army National Guard, people in the community look to you as an expert about the Guard. Unquestionably, no one is more fitting to act as a referral source between citizens and the Army National Guard than a Guard Soldier.
If the Army National Guard has improved your life in any way, don’t be shy about sharing that experience with others. Keep in mind that most States offer extra incentives to Soldiers who successfully refer a new recruit into the Army National Guard. (Talk to your Recruiting and Retention NCO for any incentives that may be available in your State.) Toward that end, listed on the next page are talking points that may prove helpful when referring someone to join the ranks of Citizen-Soldiers. You may find them as helpful reminders for yourself as well!
A career in the Army National Guard not only adds variety and excitement to life, but it also opens a host of financial benefits. From regular drill pay, to additional stipends paid during activations and deployments, to re-enlistment bonuses, the benefits of a steady, second source of income are sure to interest a potential Soldier.
Education Assistance and Development
The Army National Guard’s dedication to and support of Soldiers wanting to continue their education is certainly among the top reasons to join. Be sure to mention to prospects that Guard Soldiers have the unique benefit of being able to combine both federal and State funds to pay for education expenses, and Guard Soldiers can go to school while still serving.
Opportunities in Specialty Fields
Don’t forget to mention that some specialty and high-demand MOSs – like cyber operations specialists, interpreters, construction workers and helicopter repairers may offer incentive bonuses up to $20,000.
Paid on-the-job training in high-demand career fields is an invaluable Guard benefit that reaps lifelong rewards. The ability to choose from a variety of career options and receive paid training that is applicable, and often transferable, to civilian jobs saves Soldiers thousands of dollars that may otherwise have been spent on traditional school. It can also open the door to promotion opportunities on civilian jobs. When talking to a prospect, try to include an anecdote about how paid training has personally helped you.
Those considering a career with the Army National Guard may find it interesting that while the country struggles through national debates and changing policies around health care, members of the armed forces can remain secure in the knowledge that they will retain stable and affordable health insurance. Let them know that the Army National Guard offers health, dental and life insurance for Service Members and their Families.
A Changing Guard
Remember that the Army National Guard is constantly evolving. Dated images of Guard Soldiers working solely in armories are no longer relevant. Eliminate any misconceptions by sharing that more missions, international training, deployments and opportunities to learn new skills are available within the Guard than ever before.
Serve Your Country
When someone asks you why you stay in the Guard, rather than giving the standard “to do your duty” or “find your life’s purpose” rhetoric, speak from the heart and share whatever passion for service is within you. While the benefits offered in the Army National Guard are great, greater still is the spirit of service that comes from within and compels some to step up when others sit down. Share your story and explain what your dual mission to State and country means to you. Share the story about the look of relief in someone’s eyes when you arrived to help during an activation, or the hugs of gratitude given to you upon leaving a community that you helped keep safe during an evacuation. That may be all the inspiration someone needs to decide to follow in the footsteps of the many great Soldiers that have gone before them.
By Staff Writer Tatyana White-Jenkins