WHAT IS THE ARMY NATIONAL GUARD?
The Army National Guard serves both the state and the nation
The Army National Guard serves both state and federal governments. The difference between the Army National Guard and other branches is that while Army National Guard units are combat-trained and can be deployed overseas, they are just as likely to serve in their home communities – training just one weekend per month, and one two-week period each year.
During local emergencies, Army National Guard units assist residents endangered by storms, floods, fires and other disasters. Army National Guard companies deployed overseas may see combat, but are often found building schools and hospitals, training local peacekeepers or teaching local farmers more efficient techniques and better uses of their land.
The Army National Guard is the oldest military branch
The Army National Guard’s roots date back to 1636, when colonial militias, which were made up of ordinary citizens, would put down their plows and pick up their weapons to protect Families and towns from hostile attacks. Today, Citizen-Soldiers hold civilian jobs or attend college while training part time, staying ready to defend America in the event of an emergency.
You'll serve your community, your state and your country
As a North Dakota Army National Guard Soldier, you can expect your primary area of operation to be your home state, following the leadership of your state adjutant general and governor. This may include community efforts, responding to wildfires or floods. Or, it may include serving overseas, training foreign forces.
You will also be prepared to mobilize when directed by the president. This may include overseas service or domestic, such as serving along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The total Army National Guard commitment is eight years
Whatever career you pursue in the Army National Guard, when you enlist you’ll be signing up for a total commitment of eight years. However, you can serve for as little as three or six years, and spend the remainder in Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) – which means you won't train with a unit, but you can still be called up in the event of an emergency.
So, what does the Army National Guard do? Whatever is needed, wherever it is needed.