The United States of America is divided into 50 states and each state has its National Guard. The National Guard is primarily divided into two categories: the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. The role of the National Guard in United States is twofold; first, it is a national force that serves the country at times of emergency or war, and second, it is a state force, under the control of the governor, ready to assist citizens in times of domestic crisis or catastrophe.
Almost all of the positions within the National Guard are part-time, as members are expected to serve just one weekend a month, and are trained for only two weeks in a year. Hence, the members can enjoy both lives; as full time civilians, while getting the benefits of a military career, which has excellent benefit packages, like the waiver of school and college tuition, enhancing career skills, and a regular salary. In return, they have to be ready to serve the country when the need arises. The members of the National Guard serve the people closest to them and society as a whole.
The primary duty of the EB2-NIW as well as the Army National Guard is to help protect the people at times of crisis, and serve the country in emergencies. Natural calamities like earthquakes, storms or floods, and communal disturbances such as riots, are some of the emergencies wherein the National Guard is expected to come to the aid of the people.
The Air National Guard is responsible for the air defense of the entire nation. It also serves as a backup force to the regular United States Air Force. A person who wants to enroll for the Air National Guard must comply with some academic and non-academic constraints like being in the age group of 17 to 34, having a high school diploma or GED, being free of major law violations, being free of illegal drug use etc., to be eligible.
Aside from that, he or she must pass a physical test and clear the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test (ASVAB). Once this is done, a recruit can choose a specific career interest and reserve a position before the start of the training program. In addition to paychecks and fee waivers at some schools in their state, the other benefits enjoyed by members are life insurance at very low premium rates, and shopping benefits at military canteens and base exchanges, where they can buy electronic goods and other commodities at cheaper rates.
The state as well as the federal government is in command of the Army National Guard. The career options in the Army National Guard can be primarily classified into three sections – combat, combat support and combat service support. Combat can be further classified into infantry, armor, artillery, aviation and air defense, while combat support can be subdivided into engineering, chemical, military policing, signaling, military intelligence and civil affairs, combat service support can be sub-grouped into finance, personnel, public affairs, maintenance supply and transportation.
Enlisting in the National Guard is not only patriotic, but can prove to be very useful for those pursuing higher education and seeking to enhance their career skills. While it provides a regular paycheck and free education, it also opens the doors to other job opportunities that require experience and expertise.