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Army Reserves Vs National Guard

Repeated Deployments Can Be Uniquely Challenging For National Guard Members And Reservists


A Connecticut National Guard member hugs her loved one prior to departing for an overseas deployment.

Life as a member of the National Guard or the Reserve is very different from life as a full-time active duty service member. Although fully trained and capable, National Guard members and reservists do not always live their daily lives within a physical, military community. They are first and foremost members of their own civilian communities, in cities and towns all across the United States. They are your neighbors, your coworkers, your friends and so their service means that they must always juggle living in both the civilian and military worlds.

However, one of the greatest difficulties for National Guard members and reservists actually occurs when they return home and reintegrate within their civilian community after a deployment overseas or to a disaster zone.

This struggle to return home can take many forms. For example, although reservists and members of the National Guard have the legal right to return to their same civilian job after theyve been called up for active service, they nonetheless sometimes struggle to maintain their civilian career while fulfilling their duties to the military.

These struggles not only affect service members, but also those around them, affecting military spouses and military children.

Difference Between Army Reserves And National Guard

Serving the nation being in defense services is an epitome of the services of anyones life. It is also observed that a soldier never ceases to serve the nation even after retirement.

A country has many categories in protection services that work across the borders and also overseas. A nations armed forces may be categorized into different modes of defense based on topographical situations.

They are Army, Fir Force, Navy, Marines, and coast guard are the 5 categories of the nations defense services. All the 4 except for coast guard is under the control of the Department of Defence while the coast guard is under the control of homeland security.

There are two main differences in the deployment of personnel to the nations services. One is active in the services and the other is kept in part-time roles.

There are again two categories of part-time services. One is the Army Reserve and the other is the National Guard.

Active Duty Vs Reserve Or National Guard

What is the difference between someone who is active duty military and someone who is in the Reserve or National Guard?

A person who is active duty is in the military full time. They work for the military full time, may live on a military base, and can be deployed at any time. Persons in the Reserve or National Guard are not full-time active duty military personnel, although they can be deployed at any time should the need arise.

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Whats My Obligation If I Join The National Guard Or Military Reserves

Joining the military reserves or National Guard is a significant time commitment. This is true, especially at the beginning. You will get settled in your permanent unit. Then, you can expect to attend unit assembly, known as drill, one weekend per month. You will also participate in a two-week annual training each year.

  • Initial training: As a new military member, you will attend your branchs basic military training. That may last from eight to 12 weeks. Depending on your job, you may also attend an advanced training course.
  • Monthly drill: Youll need to drill for 48 periods or units per year. Most units drill one weekend per month. A typical weekend drill has four periods. Some military units have additional drilling requirements, which may include the weekday.
  • Annual training: Youll also need to participate in annual training for two weeks per year.
  • Activations: You may be activated to full-time service in a voluntary or involuntary status. This can be with your unit or individually. These activations may vary in length and location. They may include 30 days in a unit near your hometown. Or up to a year supporting a mission outside of the United States. Generally, you cannot opt out of involuntary action. This is because the military has ordered you to active service.
  • Length of commitment: Your total contract may range from three to eight years. This depends on the branch of service and your specific occupation/job.

How Do I Choose My Military Occupational Specialty

Us Army Reserves!

You can request any MOS for which you qualify. The results of your ASVAB determine what specialties you are eligible to request. Some of the more popular areas may have a waiting list when speaking to a recruiter, be sure to inquire if there is a wait. Be aware that some waiting periods for certain MOSs range from a few months to more than two years. You must have a minimum of 30 months remaining on your enlistment before you can enter any school for an additional MOS. If the school you want has a very lengthy wait, you may need to extend your enlistment a number of months to bring the total left on your enlistment to 30 months.

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What Are Army Reserves

The army reserve is a part-time component of the army of a nation. The army reserves mainly have part-time soldiers who can be deployed full-time for the nations security when required.

The Army reserve always has fully equipped and trained soldiers who can be deployed any time for full-time services as and when the order is received. They are deployed when there is a high demand for soldiers.

The Army reserve directly comes under the command of federal defense services. They function under Presidential orders.

The Army reserves are the person who has completed their training and they are mostly part-time soldiers. Also, they might have any civilian jobs as well.

Army reserves work fashion is like this, they work one weekend a month to complete drills. They are also deployed for training for 2 weeks in a year.

The army reserve personnel can work with any of the career fields listed administration, intelligence, and combat support. They also get posted in legal and law enforcement, media, computers, and technology.

Army reserves are known for quick mobilization. They are expected to be ready at any time to get deployed full-time. Army reserves can get promoted if there is a vacancy in the federal services.

The benefits that they receive is limited to the federal government offered benefits.

Main Differences Between Army Reserves And National Guard

  • The Army Reserve and the national guard seem to have similar responsibilities, they differ in a few aspects. The main difference between Army Reserve and National Guard is, Army reserve is directly under the command of federal services, whereas the National Guard comes under the state government.
  • The Army reserve receives benefits from the federal government for the part-time services they provide. The National Guard is entitled to receive benefits from the state as well as the federal government.
  • The job promotions in their respective areas are also different. The army reserve gets promoted to the federal services if there is a vacancy, while the promotion of the national guard is limited to the state or territory.
  • The Army Reserve is expected to serve the country when there is a need. They will be deployed as full-time soldiers when there is an emergency. The national guard serves the state under the Governors orders the personnel is deployed during state emergencies like natural disasters and riots.
  • The Army Reserve has on the responsibility to serve the nation when ordered while the National Guard has dual responsibilities, to serve the state first and the nation when there is an order.
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    Which Has More Benefits: Army Reserves Vs National Guard

    Comparing the benefits of the National Guard vs. Army Reserve can be tricky. Both offer great benefits to their members, including the following:

    • Education assistance.
    • Life insurance.

    But because benefits for the National Guard can vary from state to state, youll notice there can be discrepancies. The Reserves, on the other hand, are handled by the Federal government.

    What About Drill Pay And Weekend Drills

    Army National Guard VS Reserve
    • Weekend drills can be anywhere from 1-4 days long, depending on what is going on, what is needed and even the budget. Usually, you can count on training on Saturday and Sunday with a possible Friday or Monday as well. They will be at your local armory or another location. If you live near a military installation, you might even go there for training.
    • Each year, you can figure out how much you will get paid during your drill weekends by checking out the military pay charts here. For example, in 2018, an E-5 with 8+ years would make $104.19 for 1 drill, $416.76 for 4 drills. An O-7 with 16+ years would make $392.73 for 1 drill, $1,570.92 for 4 drills.
    • You need to know that 1 drill period is 4 hours. On a typical weekend, you would work 4 drill periods. So that E-5 would earn $416.76 for a regular, two day drill weekend.
    • You are not given any BAH for a drill weekend.
    • You should receive your pay for your drill weekend, about 10 days after the weekend is over, give or take.

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    Industrialization And Labor Unrest

    Labor unrest in the industrial and mining sections of the Northeast and Midwest led to demands for a stronger military force within the states.

    On July 14, 1877, workers on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad began to stop trains in in response to wage cuts. This protest developed into the national Great Railroad Strike of 1877. West Virginia governor Henry M. Mathews was the first state commander-in-chief to send in troops to break-up the protests, and this action has been viewed in retrospect as an incident that would transform the National Guard.

    After the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, calls for military suppression of labor strikes grew louder, and National Guard units proliferated. In many states, large and elaborate armories, often built to resemble medieval castles, were constructed to house militia units. Businessmen and business associations donated monies for the construction of armories and to supplement funds of the local National Guard units. National Guard officers also came from the middle and upper classes.National Guard troops were deployed to suppress strikers in some of the bloodiest and most significant conflicts of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the Homestead Strike, the Pullman Strike of 1894, and the Colorado Labor Wars.

    Does The National Guard Get Paid More Than The Reserve

    National Guard members and Reservists make the same amount of money for each drill period. The pay for each drill period typically changes annually. See the latest on Guard and Reserve pay. Guard and Reserve members also qualify for the same benefits when not activated. They also receive the same amount when deployed or activated on federal orders.

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    National Guard Pay And Reserve Pay

    If you are thinking about joining the National Guard or the Reserves, you might be wondering how National Guard pay or Reserve pay works.

    Serving in the National Guard and Reserves can be quite different than serving in the active duty military. You have your monthly drills, your annual training, and anything else the military calls you to do. You also work a civilian job, and the military is only a small part of your paycheck.

    As an active duty soldier, you know you can receive base pay, BAH , and other types of payments and allowances.

    How do things work for the National Guard and Reserves? How about if you deploy or train for more than a weekend? Will you still receive BAH if you are gone for three weeks?

    National Guard And Reserve Commitment

    What are the pros and cons of going active duty or Army Reserve?

    CBP strongly supports its employees that have a national guard or reserve commitment. In fact, CBP employees whose appointment is not limited to one year are entitled to time off from their federal position, at full pay, to perform certain types of active or inactive duty in the Reserves or National Guard. Return to your job, as if you never left.

    CBP employees who complete their national guard/reserve commitments are covered under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act . USERRA protects service members’ reemployment rights when returning from a period of service in the uniformed services, to include:

    • Promotions and Grade Increases: Employees are entitled to receive within-grade increases and career ladder promotions at the same time they normally would have had they not been serving their military commitment.
    • Accrual of Benefits: Military duty is counted as covered service with CBP for eligibility, vesting, and benefit accrual purposes.
    • Retirement Plans: Returning service members are treated as if they had been continuously employed regardless of the type of retirement plan the employer has adopted.
    • Reemployment by Seniority: Returning service members are to be reemployed in the job that they would have attained had they not been absent for military service, with the same seniority, status and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority within the required time limits.

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    Choosing National Guard Or Reserves

    Individuals typically weigh three factors when choosing between the guard or the reserves. The first is reporting location. A guard component may be nearer home than a reserve duty station, or the opposite may be true. The second factor to consider is to ascertain which option offers the chance to work in a particular job or field, as not all units offer identical jobs or have simultaneous vacancies. Lastly, the individual should consider any special benefits offered on the state level for guard members to determine whether the match between the individualâs needs and the state benefits is relevant.


    What Kind Of Benefits Will I Earn

    For your commitment to the National Guard or military reserves, youll receive many benefits including:

    Joining the National Guard or military reserves can be a great way to serve your country without leaving your full-time job. Once you decide to join, you can learn more about your new community. See Military OneSources New to the Military resources. Military OneSource can answer your questions about military life. Call 800-342-9647 or connect via Live Chat 24/7/365. OCONUS/International? View calling options.

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    What Is The Difference Between Army Reserve And National Guard

    Army Reserve is a part of the army that become active only when the orders are given. Until then, they are not active.

    National Guard can be identified as the army of each state.

    For Army Reserve, President is the leader. For National Guard, it is the Mayor of the State. However, National Guard can also be a part of the army, if necessary.

    When activated Army Reserve serve the country while National Guard serve their states.


    How Do I Become A Pilot In The Reserve Or National Guard

    NATIONAL GUARD VS ARMY RESERVE Similarities/Differences, Pros/Cons

    The Air National Guard also offers flight training. Candidates first undergo the pilot candidate selection method . You will take the Basic Attributes Test with the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test . Any private flying time is taken into consideration. As of January 2000, all candidates are required to have a private pilot’s license. If you do not have one, the good news is that, if you qualify, the Air Force will fund flying training in your local area, with an Air Force-approved flying training instructor.

    The next step would be to attend the Air National Guard Academy of Military Science at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Knoxville, Tennessee, for a six-week commissioning program. As a new second lieutenant, all pilot candidates attend specialized undergraduate pilot training for 52 weeks. After graduation, pilots attend training for the aircraft they will be flying in their Air National Guard unit this lasts from 8-20 weeks.

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    Whats The Difference Between National Guard And Reserves

    Youre going to find plenty of similarities when comparing the National Guard vs. Reserves, including the fact that, technically, the Army National Guard and the Reserves are both part of the U.S. military reserve forces.

    But dont get it twisted there are plenty of differences between the two, and by two, we actually mean several. Remember that every branch of the military except for the U.S. Space Force has reserves. Here are some of the differences between the two:


    One of the main differences between National Guard and Reserves is where they serve. The National Guard is a military force based in each state. The Reserves are controlled on a federal level.

    Youll also note that if you are in the Reserves, you may have to move depending on whether or not you are called to active duty. Guardsmen live within the same state in which they serve.


    Youll find the National Guard working during states of emergency. They respond when there are natural disasters or riots, provide security, and help with similar functions. The Reserves are there to help support active-duty military if there is war or a nationwide crisis.


    Youll find the National Guard in two branches. Both the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard units stand ready to assist states however is needed. But the Reserves are a part of every branch except Americas newest one, the Space Force.

    Time Commitments

    Debunking Common National Guard And Reserves Misconceptions

    I served on active duty in the Army for close to six years. During that time, I got to work with reservists from every branch, and soldiers and airmen from the National Guard. But since getting out, Ive come to realize there was a lot I didnt understand about the other components especially when I tried to explain those components to civilians.

    A friend of mine has said more than once that people seem to underestimate the National Guard a client in a veterans mutual aid program I volunteer with has had benefits denied due to advocates not understanding the Active Guard Reserve time on his DD214.

    It all inspired me to learn more, to clear up a couple of misconceptions so these service members get the credit theyre due.

    Yes, they do deploy. Congress created the Medical Reserve Corps, the predecessor to the reserves, in 1908 in response to shortages of medical professionals and leaders during the Spanish-American War. The Navy and Marine Corps Reserves were founded to meet the demands of World War I the Army and Air Force Reserves as we know them, with authorized retirement and drill pay, came to life after World War II, and played a big part in the Korean War.

    Army National Guard infantry units have been deployed to the frontlines since the Battle of Bunker Hill in Boston, he said.

    And thats in addition to any state missions.

    Reservists and guardsmen arent just weekend warriors. And they havent been in a long time.

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