What Is Army National Guard?

U.S. Army National Guard is a reserve component of U.S. Army. Meaning, the members of the Army National Guard are part-time soldiers. Part-time soldiers?! You may think. But to many people's surprise, there are more part-time Army soldiers than full-time Army soldiers in U.S.. In FY 2016, total Army end strength was 1,030,000 soldiers: 483,000 Active soldiers, 200,000 in the Army Reserve, and 348,000 in the Army National Guard. Surprised? Then did you know that the Army National Guard was the first soldiers of U.S.A.?

Army National Guard is Different than Army Reserve

Sometimes people confuse the Army National Guard with the Army Reserve. They are both reserve components, meaning they are both part-time soldiers. What does it mean to be a part-time soldier? Typically, both Army National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers serve one weekend a month, plus two weeks a month in a year (after initial soldier trainings).

But, however, although the amount of the time of their lives they sacrifice as soldiers is the same, the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve serve different purpose. The Army Reserve's purpose is the serve the active component of the Army, and therefore doesn't have combat MOS's (Military Occupational Specialty), such as Infantry, Armor (the soldiers who fight on tanks), and Field Artillery. And just as the Army Reserve's job is the support the active component of the Army, similarily, the Navy, Air Force, and Marines have their support counterparts: the Nave Reserve, the Air Force Reserve, and Marines Reserve.

But the Army National Guard have all the combat MOS's the active component of the Army has, doing the cool Army stuff you see in the movies.

Army National Guard Serve Both the Country and a State

When a man or woman joins Army National Guard, he/she makes an oath to both the President of the United States and the Governor of the state he/she is from. Take a look at the National Guard Oath of service below:

" I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the State of (STATE NAME) against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the Governor of (STATE NAME) and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to law and regulations. So help me God. "

Army National Guard - Not so Part-Time

Sometimes the members of the Army National Guard are not-so-gloriously called "Weekend Warriors" because they serve one weekend a month (except annual two-week training). But, however, Army National Guard soldiers are often called to full-time duty for a natural disasters, state emergencies, and deployments.

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