National Guard social workers are officers like any other military officer. As social workers, they are responsible for taking care of the well-being of the airmen and guardsmen under their care. As officers, they are also military leaders. As such, while a National Guard social worker doesn't attend the basic training as an enlisted guardsman, he will attend special officer training programs as his basic training equivalent.
Army National Guard Training
Social workers in the Army National Guard are members of the Army Medical Department's Medical Service Corps. They attend a special initial training held at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. In the special training, which typically runs 26 days for licensed specialists such as licensed clinical social workers, they are trained by other health care officers.
AMEDD Training Process
Army Medical Department training for social workers includes a physical conditioning component where new social workers must meet the Army's standards for physical fitness. Students also learn basic soldiering skills, tactical skills and how to be a leader. In addition, the behavioral health basic officer leader course covers topics including a behavioral health provider's role, suicide prevention and family advocacy.
Air National Guard Training
Social workers in the Air National Guard are treated as officers. As officers, they attend the Air Force's Commissioned Officer Training program. It is held at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama and runs for four weeks and five days.
COT Training Process
Commissioned officer training at Maxwell covers a mixture of physical training, computer-based training and classroom training. It runs six days a week, and days can extend from 4:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. The physical training aspect of the course includes a 1.5-mile run, although the military recommends being able to complete a three-mile run before attending the program.
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