The Army National Guard recruits women and men to fill more than 150 different jobs, and most jobs easily translate to civilian careers once soldiers complete their enlistments. To join the National Guard, you must be a U.S. citizen 17 to 35 years of age with a high school diploma or GED, and you must pass health and fitness exams. Most jobs do not require additional qualifications. Recruiters assign jobs to new recruits based on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, which measures strengths in areas such as electronics, math, science and mechanics, but recruits may also note their preferences.
The National Guard’s Combat Arms force serves as the guard’s primary fighting men and women. Combat Arms jobs require significant physical and psychological training, and the work can be rigorous and dangerous. Combat Arms includes the armor force, which handles tank, cavalry and reconnaissance operations on the battlefield. Soldiers may drive a tank or operate other equipment on the vehicle. The artillery force is another one of the Combat Arms career areas. These soldiers use cannons, rockets and missiles in combat. Infantry force jobs also fall under Combat Arms. Infantry soldiers fight enemies on the front lines.
Combat support jobs include communications officers who send and receive information regarding combat plans, intercept enemy communications, and interfere with enemy communications. Military police officers, intelligence officers and bomb squad soldiers also have jobs in the combat support part of the Army National Guard. MPs enforce the law among soldiers and respond to emergencies to ensure safety of soldiers and civilians. Intelligence officers gather intelligence and counterintelligence information, and bomb squad teams disarm bombs, including those found on the battlefield.
Combat Service Support
The Army National Guard’s Combat Service Support performs jobs that help soldiers in Combat Arms and Combat Support. Much of their work takes place behind the scenes. CSS jobs include driving large transport trucks, which move soldiers and supplies. CSS workers also load, unload and transport supplies such as food, fuel and weapons during wartime and for disaster relief missions. The Army National Guard CSS force also features mechanics who perform work on machinery and equipment used in training and combat, and administrative workers, who typically work in offices and handle tasks such as issuing payroll checks, maintaining soldier records and interpreting and translating foreign communications.
Soldiers who enter the Army National Guard with verifiable training in the religious, medical or legal fields have the opportunity to work special jobs. These jobs are unavailable to the average soldier due to the requirements. A background in medicine can lead to a job as a doctor or nurse with the Army Medical Department, which provides basic health care to stateside soldiers and emergency care to combat soldiers. Legal training can lead to a job with the Judge Adjutant General's office. JAG officers help soldiers with basic legal matters and serve as counsel and prosecutors during military trials. National Guard chaplains provide spiritual and religious support and boost soldiers’ morale. To work as a chaplain, you must have experience working as a religious leader.
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