Do I have to go to basic training?
If you have never served in any branch of the military, you will first have to attend a six-week basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. You will learn Air Force history, marksmanship, drill and ceremony and other basic skills. In addition, you will have to attend a technical career school.
How long of a commitment is the Air National Guard?
If you have never served in any branch of the military, there are two enlistment options. The first is the "6 & 2" option which entitles you to serve in the National Guard for six years and then in the inactive National Guard for two years (while in the inactive National Guard you do not have to attend drills of annual training; but you may be called to serve in a national emergency). It is important to note that in order to receive to education benefits you must enlist with the "6 & 2" option. The other option is the "4 & 4" tour during which you would serve for four years in the Air National Guard and four years in the inactive National Guard. Not all benefits are available for a "4 & 4" enlistment.
If you have already been a member of the US Armed Forces, you can usually enlist in the National Guard for as little as a year. Veterans who have served in any branch of the military have additional options available to them including a "Try One" program that allows a veteran to serve for only one year on a trial basis before committing to a full enlistment.
How much will I get paid?
Along with all the other benefits you receive when you enlist, (college tuition grant, GI bill, specific job training and leadership development) you will also receive a full day's pay based on your grade and number of years in service for each day performed.
If I join the Air National Guard, will it affect my civilian job?
Your enlistment with the Mississippi Air National Guard should not affect your civilian employment. There are federal laws in place which prevent employers from terminating an employee because he or she is a member of the National Guard. In addition, if you are ever called to active service, your employer is required by law to allow you to return to the same job you had when you left. The Mississippi Air National Guard can assist you if you are having a problem with your employer. Most employers know the importance of the National Guard and are happy with the skills and knowledge that Guard members bring to their civilian jobs.
The Mississippi Committee for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is a group of dedicated volunteers who will assist you and your employer with any potential work conflicts. For more information on ESGR call 800-962-2443 or check out their website at http://www.esgr.org/
For information on Guardsmen/Reservist benefits, contact the Headquarters Air Reserve Personnel Center at 1-800-525-0102 or visit their website.
What are my benefits as a Reservist/National Guardsman?
What are the qualifications for joining the Air National Guard?
The Air National Guard has physical, academic and legal qualifications. You must be in generally good health and have no major physical or psychological handicaps. The minimum age to join the Mississippi Air National Guard is 17. Perspective members under age 18 must obtain the consent of a parent or legal guardian. You also must be in high school or have a high school diploma or GED. Every candidate must also receive the minimum qualifying score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery exam or ASVAB for short. Your individual ASVAB score will also determine which career field you're qualified for. You must have no major criminal convictions.
What other benefits are available in the Mississippi Air National Guard?
Besides offering tuition grants through the State Educational Assistance Program and the Montgomery GI Bill, you will also receive leadership and career training. The National Guard offers great life insurance, free air travel within the United States when space is available, retirement benefits at age 60, and medical, commissary, and Base Exchange privileges. This along with the feeling of pride and dedication in serving your community, state and nation.
Will the Air National Guard require a lot of my time?
In comparison, for all the benefits you receive with membership, the Air National Guard requires very little time commitment. After basic training and a technical school, you will be required to perform drill one weekend a month and 15 days annual training.