Getting Started in the Washington National Guard
The first step to joining the Army National Guard is to contact your local Washington Army National Guard recruiter. The Army National Guard has physical, academic, and legal qualifications that you must meet in order to join. You must be in good health and have no major physical issues. Seventeen (17) is the minimum age to join the Army National Guard. If you are under age 18, you must receive consent from a parent(s) or legal guardian. Your recruiter will provide you with more exact information and discuss your qualification status.
- Basic Non-Prior Service Enlistment Criteria
- Meet U.S. citizenship requirements or be a permanent resident alien.
- Be at least 17 years of age and enlist on or before 35th birthday (unless you have certain linguistic skills or a specialized professional skill, such as a chaplain, lawyer or certain medical specialties).
- Have a high school diploma or GED. Current high school students must be a junior or senior and be at least 17 years old.
- Have a qualifying score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).
- Meet physical and medical standards.
- Meet moral qualifications.
If you have never served in any branch of the military, there are few things you need to know. All initial enlistment contracts are for eight years - that is you will have an eight year military service obligation. However, all eight years do not have to be served in an Army National Guard unit. For example, a Soldier can serve for as little as three years in a unit where there is a requirement to participate a minimum of one weekend each month and two weeks for annual training. The Soldier can then re-enlists or spend the remaining five years in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). In the IRR there is no requirement to attend weekend drills or perform a two week annual training. Many benefits, however, require a six year enlistment and the remaining two years can be spent in the IRR or the Soldier can reenlist.