Additional Benefits for Guard Soldiers
Joining the Guard really does pay. And pay. And pay.
As a Guard Soldier, you can take advantage of many unique ways to save money. Shopping discounts, flying privileges and life insurance are just some of the valuable perks you may receive for your service.
Fly for free
As a Guard Soldier, you can fly free on military transportation within and between the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and Puerto Rico, whenever space is available. This is known as Space-A travel. Availability is based on a priority system.
National Guard members and Families can enjoy privileges at military installations around the world. Benefits include tax-free unlimited discount shopping at any Military Exchange (department store) and commissary (grocery store). To include even some popular locations like Home Depot, Lowes, and Old Navy.
And that’s not all. Check out these other base privileges:
- Discount lodging, cabins and campsites (available on most installations)
- Camping equipment and sports activity gear for loan or rent
- Craft, automotive and hobby shops offer tools and space to work on personal projects
Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR)
MWR is a network of support and entertainment services for Soldiers and their Families. Take advantage of the Guard's many Family-friendly activities, including recreation, sports, entertainment, children’s services, travel and leisure.
The Guard cares about the health of Soldiers and their Families. Military members and their Families can purchase inexpensive health coverage from TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS), for the top-quality healthcare they deserve. Your recruiter can offer additional details, or you can find out more through TRICARE.
Low-cost life insurance plans are available for Guard members and their families
For Guard members, there's the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI), which provides coverage 24/7.
- Soldiers are eligible for $400,000 of insurance.
- Smaller amounts of coverage are available.
- Coverage is available through age 60, upon receipt of your first retirement check or 120 days after a Soldier's ETS (Expiration of Term of Service).
Family members are eligible for Family Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (FSGLI), available to spouses and dependent children of Guard members insured under SGLI.
- FSGLI provides up to a maximum of $100,000 of insurance coverage for spouses (not to exceed the SGLI amount of the insured member).
- Family coverage provides $10,000 for dependent children.
- Spousal coverage is issued in increments of $10,000. Coverage costs vary.
Veterans Affairs (VA)
Let the Veterans Administration help you get into your own house.
Guard members may be eligible for home loans from the Veterans Administration (VA) with little to no down payment. VA loans make buying a home more affordable and are available for home purchases and refinances. A VA loan eliminates the homebuyer's need to make a down payment and purchase private mortgage insurance for homes up to $359,650.
VA-guaranteed loans are made by private lenders such as banks, savings and loans, or mortgage companies to eligible veterans for the purchase of their own personal home, which must be for occupancy. To obtain a loan, a veteran must apply to a lender. If the loan is approved, the VA will guarantee a portion of it to the lender. This guarantee protects the lender against loss up to the amount guaranteed and allows a veteran to obtain favorable financing terms.
Qualified veterans need to obtain a certificate of eligibility from the VA, or your lender may be able to obtain one for you online. Members with six or more years of Guard service, or those with 90 days of continuous federal active-duty service (Title 10), are eligible for the "VA Home Loan Insurance Program." Explore your options online at HomeLoans.va.gov.
You may be deployed on short notice. If you must leave your civilian job to serve your country, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protects your right to be re-employed in the same position upon returning from military service.
Federal Retirement Plan
You probably won’t be thinking about retirement for many years, but think about this: The Guard can continue to pay you every month after you’ve finished serving. And considering that retirement will probably mean time to travel, play or even start a second business, financial security would be a nice part of your plan.
And it’s a pretty simple plan. If you complete a standard part-time term in the Guard, at age 60 you could be eligible to begin receiving about $1,653 every month—for a total payout of $287,803*. That’s based on serving one weekend per month plus an additional 15 days per year, for 20 years.
This is on top of any benefits from your civilian career. You'll still receive those and any other retirement funds you may have coming. So, you can see how it all adds up. Serving part-time in the National Guard is like money in the bank.
*Payment amounts and terms vary. To discuss retirement in greater detail, contact your local recruiter.
Vacation Resort Benefits
You and your family can use accommodations designed specifically for military families. Current facilities are located at Disney World in Florida, Hawaii, Germany and Korea. The cost is usually half of normal rates. To include, access to The Military Vacations for Families from Armed Forces Vacation Club® (AFVC) is a "Space Available" program that offers military and other Department of Defense-affiliated personnel the opportunity to enjoy vacations at popular destinations around the world - for the incredibly low price of just $349* USD per unit, per week.
Survivor Benefit Plan
You can automatically be enrolled in the Survivor Benefit Plan of the Armed Forces when you begin receiving retired pay, thus guaranteeing your spouse up to 55% of your retired pay after your death.
Veteran's Hiring Preference
You can receive ten points added to your State Civil Service appointment test, after you complete your initial enlistment. You can also receive preference for state and non-civil service public appointment.
American Lake Credit Union:
You can join the American Lake Credit Union.