Join the Guard

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 an eight week basic training course at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas. You will learn Air Force history, marksmanship, drill and ceremony, and how to become an airman. In addition, after BMT you will have to attend a technical career school.


How is the Air National Guard different from the Air Force Reserves?

Although the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve are both a part of this nation's Reserve Forces, there are a few differences between us. One difference is that the Air National Guard serves both the state and nation in times of need. We assist civil leaders during natural disasters, state emergencies and civil unrest. That means the National Guard serves in a dual role and may be called out to provide help in both state and federal matters.


How long of a commitment is the Air National Guard?

If you have never served in any branch of the military, you would sign up for the "6 & 2" option which entitles you to serve in the National Guard for six years and then in the Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR) for two years (while in the IRR you do not have to attend drills or annual training; but you may be called to serve in a national emergency). One thing to remember is that your six year commitment starts the day you swear into the Air National Guard.  Thus, once you go to BMT, you will have already served a number of months of your contract.  If you are prior service, there are a number of enlistment options for you.


How much will I get paid?

Along with all the other benefits you receive when you enlist, (100% tuition through the Ohio National Guard Scholarship Program, Montgomery GI Bill Chapter 1606, specific job training and leadership development) you will also receive pay each drill weekend for your rank and number of years in service.


If I join the Air National Guard will it affect my civilian job?

Your enlistment with the Ohio Air National Guard should not affect your civilian employment. There are federal laws in place which prevent employers from terminating an employee because they are 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 Ohio 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.

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


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 Ohio Air National Guard is 17 and be a high school senior. 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 the career field for which you're most qualified. And, finally, you must have no major criminal convictions.


What is the Air National Guard?

The Air National Guard is a community-based military force. It is distinctive among United States reserve military forces in that it has both a federal and state mission. In peacetime, the Air National Guard is commanded by the governor and may be called to state active duty by the governor during natural disasters, civil disturbances or other state emergencies. During a war or national emergency, the Air National Guard may be called to federal active duty by the President or Congress. The Air National Guard serves as the primary source of augmentation for the active Air Force.


What job opportunities are available to me in the Air National Guard?

The Ohio Air National Guard offers many career fields for potential members. Members can choose from fields in maintenance, construction, administration, communications, medical, weapons, logistics, public affairs and much more. Different career fields have different qualifications and your recruiter can better match your skills with the career field in which you're most interested and best suited.


What other benefits are available in the Ohio Air National Guard?

Besides offering 100% college tuition through the Ohio National Guard Scholarship Program (, the Montgomery GI Bill, leadership and career training, the National Guard also 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. All this along with the feeling of pride and dedication in serving your community, state and nation.


What travel opportunities are available in the Ohio Air National Guard?

Most of our units deploy annually for their 15 days of active training. Training sites include locations all over the United States and Europe. As a member of the Ohio Air National Guard you will have the chance to deploy with your unit during these annual missions. The opportunity to travel space available is also a great benefit of Air National Guard membership. You can travel free within the United States when there are vacant spaces on a flight.


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 of annual training per year.