Airborne in the Army National Guard?

Did you know that you can go airborne in the Army National Guard?  That’s right, most states have at least one airborne unit in their state.  Some states have even more, depending upon the size of the force and force structure.  These units jump several times per year to stay qualified.  In some cases they even qualify for jump pay.

airborne wings
Army Airborne wings badge

Certain types of airborne units in the Army National Guard might include:

  • Infantry Units
  • Special Forces and Ranger Units
  • Recon

If you are just joining the National Guard and want to go to airborne school, make sure you get it in your contract.  If you will be assigned to an airborne unit there’s a high chance that airborne school will be easy to get.  On the other hand, if you are assigned to a non-airborne unit, you can still get airborne school, but it is much harder to do.  Each state normally gets a few airborne slots each year.  Those slots are given to units based upon a variety of factors, such as available funding.

Personally, I never went to airborne school.  But I like the idea of being a paratrooper on a part-time basis.  It’s like the best of both worlds.  I’ve attached a couple neat videos showing some airborne operations.  Enjoy.

On a side note, if you ever served as a part-time paratrooper in the Army National Guard, I would love to hear from you.  Please tell us what unit you were assigned to and what your experience was like.  Just leave a comment to share your thoughts.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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6 thoughts on “Airborne in the Army National Guard?”

  1. I’ve always wanted to jump out of airplanes. The idea that you can be a Citizen Solider Paratrooper is absolutely awesome!

  2. I got to go to Airborne School while I was assigned as an E-5 in a light infantry company in the Maryland Army National Guard. It was a great experience.

  3. Ah, watching those videos makes me want to JUMP again! Great post, Chuck and I truly feel your pain that you never were able to go to Airborne School. I was fortunately able to go while I was on TDY at Fort Benning for another course and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. As an Armor Officer I have opportunities to possibly go to a RECON unit and jump again, but who knows… I would tell ANY Soldier, regardless of their fear of heights, etc. to attend both Airborne and Air Assault school. Not only are they a blast, but they will develop you as a Soldier without you even realizing it!

    1. Good points Justin!

      I always encouraged my Soldiers to attend any school they could, including airborne and air assault.

      Speaking for myself, I never felt the need to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. But if I had to do it all over again, I would at least get airborne qualified.

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