National Guard Firefighter Information

Army National Guard Firefighters, or 21M (MOS Code), perform basically the same duties as their civilian counterparts.  Basically, each post has their own fire protection services responsible for protecting lives and property by controlling and helping prevent fires in buildings, on aircraft, and aboard ships.  Additionally, 21M’s perform their duties in the capacity of natural disasters and are often part of units who combat large forest fires.  Rather than talk to death what a firefighter does, I think this post is best reserved discussing the benefits and reasons that many Soldiers chose to be a 21M.

First and foremost, your training and certifications may qualify you for a position on a civilian firefighting crew or as a volunteer firefighter in your community. Additional certifications or licenses may enable you to work as a fire inspector, fire investigator, or fire safety specialist.  Nothing like hitting two birds with one stone, huh?

Coupled with that, you will have an opportunity to earn while you learn.  Basically, instead of paying to learn these skills, you get paid to train. In the Army National Guard, you will learn these valuable job skills while earning a regular paycheck and qualifying for tuition assistance, too!  This is one MOS which has skill-sets that are easily transferable with the civilian world unlike some other MOSs out there.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Short and sweet post, here, but definitely a good bit of information if you are considering being a firefighter in the civilian world and are looking for a good way to get there… 21M is a very important MOS and has many benefits aside from those traditional benefits you earn just for putting on the uniform!

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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4 thoughts on “National Guard Firefighter Information”

  1. Amy Skalicky

    I can tell you straightup that our National Guard firefighters are special heroes in my eyes. I live in Colorado, which is very active during fire season, and the National Guard always steps up and helps fight them. In particular, last year, and already this year, we have had some rather ferocious ones, such as the Waldo Canyon Fire and this year’s Black Forest Fire. The National Guard was instrumental in stopping both of them from completely destroying Colorado Springs. They also provided significant support in the evacuation process as well as preventing looters from preying on the victims. Hats off to all National Guard firefighters!

  2. Chuck,

    At FTIG there is a Fire Station VIC Area 5 (right across from the Airfield) which hosts both Civilian AND ARNG Firefighters. I actually think that some work dually for that department (drilling on weekends and fulltime during the weeks).

    1. Thanks for the update, Justin.

      That’s the first time I’ve heard of a National Guard Firefighter unit. But it makes sense for them to be located by the flight line. And the fact that many of them are dual status (technicians) also makes sense.


  3. I think serving as a 21M, National Guard Firefighter, is a great deal, especially for anyone who wants to become a civilian firefighter and potentially avoid having to attend the local fire academy. During my time in the ARNG, I never met anyone with this MOS. I wonder if there actually are some firefighter units in the ARNG.

    If you have this MOS (21M) I would love to hear your thoughts.


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