National Guard Full Time

Today, I want to educate you about some of the National Guard Full Time options. These are different ways that you can serve in the Army National Guard, either on a permanent or temporary full time basis.  Please note that most Soldiers in the National Guard serve on a part-time basis (probably 90% or more), typically one weekend per month and two weeks per year.

However, there is also a support staff of AGR, Technicians, and temporary full time staff who “run the show” and do all the “behind the scenes” work during the week.  Most of these folks serve in duty positions to include:

ADOS/ADSW – The ARNG has the ADOS and ADSW Programs. This stands for Active Duty Operational Support and Active Duty Special Work.  The names are interchanged a lot, but they are pretty much the same thing.   These programs are typically a temporary full time position. Soldiers will go on orders for a specific project, normally lasting 90 days to one year. In many cases, soldiers work at the unit level, but can also serve in positions at the National Guard Bureau, at state headquarters and in their respective units.  A very small group of Soldiers do their entire 20 year career on these type of orders (yes I’ve met a few of them).

AGR – The Active Guard Reserve Program is a wonderful program.  Some call it the best kept secret in the Army. Soldiers who participate in the AGR program are typically permanent full time Soldiers, especially once they finish their initial tour.  These Soldiers support the M-Day Soldiers.  They handle the administrative, supply and maintenance and Soldier Support issues during the week and typically have a different job during drill weekend.  They have the same benefits and pay as Active Duty Soldiers.

Technician – This is a full time National Guard Soldier who serves as a GS (state or federal) Employee during the week.  In most cases, they wear their duty uniform and rank.  Most of these technicians are dual status technicians, which means they also serve as a Soldier one weekend per month.  Others are single status technicians, which means they are civilians, not Soldiers.

Title 10/Title 32– These are orders for Soldiers who are deployed overseas or are on full time status at their unit, at the state level or in Federal Support.  I believe all state orders are Title 32 and all federal orders are Title 10.  All activated and/or deployed Soldiers are on these type of orders.

In summary, these are the four different ways to serve in the National Guard Full Time. If you know of any other National Guard Full Time positions I would love to hear from you. Just leave a comment to share your thoughts. Also, if you serve full time with the National Guard, please tell us more. If you have any questions that I may be able to answer, you can also ask them below.

Thank you!

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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6 thoughts on “National Guard Full Time”

  1. Serving in the National Guard full time is a really good deal. Personally, I think it is much better than being on Active Duty. You can spend your entire career in one state and have the best of both worlds. I know some folks who have spent 10 or more years in the same National Guard unit on an AGR assignment.

    1. Candace Ginestar

      I completely agree with you Tony! My years as a full timer were the best. I got to stay in Oregon, but enjoy the full time experience I desired. I love being in the Oregon Guard and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  2. Your Part Time Commander magazine is educational. You refute stereotypes to show your readers the facts. I imagine that most people think that National Guard work is only a weekend or part-time position. So support staff of AGR, Technicians, and temporary full time staff who “run the show” and do all the “behind the scenes” work during the week are some of the potential National Guard Full Time positions? I just read, you can use MGIB-AD Chapter 30 as a Tuition Assistance Top-Up only while on AGR (Active Guard Reserve). It can be used in conjunction with Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) but cannot exceed the cost of the course.

  3. Neil O'Donnell

    The ADOS and ADSW Programs sound like a great option for those who are interested in the administrative end of military life. Frankly, such roles likely are never recognized for their contributions. However, administrative details likely are a significant factor for why missions succeed. I imagine these full time position options provide valuable MOS options for those seeking promotions and to expand their proficiencies.

  4. This is really helpful because I know most people just assume that being a National Guardsman is only a part-time position, but to know of these different full-time opportunities is a really big resource to have at my disposal.

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