What is the National Guard Signing Bonus? In many cases, you can earn a bonus to join the National Guard. This often applies to both Officers and Enlisted personnel. During my six years in the National Guard, I earned two Officer Bonuses. One was for $10,000 when I joined the Guard for three years. The second bonus was a $20,000 retention bonus for serving an additional three years.
I’ll be the first to admit that the program was a very good deal, especially considering it was for part-time work. I qualified for the National Guard Signing Bonus because there were critical officer shortages in our state. Not every officer qualified for the bonus. It depended upon your branch, rank, and year of commissioning. In addition, these signing bonuses change all the time depending upon the force structure requirements, officers assigned and needs of the Army. To see if you are eligible, the best thing you can do is sit down with your S1 or local recruiter to find out if you are eligible for any National Guard Signing bonuses.
On the other hand, many enlisted personnel are also eligible for a National Guard Signing Bonus. The amount you will receive, and your eligibility is determined by the “needs of the Army.” These programs change ALL THE TIME, so it’s hard to say if you are eligible for a bonus right now. Just like officers, you will need to sit down with your recruiter, Retention NCO, or unit S1 to find out what type of bonuses are available at the present moment.
The actual amount of the bonus can range from $5,000 to $30,000 (or more). Once again, the amount is determined by your MOS, years of service, rank, etc. Qualifying for a National Guard Signing Bonus can have a huge impact as to whether or not someone stays in the National Guard. For instance, my $20,000 bonus (for 36 months) paid me an extra $600 per month just for staying in the National Guard. When you added that number to my drill pay, it was a big monetary reward.
In summary, many enlisted Soldiers and Officers are eligible to receive a National Guard Signing Bonus. Depending upon the Army’s needs, the National Guard often offers a bonus to soldiers with a certain rank or MOS. These requirements change often, but if you meet certain qualifications you just may be eligible for a bonus. I recommend you sit down with your unit S1, a recruiter, or your Retention NCO (Career Counselor) to learn more.
If you’ve ever received a bonus in the National Guard I would love to hear from you. Just leave a comment to share your story. Also, if you have any questions about the National Guard enlistment bonus that I might be able to answer, just post it below and I will try to answer it for you.