In today’s post, I would like to discuss the requirements to be an Army National Guard Officer, specifically a commissioned officer. We will discuss the requirements and different ways to become an ARNG Officer. Whether you decide to transition from enlisted to officer, or join as an Officer, there are few basic requirements that you must meet.
- You must be a U.S. Citizen
- You must have a four year Bachelor’s Degree (in some cases this can be waived)
- You must be commissioned before your 42nd birthday
- You must be morally and medically qualified
- You must have a GT score of 110 or higher on your ASVAB test
These really are the basics.
There are several different ways to get commissioned. For example, you could:
- Attend West Point: Yes, West Point has a few slots each year for Army National Guard Officers. Additionally, many graduates transfer to the ARNG after their 5 year Active Duty obligation.
- Attend OCS: You can attend the full-time or part-time OCS program. You can learn more about the OCS Program here.
- Go through ROTC: This is how I got commissioned. Many colleges have an accredited R.O.T.C. program. In many cases, you can choose (before you accept the scholarship) whether you will go Active Duty or Army National Guard (or Reserves) after you graduate.
- Direct Commission: This is typically reserved for specialty branches, such as veterinarians, dentists, and chaplains. In essence, if you have a technical skill the Army wants, you can get a direct commission from a General Officer.
- Military Junior College: There are five military junior colleges in the United States. These include Valley Forge, Wentworth Military Academy, New Mexico Military Institute, Marion Military Institute and Georgia Military College. With these five schools, you can get commissioned at the end of your sophomore year. Wile you are completing your junior or senior year at a traditional college, you can serve in the Army National Guard or Army Reserves as a First Lieutenant. By the time you graduate college, you can be a First Lieutenant.
- Senior Military College: Similar to ROTC and West Point, these schools offer four year programs. When you graduate, you will be a 2LT. These schools include Virginia Military Institute, North Georgia College and State University, Texas A&M, The Citadel, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Norwich University.
As you can see, there are lots of options to choose from. I’ve worked with high caliber Officers from every different commissioning source. I truly believe that all of the sources offer a unique, quality commissioning experience.
I’ve proud to say that I spent 12 years as an Army Officer, with six of those years in the Army National Guard. And I’ve even prouder that I started out as an enlisted soldier first. I believe my enlisted experience helped be become a better officer. What option you choose is up to you.
If you are thinking about becoming an Army Officer in the Army National Guard, you should contact the officer recruiter in your state. If you don’t know who that person is, do an Internet search for the state G1 Office. That office can put you in touch with the right person. Sit down with the recruiter, ask questions, find out what your options are and go from there. You are under no obligation to join right away (or at all), so you do your due diligence first.
Another good option is to sit down with a current Army National Guard Officer and pick their brain. Or, if you are thinking about serving as an Active Duty Officer, find someone who is/has served as an Active Duty Officer and take them out to lunch so you can pick their brain. Have them give you some additional insights as to the pros and cons of military service. I think the additional perspectives will help you make an educated decision.
In summary, we’ve covered the requirements to be an Army National Guard Officer. We’ve also discussed the different ways to get commissioned. As you can see, there are many different paths you can take to become an Army Officer. If you really want to become an Officer, you should spend some time and evaluate each commissioning source. Find the pros and cons of each source and pick the one that is best for you, given your situation.
If you have any questions or comments, please post them below.