The Inactive National Guard ING Program

The Inactive National Guard, or ING, consists of Enlisted National Guard personnel in an inactive status in the Ready Reserve, not in the Selected Reserve. To remain in the ING, members must “drill” once a year with their assigned Unit, but they do not participate in training activities. During a mobilization, ING members mobilize with their Units or are cross leveled into other mobilized units.

ING is similar to the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) in that ING members have a contractual obligation. However, members of the ING may not train for retirement credit or pay and are not eligible for promotion. Also, the ING category is currently used only by the ARNG.

So, why would any Soldier consider the ING? Well, the ING is an effective way to keep Soldiers in the Guard who need a temporary reprieve from the rigors of regular participation in the ARNG.  Oftentimes, Soldiers in active status request transfer to the ING for the following reasons:

  • Change of Residence
  • Incompatibility with civilian employment
  • Temporary overseas or out-of-state residency for education, employment, or a missionary obligation
  • Released from active duty with a mobilized unit before the release of the unit from its mobilization status
  • As an alternative to serving in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) of the United States Army Reserve (USAR) in order to complete the second portion (two, four, or five years) of the 6×2, 4×4, or 3×5 enlistment option, or of another residual commitment to serve in the Ready Reserve of the Army, after an initial period of service on active status with ARNG.
  • Pregnancy

Soldiers who wish to enroll in the ING program must prepare a memorandum and submit to the TAG for approval.  For more information, take a look through National Guard Regulation (NGR) 614-1.  Within, you will find a memorandum for submitting your request to the TAG as well as other important, detailed information with respect to the ING option.  Remember, the ING option is available to enlisted Soldiers only!

If you have any questions, or would like to add information, please do so in the comment section below. Thank you.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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25 thoughts on “The Inactive National Guard ING Program”

  1. Is there any advantage to ING vs being a gray-area retiree? I have enough years to retire, but my tour is ending and I have to take an administrative reduction or retire. Is ING a good option?

  2. Exactly what is required of a soldier in ING? I was told that it’s just someone being on inactive guard status in case they decide to change their mind. I was also told that they will not contact you and you don’t have to report for drill or Annual Training. But I know how the guard works, they’re real good at selling dreams lol.

  3. Quick question: I signed up for for years national guard and I have 1.5 years left. I’m going into ING due to an injury that might require surgery. Overall we are looking at 1 of ING my questions is when I get better and I returned to my unit do I only have to serve my last half a year or do I have to complete 1.5 years that I had before going into ING?

  4. I completed my active duty orders with an honorable discharge. I currently am in the process of going into the ING program. Does the ING really take away tge soldiers college benefits? And if im on disability does that affect ING??

  5. How many times can a soldier apply to ING?
    The situation is my husband is a Marine stationed in Japan and recently he reenlisted and want my son and me to accompany him however I am enlisted in the National Guard and was approved for the year but my husband will be in Japan for three years. Should I just ask for a conditional release?

  6. Currently on ING contracting (1st year) in Afghanistan, also in the National gaurd. Due to financial hardship. I’m about finished and just got offered a 160k year salary job for another year contracting. I want to do this one more year so how can I approach this to get approved for it? People keep saying you can only ing for 1 year but I know guys that have for several years. Also I don’t mind doing suta. Trying to stay on good terms with the gaurd but better myself financially. I need a guaranteed yes and for them to see growth in this for me

  7. I am currently 13 days out from ETS from the National Guard. I just got a call from a reqruiting a retention Officer who asked questions to help me with transition. I really wish they called earlier! I was told tgat I can joun the ING progrm and NOT get deployed because I have had 12 years of service. I just read the regulations and there is NOTHING in it that states I wouldn’t get deployed because of my time in service. Was I just lied to by a retention NCO?

  8. Hello,

    So I am currently on ING due to my civilian job overseas. My ETS is set for 29 June 2018 on iPERMS. I went into ING in October 2017. I am wondering if I will have to go back to complete the “time I have missed”? My unit is trying to tell me I have to leave my job here to come back at the end of the ING.

    I am just not sure what to believe.


  9. I am in the ING in Washington state and am moving to Oklahoma. my question is, is it possible to transfer state to state and remain in the ING at the same time?

      1. hello again. i did 8 years active and im in the ING with WA state as said before. i have been in the ING since april 2015 and signed up for 4 years. my readiness nco said i owe 4 years still when i get get of ING orders is this true. i had reenlisted for 4 ING years and thats it.

        1. Eddie, did you figure your issue out? I just found a good jobs overseas that pays well. Since I already work with the company. I am trying to find out how ING works. I still have 4 years left on my current contract and I keep hearing that I can only go ING for 1 year.

    1. No. Because although u are on ING Status u are still attached to your original unit u left before going on ING status. You would have to initiate an IST Packet which can only be done while on normal enlisted guard status

  10. I signed up for guard after 5 years active. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find full time employment, maintain a full course load at my university, and meet the scheduling/training demands of my unit. Would these reasons stated give me a snowball’s chance in hell for getting an ING request approved?

  11. Do you have a link or a pdf for the ING documents somewhere that can be sent? I have not been able to reach the NGR 614-1, nor have any of my coworkers on government PC’s.

  12. I’ve been in the Guard two years now and this is the first time I have ever heard of the ING program. I will have to take a closer look at this as I get closer to my ETS date.

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