The Army AGR Program (Active Guard and Reserve) is quite perhaps the best kept secret in the Army. Most people who enter the program never leave, unless they retire or are forced out. Compared to the Active Duty Army, I personally believe the AGR Program is at least ten times better, especially if you want to live in one location most of your life.
Listed below you will find what I personally believe are the top 10 reasons to join the Army AGR Program. Please keep in mind these points are simply my opinion about the program.
# 1 Job Stability: In today’s economy job stability is pretty much a thing of the past, unless you work for the government. With the AGR Program, you will have good job stability. Of course, you could get fired if you have unsatisfactory performance, but it’s highly unlikely. In most cases, once you get in the program, you don’t have to worry much about getting booted from the program.
# 2 The Retirement : Just like the Active Duty Army, you can retire in just 20 years and get a pension for life. And unlike the traditional one weekend per month Soldiers, you won’t have to wait until you are 60 to get a pension.
# 3 Steady Pay: You will get paid on the 1st and the 15th like clockwork! If you like the thought of a steady paycheck, this is probably just what you are looking for.
# 4 Limited Deployments: AGR Soldiers can deploy, but it doesn’t happen much unless the whole unit deploys. And compared to most Active Duty Soldiers who have deployed two or more times, many AGR Soldiers have never deployed at all. Of course, if you want to deploy you can simply volunteer.
# 5 Opportunities to Travel: With the military, you will have opportunities to travel. This includes deployments, military schools, training exercises, and potential PCS moves.
# 6 Four Day Work Week: Many states offer a four day work week (not all of them though). This is great when you get to have a three day weekend every week.
# 7 Health Care: With the AGR Program, you get access to TRICARE for you and your family. You will have health, dental, vision and life insurance and at a very affordable cost.
# 8 Limited PCS Moves : If you are part of the National Guard AGR Program, you will pretty much have your entire career in one state. It’s not like Active Duty where you will move all over the world every three years. Yes, you will change jobs every 2-4 years, but normally your place of work won’t be very far away from where it is now.
# 9 Transfer from State to State: If you want to, you can transfer to another state. For example, if your spouse gets relocated for work, there is a good chance you will be able to transfer to the new location (although it’s not guaranteed).
# 10 Serve Soldiers: Some people might not say this is a benefit, but I think it is. Most AGR Soldiers work in a support role, where they support the part-time Soldiers assigned to the unit. Personally, I think this is a very important job, and it’s also very fulfilling.
The Army AGR Program has the same benefits as the Active Duty Soldiers, but lots of extra perks (as covered above). If you are currently serving in the Army National Guard or Army Reserves and are looking for a new, full-time career, you should learn more about the AGR Program by contacting your supervisor or S1 Office.
On a side note, if you have ever served in the Army AGR Program before I would love to hear from you. Please tell us when you served, what jobs you had, what you liked about the program, and any advice you might have for someone looking to join the AGR Program. Also, if you have any questions, feel free to ask.