Originally posted by passing thru
Are these lifetime benefits, e.g. going to VA hospitals and clinics? Memphispanda: If I sign up for a certain length of time, say 4 years, then I do 3 in the service and the last year in the national guard, right. ? After that, I would not have to worry about being called up..correct?
No. The Army National Guard is a totally different branch of the military, like the Air Guard, Marines, etc.
In all branches, your total committment is 6-8 years, meaning, if you enlist for 4 years, you are 4 years active duty, you can either get out, go Reserves, change branches; then for the remaining 2 or 4 years you can either spend it in the Reserves, a different branch, or you can do nothing but risk being reactivated. Example: my husband served a total of 10 enlisted years, therefore, once he left the National Guard, he can no longer be called up, because he has given the committment of 6-8 years. He enlisted in the Army and served 5 years active duty, then once that enlistment was up, he re-enlisted for Army National Guard as a Reservist. He did his mandatory committment and now he's done. (I can't remember if it's 6 or 8, someone help me here).
As far as lifetime benefits, they aren't terribly significant, and depends on length of service. My husband got his college paid for, we got a VA loan, and he's eligible for VA health care if he wants.
But you don't automatically go to the National Guard in your last year. The National Guard is no cake-walk. My husband's unit was a level 1 in preparedness and was an infantry unit.