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How Long Is a Contract with the National Guard

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When it comes to signing up for the National Guard, one of the most frequently asked questions is, “how long is the contract?” The answer to that question isn`t as straightforward as you might think, as it can depend on a variety of factors.

First and foremost, it`s important to understand that joining the National Guard is a commitment. While the length of that commitment can vary, it`s not something to be taken lightly.

With that in mind, let`s dive into the specifics of National Guard contracts.

Initial Contract Length

When you first sign up for the National Guard, you`ll be required to commit to an initial contract length. This can vary depending on whether you go through the traditional Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) route or the Officer Candidate School (OCS) route.

If you choose the traditional route, your initial contract length will typically be eight years. This includes six years of active drilling and two years in the Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR). During your six years of active drilling, you`ll be required to attend one weekend drill per month and two weeks of annual training per year.

If you choose the OCS route, your initial contract length will typically be six years. This includes three years of active drilling and three years in the IRR.


Once your initial contract period is up, you`ll have the option to reenlist. If you choose to do so, your contract length will depend on a few different factors.

For one, the amount of time you`ve already served in the National Guard will come into play. Typically, reenlistment contracts will be for a period of three, four, or six years.

Additionally, your rank and job specialty can also impact your contract length. Some higher-ranking positions or specialized jobs may require longer contract commitments.

Extension of Service

Finally, it`s worth noting that in some cases, National Guard members may be required to extend their service beyond their initial contract period.

This can happen in situations such as mobilization or deployment, where the National Guard may need more personnel to meet its mission requirements. In these cases, National Guard members can be required to extend their service for the duration of the mobilization or deployment, plus an additional six months.

In Conclusion

So, how long is a contract with the National Guard? The answer is that it depends on a variety of factors, including your initial contract length, reenlistment decisions, and potential extensions of service.

Whether you`re considering joining the National Guard or already a member, it`s important to understand the commitment that comes with this choice. By carefully considering all of these factors, you can make an informed decision about the length of your National Guard contract.