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Army National Guard announces new program

The Army National Guard has announced the “Active First” recruiting program. This program allows a new recruit to enlist with the Army National Guard and serve a period of service on active duty as their first military assignment. New recruits can earn up to $40,000 in bonuses from this program.  

This marks the first time that Army National Guard recruiters can offer their potential recruits guaranteed service in the Active Army. Before this new policy, Army National Guard recruiters could only offer prospective recruits a tour of duty with an Army National Guard unit. Previously, if a new recruit wanted to become a member of the Active Army, the soldier had to request transfer from their unit commander.

The term “Active First” was brought to fruition because of the new, unique career path that these select recruits will undergo.  

The program consists of three distinct phases for the new recruit:

The new recruit enlists with an Army National Guard recruiter. The recruit agrees to serve 30, 36, or 48 months with the Active Army once they complete their initial training. The first military experience for the recruit is to drill each month with the Army National Guard before they depart for training. The soldier is an Army National Guard soldier up to the point they graduate from training.  

After the soldier completes training, their records are transferred to the Active Army and they receive orders assigning them to an Active Army unit. At this moment, the soldier will begin collecting between a $20,000 and $40,000 enlistment bonus. The bonus amount depends on the length of tour that the soldier agrees to serve.  

Once their Active Army service obligation is complete, the “Active First” recruit must make a decision. Following the terms set forth in the soldier’s enlistment contract, a soldier may either re-enlist in the Active Army or be released back to an Army National Guard unit of their choosing. The soldier must serve the balance of their original service obligation in the Army National Guard if they elect to be released from the Active Army.  

It is important to note that if the soldier chooses to return to the Army National Guard they will also receive the Army National Guard affiliation bonus-currently offered at $20,000.  

This program is beneficial to both the Active Army and the Army National Guard. It will allow individuals with the propensity for military service to have another option at their disposal when they are weighing their service options. This opportunity allows a recruit to leave their hometown and pursue a military adventure; upon completion, the soldier will return home to pursue their dreams, while also serving as a Citizen soldier in their local community.  To learn more about “Active First” visit

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