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National Guard Requirements

Wanna see how you stack up against a civilian soldier? Check out the National Guard requirements to find out.

By Rowan MarleyPublished 7 years ago 3 min read

The National Guard is one of the largest sections of the US military, and it's one of the largest because of what it offers in terms of flexibility. Even though it's technically a "part time" gig, the truth is that it's still a demanding job — and it's one that not everyone is cut out for.

If you've wanted to get a military career without having to live on an army base, if you want to know what a veteran had to go through to get enlisted, or if you're just curious about how you compare to a National Guardsman, you might want to get a look at what the National Guard requirements are right now.


One of the most basic National Guard requirements is to get a passing score on the ASVAB test. The ASVAB test is short for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. Basically, it shows where your strengths are.

This is a test that measures your aptitude on a number of different academic and cognitive skills. If you can't pass this three-hour test, you can't enlist in the National Guard, or any other branch of the military.

US Citizenship

One of the lesser-discussed National Guard requirements is US citizenship. In certain cases, legal residents may also be allowed to join the military, however, it may also bar them from certain jobs and certain branches. Anyone who was born abroad from US parents can also serve in the military.

If you aren't sure whether or not you meet the National Guard requirements in terms of citizenship standards, ask a recruiter. They will work with you on this, and help you figure out if you can join the military.

Health Requirements

For many of us, the hardest aspect of meeting the National Guard requirements are the health requirements. (Actually, this is true for almost every kind of military service.)

These requirements may include the following points:

  • Being able to clear 10 push-ups in two minutes.
  • Being able to run two miles in approximately 20 minutes.
  • Being able to clear 35 sit-ups in two minutes.
  • Not being blind.
  • Not having serious disorders requiring daily medication.
  • Not having disorders that could cause physical difficulties during combat.
  • Being free of mental illness.
  • Not exceeding the maximum weight, and not being under the minimum weight.

Most military trainees have said that you might want to exceed these standards before you talk to a recruiter. Basic training is nothing to sneeze at, and you probably won't be able to skate by if you barely meet the requirements.

Education Requirements

One of the easier National Guard requirements to meet is the education requirements. Basically, as long as you have a high school degree or a GED, you should be able to sign up without issue.

That being said, having a GED (and only a GED) can limit what you can do in terms of jobs. The more you education you have, the better off you'll be.

Age and Moral Requirements

The last National Guard requirements you should be aware of are the age and moral requirements they have instated. Only people aged 17 to 35 can enlist in the military — and this applies to the National Guard, too.

In terms of moral requirements, this is a bit stickier. You can be a pacifist and join the military as a conscientious objector. That is doable. However, what isn't doable is a criminal record — at least in many cases. It will take a special case to actually be able to join if you have a record.

Do You Have What It Takes?

If you can meet the National Guard requirements, then you will be able to join. If you can't, don't feel bad. It's not an easy career, and sometimes, it's best to stay a civilian.


About the Creator

Rowan Marley

Rowan Marley is a 20-year-old sports enthusiast who hails from Brooklyn. When he's not hitting up a local Zumba class, he's drinking organic smoothies. That's just how he rolls.

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