One of the first things to do if you want to join the National Guard is talk to a recruiter. If you are unsure about the Guard, don’t be shy about speaking to recruiters from all branches of interest. They are there to inform you about your possible options in joining the military.
It is always a good idea to approach your gathering of information from multiple sources. This may include speaking to recruiters in your hometown, chatting with a recruiter online and speaking to others you know who currently serve or have served in the past. Through all of these perspectives, you will get the true picture of what being in the Guard is all about.
When speaking to a recruiter, it is important to remember that their goal is to meet their numbers requirement that is put forth by the National Guard. While they are not encouraged, nor permitted, to lie to recruits, it is important that recruits ask questions in the right way to avoid being led astray unintentionally.
Follow these tips when speaking to the recruiter:
- Bring someone else along with you when you speak to the recruiter. This may be a parent, a spouse or a friend. If you can bring along someone who served, that’s even better.
- Always ask open-ended questions and ask for specific answers. This will result in much more realistic answers.
- Write down all of your questions before going to see the recruiter. This can ensure that you ask all of your questions during your meeting. Take along your notebook to jot down answers as well.
After meeting with the recruiter in person, talk to others, including an online recruiter about the answers you received. This can help clear up any confusion and point out any inconsistencies or misunderstandings.
Don’t feel rushed into signing a contract. Joining the Army National Guard is a big decision. You are committing several years of your life to your country and, in most circumstances, it is a decision that can’t be reversed. Take your time when investigating military service and be sure of your decision before you sign on the dotted line.