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Army National Guard

The Army National Guard (ARNG) is one branch of the U.S. Total Army, consisting of the Active, Guard, and Reserve components. The Army National Guard is composed of reservist - civilians who serve their country on a part time basis. Each state and territory has its own Army National Guard as provided by the United States Constitution.

The Army National Guard has come down from the cold war high water marks of 27 divisions in 1963 and 457,000 end strength in 1980 to a force of 367,000 at the end of 1997 with an evolving force structure as part of the 1993 off-site and the Army National Guard Division Redesign Study as a result of the Commission on Roles and Missions.

The ARNG structure is as follows: 15 enhanced Separate Brigades, eight divisions, and three strategic brigades (31st SAB, 92nd SIB, and the 207th Scout Group). The ARNG also maintains two Special Forces groups (19th and 20th). The force composition of the ARNG is 52 percent combat, 17 percent CS, 22 percent CSS, and 9 percent table of distribution and allowances (TDA) units, typically state headquarters units.

The ARNG combat units are aligned to OPLANs according to Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan (JSCP) apportionment. The current JSCP apportions all eSBs; however, the ARNG divisions and strategic reserve brigades are not apportioned. In support of the need for a mission focus for units that are not apportioned, each ARNG combat unit is aligned with a designated AC corps.

The Guard is comprised of a balanced force structure of Combat, Combat Support, and Combat Service Support units. Several initiatives are contributing to important changes in the Guard force structure. An example is the Division Redesign process which transitions two combat divisions to combat support and combat service support roles.

Other important initiatives are the implementation of Guard/Active component integrated divisions, which align an active component division headquarters with three Army Guard enhanced Separate Brigades. The intent of this relationship is to improve the training readiness and deployability of the enhanced Separate Brigades and to reduce time required for post-mobilization training. Two divisions have resulted of this integration, the 7th Infantry Division, based at Fort Carson, CO, and the 24th Infantry Division, based at Fort Riley, KS.

The Field Artillery (FA) long has been a leader in innovation and moving the Army forward. Active Component-Reserve Component (AC-RC) integration is a premier example. Army National Guard (ARNG) and US Army Reserve (USAR) soldiers comprise more than half of the Army -- 54 percent -- the highest percentage of any military service. The percentage is even more significant in the FA. More than two-thirds of the FA is in the National Guard.

The State Area Command (STARC) is a mobilization entity in each state and territory. It organizes, trains, plans, and coordinates the mobilization of NG units and elements for state and federal missions. The STARC is responsible for emergency planning and response using all NG resources within its jurisdiction. It directs the deployment and employment of ARNG units and elements for domestic support operations, including military support to civil authorities. As with active duty forces, emergency response may be automatic or deliberate. When the NG is in a nonfederal status, the governor serves as commander-in-chief of the NG in his state or territory and exercises command through the state adjutant general (TAG). While serving in state status, the NG provides military support to civil authorities, including law enforcement, in accordance with state law. Federal equipment assigned to the NG may be used for emergency support on an incremental cost-reimbursement basis.

Under a Presidential call-up, State Area Commands (STARCs) are not federalized, the National Guard Bureau and the Adjutants General of the several states remain responsible for ensuring the readiness of nonfederalized units.

The ARNG is organized with each state having command and control over their state National Guard. State Governors and the TAGs direct all National Guard actions and accomplishment of training for the state. To accomplish the Total Army School System (TASS) missions within and across state boundaries, the NGB and the TAGs developed the Combat Arms Training Brigades (CATB), Leadership Training Brigades (LTB), and the Regional Training Institutes (RTI). Each Brigade or RTI contains functionally aligned TASS Training Battalions and General Studies Training Battalion. Under the Battalions are functionally aligned Combat Arms Training Companies, OCS Training Companies, and Leadership Training Companies. These organizations have coordinating authority to conduct regional TASS missions directed by the ARPRINT. Each state/territory is organized with either a CATB, LTB, or a RTI. The Brigade and RTI are equal, however they have different levels of responsibility.

The two-star generals who command the National Guard the states and territories report to the governors, not the Defense Department. All but two adjutants general are appointed by state governors [they are elected in Vermont and South Carolina]. The Adjutants General are not required to meet military service or education requirements of active duty generals, and governors can appoint junior officers as Adjutant General.

The Army National Guard is a community based force, with approximately 3,200 armories located in nearly 2,700 communities across the states and territories. Additionally, the Guard's extensive maintenance, training and aviation facilities serve to support the readiness of units across America. The Guard is comprised of members of the communities in which they are stationed. Moreover, many Guard armories are a meeting place for their communities - and not just during local emergencies. This bond to the community is part of the legacy of the citizen-soldier.

Both the state and the federal government control the Army National Guard, depending on the circumstance. Whereas, the Active Army and Army Reserve (USAR) are completely controlled by the Federal Government, and the Army Reserve serves solely as a federal reserve to the Active Army. The Army Guard force structure consists of Combat, Combat Support, and Combat Service Support units, while the Army Reserve force is primarily comprised of Combat Support and Combat Service Support. The ARNG consists of approximately 350,000 soldiers versus just over 200,000 in the USAR.

The Guard has a unique dual mission, with both Federal and State responsibilities. During peacetime, the Governor through the State Adjutant General commands Guard forces. The Governor can call the Guard into action during local or statewide emergencies, such as storms, drought, and civil disturbances, to name a few. In addition, the President of the United States can activate the National Guard to participate in Federal missions. Examples of this are the many Guard units that have deployed to support operations in Bosnia. When federalized, Guard units are commanded by the Commander in Chief of the theatre in which they are operating.

The Army National Guard offers a large selection of military occupation specialties (MOS's) throughout a range of skills divided into three major categories: Combat (Infantry, Artillery, Armor, Aviation, Air Defense), Combat Support (Engineer, Chemical, Military Police, Signal, Military Intelligence, Civil Affairs) and Combat Service Support (Finance, Public Affairs, Personnel, Supply, Maintenance, Transportation). Different MOS's have different qualifications.

The Guard offers a series of benefits ranging from competitive pay and education assistance to insurance and retirement benefits. A broad range of skills are learned through schools and job training. Beyond these tangible benefits, most Guard members agree that the greatest benefit is the opportunity to serve their country, state and community.

Typically, National Guard members are required to attend one drill weekend each month and one annual training period (usually 2 weeks in the summer) each year. Weekend drills usually consist of attending one Saturday and Sunday, but can occasionally include reporting for duty on Friday night. Initially, all personnel are required to attend initial entry training (IET), which can usually be scheduled to meet civilian occupation constraints. Duration and location of IET varies in accordance with the military occupation specialty (MOS) or career field that a soldier chooses.

A Mobilization and Training Equipment Site (MATES) is a site at which a portion of an ARNG unit's authorized equipment is positioned by direction of Chief, National Guard Bureau, and maintained to support unit mobilization and training. A Unit Training Equipment Site (UTES) is a consolidation of ARNG organizational equipment at or in close proximity to and serving an authorized weekend training site. Under the UTES concept, the pooling of equipment assets extends existing organizations rather than creates a separate TDA type activity. UTES equipment is derived from and cannot exceed MTOE, TDA or MOBTDA authorization, or home station allowances established by the National Guard Bureau for participating units and accounted for on unit property books. Organizational identity of all pooled equipment is maintained and all units using such equipment provide for normal organizational maintenance and reporting.

In early May 2003, leaders from the 54 states and U.S. territories supported the historic initiative for changing their organization's command structure earlier this month. The National Guard's adjutants general reached consensus with the ideas put forward by Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum, the Guard Bureau's new chief, to consolidate separate state headquarters for members of the Army and Air Guard into joint, or combined, headquarters.

Blum's proposals focus on enhancing capabilities, adding to mission-essential task lists for combat arms units, and task organizing. They include:

Organizing chemical, biological and incident response task forces to include assets from the Guard's 32 full-time civil support teams, enhanced medical companies that can decontaminate and treat 150 people per hour, engineer companies with special search and rescue equipment, and combat units trained to support law enforcement agencies.

Expanding the Guard's involvement in ground-based missile defense over and above the unit that is currently being formed to staff a facility that is expected to be operational in Alaska by Oct. 1, 2004.

Creating quick and rapid Guard reaction forces that are immediately available to state and federal governments and that are trained for both combat and security duties.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:34:39 ZULU