Balancing Your Civilian Career With The Benefits Of Joining The National Guard

Jan 30 08:41 2013 Larry Fowler Print This Article

Among the benefits of joining the National Guard is that your service cannot legally jeopardize your civilian career. Read on to learn more about this topic.

If you're intrigued at the possibility of offering service through the National Guard,Guest Posting you might have concerns about how participation in the Guard to might affect your civilian employment. The minimum service requirements for the Guard are two weekend days a month plus an annual two-week training, but if you are called up to help in the aftermath of a Hurricane Katrina or Sandy, you might be MIA to your employer for a longer period of time. As you consider the benefits of joining the National Guard, you also need to know your employer's responsibilities and stance regarding your service time.

Benefits Of Joining The National Guard: Civilian Employers Respect Your Service

When you list your National Guard experience on your resume, you're making a statement that you will go above and beyond what is required of the average citizen. Employers might assume that you are the type of potential worker who's not just there for the check but for how you can benefit the company. You might enjoy the benefits of joining the National Guard such as the extra income or the educational and healthcare offers, but having this experience among your credentials speaks volumes about the type of person you are.

Depending on the size of your company, your business might have a Human Resources Department with established policies and procedures for handling your deployment.

Benefits Of Joining The National Guard: You Won't Lose Your Job

Working in a military-friendly company makes things easier if you are called away for long periods of time, but according to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), your job is always safe when you are called away for training or a real-life mission. USERRA states that:

•    As an employee, you don't have to use your vacation time to complete military service requirements.
•    You don't have to perform work duties while on military service.
•    You must be provided with a job with similar pay and responsibilities when you come back from active duty. After 91 days of service, the employer may offer you a different job.
•    If the job requirements have changed while you were gone, your employer must attempt to retrain you.
•    Your employer must continue to provide your health insurance but may ask you to pay 102% of the premium if you are gone longer than 30 days. If you sign up for Tricare (the military's medical insurance), you do not lose the rights to your other insurance.

Benefits Of Joining The National Guard: Additional Pay

As a service member, you receive National Guard pay for your monthly and yearly trainings, as well as for longer periods of service. Your rate of pay is based on your rank and your time in the service and increases each January with a small cost-of-living adjustment.

During your absence from the job, your National Guard pay might be lower than your civilian pay. Some employers will make up the difference once you provide them with your military Leave and Earnings Statement (LES).

If you already have a civilian job and are considering joining the National Guard, check out your company's policies and benefits with the Human Resources department. If they have had no experience with part-time soldiers they might have to develop a policy, but you might be pleasantly surprised at how easily you can integrate your military and civilian careers.


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Larry Fowler
Larry Fowler

The opportunity to serve while building a career is among the benefits of joining the joining the National Guard. Check out our website to learn  the benefits of joining the National Guard.

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