Military Careers

ND National Guard

For many young people joining the military can offer many benefits: training, world travel, compensation, tuition support, and honor. However – it may not be for everyone. Joining the military requires self-discipline, intense physical training, time away from family and friends and the likelihood that you may go to war.

In addition to the 6,000 uniformed personnel, the military hires civilians – around 2,000 in North Dakota – for many kinds of support roles, from custodians and food service workers to engineers and nurses.

While active-duty military at North Dakota bases are assigned here by their service branch – typically in two or three year stints – National Guard, Reserve, and civilian personnel can be based in North Dakota by choice.

National Guard and Reserves

The National Guard is a military branch—America’s oldest—that serves both state and federal governments. The major difference between the Guard and other branches is that while Guard units are combat-trained and can be deployed overseas (depending on your unit and your job), Guard Soldiers are just as likely to serve in their home communities—just one weekend per month, and one two-week period each year.

The National Guard supports military operations too but also responds to state emergencies like floods and wildfires.

Military Benefits

National Guard and Reserve personnel are eligible for an impressive benefits package, including training, education, retirement and other enticements.

Training – You’ll be trained for an occupation based on your preferences and aptitudes and the needs of the military. The training may also prepare you for a civilian occupation.

Education – You may qualify for more than $10,000 in education benefits under the longstanding Montgomery GI Bill, additional Tuition Assistance up to $250 per semester hour, and further benefits if you serve on active duty. See the Guard and Reserves Education Benefit User’s Guides at

College benefits are doubling under a new Post-9/11 GI Bill passed in 2008. Benefits went up 20 percent almost immediately, and beginning in August 2009, full in-state tuition plus housing and book allowances are covered. Some benefits are transferable to family members.

With two GI bills in effect side by side, rules have become even more complex, so study the details carefully to make best use of your options.

Many schools within the North Dakota University System award military students credit towards a degree based on training, coursework, and occupational specialty. Earning a degree can help you enhance your career opportunities in the military or prepare for a job opportunity in the civilian community. For more information

Retirement – You’ll be eligible for retirement pay at age 60 if you’ve completed 20 years of qualifying service. See Retirement at and Military Retired Pay Overview at

Other benefits. Other perks may include health care, life insurance, VA home loans, space-available travel, and preference for government employment.

For detailed information visit Today’s Military.

ND National Guard

Soldiers from the Recruit Training Company work together raking debris and dead foliage at the Bismarck State College Community Bowl Oct. 23. (Photo by Sgt. Eric Jensen, North Dakota National Guard)

Your Commitment

The total enlistment period is eight years, but Guard Soldiers can serve as little as three or six years, and spend the remainder in Individual Ready Reserve —which means they don’t train with a unit, but can still be called up in the event of an emergency. And unless your unit is deployed overseas, your commitment will usually be filled serving one weekend of drill per month and one two-week annual training period, usually in the summer.

Entrance Requirements

While the Service branches have similar entrance requirements such as age, physical condition, citizenship, character, and aptitude, each has its own admission standards based on the amount and type of recruits needed. The requirements listed here apply to the U.S. Military as a whole.

You can join the military at age 18, or 17 with consent of a parent or guardian. The upper limit is age 42 for National Guard enlistment and varies for Reserve units.

The aptitude requirement is based on verbal, math, science, and technical tests in the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). The Military uses students’ ASVAB scores to identify the occupations that best suit their abilities so preparation is recommended.

Other Military Resources

They are journalists and animal care specialists, teachers and musicians and even Hollywood liaisons. And they are all part of the U.S. Military. We invite you to take a rare glimpse into their lives at Today’s Military, a Department of Defense site for parents, teachers and students.

Official Armed Services Sites

Military Careers– Search detailed descriptions of 141 officer and enlisted military jobs at

My Future – Concise details on military options and other information for high school students planning their next move.

Careers in the Military -Explore this website to learn about the five branches of the Military Services and a variety of career areas


Air Force Reserve
Recruiting | News and information

Army Reserve
Recruiting | News and information

Coast Guard Reserve
Recruiting | News and information

Marine Forces Reserve
Recruiting | News and information

Navy Reserve
Recruiting | News and information

National Guard

North Dakota National Guard

Air National Guard
Recruiting | News and information

Army National Guard
Recruiting | News and information

ND National Guard

KFOR Freedom Salute 3228

Other Sites

NDJS – The Job Service North Dakota website has an extensive section of military resources. – US Military. A retired Air Force sergeant offers his perspective on choosing a service branch, meeting with recruiters, making a job selection, dealing with enlistment contracts and incentives, life in the military, and more.

Career OneStop for Military Families


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