Guard and Reserve Education Programs And Benefits in the United States

Guard Reserves: today, 92% of Americans serving in parts of the National Guard are laymen. In addition, there are parts of the Reserve – all branches of the armed forces have reservists. The essence of the current system is that the American has the opportunity to conclude a contract with the Pentagon for several years. However, becoming a reservist, he has a “part-time” serving. That is, for example, he is obliged to undergo monthly military training and, if necessary, can be transferred to line units (many reservists served and are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan). The total number of reservists is about 370 thousand.

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The US Department of Defense announced that for the first time in the last 13 months, the US military has over fulfilled a plan to recruit new members. Thus, the Pentagon managed to reverse the negative tendency to reduce the manning of units and formations, which arose in connection with the refusal of young Americans to do military service, primarily due to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

According to the recruiting command of the US ground forces, success has been achieved by offering potential recruits more favorable conditions, expanding the social package of benefits for military personnel and their families. Particularly, Selected Reserve and National Guard members were offered education benefits to help with education and training costs.

The GI Bill for Reserve & Guard Members

American soldiers already have significant privileges in relation to other citizens of the country. Nevertheless, while business structures prefer to reduce benefits and remuneration for their employees, the Pentagon, on the contrary, increases the social package.

Being Reservists and Guard members is more profitable for getting an education. According to the US Department of Education, in 2005, approximately half of US companies paid for their employees’ refresher courses and other educational programs. 

However, this education must be obtained in a specialized field, that is, relatively speaking, an accountant at the expense of the company cannot receive a diploma of a historian. 

In the Guard and Reserve education programs, distance education of military personnel is encouraged – for this purpose, a student in uniform is allocated a personal computer and $4,500 a year to pay for training, and his profile is personally selected by the military

If a student enters the Guard who must pay for his studies at a university, he can use the services of the Federal Tuition Assistance. It provides a bank loan insured at the federal level. The amount of such a loan is quite large – up to 65 thousand dollars. It can be paid in whole or in part during the contract service.

State Benefits

The main benefits provided by US law for Selected Reserve and National Guard members include vocational rehabilitation, educational assistance, and employment assistance. The rehabilitation course is designed for a minimum of 48 months. It is organized on the basis of universities, colleges, schools and vocational training courses, specialized rehabilitation institutions, and, if necessary, at home. 

The program provides free training in a specialty – free special classes aimed at restoring motor, speech, improve writing skills and other functions organized depending on the nature of disability (lack of limbs, blindness, deafness, and others). The provision of free services, including catering, medical care, and prosthetics, transportation, and household services for veteran families. 

It is not possible to consider in one material the entire benefits and educational programs, which include more than 140 items of benefits, privileges, and bonuses. At the same time, it should be noted that having encountered serious problems in recruiting the armed forces, the US military department, with the consent of the country’s leadership, went to a significant increase in moral and, above all, material incentives to attract fresh human resources to the army. This allows them to retain soldiers who had already gained combat experience in the service and officers. 

So, a decision was made to almost triple the size of the lump sum paid by a military man at the conclusion of the first contract or its extension. In the presence of vacant posts in a number of scarce specialties, the assignment of regular military ranks is provided. The maximum guaranteed amount (from 249 thousand to 333.7 thousand dollars) for loans to military personnel for the purchase of housing, additional discounts on tuition fees, free legal support, and the number of other measures have been increased.