Army National Guard Bonus and Incentive Overview

The National Guard offers many incentives for joining; these include several types of cash signing bonuses and education incentives. If you qualify for more than one bonus the National Guard may combine them to pay a combined bonus, which is not to exceed $20,000.

How the Army National Guard Pays Bonuses

Depending on the type of bonus, the Army National Guard Enlistment bonuses are paid either in one lump sum upon successful completion of initial entry training or in a 50/50 payment plan.  Under the 50/50 plan National Guardsmen are paid 50 percent at the completion of Initial Active Duty for Training (IADT)and the remaining 50 percent paid in at the end of three years service.

Army National Guard Cash Bonuses

The bonuses include cash for choosing a high demand military occupational specialty (MOS), for selecting a specific date to begin basic training, for being willing to leave for boot camp within 45 days (Quick Ship), for advanced civilian skills, and more. 

The following is a quick summary of the current Army National Guard Cash Bonus:

  • National Guard Non-Prior Service Enlistment Bonuses – up to $20,000
  • Non-Prior Service Quick Ship or Off-Peak Bonus - $5,000 (each)
  • Prior Service Affiliation Bonus – up to $20,000
  • Civilian Acquired Skills Program (CASP) Bonus – $10,000

National Guard MOS Non-Prior Service Bonuses

There are several Non-Prior Service Bonuses available for both critical and non-critical Military Occupational Specialties (MOS). Be sure to check with your local Army National Guard Recruiter for details.

Critical Unit Bonus
Applicants who enlist to serve in a National Guard Unit that is designated as being in critical need, can earn up to $20,000. This bonus is paid in a lump sum payment.

Critical Skills Bonus
Applicants who are eligible for and select an MOS that is designated as a Critical Skill. but will assigned to a Non-Critical Unit may be eligible for a $20,000. This bonus is paid through the 50/50 payment plan.

Non-Critical Skills Bonus
Applicants who select any MOS in any Non-Critical Unit may be eligible for a $20,000. This bonus is paid through the 50/50 payment plan.
50/50 Payment

Civilian Acquired Skills Program (CASP) Bonus
Those who enlist and already have professional training and experience (skills) may be eligible for $10,000. This bonus is paid through the 50/50 payment plan.

Seat Utilization Bouns (Offer Expires September 30, 2007)
Those who enlist and are scheduled for Valid Training Seat Training Starting between 1 Sep – 30 Nov 07 may be eligible for a lump sum $20,000 bonus.

Note: If a soldier does not ship within dates, the bonus amount is reduced to $10,000 and payments are made under the 50/50 plan.

Quick Ship and Off-Peak Bonus
To qualify an applicant must be willing and able to report to basic training within 45 days or adjust their ship date as necessary. Off-Peak period runs from October through May. These bonuses may be combined as long as they do not exceed $20,000.

Student Loan Repayment (SLRP)
This bonus can be used to pay off up to $20,000 in exsisting student debt. Applicants must score 50 or better on the AFQT (ASVAB) to qualify.

National Guard Prior Service Bonuses

An Enlistment Bonus of up to $15,000 may be available to prior service members who have completed their Military Service Obligation but have no more than 16 years total service. The eligibility requirements for enlistment bonuses vary. Prior Service personnel who enlist and qualify for the PS Enlistment Bonus $15,000 or $7,500 will receive the bonus under the 50/50 plan. Check with your local Recruiter for details.

In addition if you are still serving in the Inactive Ready Reserve you may qualify for an Affiliation Bonus of up to $20,000 for a six-year contract.

Critical Unit Bonus
Those who enlist to serve in a National Guard Unit that is designated as being in critical need, can earn up to $15,000. This bonus is paid in a 50/50 payment.

Non-Critical Unit Bonus
Applicants that have an MOS that is designated as a Critical Skill. but will assigned to a Non-Critical Unit may be eligible for a $20,000. This bonus is paid through the 50/50 payment plan.

Student Loan Repayment (SLRP)
This bonus can be used to pay off up to $20,000 in exsisting student debt. Soldiers may acquire new loans during contract period if enlisting into Critical Unit or Skill only. To qualify applicants must score 50 or better on the AFQT (ASVAB).

Prior Service Affiliation Bonuses
Soldiers who choose to transition directly from active duty service into a Critical Skill in the National Guard may be eligible for a lump sum bonus of up to $20,000. Soldiers who choose to affiliate into a Non-Critical Unit will be awarded up to $20,000 under the 50/50 payment plan.

National Guard Education Incentives

The Montgomery G.I. Bill - Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
The Army National Guard offers the Montgomery G.I. Bill - Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR), a tuition assistance program to help with college expenses.
This benefit pays you a stipend, up to $309 a month (for full-time enrollment), while attending college (or other approved technical school). Over a period of 36 months, you can receive up to $11,124.

The Montgomery G.I. Bill, Selected Reserve may be used in addition to the 100% Federal Tuition Assistance Program and the Army National Guard GI Bill Kicker. Prior service members may also be entitled to the MGIB-SR.

The National Guard College Fund or (MGIB-SR) GI Bill Kicker
The Army National Guard (MGIB-SR) Kicker pays up to an additional $350 a month while attending college (or other approved technical school). Paid as a stipend, this incentive pays up to $12,600 over a period of 36 months.

Additional bonus information

  • Applicants choosing the 6X2 or 8X0 enlistment option become eligible to receive the SR-GI Bill & "Kicker" benefits if qualified
  • If otherwise qualified (for SLRP) enlistees will be eligible to receive the $20,000 Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) in addition to their enlistment bonus
  • These incentives will terminate without recoupment upon entry into the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) or Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC)
  • By law the total amount of any cash NPS incentive is limited to $20,000
  • Glossary NPS applicants do not qualify
  • Applicants enlisting for employment as a MILTECH or AGR are not qualified for these incentives

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