Is The Active Guard Reserve Right for You?

The United States Armed Forces includes five different branches. They include the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and the Navy. Most soldiers, both enlisted and officers, will serve on active duty in these branches, but some will also serve in the Reserves. There are a total of seven Reserve components.

The Reserve components include the Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, and the Coast Guard Reserve. As of February 2018, there were a total of 1,347,106 Soldiers serving on active duty in all branches of the military and 807,562 were in the Reserves.  For Reserve Soldiers in the Army and Air Force there is a possibility to transition to active duty through the Active Guard Reserve (AGR).

What is the Active Guard Reserve (AGR)?

The Active Guard Reserve is a federal military program that allows Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve Soldiers to come onto active duty status under Title 10 U.S.C. and Title 32 U.S.C. These Soldiers are accessed and brought onto active duty status in order to provide additional full-time support where needed to Army Reserve and Air Force Reserve units. These Soldiers fill positions that may be short-handed or hard to fill.

Personnel By Service https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Armed_Forces

Active Guard Reserve
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_Guard_Reserve

Army: How to Apply for Active Guard Reserves?

Enlisted Soldiers: In order to join the Active Guard Reserve in the Army Reserve as an enlisted Soldier there are certain requirements that must be met. You must be discharged from your current component, be between 18 and 54 years old, be in the rank of E4 to E7, and have less than 15 years active federal service (AFS). More requirements can be seen at https://www.usar.army.mil/AGR/

Officers: In order to join the Active Guard Reserve in the Army Reserve as an officer or a warrant officer there are certain requirements that also must be met that are slightly different from the enlisted Soldiers. You must be pending discharge from your current component, be in the ranks of 2LT through MAJ or WO1 through CW4 and have less than 15 years active federal service (AFS). Additionally, if you have served less than five years in rank you must have completed the Officer Basic Course. If you have served more than five years in rank you must have completed the Captain’s Career Course. More requirements can be seen at https://www.usar.army.mil/AGR/

In order to apply for the AGR program, visit the U.S. Army Human Resources Command (HRC) website for additional information https://www.hrc.army.mil/Enlisted/AGR%20Application%20Procedures or for Officer/Warrant Officer applicants call 1-502-613-6365 and for Enlisted applicants call 1-502-613-5927. AGR applications may be submitted via https://www.hrcapps.army.mil/portal. A letter of recommendation (LOR) is required. It is recommended to have an updated DA photo and all evaluations uploaded into IPERMS.

Steps include:

  1. Login to “My Records” on https://www.hrcapps.army.mil/portal using your CAC or password and fill out the “AGR application”.
  2. HRC receives the AGR application and screens for basic eligibility requirements.
  3. If approved, the Soldier will be placed on the Recommended List.
  4. If and when a position becomes available that requires the Soldier’s skills, he or she will be contacted via email or phone. (“Placement on the recommended list does NOT guarantee an AGR assignment.”)

Air Force: How to Apply for Active Guard Reserves?

In order to join the Air Force and Air National Guard Active Guard Reserve visit: https://www.arpc.afrc.af.mil/Portals/4/Graphics/AGR%20Process.jpg?ver=2018-12-07-140053-557

Steps include:

  1. Reservists looks in myPers for advertised vacancy AGR positions.
  2. Member submits signed AF Form 1288 and supporting documents and submits via myPers.
  3. The Air Reserve Personnel Center forwards eligible applicants directly to the hiring official.
  4. The hiring official notifies HQ Air Reserve Personnel Center of selection.
  5. The Air Reserve Personnel Center notifies the selectee and members submits additional documents.

For current Air Force Reserve Active Guard Reserve vacancies visit: https://www.arpc.afrc.af.mil/Services/Assignments/

Current Air National Guard AGR positions can be viewed at: https://www.ang.af.mil/Careers/State-Active-Guard-Reserve/

AGR Application Procedures https://www.hrc.army.mil/Enlisted/AGR%20Application%20Procedures

Active Guard Reserve Pros and Cons

One of the pros of the Active Guard Reserve is that Soldiers can retire just like a regular active duty Soldier once they have completed 20 years of active federal service (AFS) versus having to wait until they are 60 years old to receive a Reserve retirement pay. Active Guard Reserve Soldiers also enjoy all other benefits as a regular active duty Soldier such as medical benefits, commissary access, PX access, life insurance, education and tuition assistance. Some units, such as the Eastern Air Defense Sector don’t deploy often or even at all. Deployments are often optional in AGR units.

One thing that may be perceived as a negative regarding the Active Guard Reserve is that the positions are sometimes made to fill short handed staffs. Even though this is not always the case there is the possibility that you may be the only (or one of a few) full time personnel for an entire Reserve unit. This means that you may have to fill more than one job position or description in order to support your unit without receiving any additional pay.

Is Active Guard Reserve Right For You?

For some the Active Guard Reserve is the best kept secret in the armed forces. For those Reservists that wish to transition to active duty, the AGR program provides the opportunity to Soldiers to still serve their Reserve units while reaping the benefits of being a full time active duty Soldier. No matter your choice of serving as a Reservist, an AGR, or regular active duty the United States Armed Forces is definitely appreciative of your service.

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