How Much Does the National Guard Pay?


The National Guard is quite different when it comes to pay scales when compared to the other branches of the military. Essentially, you get paid for every day you work.

The work done by the National Guard includes, on average, two drills per week as well as your actual job in which you’ll receive a salary. For example, in addition to your base pay, you’ll get paid per drill, for any training you attend, and any time you’re deployed.

To break things down further, we’ll go through some of the benefits you’ll receive in the National Guard noting everything from education benefits to training pay and how much a National Guard salary is.

How Much Does the National Guard Pay for College?

Military service members receive education benefits through what’s called the GI Bill. The specific kind of GI Bill that someone serving in the National Guard qualifies for depends on their unique circumstances but the benefits are similar.

In general, the VA will pay for up to 36 months of education for members of the National Guard whether that’s at a four-year institution, a community college, flight training, vocational training, even online courses and more.

The actual amount the GI Bill pays for your education varies based on if you’re studying full-time or part-time, whether you’re attending a public, private, or in-state school, and various other factors.

The three different kinds of GI Bills are the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty, and the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve. They all have very specific requirements which are as follows:

  • Post 9/11 GI Bill: At least 90 days of active service after September 10, 2001 or you received a Purple Heart after September 10, 2001 and were honorably discharged or were discharged with a service-related disability after serving at least 30 days after September 10, 2001.
  • Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty: You fall into one of four categories all of which require a high school diploma, GED, or 12 hours of college credit and have had some amount of your salary withheld. See the VA website for more information.
  • Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve: You must have a six-year obligation to serve in the Selected Reserve, complete IADT, have served in a drill unit with good standing, and have a high school diploma, GED, or 12 hours of college credit.

How Much Does the National Guard Pay for Basic Training?

When you’re in Basic Training, you’ll receive a normal salary based on your ranking. As with pretty much everything else within the military and the National Guard, your pay scale depends on your rank and level of education.

If you’re enlisting with no prior education, you’ll start as an E-1. If you do have a four-year degree under your belt, you can enlist as an E-4 for Basic Training or enter as an O-1 officer. These differences greatly affect your pay in Basic Training.

The following numbers are estimations based on extended training pay for the Army National Guard.

An E-1 in the National Guard will have an average salary of around $1,638.30 per month for Basic Training. An E-4 will average a salary around $2,139 per month for Basic Training, and an O-1 might receive around $3,107.70 per month for Basic Training in the National Guard.

Of course, these are all averages and your pay will vary due to your unique circumstances.

How Much Does the Army National Guard Pay?

The Army National Guard breaks down your pay into three categories: Weekend Drill Pay, Annual Training Pay, and Active Duty Monthly Pay.

Pay scales range as follows:

1. E-1 with one year of experience:

  • Weekend Drill Pay: $218.44
  • Annual Training Pay: $764.54
  • Active Duty Monthly: $1,638.30

2. E-4 with one year of experience:

  • Weekend Drill Pay: $285.20
  • Annual Training Pay: $998.20
  • Active Duty Monthly: $2,139

3. E-9 with 25 years of experience:

  • Weekend Drill Pay: $874.16
  • Annual Training Pay: $3,059.56
  • Active Duty Monthly: $6,556.20

4. O-1 with one year of experience:

  • Weekend Drill Pay: $414.36
  • Annual Training Pay: $1,450.26
  • Active Duty Monthly: $3,107.70

5. O-10 with 25 years of experience:

  • Weekend Drill Pay: $2,106.68
  • Annual Training Pay: $7,373.38
  • Active Duty Monthly: $15,800.10

How Much Does the Air National Guard Pay?

The Air National Guard sets up their payment structures slightly differently than that of the Army National Guard. You’ll get Annual Training Pay which is the total compensation for two weeks of training, Monthly Drill Pay for serving one weekend per month, and the Annual Drill Pay is the yearly total for all 12 months of Monthly Drill Pay.

Pay scales range as follows:

1. E-1 with one year of experience:

  • Monthly Drill Pay: $208.92
  • Annual Drill Pay: $2,507.04
  • Annual Training Pay: $783.45

2. E-4 with one year of experience:

  • Monthly Drill Pay: $272.80
  • Annual Drill Pay: $3,273.60
  • Annual Training Pay: $1,023

3. E-9 with 25 years of experience:

  • Monthly Drill Pay: $836.12
  • Annual Drill Pay: $10,033.44
  • Annual Training Pay: $3,135.45

4. O-1 with one year of experience:

  • Monthly Drill Pay: $396.32
  • Annual Drill Pay: $4,755.84
  • Annual Training Pay: $1,486.20

5. O-7 with 25 years of experience:

  • Monthly Drill Pay: $1,605.84
  • Annual Drill Pay: $19,270.08
  • Annual Training Pay: $6,021.90

Hopefully, these estimates can give you a decent idea of what you might expect to be paid when joining either the Army National Guard or the Air National Guard by using these numbers as guidelines and determining where you fall in between.

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