NEWS | Nov. 16, 2020

10 unexpected benefits of serving in the Utah Army National Guard

By Sgt. Nathaniel Free Recruiting and Retention Battalion

The Utah Army National Guard is a reserve component of the United States Army that falls under the direction of Utah state leadership. Our Commander-in-Chief is the governor of Utah. We have been called on to help with local, national, and international humanitarian relief. Not only do we fulfil our state mission of civil security, but we also deploy to protect the nation. If you’re thinking about joining the Utah Army National Guard, here are 10 unexpected benefits you need to know about.

 

1. Live a healthier lifestyle


When you serve in the military, you’re expected to meet certain health and fitness standards. These standards are measured regularly with a physical fitness assessment called the Army Combat Fitness Test. Members of the Utah Army National Guard are held to the same standard as active duty Army, which means they need to stay in fighting shape. Basic Combat Training helps to build a foundation of fitness, but once you are back home, the rest is up to you. Training one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer is not enough to maintain that fitness, but you won’t be on your own either. Between your monthly and annual drills, you’ll have access to Master Fitness Trainers to help you develop your own nutrition guides and workout routines to meet that necessary level of combat readiness and overall fitness. Because these fitness goals and routines are entirely up to you, you’ll be forming healthy habits that could stay with long after you retire from the Utah Army National Guard.

 

2. Travel the world


You have wanderlust. You’ve seen pictures of foreign and exotic locations in your Instagram feed and you have the urge to see it all. One unexpected benefit to serving in the Utah Army National Guard is you don’t have to uproot your life to travel the world.

After joining, you’ll jump on a plane headed to one of several Basic Combat Training sites located in Georgia, South Carolina, Missouri, Kentucky or Oklahoma. While these locations may not be glamourous or exotic, and certainly not a vacation, it could be an opportunity to see a new part of the United States. And that’s only the beginning.

Your annual training could be in another state or even another country.

The Utah Army National Guard has State Partnership Programs with countries like Morocco and Nepal, but we’ve also we’ve sent Soldiers on humanitarian and training missions to Australia, Belize, Italy, Japan, Netherlands Philippines and the United Arab Emirates, just to name a few from the last year or so.

You may also be activated for a or a deployment anywhere in the world. Many know about deployments to Afghanistan or Iraq, but the Utah Army National Guard also deploys to places like Europe, Africa.

Joining the National Guard is not like backpacking around the world, but you never know what might end up on your Instagram story.

 

3. Learn a trade


It could be hard to break into a new industry without any real skills. Many entry-level jobs still require at least 1-2 years of prior experience, which can be tough to come by.

The Utah Army National Guard will cut you a paycheck while training you in a new skill that can be used in the civilian economy. We are actively looking to hire and train truck drivers, engineers, mechanics, medics, telecommunications and IT experts.

4. Get a free security clearance


A security clearance is an authorization that allows you to access to information that would otherwise be forbidden or classified. Having a security clearance could help you get a job in IT or public service. The cost to process a Secret clearance on your own can be up to $3,000. For a Top Secret clearance, it could be up to $15,000. But if you qualify for the right job in the Utah Army National Guard, you could have your security clearance processed for free, opening up opportunities for exciting civilian careers. This is a great way to springboard into a three-letter organization. 

 

5. Get affordable healthcare


If you don’t already know, good healthcare doesn’t come cheap—that is, unless you’re a member of the Utah Army National Guard. An individual Soldier is entitled to the best coverage in the nation for less than $50 a month. If you’re married with a family, it will cost just over $200 a month, which is still unbeatable. With our health care program, the average out-of-pocket cost for maternity and childbirth care is less than $20. You read that right. Twenty dollars.

 

​6. Two careers for the price of one


Most members of the Utah Army National Guard have two jobs: their civilian job where they work in the community, and their part-time military job, where they wear the uniform. When activated for emergency response or a deployment, your civilian job is protected by law. You can’t be punished or fired for missing work due to military service. You don’t have to choose between two different, yet attractive, career paths. You can have the excitement of military service while still pursuing that dream career as a doctor, lawyer, college professor, pilot or public servant.

 

7. Networking opportunities


The Utah Army National Guard is a great place to network with other professionals in Utah. Since we serve in our home state, you will meet people who could open the door to a better career opportunity on the civilian side. Your unit commander might be the hiring manager at a Fortune 500 company on Utah’s Silicone Slopes, which means you now have the dream career opportunity. Serving in the Utah Army National Guard says a lot about your character to potential employers: strong work ethic, patriotism, loyalty, and maybe even a security clearance.

 

8. Serve with your friends and family


The Utah Army National Guard is entirely composed of people from your local community: teachers, store managers, firefighters, nurses, etc. You’ll be serving alongside members of your high school class, church group, neighborhood or even family. Many brothers, fathers and sons currently serve together. And when you deploy, you deploy together. Soldiers from the same community form a special bond that will last long after you retire from the military. 

 

9. Get paid to train


If you’re not a gun enthusiast, but you would like to learn how to shoot, the Utah Army National Guard is a great place to start. You’ll have a chance to familiarize yourself with different weapons systems in Basic Combat Training while also making a paycheck. Once you’re back home, you’ll still have time at the shooting range at least once a year and access to a team of shooting experts called the Small Arms Readiness Training Section.

If you’re a gun enthusiast, then you already know ammunition doesn’t come cheap. If once a year isn’t enough time at the range for you, then get paid to compete at our annual shooting competition, the Adjutant General Match. If you’re good at shooting, you’ll have a chance to compete at regional, national and even the international level. We need good shooters to represent Utah.

 

10. Make a difference in your community


Since 1636, we have defended our communities. We were the first to rise to the call of Paul Revere’s midnight ride. We were first and last line of defense during the Revolutionary War. Only the National Guard can lay claim to the title of Minutemen. We are the closest thing to the militias that fought to protect the early American colonists. And like those early colonists, the National Guard is the one place where you can be a hero in your spare time. From wildfires and hurricanes, to the global war on terrorism, you can make a difference in your community. We’ve been doing it for centuries.

 

Interested in joining the Utah Army National Guard?

Call Staff Sgt. Kuang-chung Vo at 801-755-7654 or check out our website to learn more.

 

 

 

Your Career Starts Here

Utah National Guard Engineers Train at Dinosaur National Monument
By Sgt. 1st Class Richad Stowell | June 22, 2022
Soldiers from the 1457th participated in an annual training exercise they won't soon forget.Engineers from the 116th Engineer Company and support personnel for the Forward Support Company– about 125 Soldiers in all–...

An AH-64 Apache helicopter from the 1-211th Aviation Regiment, Utah Army National Guard, waits to be taxied on June 20, 2022, at Agadir Al-Massira International Airport, Morocco. AL22 is U.S. Africa Command's largest, premier, joint, combined annual exercise hosted by Morocco, Ghana, Senegal, and Tunisia, June 6 - 30. More than 7,500 participants from 28 nations and NATO train together with a focus on enhancing readiness for U.S. and partner-nation forces. AL22 is a joint all-domain, multi-component, and multinational exercise, employing a full array of mission capabilities with the goal to strengthen interoperability among participants and set the theater for strategic access. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Christopher Hall)
Utah’s Apache Helicopters Arrive in Morocco
By Maj. Brent Mangum, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) | June 20, 2022
Approximately 60 Soldiers from the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment, Utah Army National Guard, landed at the Agadir Al-Massira International Airport, Morocco, June 20...

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Utah Army National Guard, and Soldiers from the Royal Moroccan Army train together in a Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force operations center as part of exercise African Lion 2022. AL22 is U.S. Africa Command's largest, premier, joint, combined annual exercise hosted by Morocco, Ghana, Senegal, and Tunisia, June 6 - 30. More than 7,500 participants from 28 nations and NATO train together with a focus on enhancing readiness for U.S. and partner-nation forces. AL22 is a joint all-domain, multi-component, and multinational exercise, employing a full array of mission capabilities with the goal to strengthen interoperability among participants and set the theater for strategic access. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Mackenzie Willden)
Utah National Guard Arrives in Morocco for African Lion 22
By Maj. Brent Mangum | June 17, 2022
Roughly 300 members of the Utah National Guard will participate in African Lion 2022, U.S. Africa Command's largest, premier, joint, combined annual exercise hosted by Morocco, Ghana, Senegal, and Tunisia, June 6 - 30. More...

A gun crew from Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 145th Field Artillery, Utah National Guard, lines up their M109 Paladin for day of live fire during Western Strike 22, June 11, 2022, at Orchard Combat Training Center, Idaho. Western Strike 22 is an eXportable Combat Training Capabilities exercise led by the 65th Field Artillery Brigade, Utah National Guard, that provides National Guard Soldiers immersed training similar to a combat training center and aims to increase participating unit's readiness and lethality. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. William Cowley)
Making a Move: Logistics and the Success of an Exercise
By Sgt. James Bunn | June 14, 2022
Whether moving across the country or making a tactical river crossing, a good logistics plan is the crucial difference between success and failure. Military operations have always hinged upon the movement of troops, weapon...

Gun crews from 2nd Battalion, 222nd Field Artillery Regiment, 65th Field Artillery Brigade, Utah Army National Guard, begin preparing their equipment for a day of fire missions as part of Western Strike 22 at Orchard Combat Training Center, Idaho, June 11, 2022. Western Strike is an eXportable Combat Training Capabilities exercise led by the 65th FAB, that provides National Guard Soldiers immersed training similar to a combat training center and aims to increase participating unit's readiness and lethality. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Alejandro Lucero)
Lightning Strikes: Summoning America’s Thunder
By Sgt. Alejandro Lucero | June 14, 2022
Units from the 65th Field Artillery Brigade, Utah National Guard, rocked the Idaho landscape in a barrage of awe-inspiring firepower. Soldiers from California, Iowa, North Carolina, and Utah assembled near Boise, Idaho at...

Forward observers await UH-60 helicopters for transport to new observation areas for training on marking artillery targets during Western Strike 22, June 9, 2022. Western Strike 22 is an eXportable Combat Training Capabilities exercise led by the Utah National Guard’s 65th Field Artillery Brigade, that provides National Guard Soldiers immersed training similar to a combat training center and aims to increase participating unit's readiness and lethality. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Ariel J. Solomon)
North Carolina National Guard forward observers provide fire support to National Guard units from four different states at Western Strike 22
By Cdt. Joshua Matthews | June 14, 2022
Fire support teams from 1st Battalion, 113th Field Artillery Regiment of the North Carolina National Guard provided fire support to National Guard units from four different states during Western Strike 22 throughout the month...

U.S. Army Cpl. Spencer Fayles with Utah’s 144th Area Support Medical Company, receives a certificate of participation during the Region VII Best Warrior Competition award ceremony on the island of Guam, May 26, 2022. This annual competition featured the best noncommissioned officer and Soldier from eight different states and territories including Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. Testing competitors’ skills and knowledge and pushing them to their limits, the competition graded each participant in key areas such as basic Soldier skills, marksmanship under stress, land-navigation, and physical fitness. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jordan Hack)
Two Utah Soldiers awaken "Warrior Spirit" at Region VII Best Warrior Competition
By Staff Sgt. Jordan Hack | June 4, 2022
A Soldier’s transformation into a warrior is difficult to describe. Hand-picked by leadership, proving themselves with every drop of sweat, every sore muscle, and every labored breath; Soldiers who compete naturally don the...

Brig. Gen. Frank Gräfe, the defense attaché from the Federation of Germany to the United States, (left) and Brig. Gen. Daniel D. Boyack, Commander of the Utah Air National Guard & Assistant Adjutant General-Air, (right) pose using the iconic “thumbs up” that Gail Halvorsen was known for on May 20th at the Provo City Cemetary. The Utah Air National Guard was in attendance to show support and honor the heroic efforts of Gail Halvorsen. (Utah Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt Nicholas Perez)
Honoring a war hero who delivered hope
By Staff Sgt. Nicholas Perez | May 31, 2022
Ret. U.S. Air Force Col. Gail Halvorsen, known as the “Candy Bomber”, was honored by top leadership from the Utah Air National Guard, Utah National Guard, and Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany with the laying of two...

The Utah National Guard FEMA Region VIII Homeland Response Force held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Collapsed Structure Venue Site which included a demonstration and static display of capabilities May 10, 2022 at Camp Williams, Utah. The CSVS is one of only three military owned Urban Search and Rescue training venues west of the Rocky Mountains. This CSVS will allow both military search and extract and civilian search and rescue teams the opportunity to train together and build those necessary partnerships needed in an “all hazards” response. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st Sgt. John Etheridge)
Camp Williams adds a Premiere Search and Extraction Training Site to Benefit the Homeland Response Force, State, Region, and Nation.
By Lt. Col. Robert Ramage Warden | May 11, 2022
The Utah National Guard has a new training site for the Region VIII Homeland Response Force’s search and extraction team, as well as partner civilian urban search and rescue teams. Lt. Col. Erick R. Wiedmeier, commander of...

Members of the Combined Veterans Honor Guard joined members from the Utah National Guard Honor Guard in conducting military funeral honors for the remains of Cpl. David Milano April 29, 2022 in Ogden, Utah. Milano went missing in action Dec. 2, 1950, during the Korean War. After 71 years, his remains have been repatriated to the United States and have been laid to rest on U.S. soil. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Sgt. John Etheridge)
A Family's Faith: Chosin Soldier Comes Home
By Staff Sgt. Jordan Hack | May 3, 2022
Often referred to as “the Forgotten War,” the Korean War’s significance tends to be overshadowed by World War II and the Vietnam War. Even in that light, it’s nothing short of a miracle that Korean War service members are...