Life in the Air National Guard vs. Active Duty

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Here are some of the things to know about the Air National Guard (ANG):

The ANG has 4 different statuses that a member can be in:

1) Traditional Gaurdsman (Weekend Warrior)
- These are the troops who only work on Drill weekends (usually the first full weekend of the month unless that weekend is associated with a holiday, then it's the following weekend). - During that weekend they get a “meal card” (free) lunch at the dining facility - Drill days are not required to be accomplished during drill weekend; however, it is usually done on the weekends. If the Traditional has a job or schooling that prevents working on Drill weekend they can make up the Drill during the week and have the entire Fiscal year to do this by coordinating with their supervisors. - Drill weekends count double for retirement points for Traditionals and Technicians. - For every day of Active Duty time a military member gets 1 point toward retirement. Active Duty members can retire after accumulating 7305 days (20 years). - Drill weekends are usually filled with all of the ancillary training. (ADLS and other Computer Based Training (CBT)) - The unit will pay for the member to stay in a hotel if the member has to travel from another city or state to perform Drill. - They can also get up to 15 Annual Training (AT) days a year - This is usually referred to as the two weeks a year, but it is rarely done consecutively. It is usually spread out over the year to accommodate the Traditional's schedule. - Traditionals are eligible for the GI Bill Kicker ($350/month extra for the GI Bill) when taking 12 semester credits or more. - If you have come from Active Duty and are receiving the Montgomery GI Bill, this extra $350 a month makes a big difference. - All positions in the ANG are slated for SSgt (or higher). This means an E-6 coming from Active Duty Air Force or another branch may be reduced in rank to an E-5 upon entry into the ANG. There are exceptions to this, but they are rare. A person coming from Active Duty may apply for a full time position in the ANG when that person is getting close to the end of an enlistment and get accepted for the job and retain his or her current rank.

2) Federal Technician
- These are full time members who work all through the month (Drill weekends included). - Ranks means little to them during the week unless they are on some type of Active Duty day. - Technicians are paid hourly or salaried for the position they are in. As an example: Supply positions are WG-6 ($14-$17/hour depending on location), GS-7 or GS-9 (salaried based on location). - Hourly/Salaried means they can take leave on an hourly basis. If you’re tired at the middle of the day, just take a few hours of leave and go home. - If a Technician wants to take leave Friday to Monday they aren’t charged for the weekend itself or any holidays. - Technicians get actual Comp time if they work overtime.

- Technicians get Sick Leave (No doctor’s appt or note required) as well as Annual Leave - Technicians can retire after 20 years of service, but cannot collect a retirement check until they reach 60 years of age. - This is why so many technicians continue working until they are 60. It’s a guaranteed paycheck for most of their working life. Retirement gets better the longer they stay. - Technicians get paid for Drill weekends and they get double points for retirement for the weekend just like a Traditional.

- Technicians also get the 15 days of AT.
- They can take paid Annual Leave from Technician status and accomplish their AT days consecutively. This means they are “double dipping” and getting paid by their Technician status and getting paid by the AT day. - Many Technicians will take Leave while on deployment so they can “double-dip” for most or all of the deployment. This is a big money maker for Technicians.

- Technicians also get the free meal at the dining facility on Drill Weekends
- Technicians have a Union that protects their...
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