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why should i join the national guard

The Army National Guard also offers many opportunities for you to pursue higher education. For example, you can receive up to 100 percent federal tuition assistance up to $18,000 to pay for your education. If you already have student loan debt, you may be eligible for the Student Loan Repayment Program, which will help you repay up to $50,000 of your debt. You can also apply for the Montgomery GI Bill, which provides a monthly stipend while you are in college, or the Post 9/11 GI Bill, which covers up to 100 percent of your tuition and provides a yearly stipend for books. Your eligibility for these program varies depending on your job and the amount of time you served.
Many of our Veterans between the ages of 18-to-24 are unemployed due to their participation in the National Guard and Reserves. What was marketed as money for college, an opportunity to serve, and great job experience is turning out to be a career killer. The unemployment rate for the 18-to-24-year old veterans in February rose to 36. 2 percent (60,000) from JanuaryБs 31. 3 percent (51,000), an increase of 4. 9 percent.

The last Current Employment Index (CEI) from the National Guard Bureau (NGB) indicated that nearly 21 percent of the fifty-four state Army National Guard participants nationally are unemployed. This according to Ted Daywalt, CEO and President of VetJobs. com. When you look at the national unemployment rate, which dropped to a four-year low of 7. 6 percent in March from 7. 7 in February and compare that to those who serve or have served in our Guard and Reserve, there is a troubling trend that puts our states and country at risk. Let me digress for a moment. The government admits that the number of Americans in the labor force Б those who have a job or are looking for one Б fell by nearly half a million people from February to March, so these Бunder 8 percentБ unemployment numbers are not a true representation of those truly unemployed.

The БrealБ number would create panic Б especially when you realize that people without a job who stop looking for one are no longer counted as unemployed Б and when you then realize that, according to an AP article, Бthe percentage of working-age adults in the labor force Б whatБs called the participation rate Б fell to 63. 3 percent last month. Б WeБve got as many discouraged couch surfers as we did in 1979. Back to my point. The trending increase in veteran unemployment could cause the next generation to pause before they opt to serve Б that is if they are even paying attention and can break away from Instagram, Facebook and texting. The day could come that when our state, or any state, has a flood or crisis the government will need to turn to private contractors Б and now that DoD views the Guard and Reserves as an active augmentation force, our ability to increase force strength with trained individuals could be compromised.

It is no mystery why there is unemployment for those who serve in the Guard and Reserves: БEmployers cannot run a business with their employees constantly being called up and taken away from the businessБ (Daywalt). So whatБs the answer? Contract labor and job sharing. If companies want to have some of the best young talent in the market place, many of who are in the Guard and Reserves, they will need to reconsider how they Бdo business. Б Our young generation will need to excel at contracting with several employers. OR, we can continue to hire out-of-country talent, the Army can continue to spend hundreds of millions on unemployment insurance Б which is ultimately paid by us Б and we can continue to weaken our great nation. Bottom line: Indifference and ignorance is not an option. We all need to think outside of Бthis is how weБve always done itБ and work to actually solve the problem.

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