The National Guard office opened on VSU’s campus on Oct. 1, 2019.
The previous Battalion Commander, Col. McDougal, came up with the idea of opening the office because the National Guard offers state tuition assistance for public universities. He took his idea to the Board of Regents, who then took the idea to multiple universities in GA.
The resources that are offered by the National Guard include: state and federal tuition assistance, skill training, financial assistance, experience to include on their resume and mentorship.
Students must be able to pass the ASVAB Test and pass a full physical in order to sign up. The ASVAB tells them what kind of jobs the student would be suited for, but they can choose their own job.
The office does get a good bit of students who come in however not all may be eligible.
“We get a good bit of individuals that come into the office. Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible maybe because of medical reasons or academic reasons,” Charmaine Anderson, Georgia Army National Guard Recruiter, said.
A good piece of advice that Anderson gives students who may be hesitant to sign up for the
National Guard is to stay up to date on the news, and the decisions that the current presidential administration has made.
“I also explain to them, when it comes to deployment, we are mainly used for state missions,” Anderson said.
The overall goal of the National Guard office is to help as many students as they can by helping with student debt when they get out of school. They also want to help them network with employers on a state and federal level which helps create a foundation for their career after college.
The office visits local high schools to introduce them to the National Guard, but informs them of many universities that offer the National Guard as an option.
One of the most common misconceptions that students come into the office with is thinking they already have to be physically fit in order to join. The National Guard has a Recruitment Sustainment Program, which teaches students how to be a soldier to prepare them for basic training.
Written by Sam Acevedo, Campus Life Editor. Photo courtesy of National Guard Office.