Military life can be draining, especially when you don’t live near other military families. Guard your family by being prepared for what ever this life throws your way!
Guard Guide 101 is dedicated to providing resources and information for National Guard and Reserve families.
The only event out there for National Guard, Reserve, and spouses not near a military installation!
We recognize that the daily life of a National Guard and Reserve spouse looks a little different than the active counterpart. The close knit on-post community doesn’t always translate into the daily life of those that are geographically dispersed. This event is designed to take you through an interactive experience built with the Reserve component spouse in mind. You will have the chance to:
- Find impactful support
- Share coping tips and skills
- Create a support network of like-minded friends with similar experiences and challenges
Find an event near you and register for free. Don’t see an upcoming event near you? Reach out to us at email@example.com to request us to come to your area!
After speaking with Guard and Reserve families, a numerous amount of research was compiled for this section. Families voiced their concerns on what information would be helpful. This section provides information on resources available to help Guard and Reserve families. If you know of a resource not on this list, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
New to the National Guard
The first thing you should know is that the National Guard answers to both state and Federal governments. This means that they can be called up by the governor of the state or by the President of the United States. They can be called to deploy overseas or to help their home state during a natural disaster or another type of emergency. Sometimes they get called in to help other states that need extra help.
Preparing yourself for any of these assignments is a good idea. Keeping the idea in mind will make it easier if it ever happens. You can’t exactly plan for this but you can be aware of the possibility.
Your service member will drill every month of the year. Sometimes they will have three weeks in between, other times a month, and even possibly six weeks between drills. They will receive a calendar ahead of time which is helpful, but the dates can also change. The calendar will allow you to plan ahead, but don’t forget that the dates could change. Some drills are just two days, some are three, and about twice a year they have only been one day on the weekend. You will see on the drill calendar either “Unit Training Assemblies” (UTA) or “Multiple Unit Training Assemblies” (MUTA).
A UTA is an evening drill or a half-day drill that lasts two to four hours. A MUTA refers to two or more UTAs that take place during one day or over the course of two or more days. No more than two training assemblies may be performed in one calendar day, meaning that a single-day MUTA will last a maximum of eight hours. Each time a National Guard member attends a UTA, he or she earns one retirement point. Thus, attending a MUTA that lasts one full day (eight hours) earns two retirement points. The National Guard offers a detailed explanation of the point and retirement system on its official website.
When you think of the National Guard, you hear the “One weekend a month, two weeks a year” slogan. So what is the “two weeks a year” all about? This is when they go to their Annual Training and are gone for two weeks. The location varies by state unit and is normally out of state for two weeks of training.
Deployment and Family
Be Prepared, Make a Readiness Folder
Gather together key contact information from your spouse, the base website or anyone else you can get it from.
- Family Programs local
- Family Readiness Assistant
- Youth Programs
- Air Wing Family Programs Coordinator (or other branch Equivalent)
2. Support Services
- Military OneSource Consultant
- Transition Assistance Advisor
- ESGR (Employer Support Guard/Reserve)
- TriWest (for your area)
- ID Cards/DEERS
- Survivor Outreach Services
- American Red Cross
3. Wellness Team
- Director of Psychological Health
- Military Family Life Consultant (adult/family & child/youth)
- Personal Finance Counselor
- Suicide Hotline (national (800) 273-TALK)
4. Yellow Ribbon Program contact info
5. Your local unit or operations group contacts
- Group Commander
- Squadron Commander
- Operations Support Commander
- Director of Operations
- First Sergeant
6. Track down the list of FRG or Key Spouses, or maybe your s/o’s buddy’s spouse or significant other. Finding a connection with another spouse, girlfriend or family member connected to your spouse is important, even if it’s just one.
Pre-deployment Information Form
Find one of these and fill it out before a deployment. This will have important information for the unit,; like deployment location and time information, who your family is, who your children are, emergency contacts, information about you so that you can be located, and specific concerns about the deployment. It is important that you are kept in the loop during a deployment.
Include an important dates section in your folder – drill schedules, special events, or local events that might be helpful to those stationed near you, and for those that are not. They may want to make the trek closer if there will be special base events or holiday events (especially for families). There is also usually a unit BBQ. For the National Guard, many states have a State Military Ball where all branches affiliated with the Guard and Reserves in the area are usually invited.
What My Family Should Know:
This is a guide for all the things you should know, your family should know. It is also a great way to get the conversation going about topics no one wants to talk about. Let’s face it, who really wants to have a conversation about funeral arrangements before anyone is actually passed on. Talking about those things is important none the less. Here’s a link to a packet if your unit doesn’t have one.
Mental Health Resources
Health Care Information
- TRICARE Region North – HealthNet Federal Services
- TRICARE Region South – Humana Military Healthcare Services
- TRICARE Region West – TriWest Healthcare Alliance
Commissary Resources – Guard/Reserve On–site Sales
The Guard/Reserve On-site Sales Program provides the commissary benefit to deserving Guard/Reserve members and their families that live in areas that are not close to an existing commissary store. These sales are not only for the Guard and Reserve…they’re for any authorized shopper. We bring the benefit directly to you at these sales which provide patrons savings of 30% or more; the same as active duty military and their families who shop the commissaries on a regular basis. Read More.