Army National Guard Active First Program
What is it?
Active First is a pilot program designed to synchronize a Soldier’s first enlistment between service in the active component and service in the Army National Guard (ARNG). The program applies to recruits with no prior military service who are placed in select military occupational specialties. The Active First Program has three phases:
- Phase One: ARNG Enlistment and Participation. A recruit enlists in the ARNG, drills with his/her unit until leaving for Initial Entry Training (IET).
- Phase Two: Regular Army Enlistment and Participation. A Soldier completes IET, transitions to the active component, and receives orders for a Regular Army unit.
- Phase Three: Regular Army Reenlistment or Transition to the ARNG. A Soldier completes active duty and either reenlists in the active component or transitions back to a drilling unit in the ARNG for the remainder of his/her eight-year enlistment. Through the Active First Program the ARNG will receive a stream of highly skilled and experienced Soldiers after they complete their active duty requirement.
- Active First features enlistment bonuses of up to $60,000 depending on the participant’s period of active duty. Recruits who enlist for 48 months of active duty receive $40,000; those who sign up for 36 months, $30,000; and those who sign up for 30 months, $20,000. After their active duty enlistment ends, Soldiers who transition from active duty to standard part-time ARNG service receive $20,000.
What has the Army done?
Active First will be evaluated from August 2007 through August 2013. The program, launched on October 1, 2007, had 97 new enlistments by the end of the first month. It is expected to bring approximately 1,600 Soldiers to active duty this fiscal year.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
A decision to continue or modify the Active First Program will be made after the results are fully evaluated.
Why is this important to the Army?
The Active First Program will help the Army make its recruiting mission this fiscal year and contribute to the active component’s growth over the next three years by 65,000 Soldiers, thereby achieving a total force of 547,000.