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Army National Guard (ARNG) Active First Program

What is it?
The Active First Program is a pilot program designed to synchronize a Soldier's first enlistment between service on active duty and service in the ARNG. The total Active First commitment is eight years; the Soldier serves three years on active duty plus variable enlistment training time and the remainder in the selected reserve (SELRES). The program applies to recruits with no prior military service who are placed in select Military Occupational Specialties (MOS).

The Active First Program has three phases:

  • Phase One: ARNG enlistment and participation. A recruit enlists in the ARNG and participates in the Recruit Sustainment Program until leaving for initial entry training (IET).

  • Phase Two: Active Component enlistment and participation. The Soldier is brought into the Army upon arrival at the Army Training Center (ATC) reception battalion. Active First Soldiers are in-processed at the ATC and receive orders for an active duty unit upon completion of IET.

  • Phase Three: Army reenlistment or transition to a SELRES. A Soldier completes active duty and either reenlists in the Active Component (AC) or transitions back to a drilling unit in the SELRES for the remainder of their 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.

On October 14, 2008, the Active First program integrated into the Army’s MOS centric bonus structure. All Active First Soldiers will receive an additional $8,000 bonus regardless of MOS. Soldiers who reenlist in the AC will receive the reenlistment bonus in effect at that time. Soldiers who transition from active duty to standard part-time SELRES service receive $20,000.

What is the ARNG doing?
The program launched on October 1, 2007 and has exceeded expectations. The ARNG shipped 1,604 Soldiers to training in FY08 who transitioned into the active Army and are currently serving on active duty. The FY09 Active First goal is 5,000. Currently 638 Soldiers are scheduled to ship to training in FY09 and will be assigned to an Army’s reception battalion upon arrival.

What continued efforts does the ARNG have planned for the future?
The ARNG will continue to recruit for the Active First Program as required.

Why is this important to the Army?
The Active First Program will contribute to the ARNG's prior service accessions over the next three years and beyond.

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