how to join

1. Contact a recruiter

You start the process by contacting your local New Jersey Army National Guard Recruiter. No obligation, no guarantees – it’s just a way of letting us know that you want to find out more.

2. Take the ASVAB

If you and your recruiter agree that you are a good fit for the Guard, you will take a standardized test called the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). It is designed to discover your strengths, so we can find the best place in the Guard for you – the one where you will fit best and be most likely to succeed. Your recruiter can give you an ASVAB pre-test to see how well you might do. Many high schools in New Jersey also sponsor the ASVAB. If you are in high school, check with your guidance department to see if the ASVAB will be given in your school. 

BE A GUARD SOLDIER FOR A DAY

Interested in being a member of our team? Join us for a weekend drill to participate in real Army National Guard training. You will see for yourself what being a Citizen-Soldier is all about.  Contact your recruiter to get the details.

3. Complete your application

Complete the application and gather required source documents. You will need to provide copies and/or originals of these important documents to your recruiter. A sample list follows:

  • Social security card
  • Driver’s license
  • Verification of citizenship or lawful residence
  • High school diploma/transcripts or GED completion certificate
  • If applicable, copies of your marriage certificate, divorce decree or separation order
  • Birth certificates for your children under 18 years of age
  • Court documents if ordered to pay spousal and/or child support
  • Documentation of any junior ROTC or college ROTC experience
  • College diploma or official transcripts
  • Student loan documentation from NSLDS website
  • Direct Deposit Form SF1199 completed and signed by an official from your financial institution

4. Enlist

Once you have determined that you want to become a soldier in the Army National Guard and you have completed your application process with your recruiter you are ready to enlist. At this point, your recruiter will make all the arrangements to finalize your enlistment at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) located at Fort Dix, NJ or Fort Hamilton, NY. At the MEPS you will:

  • Complete a physical examination with our medical personnel
  • Complete a personal security screening and be fingerprinted
  • Lock in your ship date for Basic Combat Training (BCT)
  • Confirm the military job that you have selected
  • Approve any benefits and bonuses
  • Review and sign all documents with the MEPS Guidance Counselor
  • Take your Oath of Enlistment


At the end of this day, assuming everything goes smoothly, you will be a Soldier in the New Jersey Army National Guard.

5. Attend Recruit Sustainment Program (RSP)

Your ship date – the day you leave for Basic – will depend on your Guard job and the school you will attend for that job. You might ship within just a few weeks, or it might be delayed for several months. Until you ship, you will attend the RSP one weekend a month to learn Guard rules and structure, and start fitness and classroom training. 

6. Ship to Basic Combat Training

You are ready to start becoming a Soldier. In just ten weeks, you will be physically and mentally stronger than you have ever been. After Basic Combat Training you will attend Advanced Individual Training (AIT) to learn your military job skill. After AIT you will return to New Jersey a fully qualified soldier ready to begin your weekend drills with your Guard unit.