Individuals who join the National Guard must commit to training that includes drill periods throughout the year, as well as periodic administrative meetings. Typically, the drill periods consist of one weekend per month and one annual two-week training session. The weekend drill periods are referred to as 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.
Frequently, National Guard members are required to drill for an entire weekend. Drilling that takes place for eight hours on both Saturday and Sunday (four consecutive UTAs of four hours each) is known as MUTA-4. Such a regimen that also includes Friday evening is termed MUTA-5 because it includes five consecutive UTAs over three days.
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.
The National Guard and the Military Reserves use different terminology for training assemblies. In the Reserves, a UTA refers to an entire drill weekend (two consecutive eight-hour days)--the equivalent of a MUTA-4 in the National Guard.
Other Training Assembly Terms
In addition to UTA and MUTA, the National Guard uses other terms that refer to training and drilling assemblies. Some of these include Split Unit Training Assembly (SUTA), Rescheduled Unit Training Assembly (RUTA) and Equivalent Training (EQT).
- Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of The National Guard