Recruitment commercials state that National Guard members serve their country one weekend a month and two weeks per year. The statement applies during times of peace, but in wartime, the service may call National Guard members to active duty for a period of 31 days or more.

Basic Training

All members of the military must go through boot camp. The Army requires six weeks of basic training regardless of whether a soldier enlists in the Army, the Army Reserves, or the National Guard.

Advanced Individual Training

Some national guard jobs require additional training. A solider in the National Guard may attend an AIT school after boot camp.

Enlistment Contract

A soldier enlists in the National Guard for eight years. The military can call a National Guard member to active service during this time. In 2009, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates introduced a program to phase out "stop-loss," which prevents an active duty soldier from leaving at the end of his contract.

Employment Upon Return

Employers must allow a National Guard member or Reservist from any branch of the military to return to the position he left when he comes back from active duty.

Pay While Deployed

Employers do not need to pay National Guard members when the Army calls them to active duty, although some employers offer a program where the employer pays a member of the military the difference between their standard salary and the salary the serviceman receives from the military.