How to Go From the National Guard to the Active Army

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Soldiers in the Army National Guard have the benefit of a flexible schedule and the ability to serve part-time. In some cases, however, soldiers may wish to join the active duty Army and go into the service full-time. Transferring from the ARNG to active duty isn't necessarily a straightforward process. Although both organizations are part of the Army organization, they operate separately and, for administrative purposes, are two separate branches. Thus, to transfer from one to the other, soldiers in the Army National Guard will need to secure a release from their original service commitment.

1 Obtain a copy

Obtain a copy of the Department of Defense's DD Form 368 (see Resources). This form is the starting point to gaining a conditional release from the Army National Guard to allow for enlistment on active duty.

2 Fill out Section I of the DD Form 368

Fill out Section I of the DD Form 368, signing it in block 3D. This should be done while working with an active duty Army recruiter or other authority.

3 Wait

Wait while the active duty Army forwards the DD Form 368 to the Army National Guard for approval or rejection. Once the ARNG receives the form, they have 30 days to respond to the request according to DoD Instruction 1205.19. Note that the active duty Army cannot enlist a soldier who is currently in the ARNG if he has not been granted a conditional release.

4 Begin enlistment

Begin enlistment in the active duty Army as a prior-service candidate, if approved for a conditional release. Soldiers approved will see a checkmark next to the "approved" box in Section II of the DD Form 368. This release is good for a limited amount of time that the soldier can use to enlist on active duty. The expiration date of the release is listed in box 5A next to the entry for approval.

5 Complete enlistment

Complete enlistment on active duty and swear in. The recruiter, meanwhile, will fill out Section III of the DD Form 368 and forward it back to the Army National Guard in order to verify that enlistment was successful within the time frame of the release.

Marshall Moore is a freelance sports writer with three years of experience in the daily newspaper industry and has won multiple awards from the Kansas Press Association for his writing and reporting. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2007 with a degree in journalism.