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Careers

Getting an AGR Job

They can be hard to come by, but here’s how to increase your chances
Medical positions, including medical readiness NCO, are among the possibilities for Soldiers looking to explore AGR options. Photo by SGT Thomas Duval
Medical positions, including medical readiness NCO, are among the possibilities for Soldiers looking to explore AGR options. Photo by SGT Thomas Duval

In today’s economy, jobs that provide Active Duty income, an employer who understands the requirements of Guard service and a potential Active Duty retirement after 20 years are more appealing than ever. Active Guard Reserve (AGR) jobs provide these benefits and many more. But competition has always been fierce for these positions, and funding for full-time positions is more uncertain than ever. So here’s how to make sure you’re giving yourself the best shot at hitting the AGR target:

GET YOUR RECORDS RIGHT

Make sure your DD-214, APFT card, medical records and official Department of the Army photo are up-to-date. Some jobs will require a security clearance, so if you have one, keep it current. You’ll probably also need to provide your last several OERs/NCOERs, so make sure those are up-to-date too.

START LOOKING

First, find the website where your state posts AGR positions and check it. Regularly. Second, if you’re looking for full-time work and your chain of command doesn’t know, you’re doing it wrong. Full-time opportunities can pop up out of nowhere, and if your chain of command doesn’t know you’re looking, they can’t steer you in the right direction. 

GET SKILLS

No matter what career field you’re in, more skills will make you more competitive for AGR positions. Make sure you have all your professional development courses (Warrior Leader Course, Advanced Leader Course, etc.), but also take any other courses available to you.

GET YOUR FOOT IN THE DOOR

Just as in any career, it’s easier to find (and land) AGR opportunities if you’re inside the system. Take every opportunity you can to get on orders at your unit, even if it’s for a job you don’t want long term. The decision-makers at your unit will get to know you and what a good worker you are. This will give you a better shot at hearing about positions, and then actually landing them.

LOOK OUTSIDE YOUR FIELD

Don’t assume you’re eligible only for jobs in your current Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). All AGR positions will have certain requirements to apply, but most of them require you only to be eligible for the MOS, not currently have it.

MAKE YOUR RESUME SHINE

Most of the documents you’ll submit with the application are Army forms that you have little or no control over, but your resume is your chance to market yourself. Even if it’s not required by the posting, submit one anyway. This is where you’ll include any civilian qualifications not listed in your military records that might make you right for the job. This can make the difference between you and the next candidate. 

MAKE A GOOD IMPRESSION AT YOUR UNIT

No matter how good your resume looks and no matter how sparkly your DD-214 makes you look, if your current chain of command doesn’t have good things to say about you, you’re fighting an uphill battle to get hired. And if you’re applying for a full-time position in your current unit, there is almost no chance that your reputation for being a sandbag isn’t going to get around to whomever’s hiring. But if you’re a hard charger, a glowing reference from your chain of command can easily make the difference in your favor. This is yet another reason to put maximum effort in each and every day at drill.

SAMPLE AGR POSITIONS

Readiness NCO

Manages day-to-day operations of a unit including personnel issues, pay and training requirements for assigned Soldiers.

Max grade: E-7

 

Recruiting and Retention NCO

Identifies, recruits and processes potential Soldiers into the Guard.

Max grade: E-6

 

Human Resources Sergeant

Handles admin details for Soldiers in a unit.

Max grade: E-5

 

Supply Sergeant

Manages supply room inventory, distributing supplies as needed.

Max grade: E-6

 

CBRN NCO

Civil Support Team member specializing in Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear material identification, handling and disposal.

Max grade: E-6

 

Water and Fuels Systems Maintenance

Manages unit fuel distribution, maintaining equipment, managing inventory and ensuring compliance with safety regulations.

Max grade: E-7

 

Missile Defense Liaison NCO

Serves as liaison between a national missile defense site and the state’s Guard elements.

Max grade: E-5

 

Data Systems Integrator

Manages data and computer systems for a unit, troubleshooting and solving problems as they arise.

Max grade: E-5

 

Medical Readiness NCO

Oversees medical readiness for a unit, maintaining records and tracking Soldiers’ medical needs.

Max grade: E-5