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How to Transfer to Another State
As a Guard Soldier, you have committed to serve a dual mission—defend both your state and the nation. But what happens when your personal mission takes you away from the state you swore to protect?
Whether it’s for work, family or personal issues, the National Guard understands that Soldiers may need to move to another state during their enlistment. The Interstate Transfer (IST) process allows Soldiers to transfer to a vacant slot in a different state, ensuring that they can continue fulfilling their enlistment obligation without the burden oftraveling back and forth between states.
The key to a successful IST is communication and coordination with your leadership and the unit readiness noncommissioned officer (RNCO). As soon as the need for an IST arises, the Soldier should contact their RNCO. The RNCO will determine if the Soldier is “administratively ready” (i.e., no pending Uniform Code of Military Justice or disciplinary action, flags to medical readiness status, or other administrative issues). Once they are deemed “ready,” the RNCO will then forward the Soldier’s information to the state IST coordinator. The IST coordinator will ensure a valid, vacant position exists in the gaining state.
Because it may take some time for a vacant slot to become available, it is important to communicate the need for an IST as early as possible. If a Soldier fails to coordinate the move, they risk losing their bonus, rank, military occupational specialty or even face discharge. At no time should a Soldier conduct an IST on their own without coordinating with their unit.
MAKING THE TRANSITION
Once a slot becomes available, the Soldier will receive counseling from the losing unit. This counseling will assist in identifying any issues, concerns or risks that must be addressed prior to the move. For example, if the counseling reveals that the Soldier will not be employed when arriving to the gaining state, coordination can be made with resources in the gaining state to assist them in their job search.
If the Soldier does not feel comfortable discussing issues, concerns or risks with their unit, the Soldier can contact the state IST coordinator or the Army National Guard IST Help Desk—855-ARNG-IST. The Help Desk is a tremendous resource, no matter how big or small the problem, so Soldiers should take advantage, says Master Sergeant Andrew Berger of the Army National Guard’s Strength Maintenance Division.
In the event that a vacant slot does not exist in the gaining state, the Soldier may need to discuss reclassing to an available MOS or taking an administrative reduction. The state IST coordinator can discuss available MOS slots within the state for each rank and recommend reclass options based on qualifications and experience. If a vacant slot exists, but at a lower rank, the Soldier may be asked to take an administrative reduction if they are not willing to reclass to an available MOS.
FINALIZING THE PAPERWORK
Once the Soldier has been placed into a gaining unit, the state IST coordinator will assist the Soldier in completing NGB Form 22, which acknowledges their acceptance into the gaining state after an enlisting officer has sworn them in. Their expiration term of service (ETS) will remain the same, unless sooner discharged by proper authority.
As soon as Soldiers have been sworn in, they’ll have 60 days to report to their new unit, and they should contact their new unit of assignment to coordinate training dates and discuss any questions or concerns. Again, IST coordinators can help with this part of the transition.–Story by Emilie Baum